Look into "snippets" for re-using content
What kind of output are you creating? If you are using WebHelp, I think that there are two ways to go:
1. Place the guide on a main place and add a link to that URL in your projects, just like you would do with an external URL.
2. Create the guide as a separated project. Then use that project as a merged project in your other projects. You only have one source for the guide and you use that in all your other projects. The advantage of this method is that search results/index/toc can be merged.
For more information on merged WebHelp projects, see http://www.grainge.org/pages/authoring/merging_webhelp/merged_help.htm
Thank you for your answer.
However, I will be creating the guide in FlashHelp. Does that make a difference?
I'm not a FlashHelp user, but WebHelp and FlashHelp are very alike. As far as I know merging projects works the same in WebHelp as in FlashHelp. Though I hope a FlashHelp user can confirm this.
As I recall, I abandoned snippets because you can only use them within one project. They don't work between child projects in a merged project. If they do, please let me know how to get them to work because my tests failed so I moved on.
As a result, what I do is just link to the topic in the other child project. This involves right-clicking the link to the TOC topic in the published project, and copy/pasting the path in Properties - not elegant, but it works.
Adobe is really good at teasing us. What I mean here is that RoboHelp 8 introduced us to a feature we know as the "Resource Manager". But it really wasn't useful. Then with RoboHelp 9 it was vastly improved and worthy of considering. (One can only hope that with RoboHelp "next", that it will finally offer an ability to sync topics. But I digress.)
Anyhoo, if you are using RoboHelp 9, the Resource Manager allows you to easily synchronize Snippets across different projects.
Helpful and Handy Links
As you probably remember I was in a past class of yours for RobHelp 7. I now have RoboHelp 9. Is there any information you can send me for creating Snippets?
Thank you again,
I do remember you. That class was in Atlanta, no?
What about snippets do you need? Basically what you do is to open the Snippets pod (View > Pods > Snippets). Then you click File > New > Snippet and edit the snippet to look as you want. Once you have done this, you use the snippet in topics just like you would in version 7.
The only real changes version 9 introduced with Snippets was the ability to organize them in the Snippets pod.
Helpful and Handy Links
Yes, I attended a RoboHelp class in Atlanta. I was the only one in the class who had never used RoboHelp.
So, since I was such a ‘newbie’ and now have RoboHelp 9 and have gotten my feet wet with RoboHelp guides, I am interested in taking another class.
I saw that you have training designed by you and I am wondering which class would be the most beneficial to me. The Standard RoboHelp Class or the Early Bird Dinner class.
Which would you recommend?
I have been playing around with Snippets and I do not think this is what I need.
What I need is one parent Help guide and then child guides. The parent guide will explain the main functionality of the application. Then, for each deparments in our corporation, they will have information under the main application. Each department will need help guides created for their functionality, but also will need the information in the parent guide for accessing their portion of the application.
So I want to create one Help guide for the parent, then re-use that information for each 'child'.
When I look at the Snippets section it looks lke this is only for text to be inserted into another project. I will have many topics within the parent guide.
If I use the merge projects functionality, will I be able to change the parent guide in one place only?
I'm not sure I am following here but perhaps this explanation will help.
First see the pages on merging help on my site. Many people have used that method and from my own use I know it is robust. Even Adobe's help now points to it.
There the parent is really nothing more than a shell, it has no content. The common content that is always required (how to use the help, company information, whatever) goes in a child topic. That project's output is always included. Then you have child projects containing whatever you want, typically Module A, Module B and so on.
In your case, if each department wants something in the "main child", then it is not going to work too well because their child project will not always be included. Dept A's help would start with how to access it, that information does not need to be in the main child.
Snippets are unique to each project but you can store them in Resource Manager and pull them from there as required. Avoid snippets with paths though. Can work but can also be a bit of trouble in a merge.
Does that clarify things a bit?
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips