8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 13, 2008 1:01 PM by Ben Minson

    Using Images in RoboHelp HTML

      We are currently investigating the possibility of centralizing/consolidating our documentation to our online help system and are seeking input from anyone who has experience with what we are proposing…

      We create several online Help systems for a series of Web based applications and we use RoboHelp HTML 7. Currently, the content in our Help systems is essentially text only--descriptions and step-by-step instructions—we have some images such as logos and icons but the majority is text.

      We export the text to Word, add screen captures, and create PDFs that are printed for use in face-to-face training sessions.

      We are looking at revamping/centralizing our process by including all the screen captures in the Help system. However, concern has been raised about how the addition of a lot of image files will impact the speed and functionality of the Help system.

      We compile our Help systems and send the entire WebHelp folder to Development where it is tested and then deployed to our servers. It is then accessed by our clients from within our application via Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari

      Our customers access our application via high speed internet connections, so access speed will not be a problem. And of course we would save the images as GIF format to get the smallest actual file size. But questions remain such as:

      - Is there a limit to the number of images you can use in a Help system?

      - Is there a limit to the number of images you can use in a topic?

      - What effect will having a large number of images in the Help system have on the compilation process? (I realize that it may take longer to compile, but is there a point at which the system will break down?)

      - Is there a limit to the size of the Help file set?


      In addition to these questions, I'm wondering:

      - Do you use images in your Help systems?

      - Have you had any problems doing so?

      - Any tricks or tips you would like to share on using images in a Help system?
        • 1. Re: Using Images in RoboHelp HTML
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
          Welcome to our community, TechDocGreg

          I use images all the time. I've never known them to break my help system. And I used to have a TON of them. (I documented lots of hardware - think gobs and gobs of photographic images of assorted hardware in different "poses").

          Sure, images will likely cause the overall size of the help system to swell, but that should be a big issue.

          Nowadays I tend to exclusively use .PNG format for all my images.

          If you have a need to make a topic appear to be slim, you can tuck the images inside Dynamic HTML (DHTML) drop-down hotspots. That way they won't be seen unless your user really wants to see them.

          Cheers... Rick
          • 2. Using Images in RoboHelp HTML
            Rick:

            Glad to be welcomed!

            Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and experience on this topic. Coming from someone with your background, this will surely help to allay any fears of our new direction causing problems.

            I really like the suggestion of putting the figures in drop-down hotspots...

            ********

            I'm still interested in hearing from others, so please share your expereinces...
            • 3. Re: Using Images in RoboHelp HTML
              Ben Minson Level 2
              I don't build help systems as large as some folks here do, but I've never had problems with images except sometimes trying to get background repeating to work right. Otherwise, I've used JPG, GIF, and PNG without issue.

              Occasionally, we have threads about problems with images, and I think they've been resolved. So if you run into any image problems, come back and search the forum history--chances are, you'll find something helpful.

              --Ben
              • 4. Re: Using Images in RoboHelp HTML
                Level 2
                TechDogGreg,

                I've never had a problem in my compiled help no matter how large it gets - my maximum is about 50 MB - but I have had performance issues with the RoboHelp's insert image dialog once I get about 1200 images. It has an occasional delayed opening. I think it must be doing a sort. I rarely use folders and don't know if that would help. I also use an old version of RH, so this may not be an issue any more. Sorting several thousand items should not be a problem so there just may have been some software glitch in this particular version.

                John
                • 5. Re: Using Images in RoboHelp HTML
                  Level 2
                  Sorry. I didn't mean to change your screen name there. I just can't read.
                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Using Images in RoboHelp HTML
                    Ben:

                    Thanks for your input!

                    When you say "...trying to get background repeating to work right..." what are you referring to? Do you mean using an image as a background like you would wallpaper on the desktop?

                    I will definitely take a closer look at the threads about people having problems with images.
                    • 7. Using Images in RoboHelp HTML
                      John:

                      Thanks for sharing your experiences...1200 images and a 50MB Help system is a big system!

                      If RoboHelp handled that, it should handle what we have in mind...

                      And no worries on the name typo... Maybe I should have used that word, because this job has me working like a dog!

                      • 8. Re: Using Images in RoboHelp HTML
                        Ben Minson Level 2
                        I'm referring to using styles to put a background on a paragraph. I have to write the CSS manually in my style sheet because RH's styles dialog doesn't handle that kind of thing. But in theory, when you specify a certain image as the background for a paragraph (or heading or whatever), it repeats horizontally and vertically by default. To avoid the repetition, or to have it repeat only one way or the other, you have to include that in the CSS. It seems like I get images either to repeat both directions or not show up at all, so I've adapted or gone without.
                        1 person found this helpful