We have a few help projects that we built in RoboHelp, and output to help as well as to PDF. The help output is primary, the PDF secondary. The PDF output takes quite a bit of cleanup each time.
Would it be worth it to convert everything to FrameMaker and then output to PDF (very clean) and to RoboHelp? I've been reading about linking/importing and adding context-sensitive help markers, etc. Not sure how well Frame convert to RoboHelp at this point.
Any advice is welcome!
Works really well provided you follow some rules in your FM files like putting all graphics inside anchored frames. Check out the FM Integration thread for some people's issues. My help supports 2 product lines - one is authored in FM and importing into RH to be made into WebHelp; the other is authored in RH and has locally-installed AIRHelp as its output. The only reason why I didn't go the FM to RH route for the second product was that it didn't have any requirement for printed help. FM's PDF generation abilities are far superior to RH's - that influenced our initial choice of TCS & FM authoring to begin with.
Well, we have a Word version (the initial output from RoboHelp), which is what I used to create a Frame sample to test. Our bigger concern is what happens when we convert Frame to RoboHelp, for things like map IDs and so on. Here are the questions that have been raised by my manager:
CSH works - the method I use is to use a custom marker type in FM, tag all the places where I want CSH to launch to (not all of them in my particular case), then in the Conversion Settings in RH, I specify the marker type to use for CSH - the marker text comes over as the part of the mapid. Depending on how your app calls the help, it can be tweaked to launch.
Conditioning can be handled in 2 ways - you do all your conditions in FM & then decide if FM will dictate what gets pulled into RH (via Show/Hide) or you send them all over to RH, then set which things you want to see in your output by using CBTs in the SSL layouts. This choice gets set in the Conversion Settings too.
If you already know FM, then authoring is the same as RH - you can still write as if you are doing distinct topics (because when the FM doc gets busted up into topics in RH, they will be separate) but you can keep much longer "articles" together for print publication.
I haven't used Captivate videos in my FM project, just in my RH AIR one, so I can't really speak to it, but I understand that as long as the video is placed in an anchored frame, it can come into RH.
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