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Editing context in search results

Jan 3, 2013 8:25 AM

I'm working in RoboHelp 10.  When generating the output, I check "Show Context in Search Results."  When someone searches for a term, they get a list of each topic where that term appears, and they see a short summary of the text from that topic.  However, the summary includes words from a header on a master page, and it includes the words in an <h1> headline, which is the same as the title of the topic.  So the summary is almost useless.  Is there a way to exclude content from a master page or a style in the search results?  Better still, is there a way to write a separate summary of the topic that will appear instead of the first few words in the topic?

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 4, 2013 11:09 AM   in reply to newleaf1124

    Hi there

     

    The downside I might think of first is that by making this change you are also causing the text that is on the topic itself to become invisible, no? So if you don't want to see the text when viewing the topic itself, why even have it there to begin with? I might just consider removing it using other means than simply hiding it via CSS. But maybe I'm missing something?

     

    Cheers... Rick

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 4, 2013 11:42 AM   in reply to newleaf1124

    Hmmm, so let me see if I'm understanding this better.

     

    You have a topic with a Title of "Eggs are good for you" and the first bit of it begins with an explanation about what eggs are. So you generate and you see "Eggs are good for you" along with the first bit of text. But you would prefer the summary actually read differently.

     

    So to overcome this, you added text inside the topic and made certain it was at the very top of the topic and in one point size so it would basically be invisible when viewed or printed. And by doing so, perhaps now the search will present: "Eggs are good for you" along with your inserted (and invisible) text reading something differently. Perhaps: This topic will outline the benefits and reasons you want to eat eggs..

     

    Interesting thought. I'll have to play with that and see what happens... Rick

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 3:38 AM   in reply to newleaf1124

    Could you not start your topic with a single cell table labelled What's Covered?

     

    We do that not for the purpose you have in mind but has a brief summary so that the reader gets instant confirmation they have landed in the right place.

     

    Another alternative would be an external search tool in place of what is built in. The up side is you have more control and can include / exclude chunks of text and customise in other ways. The downside is it is more work and does not update automatically when you generate the help. The update is easy, just not automatic. If that has some appeal, see the pages on my site about Searching, they describe integrating ZoomSearch into your project.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 8, 2013 12:57 AM   in reply to newleaf1124

    You don't have to have "What's Covered" in the cell. That's just what we do to make the purpose of that section immediately obvious. How little space...   We use it for anything from a single line to up to 10 or so lines for complex topics.

     

    Reading through your reply it seems your thinking is based on printed media and I don't think you can compare OLH with all forms of printed media. The nearest is a manual and there I have seen "In This Chapter".

     

    You say people should be able to tell almost instantly what is being discussed and I agree. What better than something short and sharp that states that explicitly? Remember that with OLH people do not work through from start to finish, they skip around following links. A brief section stating what they will find wherever they have landed helps a lot. Our users gave positive feedback when we first added What's Covered.

     

    The problem here is your root purpose is not to make the topic helpful but to make the search better so it is a bit of an abuse of the purpose of What's Covered. I applaud what you are trying to do but at the same time I would point out that what Rh and other tools offer is being used as is. You are creating a lot of work for yourself and only you can decide if that is justified and that you have the time now and ongoing.

     

    As to studies and research, perhaps take a look at Tom Johnson's blog at http://idratherbewriting.com/ He is a Flare user but we will not hold that against him. :-) Most of his blogs are generic anyway and whilst they are long articles, he has written on my subjects.

     

    Keep in mind that whilst some considerations for other online material will be valid for OLH, others will not. The design of online content designed to make you want to buy something could be the very design that will annoy the hell out of you when looking for help.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 9, 2013 12:40 AM   in reply to newleaf1124

    Feature requests are made at http://www.Adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform&product=38

     

    ZoomSearch would seem to be your answer right now though as new features are only added with new versions and Rh10 has only just released.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 9, 2013 10:13 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    Hi all

     

    I could easily see this manifesting in the following way:

     

    Add an area named "Context" to the properties panel for a topic. It might look as follows:

     

    tmp1.PNG

    Cheers... Rick

     
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