More of a workflow/solution question, but maybe Robohelp is best suited, or Framemaker > Robohelp...
We have a product on the market and some fairly in-depth manuals regarding its use.
Currently the manuals are authored in Word, converted to PDFs, and available on the web.
We'd like to put together a help system.
Our current thinking is to just re-author the manuals in HTML and put those on the web, which makes for fairly easy searching and access.
Sell me on using Robohelp instead ;-)
My biggest concern is updates. If we reauthor the manuals in Framemaker, or keep them in Word, then publish to Robohelp...
...then we have an update, that would require another 'publish to Robohelp' process, then replacing the online files, correct?
There's no automatic...link to a source file in Robohelp, right?
That's an advantage to the straight HTML approach, I think. We update the live documents (i.e. via Dreamweaver) and that's that, no further effort.
Any insights, recommendations, etc. appreciated!
RoboHelp 8 ushered in an ability to link a Word document to RoboHelp so that ongoing maintenance may occur in Word. In the RoboHelp Project Manager pod the icon will reflect the status. For example, if the Word document is updated, the icon changes to alert the RoboHelp author their HTML copy is different. They then right-click and update the Word to suck into RoboHelp the changed content.
Keep in mind that I'm only aware of this. I've played with it on a fundamental level. I'm not sure what happens if you have links that you construct from the Word content that exists as HTML in RoboHelp. They may get wiped out during an update.
Also, it behooves anyone using this approach to be rather diligent in use of applying Headings and other formatting properly in Word.
Helpful and Handy Links
In TechComm Suite 3, there seemed to be some collaboration component of Framemaker that looked...possible, but too complex for a simple need. What you describe sounds much more workable.
Will grab the RoboDemo trial when we next have the chance to check into this. Keeping the edits to Word would be easiest for the various document folks. It'll be interesting to see how...smoothly the publish and sync process is.