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Welcome to our community, WJohanRadGuy
I suppose I would counter that with:
Why drive a truck when you can drive a car?
Here's what I mean. Think of the output you are planning on creating. Most of the output today falls into the HTML category. Assuming that's the case for you, you would be well advised to use a tool designed for working with HTML. So just as I wouldn't use my car to haul plywood when a truck is more suited to the job, I would opt for RoboHelp HTML over RoboHelp for Word.
I know it's seductive. Most everyone thinks they know how to use Word. But if you are creating any type of HTML output, you will likely find yourself hamstrung with making things behave as you want using RoboHelp for Word where they are easy to accomplish using RoboHelp HTML.
Also consider that the RoboHelp for Word user base is shrinking daily as more folks move away from it (because it is the only RoboHelp product that creates WinHelp systems) and toward RoboHelp HTML. Vista prompted much of that exodus when Microsoft announced WinHelp would no longer be supported in Vista. Yet it lives on and I digress.
Hopefully I've not muddied the waters here.
Thank you very much -- that is a very helpful response.
One reason I thought I might choose RH Word would be the ability for our various authors to edit their own Word documents to update the help system text. From the little I've read, this doesn't seem to really be the case -- it looks like there would be a re-importing (and I expect a re-fiddling) step anyway. Am I getting that correct?
You are pretty much spot on with your understanding.
I have no clue what version of RoboHelp you are using, but if you are using RoboHelp 8, there is a new feature where you are able to establish a link to Word documents. Then if the document changes, you receive an indication in RoboHelp that you need to bring in the latest. It is intended to simplify the process. But we don't know for certain (until RoboHelp has been "in the wild" long enough) whether there will be any issues in real life use. From what I've seen of it, it seems promising.
I've tried RH 7. My next question would have been, is it any better in RH 8, so thanks for reading my mind.
On the other side, is it any different/better with RoboHelp HTML? Do all authors work in RH, or do they/can they edit elsewhere? If elsewhere, is there an update process?
We've moved beyond why pick one vs the other, haven't we?
When I was talking about the Word linking, I was referring to using RoboHelp HTML.
If you are looking for a way to allow others to contribute, you may be keenly interested in another Adobe product called "Contribute". Fortunately fellow Adobe Community Expert Peter Grainge offers some help at the link below:
With RH for HTML authors can either work in RH itself or another HTML editor like Dreamweaver. RH tends to add it's own what I would call "Robo Code" to the HTML so if you like more control and clean code editing with DW is a good option. However, if you are not familiar with HTML and especially if you like to use the built in drop downs, hot spots, etc. within RH then it would be better to do all your editng in RH.