Most generally output such as Responsive is stored somewhere on a web server. That means that if the user is offline, they won't be able to access it.
If there is an app, that means they have to download and install it in some way, no? So you would need to find a way to package the help for the app along with the app so it is installed at the same time as the app.
Hopefully this clears the water a tad... Rick
HTML5 help always requires a browser to be viewed. But that doesn't mean it can't be installed locally.
I see three ways of getting it locally (at least for Android):
- Create an Android app from the help. RoboHelp as a script included that can help you with this. (But you will have to install some software.)
- Package the help in your app. You package the help in your app. The developers can use the internal browser to open and show the help.
As an alternative, allow me to suggest the following:
- Place your help system on a web server only. This will require an internet connection.
- Create with your designer and programmer a kind of quick start guide or embedded help (think images and overlays) and build that right into the help.
This way the user has basic help in the app at all times. They will only require an internet connection if they want the full help.
Thank you, Rick. That does help. My goal, if possible, was to try to publish to one output but I'll just do two.
So if I create an application help-type project, which output type is right for a help viewer that can be installed locally with the app?
As my dear friend Peter Grainge would say...
How long is a piece of string?
And the answer, of course, is "it depends". Depends on the app and on the device. If it's a desktop, perhaps a CHM file. But if it's a tablet of some sort, perhaps some form of app packager or something. Maybe Willam, Peter or John will know and pop in to advise.
What devices and o/s are you intending to install the help on? Most of them already have browsers installed, so getting the help output compiled into some form of installation package may be all that’s needed. Perhaps the developers can bundle it with the app?
The app is available on PC, Android phones, and iOS phones and tablets. Bundling it with the app is an ideal way of doing it because updates can get pushed along with new versions. If it's bundled with the app, does it need to be in CHM? And is an Application Help project the type of project I need to open for this type of publishing?
Thanks to all for your help!
CHM is pretty ancient technology – I’d be experimenting with seeing how your HTML5 output works on each of those platforms
While I agree with Jeff that CHM is a bit long in the tooth, it's still extremely viable. The only real issue with it is that it's PC only. Specifically, Microsoft Windows PC only. So that rules out Android and other platforms.
Yeah, HTML 5 is like the cool new kid on the block that doesn't play by the regular rules. But also like that same kid, it is a bit unpredictable. If it were me, I'd maybe experiment with WebHelp. ESPECIALLY if you have a fondness for customizing the look and feel of things. WebHelp customizations are so much easier to implement than the HTML 5 stuff in RoboHelp. I'd rather be forced to stick red hot needles into my eye sockets than to have to deal with that type of customization in RoboHelp. Not to mention needing to have a really good grasp of CSS and HTML 5 coding as well as RoboHelp Widgets. There are probably fewer than ten folks on this planet that can easily handle this.