5 Replies Latest reply on May 24, 2012 7:39 AM by Willam van Weelden

    Automatic conversion from Robohelp to Powerpoint

    George the scribe

      Hi, forum friends.


      In my environment, the on-line help files are produced in Robohelp HTML (RH8, soon to be upgraded to RH9). Each topic has a rigid format: first there is a summary consisting of bullet points, then there is a horizontal line, then there is a text section explaining the topic in detail, and finally there is a "Related Topics" button.


      The same topics are usually re-used for training materials. The summary bullet points become PowerPoint slides, and the text section becomes the presenter's narration (stored in the Notes section of each slide).


      My question is: how can I efficiently convert the Robohelp files into Powerpoint slides? Right now, it is a cut-and-paste task, and changes (which happen frequently) have to be manually updated in both formats. This is time-consuming and error-prone.


      The narration text (which goes in the Powerpoint notes) is not quite identical to the text in the Robohelp topic, but they are close enough that Robohelp's conditional text should handle the differences.


      Ultimately, I would like to be able to make my changes in Robohelp and then "push a button" (i.e. go through a few simple steps that don't involve any editing) and get a new set of PowerPoint slides.


      I have only been able to identify one possible route for this conversion, and it sounds like it would be painful to set up: publish the Robohelp files to the DocBook XML format, convert that to the PowerPoint internal XML format using XSLT (or some other converter), unzip the PowerPoint file, replace the slide text and the notes text, and re-zip the PowerPoint.


      In searching the archives, I see that someone asked a similar question in 2008, and the suggestion was to capture the Robohelp material using a screen-capture utility. That doesn't work in my case--the results are poor for the bullet points, and it doesn't work at all for the narration.


      Is there a simpler way than the XML conversion approach outlined above? Is the whole idea crazy? I await your input.



      -- George