19 Replies Latest reply on Sep 10, 2009 11:57 PM by Willam van Weelden

    Split in topic?

    craig_shaw Level 1

      Hi there.

       

      I have been given the task of writing the help files for our companies software.

       

      I have had no experience with this before, but I have heard of Robohelp, and I decided to give it a try so I'm currently in the 30 day trial.

       

      I just wondered, is there any really quick way to have a split in the topic so that the title stays at the top of the topic all of the time while the user can scroll down the content? I'd also maybe want to give it a different backgroud colour too.

       

      Thanks

      Craig

        • 1. Re: Split in topic?
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Hi Craig

           

          It depends on what you are using. You might hear that and say "I'm using RoboHelp! I said so!".

           

          Please read the thread below:

           

          Click here to read

           

          Cheers... Rick

           

           

          Helpful and Handy Links

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          • 2. Re: Split in topic?
            craig_shaw Level 1

            Hi Rick,

             

            Sorry about that.

             

            I am using RoboHelp HTML Version 8.

             

            Thanks,

             

            Craig

            • 3. Re: Split in topic?
              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Hi again

               

              What you seem to be asking how to achieve is something we help authors knew as a "Non-scrolling Region" back in the WinHelp days.

               

              There are essentially two ways to achieve the same thing in the HTML world.

               

              Use a Frameset - You define a frame with one topic as the header and another as the body segment. The frameset pulls the two together. Sorta kludgy to implement and maintain.

               

              Use CSS. With CSS you define areas in the topic an use something called an "Overflow" attribute. Fellow Adobe Community Expert Roger Nilsson has some information on this at the link below.

               

              Click here to view

               

              Cheers... Rick

               

               

              Helpful and Handy Links

              RoboHelp Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form

              Begin learning RoboHelp HTML 7 or 8 within the day - $24.95!

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              • 4. Re: Split in topic?
                craig_shaw Level 1

                Hi Rick,

                 

                Thank you very much for the reply.

                 

                I think I will go down the CSS Overflow route.

                 

                The problem with the frameset is I'd have to create two files for each topic, the header and the content.

                 

                I think the CSS one will be much easier.

                 

                Will this also work ok if I output using the Microsoft HTML Help?

                 

                Thanks again. I really appreciate the help.

                 

                Craig

                • 5. Re: Split in topic?
                  Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Hi again

                   

                  Actually you would have to create THREE files for each topic!

                   

                  1. Frameset file
                  2. Header file
                  3. Content file

                   

                  Things should work fine in CHM format.

                   

                  Cheers... Rick

                   

                   

                  Helpful and Handy Links

                  RoboHelp Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form

                  Begin learning RoboHelp HTML 7 or 8 within the day - $24.95!

                  Adobe Certified RoboHelp HTML Training

                  SorcerStone Blog

                  RoboHelp eBooks

                  • 6. Re: Split in topic?
                    craig_shaw Level 1

                    Haha, that definately confirms that CSS overflow is the way to go!

                     

                    Thanks again.

                     

                    Craig

                    • 7. Re: Split in topic?
                      Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Hi again

                       

                      I just thought I'd also add that back in the day I thought the NSR was the best thing since sliced bread and peanut butter. (not sure what the best things were prior to those coming along, but I digress)

                       

                      Anyhoo, I initially headed down a long and tortuous frameset path. Eventually, I simply abandoned the idea and even the CSS bit seemed to be too convoluted (or I just got lazy). At any rate, as nice as the NSR seemed to be, the web simply didn't work that way and I just grew used to allowing the header to scroll out of view.

                       

                      Although, in thinking about this. Perhaps we should all begin submitting Wish Forms to Adobe to ask for a simple way to implement this using CSS in RoboHelp!

                       

                      Cheers... Rick

                       

                       

                      Helpful and Handy Links

                      RoboHelp Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form

                      Begin learning RoboHelp HTML 7 or 8 within the day - $24.95!

                      Adobe Certified RoboHelp HTML Training

                      SorcerStone Blog

                      RoboHelp eBooks

                      • 8. Re: Split in topic?
                        craig_shaw Level 1

                        Haha yeah I see what you mean.

