4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 2, 2014 9:47 AM by Beadlam

    Search Alternatives


      RoboHelp HTMS

      Version 8


      Several years ago, Peter Grainge recommended an alternative to the Search function called ZoomSearch. Unfortunately, we weren't able to use this product because of problems with out platform and our client's platform.


      Our users are still having a very hard time finding what they need using the RoboHelp Search function. I've tried using synonyms and custom search terms, but this only helps slightly.


      I'm wondering if there has been any program, other than ZoomSearch, that could be recommended. Or - would a newer version provide better functionality with the Search.


      Thanks so much.

        • 1. Re: Search Alternatives
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          NOTHING beats a well crafted index.

          • 2. Re: Search Alternatives
            Beadlam Level 1

            Interesting - I don't use an index at all, always finding a search to be more precise. But this gives me something to think about.


            • 3. Re: Search Alternatives
              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              LOL on the "more precise" bit.


              Here's why it amuses me. In all the RoboHelp classes I facilitate, I demonstrate the difference between search and index. The way I describe search is to say that imagine you have a city with a bad guy in it. Your goal is to identify and take out the bad guy. So with search, it's like dropping a nuclear bomb on the city. You typically get the bad guy but you also get a bunch of stuff you didn't intend to get.


              With an Index, it's like using a laser guided missile to hit not just the building the bad guy is in, but the specific room inside the building.


              With Search, the user has to completely type the term (or terms) out, then click a button to scan the results, then choose from the most promising results. Sure, the terms they typed are highlighted, so there's a plus. But all of that takes time.


              With an Index (if done well), the user begins typing the term they are looking for. And if you have done it well, they only need to type two or three letters, because as they type, the list of Index terms adapts and matches what is being typed. Then when they see what they are looking for they click the link to open the topic containing what they need. So they didn't have the steps of fully typing the terms (and hoping they typed them accurately because search is persnickety that way) they didn't see a list of as many as 500 topics that had the terms inside.


              Hopefully you see the value in that... Rick

              • 4. Re: Search Alternatives
                Beadlam Level 1

                Thank you, Rick. I'm definitely going to try something new - an index!