2 Replies Latest reply on Nov 30, 2006 12:53 PM by Red Ink Writes

    Printed Documentation from Web Help

    Red Ink Writes
      I'm starting a very large WebHelp project for a software application. One of my customer's desires is for the users to be able to print a single topic.

      My question pertains to those topics where I have a screen image with pop-up field descriptions, rather than actual content. I need to be able to compile all pop-ups that pertain to the screen image, as well as the screen image topic itself, and create a single PDF file that contains everything.

      I would like to place a "Print This Topic" link at the top of the page, which would open and then allow the user to print the PDF.

      Is there an automated manner in which I can compile the separate pop-up topics and screen image topic into one Word doc that I can convert into a PDF? I tried using a conditional build tag, but that didn't work....

      I'm also running into a problem with creating Printed Documentation from my Web Help project - the compiler just keeps going on and on forever, never finishing. At this point I only have ten small topics, so it's not as though Robo has a huge amount to compile....
        • 1. Re: Printed Documentation from Web Help
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
          Welcome to the forum.

          I was taught it was rude to write to someone using red ink but I'll forgive you. :-)

          Looking at what you want to do, made me wonder if you had considered doing it with one hand tied behind your back to make it even more fun?

          The problem as I see it is that you have a graphic with links to other topics that display in a popup while the user is viewing that topic. Nonetheless, when it comes to the user printing the topic via the normal functions, they would not get the popup content. The only way to get the topic printed with the popup material as well would be to generate a printed document containing all the relevant topics. The difficulty there is how does the reader appreciate that Topic B is what they would see if they clicked one are of the graphic and Topic C is what they would get if they clicked another area? One solution might be to mark the areas on the graphic with a coloured border and then explaining that if the user clicks the Red area, they will see a popup describing Red Widgets. When they see they that in the printed version, they would then understand that the Red Widget topic relates to the red bordered area of the graphic.

          So it looks like creating many printed documents and converting them to PDF. Then a button on your topic would open the relevant PDF which the user can print or save.

          You would do this by creating many printed document layouts. You can set things up to go straight through to the PDF file but I find it better to create it in Word first and then do any minor tidying up before going on to create the PDF.

          There's a topic on my site about creating printed documents and I can't see that what you need to do can be automated.

          Rather you than me.

          • 2. Re: Printed Documentation from Web Help
            Red Ink Writes Level 1
            Thanks for your response - and the grins - Peter! I'm an independent tech writer/editor, so I do have a tendency to use quite a bit of red ink, plus it's my company name....

            You understood perfectly what I am trying to do. My image is already color-coded and labeled to match the pop-up topics' names, so the user shouldn't have a problem relating the pop-ups to the image.

            Since you came up with the same conclusion that I did - that I will have to create these printable compiled topics in Word then convert to PDF - it sounds like that's how I need to do it. Sometimes it's just nice to bounce things off of someone else who uses the same tools and I appreciate your speedy feedback!

            As far as my issue with generating documentation through Robo, I figured that out soon after I posted my message. I still had RoboPDF installed and it was messing things up. I uninstalled it, and made sure it was no longer showing up in Word, re-booted, and all is well.