                         

                        I'm just hoping its going to be worth all of the effort.

                         

                        I've just had a quick look at the CSS instructions on the site you pointed me too, and I have added it to my test project, but the scroll area seems to be off the edge of the help file.

                         

                        I've attached a screen shot showing what I mean.

                         

                        The vertical scroller is half shown, and there is a horizontal scroll bar (which i don't want at all), which appears off the page.

                         

                        How can I sort these?

                         

                        Thanks,

                         

                        Craig

                        • 9. Re: Split in topic?
                          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Oh no!

                           

                          Forums 101:

                           

                          Repeat after me...

                           

                          never Never NEVER use the attach function for screen shots. Well, you can if you really want us to ignore them or not see them!

                           

                          always Always ALWAYS use the camera icon and insert screen shots inline so they are visible right in the post.

                           

                          All too often the attach function hangs up and the file(s) you attached are just sitting there stuck in a queued state.

                           

                          Sorry, but pointing you to Roger's site has about reached my limit of knowledge with working with these. As I intimated earlier, I tried it once but abandoned the thought since. Perhaps see if Roger has a contact link and fire off a note to ask him?

                           

                          Cheers... Rick

                           

                           

                          Helpful and Handy Links

                          RoboHelp Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form

                          Begin learning RoboHelp HTML 7 or 8 within the day - $24.95!

                          Adobe Certified RoboHelp HTML Training

                          SorcerStone Blog

                          RoboHelp eBooks

                          • 10. Re: Split in topic?
                            craig_shaw Level 1

                            Cheers Rick,

                             

                            I'll give that a try, and also bear in mind the camera icon for future posts.

                             

                            Regards,

                             

                            Craig

                            • 11. Re: Split in topic?
                              Author care Level 2

                              As you're starting from scratch anyway I'd suggest using ordinary topics and keeping things as simple as possible. If a topic gets too long then maybe you should be creating another topic.

                              • 12. Re: Split in topic?
                                Willam van Weelden Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Hi,

                                 

                                To keep thing simple, don't use the non-scrollable region and don't use a frameset for this. The frameset is way to much work and the non-scrollable region is an ugly fix for Internet Explorers crappyness. It was the only solution, just don't use it anymore as it won't work for 'good' browsers such as Firefox.

                                 

                                To achieve the effect you want, pick an element you want to stay at the top of your page, say Heading 1. In your css, use the following code to fix it to a specific element (such as H1 for Heading 1):

                                 

                                position: fixed;

                                top: 0px;

                                left: 1px;

                                width: 99%;

                                 

                                This wil fix the element to 0px from the top of the topic and 1px from the left of the topic. The element will stretch 99% of the width of the topic. You can easily change the values to suit your needs. This will also make your style easily changable. Just add css styling to the element and you're all set up. It even works in the RoboHelp HTML 8 preview and won't pose problems for the WYSIWYG editor. -- One note for all Robo7 users: This will only work with Robo8, not Robo7, due to a feature in IE called quirks mode... It will work for Firefox but not for IE 8 and under ...-- Things like that really make me hate

                                IE.

                                 

                                Greet,

                                 

                                Willam

                                • 13. Re: Split in topic?
                                  craig_shaw Level 1

                                  Hi William.

                                   

                                  Thanks very much for that. I've had a good and it looks like it works ok in IE and FireFox.

                                   

                                  Is there any way to get something like this that will work the same in the Microsoft HTML Help output?

                                   

                                  Thanks for the help.

                                   

                                  Craig

                                  • 14. Re: Split in topic?
                                    Willam van Weelden Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Hi,

                                     

                                    You'd have to test that, but my guess is that it will work. I'm not a HTML help addict, but as far as I know, HTML help uses (elements of) Internet Explorer for rendering. A HTML help guru will probably know how it better than me though.

                                     

                                    HTML help is just a bunch of files bundled in one package. It uses xhtml and style sheets like webhelp, so any style in your style sheet should work the same in HTML help as in WebHelp or a regular HTML file.

