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RoboHelp 10 questions

Jan 18, 2013 12:21 PM

We are looking at a trial version of RoboHelp 10, and there are certain issues I'm trying to get a handle on. (We currently use RoboHelp 8.) So far working with the trial version for a couple of hours (and viewing a few brief Adobe videos) has not helped. Could any of you who use RoboHelp 10 advise me on the following?

 

  • For years we have generated WebHelp and used the topics on their own, without using the main help "start" file, because we wanted a single frame, not the tri-pane look. Each topic has a header that we include using the templates/master pages. The header includes icons that work as a "back" button and links to the TOC and Index, as well as a print icon and a search field. If the user clicks the TOC or Index, that opens in the main window instead of the text from the previous topic. I had hoped that we could make a screen layout with this approach (since we are also interested in multi-screen layout for tablet and desktop support), but I'm still not seeing a way to get a simple topic window with a header. Is that possible?
  • I'm also not seeing a way to create your own screen layout from scratch. You seem to have to start with one of the layouts that are included. Is that correct?
  • If we wanted to be able to search across multiple generated help projects, would we need to merge the help projects?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

Tammy

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2013 2:03 PM   in reply to tspaul

    Hi Tammy

     

    I'll try to address some of these.

     

    tspaul wrote:

     

    • For years we have generated WebHelp and used the topics on their own, without using the main help "start" file, because we wanted a single frame, not the tri-pane look. Each topic has a header that we include using the templates/master pages. The header includes icons that work as a "back" button and links to the TOC and Index, as well as a print icon and a search field. If the user clicks the TOC or Index, that opens in the main window instead of the text from the previous topic. I had hoped that we could make a screen layout with this approach (since we are also interested in multi-screen layout for tablet and desktop support), but I'm still not seeing a way to get a simple topic window with a header. Is that possible?

     

    Nothing really changes between 8 and 10 in this respect. You should still be able to generate as you did before. But your mention of wanting a "screen layout" seems that you are wanting to delve into the fun brave new world of HTML 5. Good luck with that! I'll have to let Willam or another that has lots of HTML 5 experience answer that one.

     

    • I'm also not seeing a way to create your own screen layout from scratch. You seem to have to start with one of the layouts that are included. Is that correct?

     

    I believe it's possible to create your own layout. But it's certainly NOT the most intuitive process and it's one I honestly hope Adobe will simplify in a future build so that us mere humans are easily able to create and customize our own HTML 5 layouts without requiring a PHD and 40 years experience coding HTML 5 and CSS. As it stands, it's not a process for the faint of heart.

     

    • If we wanted to be able to search across multiple generated help projects, would we need to merge the help projects?

     

    Since the first two questions seemed to be HTML 5 (Multiscreen) centric, are we to assume this one falls into that area as well? If so, again, Willam or someone with HTML 5 Multiscreen skills will have to advise. I'm unsure if merging is even possible using that output type.

     

    Cheers... Rick

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 19, 2013 4:20 AM   in reply to Captiv8r

    Just to add to Rick's reply, serious editing of the screen layouts does require CSS skills more of the level of a web site designer than a technical author. As for starting from scratch, think of flying a plane without tuition.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 21, 2013 12:40 PM   in reply to tspaul

    It is the CSS you will have to work on. There are many layouts provided and  some of them do get away from the tripane standard. My point was that major reworking or creating new layouts is not so easy.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 21, 2013 8:57 PM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    Hi, Tammy

    I think we are all use to the good ol' WebHelp Skin Editor which was very WYSIWYG. But, the reality is that HTML5 and especially, the CSS part of it, is very complicated because of the variables and variety of devices.

    I am not a CSS expert by any means, but I was able to create and make some modifications to existing Screen Layouts. I finally got some help from Willam van Weelden (see below)

    I'm sure there will be improvements in future versions, but for now I highly recommend these things:

     

    1. Visit Willam van Weelden's website. He is the acknowledged expert on HTML5 output and has some useful items on his blog.

    http://www.wvanweelden.eu/product-category/multiscreen-html5-layout (there are other related pages on his site as well)

     

    2. The new Adobe RoboHelp Product Manager, Vikram Verma, has just posted an article on this subject here:

    http://blogs.adobe.com/techcomm/2013/01/html5-publishing-series-post-1 -why-you-should-publish-content-in-html5.html

     

    3. Take a look at a free recording of an hour-long webinar which I conducted with Willam as my guest. 

    You'll find a link to the webinar here:

    http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/event/index.cfm?event=list&loc=en_us&type =ondemand_seminar&product=Technical+Communication+Suite&interest&audie nce

    (Scroll down to this sub head:

    Multiscreen HTML5 for multi-device publishing with Adobe RoboHelp 10

     

    Hope this helps.

    John Daigle

    Adobe Certified RoboHelp and Captivate Instructor

    Evergreen, Colorado

    www.showmethedemo.com

     
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