3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 23, 2006 11:21 AM by Peter Grainge

    How to use the software and links in RoboHelp?

    newuser22
      I am new to RoboHelp. We are currently evaluating this tool for documentation projects. The company is interested in creating documentation for their Intranet site (SharePoint).

      They currently have report documenation Information Mapped in Word. They want this information displayed online with the ability to:
      *Open documentation without having RoboHelp loaded on all the users PCs and,
      *Reference sections of the documentation or the entire document via the Web with active links

      For example, can we open a report in our reporting software and have the RoboHelp documentation saved as an HTML link so when we click on that link it will go to the entire document OR, link to the specific page of information that the report discusses?
      If so, how? Can you recommend any RoboHelp books? Or what other solution can do this?

      Also, we will need the ability to print the entire document like we can in Word. Can we do that? Thanks so much.
        • 1. Re: How to use the software and links in RoboHelp?
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
          Welcome to the forum

          First of all let's be quite clear that whatever output you generate, you do not need RoboHelp loaded on the end users PC.

          You don't say whether you are planning to use RH HTML or RH for Word. The latter has the advantage that you are working with a tool that you understand but in my book there it ends. You want to generate HTML topics for an intranet and that is best done using RH HTML. It's much easier to make the output take on the appearance you want.

          Your software would open the help you create either at a default topic or a specific topic. That is controlled by how your developers call the help. No need to go into detail on that just yet. There are a couple of topics on my site about that.

          The next step depends on how you design things. Are you going to create a page that describes a particular document that links to the document or are you going to convert the document to a topic in its own right?

          - If you are planning to link to the Word document, then you need to consider how a Word document would open from an intranet link. See Snippets on my site. Perhaps another option would be to create PDFs of the documents.

          - If you are planning to import the documents and recreate them as HTML topics, I suggest you have some aspirin handy. Importing is a notorious problem area as you can see from topics on my site. That said, those topics explain how to avoid the worst problems. The fly in the ointment is that you are using Information Mapping and those indents and tables will give you real fun!

          You can create printed documentation but most of your site will be stuff that you already have in Word format so you need to include that in your design thinking.

          As to books there really isn't that much around. There are some links on the Useful Links page of my site but I don't think they will help you much on this one. You could read this forum from cover to cover!

          Hope that helps a bit. Come back if you have some follow up questions.
          • 2. Re: How to use the software and links in RoboHelp?
            newuser22 Level 1
            Hi! Thanks for the quick response! Here are a few more specifics. We are evaluating RoboHelp HTML Help X5. Typically we create documentation in Word, convert to PDF and save to our document library in SharePoint for users to reference. The catch is we want an easier way to view sections in the manual without having to sift through all of it or keep going back to the mapped TOC. Is RoboHelp a good solution for this?

            I see that I would have to pretty much recreate these pages in RoboHelp because of the Information Mapped formatting but that's ok if a help system provides the solution we want for searchability, viewing, easier maintenance and quick access to document sections. We have other manuals we need to create and want to find the best tool for the job going forward.

            We also need the ability for our users to print the entire document. I dont' see how to do this in RoboHelp unless I just save the document as a PDF. What do you think the pros and cons are for creating our documentation in Word versus RoboHelp?
            Again, thanks so much for your help.
            • 3. Re: How to use the software and links in RoboHelp?
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
              quote:

              The catch is we want an easier way to view sections in the manual without having to sift through all of it or keep going back to the mapped TOC. Is RoboHelp a good solution for this?


              By manual I take it you mean each PDF document that currently exists. So if you did put all that information into RH, how is it that you envisage that will help your users. Is it the RH TOC having lots of bookmark entries to help them find things? If it is, how does that improve on the TOC in the PDF?

              I am trying to see what advantage you think there is in recreating all this stuff. You have said what you want the users to be able to do but I am uncertain how you envisage them interacting with whatever you build. Describe it in those terms and perhaps I can help better.

              If importing the documents does end up being the way to go, the Information Mapped docs could have a different template attached first to avoid the indent issues but don't forget the tables. Whatever you do, if you are going to import, then there is a lot of work. How many documents are you talking about?

              On printing, if your solution does mean you end up having all the content in RH, that does not stop you creating links to the original PDFs which will have the same text.