4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 4, 2010 6:26 AM by Nick@Tag

    Same content, conditional branding: Can robohelp deliver?

    surelythisnameisavailable

      Currently my team maintains user-facing technical documentation in 10 different locations. Our primary outputs are online user assistance (FAQ, inline help) and PDF tipsheets. We also have a comprehensive PDF user manual, but I don't think it will ever exceed 100 pages. 

       

      We need a single source solution, but we have an additional challenge: Our company markets a single product with two distinct brand identities, so all our help needs to be branded according to its display location. 

       

      Can we use Robohelp do this? 

       

      Thanks for any insight you can provide!

        • 1. Re: Same content, conditional branding: Can robohelp deliver?
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

          You don't say whether your team currently uses RoboHelp and more importantly the edition and version. Please take a look at Before You Post.

           

          RoboHelp  has long used conditional tags that can be used to change content between outputs. RoboHelp 7 introduced Variables and these were further refined in RoboHelp 8. You insert a variable that has a default value but other values can be added for different outputs.

           


          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

          Follow me @petergrainge

          • 2. Re: Same content, conditional branding: Can robohelp deliver?
            surelythisnameisavailable Level 1

            Currently using Word for print, homegrown CMS for web.  Not using RH now and haven't used RH before, so I'm not familiar with its functionality in any version.

             

            Based on your reply it sounds like RH will do what I need to do in terms of conditional output. I'd welcome comments from anyone who has used variable functionality in RH8: Is it easy to master?  Have you encountered any unexpected issues or limitations?

            • 3. Re: Same content, conditional branding: Can robohelp deliver?
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

              It's very easy. You just insert a variable and give it a name such as CoName and a default value such as My Company. When you generate an output, you can choose to use the default value or set it to say Your Company. That value is held for that output next time you generate. You could create another output where the saved value is His Company. At any time you can change the default or alternative values. Variables can also contain images to deal with company logos and suchlike.

               

              This link may help. http://www.grainge.org/pages/authoring/rh_tour/index.htm

               

              You can download a free trial of RoboHelp or the Technical Communication Suite. They are valid for 30 days and have no restrictions.

               

              You may want training given what you have to cover. If you do, where are you based? I may be able to advise. I don't do training so I am not trying to sell you anything.

               


              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

              Follow me @petergrainge

              • 4. Re: Same content, conditional branding: Can robohelp deliver?
                Nick@Tag Level 2

                Your situatuion sounds very similar to my own.

                We produce a single application, which is branded and styled in various ways for clients to meet their branding guidelines.

                 

                I'm mainly developing web based help for them, but also produce PDFs where required.

                 

                Its simple to use the variables, which Peter has already discussed. There are limitations regarding applying variables at topic level, currently they are applied to the entire project, and cant be changed at topic level. Though this isnt a deal breaker, it is a nice to have for me.

                 

                Regarding actual styles etc, its easy to duplicate style sheets and edit specific ones so that output is formatted using specific fonts or styles and colors. Also, with the web help, you can edit the template easily to give it a completely different look and feel....all this while maintaining a single piece of content.

                 

                This is the first time I've used RH, previously I used AIT, and the learner curve was not too difficult, and the support on the forums was and still is a great way to get quick answers to all the questions and problems you come across.

                 

                nick.