2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 15, 2014 12:13 AM by Peter Grainge

    Difference between the 5 generating outputs using RH10

    Free Your Mind

      I have created a Help File using RH10.  I have been asked to find the pros and cons of between the five different generated outputs.  I have searched the forums and have not really found a solid answer.  Can anyone answer this question for me? I am new to RH and the extent of my training is from lynda.com and using the application.


      I have been told that FlashHelp and WebHelp are the best options when dealing with multiple users.



        • 1. Re: Difference between the 5 generating outputs using RH10
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Hi there


          Indeed I can see where it can be very confusing if you aren't all that familiar.


          I would agree that WebHelp and FlashHelp are common. Both of these outputs are intended to be copied to and delivered from a web server. With both outputs, the web browser is divided into frames. The top frame has the main toolbar, the left frame presents the TOC or Index or Glossary or Search and the right frame presents the topic content. The main difference between WebHelp and FlashHelp is how the information is presented in the top frame and the left frame. In FlashHelp, Adobe Flash is used and you see subtle animation effects. With WebHelp, it's a collection of HTML pages and images and links.


          Another type of output is Microsoft HTML help, This output is created as a single file with a .CHM file extension. You would create this type of file if you want to copy the help system to each PC that will use it instead of having the individual PCs connect to a server to see the help.


          RoboHelp version 10 introduced a new help output type called "Multiscreen". You have likely heard the buzzword "HTML 5". Multiscreen output is intended to be the HTML 5 choice,


          The issue here is typically how easy is it to customize the output. With Microsoft HTML Help (CHM output) you don't have many options. Some say the output looks dated, But with RoboHelp 10 you are able to create WebHelp output with a skin and use that inside a CHM file to provide an updated look and feel.


          If you wish to customize FlashHelp output, you must have a copy of Adobe Flash and the knowledge of how to use it. So it's not all that easy for most folks. Likewise, if you wish to customize the Multiscreen outputs, you have to have a pretty good understanding of CSS and be pretty patient with poking around the editor in RoboHelp. It's a fairly daunting task. The easiest to customize is the WebHelp output, because you just choose different images and configure things in an easy to navigate "Skin Editor".


          You will see that there are other output types such as AIR Help. But that was more of a "flash in the pan" and it never really took off the way Adobe hoped it would. So personally, I'd recommend to avoid that output.


          There is also the eBook output. You would choose that if you wanted to create a help system that would be presented on a Nook or a Kindle device. Not many folks are really "into" that space as far as I know.


          Note that there is a "Pro" output type for WebHelp and for FlashHelp. This output isn't "better" than basic WebHelp or FlashHelp. Instead, it is a special output variant that is intended to work with another product called "RoboHelp Server". If you have purchased RoboHelp Server, you install it and configure it and maintain it on your web server. Then you create the "Pro" output type of choice and publish it to the RoboHelp Server. RoboHelp Server provides some management capabilities, special reporting and special configuraiton options that relate to these "Pro" output types.


          There is more info on other outputs, but I think this covers what most folks might be interested in.


          Hopefully this helps... Rick

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Difference between the 5 generating outputs using RH10
            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

            There is another aspect that I hope Rick will not mind me adding. That is about where the help will be installed. See Item 33 at http://www.grainge.org/pages/snippets/snippets.htm#miscellaneous


            With FlashHelp even if you have Adobe Flash and the necessary skills, my understanding is that you still cannot change it as you would require some files that Adobe use to create the skin. Those files are not publicly available.


            If your final choice should be HTML5, you might want to consider Rh11 as that ships with another HTML5 layout (Responsive) that you will find easier to use.


            See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips