2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 21, 2006 9:53 AM by Peter Grainge

    How do you manage reviews?

      Our small writing group is using RoboHelp HTML X5.0.1 to create Webhelp for applications. In the past, the writer created the help text in Word, and reviewers reviewed it in Word and tracked their changes. The writer then imported the file into RoboHelp and compiled it. Now we need to make updates to the help, and we'd like to be able to (a) flag our changes to the help for the reviewers and (b) present drafts to reviewers in a way that makes it easy for them to add changes and comments. Clearly it would be better to avoid having to start with Word. Does anyone have any good suggestions on how to manage the review process for Webhelp?


        • 1. Re: How do you manage reviews?
          ElisaFnord Level 2
          This has always been a problem for online help. I always go for more control for me (and therefore more work) over any kind of automation (which allows the idiot reviewers to abuse my beautiful prose).

          This is what I do:

          1. I generate printed documentation (Word doc) of the help when it is released. (Call this release1.doc.)
          2. When I finish my changes to the project for release 2, I generate another doc (release2.doc).
          3. I open up Word and do a Compare/Merge so that the changes in release 2 show up. I turn on Track Changes, then save this as release2_review.doc.
          4. I send release2_review.doc out to the reviewers. They fill it with comments (which are all marked) and send it back.
          5. I open each copy of release2_review.doc in Word and LOOK at the comments. This is the unautomated part - I choose what I want to put into the RoboHelp project, and I type it in - it just doesn't save any time to import or cut-n-paste.
          6. I generate the online help AND the final version of release2.doc (which I save for next time).
          7. If the reviewers insist, I do another Compare/Merge of release2.doc against release1.doc so they can see what's changed. (Don't do a compare against a document with changes already marked - the result is really hard to read.)

          You may notice a little high-handedness in my attitude toward reviewers. I am infinitely grateful when I can get ANYBODY to review my work, but when there's a whole mob of them, I think you've gotta keep them in line.

          • 2. Re: How do you manage reviews?
            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
            I agree entirely with Elisa if you want to work with Word.

            I use RH HTML so I won't let a Word document anywhere near my work except if up against death threats. I place a modified copy of my project on a web server and then the reviewers based in other offices access it using Macromedia Contribute. The process is described in this topic although good luck accessing it at the moment (see below).

            I do have some tidying up to do afterwards as Contribute does not automatically apply the normal style but the work level is far less then when I used Word documents.

            As for highlighting your changes, you will have to get a bit creative there. I simply prefix stuff with ### as it stands out and the reviewers know what it means. Before releasing the help, I use FAR to search through all topics to make sure no such marks are left in the help. The reviewers do the same. Visually ### stands out better than *** when flicking through things.