5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 14, 2006 1:30 PM by johnmccallum

    HTML basics

    thismajorsea Level 1

      For years I've been using Robohelp to build Winhelp help systems. However, it has become obvious through recent research that HTML Help would provide a better solution for our customers. The problem is, I have little to no experience in HTML. As such, I would greatly appreciate any information you can provide on the HTML format. Simply put, what are the HTML basics a beginner should know?

      More specifically:

      We are interested in building a help system that can link to content kept and maintained in house (not local to the user's machine). That way, we could continually update the content without having to release new versions of the software. Is this possible through Robohelp? How is this done?

      How would one go about integrating a search app (like PhpDig) into a HTML help system?

      This is a bit daunting to a Winhelp user, so I greatly appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks in advance.

      Happy Holidays everyone.
        • 1. Re: HTML basics
          Level 2
          Hi Todd,

          You don't need to know much HTML to work with RoboHelp. I converted from WinHelp many years ago and it was easy using the same tool. With your content on a server, you would want to use WebHelp as compiled help must be on the user's machine. I would start with the sample project from RoboHelp and I think you'd be up and running in a day. You can also convert an existing WinHelp project to HTML Help directly inside RoboHelp.

          I don't quite know how you would incorporate PhpDig because I don't do WebHelp myself. My thought would be that you would link to it as an external file.

          • 2. Re: HTML basics
            thismajorsea Level 1
            Thanks for your reply. Is there no way to use HTML help and maintain content on a server inhouse? Is WebHelp similar to HTML help?

            Thanks again.
            • 3. Re: HTML basics
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
              WebHelp has skins which can improve the appearance over a compiled CHM file. The topics are created in much the same way for either type of help.

              You can make CHM files work on a network but it means hacking registries which might make some administrators grumpy. How is describe here but it is always possible further Microsoft patches could change things further.

              • 4. Re: HTML basics
                thismajorsea Level 1
                I've spent some time working on a test Webhelp system, and so far, I think I have a handle on it. I've already customized a skin for the output.

                One thing I can't seem to find any information on is how a WebHelp system is distributed. I would like to provide our developers with an overview of what this will require from them. Could you point me to a good resource for this information?

                Thanks again for your help.
                • 5. Re: HTML basics
                  Level 2

                  The basic difference between WebHelp and compiled HTML Help, is that WebHelp is designed to be placed on a server so it is theortically only distributed once. Compiled help is compiled into a single file that can be easily distributed to your users.

                  Since both are HTML, the content can be very similar and you can generate either one from a single RoboHelp project. When WebHelp is generated, RoboHelp will create a "WebHelp" folder with all of the files that need to be uploaded to the server. At least that's what it does in version 8, it may be located somewhere else now. If you compile the help it will be a single CHM file. Due to security reasons these cannot easily be opened over a network, as Peter pointed out, so you would want to generate WebHelp.

                  If you need to distribute it to different sites, you would send the entire WebHelp folder.

                  Hope this helps,