                                     

                                    Greet,

                                     

                                    Willam

                                    • 15. Re: Split in topic?
                                      craig_shaw Level 1

                                      Hi William.

                                       

                                      Sorry, I didn't make it clear in the post. I have tried this in the HTML output but it isn't staying fixed at the top.

                                       

                                      It looks ok in the WebHelp output, but I have a feeling we will be using the Microsoft HTML Output for our product, and it doesn't seem to want to stay fixed.

                                       

                                      Any ideas?

                                       

                                      Thanks again,

                                       

                                      Craig

                                      • 16. Re: Split in topic?
                                        Willam van Weelden Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        Hi,

                                         

                                        I'm not an expert on HTML help, so I'm not sure until I sort it out. Three things come to mind:

                                         

                                             - RoboHelp changes your css when you create HTML help. It does this for Webhelp, but it might change it differently for HTML help.

                                             - The DTD (doctype) in HTML help is changed in the output. In Webhelp and in the source files it is XHTML 1.0 transitional, preventing IE (7 and 8) from running in quirks mode.

                                             - The rendering of HTML help greatly differs between HTML help and regular HTML. (Different engine, always in quirks mode, etc)

                                         

                                        Another member may shed some more light on this. Until I've had a change to get into this, or until I'm enlightened by someone else, my guess is as good as yours. I'll try to take a look tomorrow evening, but if you find out sooner, I'd love to hear it.

                                         

                                        Greet,

                                         

                                        Willam

                                        • 17. Re: Split in topic?
                                          Willam van Weelden Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          Hi,

                                           

                                          I'm not an expert on HTML help, so I'm not sure until I sort it out. Three things come to mind:

                                           

                                               - RoboHelp changes your css when you create HTML help. It does this for Webhelp, but it might change it differently for HTML help.

                                               - The DTD (doctype) in HTML help is changed in the output. In Webhelp and in the source files it is XHTML 1.0 transitional, preventing IE (7 and 8) from running in quirks mode.

                                               - The rendering of HTML help greatly differs between HTML help and regular HTML. (Different engine, always in quirks mode, etc)

                                           

                                          Another member may shed some more light on this. Until I've had a change to get into this, or until I'm enlightened by someone else, my guess is as good as yours. I'll try to take a look tomorrow evening, but if you find out sooner, I'd love to hear it.

                                           

                                          Greet,

                                           

                                          Willam

                                          • 18. Re: Split in topic?
                                            craig_shaw Level 1

                                            Good stuff.

                                             

                                            I'll try and spend some time on it today and I'll post any findings.

                                             

                                            If you find anything when you have chance to look, I would be happy to hear it .

                                             

                                            Thanks,

                                             

                                            Craig

                                            • 19. Re: Split in topic?
                                              Willam van Weelden Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                              Hi,

                                               

                                              I created a HTML help with Robo8 with the fixed style that works, so you can create it when your really, really, really want it. As far as I could find out, RoboHelp doesn't use xhtml transitional but html 4.01 frameset as the DTD. This means that IE (7 and 8) will work in quirks mode so it won't render your style correct.

                                               

                                              To correct this, I decompiled the HTML help file with Microsoft's HTML help workshop. Then I replaced the frameset doctype with the strict doctype and recompiled the project, and now it works. This is all manual labour and has the following complications:

                                                   - If you use framesets, you can't change their DTD, otherwise they'll break (or shoud break ;-), it's still Microsoft IE )

                                                   - You cannot use any form of inline styling in your project, you have to style everything by CSS. (This is the preferred way of working anyway...)+

                                                   - You'll need to rebuilt the hhp file for HTML help workshop, or come up with a workaround to use Robo's hhp. You can use it, but you don't want to use the source files.

                                               

                                              So yes, you can get it to work in HTML help, but no, you probably don't want this kind of workaround ;-). I don't know if there's any way to control the DTD on output, so any HTML help guru's out there, let me know. My advice, 1. stick with Webhelp 2. Abandon the idea of try Rick's suggestion.

                                               

                                              Greet,

                                               

                                              Willam

                                               

                                              PS: I added a working example but it may take some time before you can download it.