4 Replies Latest reply on May 7, 2009 7:13 AM by Peter Grainge

    Options for saving/emailing topics

    Tech Writer KC Level 1



      Our set-up is RH7, creating .CHM files (one parent, mutliple children).


      I've received a request to research the possibility of the following:


      • Allowing a user to somehow "grab" a topic from Help and either save to disk or email directly to a given email address.


      I've asked a similar question before when the first request was made, but I'm getting a fair bit of pressure to come up with some sort of solution. The issue pertains to our support staff wanting to send specific topics to customers.


      To give some background: originally, our company created internal documents for new features in Word, written by the devs. Because previous tech writers often imported these directly into Help with little change, support is used to them being the same as Help. And, because they're word docs, it was easy for them to simply cut and paste content from multiple docs into a single Word doc (which can then be turned into a single PDF if need be).


      Development wants to get rid of these documents, so that the Help system becomes the sole source of knowledge. As a result, support is now getting frustrated because this practice (cut&paste multiple content into a single doc) can't be done with our Help files due to formatting issues and, more importantly, because images apparently cannot be copied out of Help (they fail to display when pasted).


      Unfortunately, both sides want this issue resolved through me - i.e., they want me to find a way of somehow mimicking in Help what they've been able to do with Word docs (as described above).


      To me, this means one of the following:


      1. Find a way to get full cut-and-paste functionality with our Help. This means being able to paste content into a Word doc while reasonably retaining format and, more importantly, having screenshots and other images show up as well.

      2. Find a way of being able to save or email selected topics directly from the compiled .chm help file.


      Are there any add-ons, scripts, anything that would allow this? The only option I can think of at the time is printing to a PDF printer, the only issue being that if they want to send several separate topics, this means sending multiple small PDFs. Again, what they really want is something that mimicks the existing practice with Word documents.


      As stated, we are RH7 users with .chm help files. I believe there wouldn't be an issue changing to a different help format if that allowed us to satisfy this request. Unfortunately, upgrading to RH8 (or any similar $$$ move) is off the table given the current economy.


      Thanks for any help! Apologies in advance for slightly re-asking the same question, but I really am facing some pressure to come up with a different answer than "It can't be done" or "You will have to print each topic to an individual PDF".


      Again, thanks for any solutions anyone here might have!