3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 24, 2012 6:30 AM by Willam van Weelden

    WebHelp, Air Help, FlashHelp and why?

    Alberti Level 1

      I've looked around various RoboHelp-related blogs and the Adobe RoboHelp product documentation and have not found any very practical guidance for choosing output types. I have found generic descriptions of those formats, but nothing that really gives me some reasons for choosing one or the other in cases where the technical environment would support any of them.


      I've worked extensively with WinHelp, HTML Help and WebHelp/WebHelp Pro, but the newer formats, specifically Air and Flash, remain rather exotic in my understanding.


      For people who have used those two, what are the main factors that would make you prefer or not prefer one or the other over WebHelp? Let's assume the following:


      • single authoring (not collaborative)
      • content is process and procedure documentation
      • output is to be accessed on a server by people using a variety of devices -- desktop and mobile.


      Based on their advantages to the users and the help designers, what factors (other than habit and familiarity, as in my case) would lead you to choose Flash, Air, or WebHelp?


      Mike in Oz

        • 1. Re: WebHelp, Air Help, FlashHelp and why?
          RoboColum(n) Level 5

          Hi Mike.


          If your content is located on a server that discounts a lot of output types. If you have users using mobile devices you'll either want to look into the new functionality added to RoboHelp 10 that specifically allows you to output for mobile devices or organise your content in such a way that it is usable on mobiles. This may well mean having different versions of your outputs.


          The choice of which output you go for is largely arbitary according to your requirements. WebHelp would on the face of it be a good choice as would FlashHelp of AIRHelp. There are differences between them including how they are produced and maintained. Those are certainly factors in which one you choose. No doubt you'll have read the various sites that outline the pros and cons of each. The issues of Flash on Apple devices may discount FlashHelp for mobile devices. The fact that AIRHelp is non-platform specific may count it in but there are other issues with it.


          I'm not sure if this is helping much. Each output type can be used but each has its pros and cons. It is very difficult to advise on which is best for you and your users because we do not know your specific requirements.

          • 2. Re: WebHelp, Air Help, FlashHelp and why?
            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

            I have added a new Snippet on my site. See Item 33 at http://www.grainge.org/pages/snippets/snippets.htm#miscellaneous


            It's a first cut and will stand some more information being added. Perhaps your feedback will help with that.


            See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips




            • 3. Re: WebHelp, Air Help, FlashHelp and why?
              Willam van Weelden Adobe Community Professional & MVP



              BB AIR also uses Flash, so it's a no go for mobile devices.


              Personally, I'd go with WebHelp or the RH10 HTML5 help. They work with most browsers and HTML5 can work with a miriad of touch devices too. The downside is that HTML5 and the DHTML WebHelp variant will require JavaScript.