11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 15, 2008 9:24 AM by HKabaker

    Customizing Breadcrumbs in RoboHelp7

    suzieshell
      Can breadcrumbs be customized based on TOC? Or can they be customized to where the first link in the breadcrumb, the "Home" link (unless you've modified the name), can link to the book where the topic came from, rather than linking to the default page for the entire help file? For example, if you have a structure as follows:

      Introduction
      Home
      Buttons
      Account Services
      Checking
      Ordering Checks
      Stop Payment

      Can the breadcrumb read Account Services > Checking > Ordering Checks, rather than Home > Account Services > Checking > Ordering Checks? Where when you would click Account Services, it would take you to the Account Services Overview. The Home link, takes the user back to the Home topic, which isn't always useful, especially in this case, and also when using context-sensitive help. I may be missing something here.

      Anyone found a workaround for this, or have any feedback?
        • 1. Re: Customizing Breadcrumbs in RoboHelp7
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
          Welcome to the forum

          The breadcrumbs are intended to show the user where the topic they are viewing is within the folder structure, not the books within the TOC.

          Thus someone viewing a topic called say Payments within Accounts Services would see Home | Accounts Services | Payments. I think that is ideal for someone hitting Payments as a CSH help topic as they can choose how far up in the hierarchy they want to go.

          • 2. Re: Customizing Breadcrumbs in RoboHelp7
            poverbo
            Speaking of customizing breadcrumbs, is there a way to omit the breadcrumbs from some topics? For example, I want to omit them from the Home page.

            Thanks!
            • 3. Re: Customizing Breadcrumbs in RoboHelp7
              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
              Hi poverbo

              You could accomplish this by manipulating the output files. You could either edit them directly by opening into an editor and removing the code that makes them work, or you could generate two different times. Once with Breadcrumbs enabled and once without. Then copy the files with no breadcrumbs and replace the files with breadcrumbs.

              Cheers... Rick
              • 4. Re: Customizing Breadcrumbs in RoboHelp7
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                Rick has pointed out to me that I didn't say what I meant to.

                I said

                The breadcrumbs are intended to show the user where the topic they are viewing is within the folder structure, not the books within the TOC.

                I meant to say

                The breadcrumbs are intended to show the user where the topic they are viewing is within the TOC structure, not the show the various books within the TOC. (which is what you suggested you want)

                Sorry folks.
                • 5. Re: Customizing Breadcrumbs in RoboHelp7
                  suzieshell Level 1
                  Hello,

                  Thanks, Peter and to all of you for your feedback about this.

                  I do understand the purpose of the breadcrumbs and how they are pulled in, but for the online help I am creating, I was hoping to customize them for a couple reasons. One is that the Home link in the breadcrumb goes to the default page that is presented when you open the help file; however, if you have screen level help (which I will have), when you open only the help topic for each screen, it displays only that one topic. The breadcrumbs display in the topic and follow the folder and file structure in which you built your folders and topics, and if you autogenerated the TOC, the TOC mimics the folder/file structure, and the breadcrumbs indeed, will follow the same path. What is happening in my instance, is that the online help topic for a particular screen opens, and does not contain any forward and back buttons (still trying to figure out how to add these--without having to use WebHelp Pro). If someone uses the breadcrumb to navigate, and they click the Home link, it takes them to that default screen and they can't get back to where they came from unless they know to click the Show link to open the TOC--and even if they get here, then they may not know where to go to get to where they were. I guess we can hope they will use the Index, or Search option.

                  The second reason I was wanted to customize the breadcrumbs, which now, after thinking about it, wouldn't make sense, is because I will not be autogenerating the TOC. The application I'm writing help for is set up with many tabs, with tabs under those tabs, then an abundance of links to other screens/tasks. In most cases, I organize my topics in a task-based format, but to keep things organized for this project, I am using more a screen-based approach, then will manually create the TOC. Some of the members on the project see a benefit in using the breadcrumbs, but I find that the breadcrumbs may become confusing because some of the folders that I created (for organizational purposes) in the Project Manager will not exist in the TOC;however, will still exist in the breadcrumbs.

                  I have proposed to turn the breadcrumbs off for this online help--so not to confuse users, and several other writers in my department concur, but these aren't the people that I need to convince.

                  Sorry if I've confused anyone/everyone. :-(
                  Just trying to figure this all out. :-)
                  Thanks again for your time reading through this, and your responses.
                  • 6. Re: Customizing Breadcrumbs in RoboHelp7
                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                    It sounds like you are opening your CSH topics so that only the topic displays rather than the full tripane window. If you changed the calls so that the CSH opened in the tripane, maybe the breadcrumbs would make more sense?

                    • 7. Re: Customizing Breadcrumbs in RoboHelp7
                      suzieshell Level 1
                      Yep. Typically, we would have each topic open with the TOC displaying, but the project sponsors and other leads want only the topic, along with the option to open the TOC with the (Show) link. Also, they want the Help to open in a skinny window on the right (like Microsoft's help), so even if you set it to have the TOC open with the topic, it pushes the topic off the page, and shows most of the TOC. Ugh.

                      Speaking of displaying the topic for CSH, we used to be able to do this in RoboHelp 5 with the "#" sign in the path. Someone mentioned that this doesn't work in RoboHelp 7. Have you had this problem, or anyone else? If so, any ideas around this?

                      Thanks,

                      • 8. Re: Customizing Breadcrumbs in RoboHelp7
                        Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                        OK, the breadcrumb problem is an own goal then.

                        I have seen a few people report the # problem but every test I ran, it still worked fine.

                        • 9. Re: Customizing Breadcrumbs in RoboHelp7
                          suzieshell Level 1
                          Thanks again, Peter.

                          Not to beat the breadcrumbs to death, but another thing is that it would be nice for the breadcrumb to not always start with the Home link. I don't mean the name, because I know that you can modify the name, but to actually get it to start with the book that it derives from. When I think of a breadcrumb, I want it to take you back to the highest level for that particular thing/topic. The Home page, in essence, the overview page, isn't always the highest for all. Everything doesn't fall under the Home page--well, I guess, unless you don't have any folders in your structure and just have everything under the root.

                          Something will come together for this--just got get out the kinks, and get everyone on the same page, and to agree!
                          • 10. Re: Customizing Breadcrumbs in RoboHelp7
                            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                            Ultimately everything does go back to the home page, same as any web site. I think the problem would be how far back would the breadcrumbs go? One book up, two books up etc? Two book up might exclude Home for some topics and not others. Maybe all books but not Home. Excluding Home could be an option although I would not want that.

                            All I am getting at is if you can define some logic that meets your need and can be done so your needs as well of those of others can be met, then post that at

                            http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

                            • 11. Re: Customizing Breadcrumbs in RoboHelp7
                              HKabaker Level 2
                              Breadcrumbs are more useful for step-by-step tasks, less so for just browsing, I think.

                              An application can have several choices for what to do next, and then more choices on the next page, and so on. Breadcrumbs let you choose which step to go back to -- the previous one, or three steps previous? -- rather than starting all over at the first one.

                              I'm using breadcrumbs for now, but thinking about it.

                              Harvey