I write help files for web-based applications using RoboHelp 9 and generate the help as WebHelp which is accessible from within our applications. Some of our customers run our applications using a browser on their iPads, but they can't access the WebHelp because iPads don't support modal dialogs. Is there a way to place screenshots or text in popup windows in WebHelp in a way that doesn't use modal dialogs?
I know I can generate the help as ePub, but then the customer has to download an ebook reader and the ePub help files. We would rather that our customers be able to access the help from directly in the application.
I got our WebHelp to run on iPad by not using a skin. I'm using RH8, so the sequence of the selections in the wizard may be different in RH9.
On your SSL wizard for WebHelp, the first view where you select the Skin, choose "(Traditional style - no skin)."
The next view in the wizard is for Navigation, choose the TOC tab and any other options you want. (We had trouble with being able to input text using an Android tablet, so we're not giving them Search, just TOC and Glossary.)
The next view in the wizard is an options screen you never see if you have selected a skin. On this view you set up the Show/Hide options for the navigation pane - you can use text or images.
Complete any other selections as you typically do, and then publish.
Here's your answer:
Safari is the default browser on the iPad. If you're using the latest version of Safari on your computer you should be able to call your WebHelp site and see how it behaves in Safari. If you can't see it in Safari on your computer regardless of whatever you're doing on the iPad, it's not likely you're going to be able to see it on your iPad.
If your clients are viewing your WebHelp in IE or Firefox it does show slightly differently. Test your WebHelp in Safari, Chrome, Firefox and IE. If it's acting funky on the iPad but doesn't show on the desktop it's probable that the issue is in the iPad and not the WebHelp itself - the WebHelp is straightup HTML unless you're doing funky things with Robohelp 9 in your design.
The other way to make it work is to have your clients install a web browser FOR the iPad on the iPad OTHER than Safari and use that. Currently on the iTunes store, 360 Web Browser, Opera, Mercury, and Skyfire are all Safari alternatives for the iPad and may work in varying degree.
Tested against a 1st generation iPad 64GB WiFi only with Software Version 5.1 with RoboHelp 9 WebHelp and WebHelp Pro builds:
360 Web Browser: Works fine - similar to Mercury in that there are several options for making the browser act or show like different browsers - test against your own. Worked fine after tweaking to show as either IE or Firefox.
Opera Mini Web Browser for iPad: Not recommended; doesn't show frames properly.
Mercury Web Browser: Several options for making the browser act or show like different browsers - test against your own. Worked fine after tweaking to show as either IE or Firefox.
Skyfire: Blinked a few times on the top when loading, but worked perfectly after five seconds.Tested against WebHelp and WebHelp Pro.
Now, I've got these for my own research on the sites mainly because I, like you, like my stuff to look as it was intended to look on the iPad.
However, if you still can't get it to work properly, I personally wouldn't go the ePub route - it's far simpler and mostly a cleaner build for a manual just to do the whole set as a PDF rather than do it in the ePub wrapper and send it off.
You'll also note that iTunes and Apple's iBook uses nothing but ePub and does the iBook more or less as an ePub wrapper - if you want to read an eBook on your iPad you move the ePub file to the "Add Automatically to iTunes" folder on your computer and it's automatically loaded.
A little more research into the iPad functionality itself would probably have answered most of these questions for you, though - because Robohelp is designed for WebHelp, not really for ePub design, and it's not so much the issue of RoboHelp than it is the browsers your client is using on their iPads.
And the answer is still the same as it would be if you had an issue seeing the WebHelp on a Mac running Safari, Opera, Chrome, Firefox, 360, or any other browser - even running the in-game browser of Steam from Valve Corporation I am still able to see and pull WebHelp just fine - the issue is the design of the WebHelp and whether you optimized it for viewing on a small windowed browser OR you let it do its own thing. It's got very little to do with RoboHelp, but has everything to do with the settings of the browser that your clients are using to view the site in the iPad.
If you -really- want your users to be able to view the images so they can get HUGE FREAKING PICTURES and see them in detail while still using RoboHelp, your best bet is to scrap the whole modal dialog scripting thing, tell them to use a different browser (or switch to an Android tablet running a browser that isn't five gens of development behind the rest of the world), and do this:
In each picture you want to be blown up, select it.
Insert Hyperlink > Link To VERYLARGEVERSIONOFORIGINAL.png
Select Display in Auto-Sizing Popup
Let them pinch-and-zoom to their hearts' content.
Hi Mary Andyshak!
Did you eventually manage to make WebHelp run on an iPad? Can you please fill us in a little about the issue?
Does your webhelp open in a different window/dialog/tab and cover up the entire application? Or is it managable to open a smaller dialog for the webhelp, so you can still see the application?
At this time I am using RoboHelp 8, but I am thinking about upgrading to RH 9.
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