4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 7, 2008 1:51 AM by Peter Grainge

    Choosing the Appropriate Help system


      I am trying to convert my Framemaker files (book actually) into on-line help and I have a few questions.

      1.) I should be able to import my whole book into Robohelp once I select the appropriate help system. Is this correct?

      2.) How do I know which Help system to choose? Which are better? I am trying to construct a help system which we can put on the customer's server along with our web based application. Does this mean that I should be using WebHelp Pro? Does this cause further problems for the customer (re: do they have to have a certain server?


        • 1. Re: Choosing the Appropriate Help system
          RoboColum(n) Level 5
          Hi Ingrid and welcome to the RH forums.

          WebHelp Pro is only required if you are intending to use Adobe's RH Server software. If all you want is to produce a help system that sits on a server then pure WebHelp is normally what you want. The differences between the two outputs are explained at this link should you wish to know more.

          As far as importing is concerned, you certainly can import FM documents. In fact you can even specify a FM document to import at the same time as creating your help project. I don't use the latest version but it (RH7) has many other features for FM users.
          • 2. Re: Choosing the Appropriate Help system
            Ingrid_T Level 1
            Hi Calum,

            Thanks for replying. I was wondering if you could answer another question.

            1.)If I use WebHelp, don't I still need to have a server that operates with IIs? Re: Would my help then be accessed through a URL http://product name/ help?

            2.)Also, once I generate the help files using the Webhelp, how do I get them onto the server (re: I want to generate the help and try to see how it is accessed on our own server before sending it to client and having them put it on their server.

            3.) Would you be able to suggest a good Robohelp book that might cover some of these issues? And, where have the RoboHelp books gone... people at Chapters haven't even heard of the program.

            Thank you for all your assistance.


            • 3. Re: Choosing the Appropriate Help system
              RoboColum(n) Level 5
              Hi Ingrid.

              Your server will more than likely already have either Apache or IIS on it depending on it's configuration but you do not need to bother with this if you use Webhelp output. You just use RH ro produce the files which are placed on the server. It is only if you use the RH Server product to produce Webhelp Pro output do you need to have IIS installed.

              When you produce your webhelp output there are two steps. The first step allows you to generate the output (normally to a local directory) where it can be checked and tested. The second step is to publish the output to the required location (in your case the server). Both of these steps can be performed through the properties of your WebHelp single source layout. This defines the characteristics of your webhelp output as well as the physical locations used for the generation and publishing.

              As far as RH books go, there isn't a lot around. You don't say which version of RH you are using but in case you are on RH7 don't be fooled by a book on Amazon which is actually for a very old version of RH. These forums are actually an excellent source of information as are the following sites:

              You could also look through the tutorials on the Adobe website and even just mess around with a blank project. The UI is really very intuitive. Finally don't feel afraid to ask questions here. You bound to get a response quickly from one of the RH users who have a wealth of experience between them.
              • 4. Choosing the Appropriate Help system
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                1] Can't help you on IIS. I don't think it is a requirement but not my area.

                2] Any which way you can! Either Publish (see the last page of the wizard) or FTP them or simply copy the generated files to the server. You will need to talk to your webmaster who will be able to assist you on this.

                3] The problem with programs like RH or any of the other HATs is the potential sales volume makes it difficult to get your money back for the effort of producing a book for a version that has a limited shelf life.