3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 20, 2008 7:11 AM by Peter Grainge

    Looking for a Better Search Solution

      One of my company's products has a large number of configuration options that we purposefully don't include in the regular online help. We have been providing a separate PDF of the settings, but we are now switching to an online help format (a separate help file) for this information. We want it to be easy for users to download/install, so we were planning to use the CHM format, so there would just be a single file for them to download and open. We are using RoboHelp HTML v7 to generate the help. We use Dreamweaver as our HTML editor. We will be updating this new help system about once/month.

      [Note: Because of the nature of the information in this help system, indexing--while often better for help systems--is not practical in this case; we must use the Search feature.]

      As we were testing the new format, we noticed that the results on the Search tab were not what we were hoping for. If we searched on "auto," it would find "[Auto Release]" or "auto-run," it would not find "AutoComments." This is not ideal for what we want. We even cleared the lists of Stop Words and Ignore Phrases, to no avail.

      Webhelp does search better, but we found that it would find "[Autocomment]" but not "[AutoCap]." That is likely because of the mid-word capitalization, but it's part of our program, and we can't change it. This led us to Peter Grainge's website and the ZoomSearch program for use with Webhelp. This search does work a lot better (thanks!). However, we don't want our users to have to deal with multiple files. We investigated Adobe AIR, which does do a nice job packaging the webhelp files, but it seems to only acknowledge RoboHelp's Search feature; it disregards the manually made ZoomSearch button and behavior, so we can't package and deliver the Webhelp that way. Our next idea was to use InstallShield to handle installing/updating the files and creating a shortcut on the desktop.

      Before that, though, does anyone have any suggestions for working around the CHM search limitations? Or do you have any other ideas to make Webhelp easier to distribute that we haven't stumbled upon yet?


      Audrey Blackwell
      Corporate Documentation Manager
      Orchard Software Corporation