Hi mvi-2 and welcome to the RH community.
Only you will be able to make the final decision over the best approach as "we" don't know your requirements. However you raise some interesting point to consider. If you link to the Word, Excel and PDF files, their contents will not be searchable from within the RH output. You could reduce the impact of this bu ensuring the topic that contains the links to the files has a good summary of the file contents.
You also need to consider where the files reside and whether they are being updated. In order words, will the link require your user to access thevery latest version of the file. If so, the link would have to use an absolute path. This is slightly more problematic as the file location could move causing broken links and further changes to your project. You may also need to consider read/write access to the files (i.e. do you want your users to be able to edit the files). If so, what about concurrent usage.
You could import the file into the RH project (adding it to the baggage). This way it forms an integral part of the project. The downsides of this is that if updates are made to them you have to readd them to the project to pick tem up. Your overall project file size also increases.
Hope some of this helps you make a decision.
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Sounds like you have an interesting challenge. It is very difficult to give specific advice without knowing more about the situation. You could end up creating a lot of work for yourself if you take the wrong approach. You need to take a step back and find out how people will be accessing these documents, over and intranet for example? Will people need to be able to access and modify these documents? - if this is the case you'll need some kind of document control process.
As an example, I work on a project that allows users to access .pdf, .xls and .doc files. People use these files not only for information but also as templates (e.g. letter and calculation templates). People like to modify headers and footers and create their own templates. It is not just a case of how to use robohelp to do this but the whole process we need to consider. On some sites these templates are put in a shared folder, other sites the files are put on peoples local machine. The document control process is so important if you do not have full control over the documents that you are linking too. If you don't have this problem ignore my paranoia, just warning about pitfalls.
If you have full control, it looks like you may be considering converting PDF, .doc and .xls files to Robohelp HTML format? Let us know if that is the case.
Regarding search issues, you may want to look at Peter Grainge's brilliant site and the page on ZoomSearch.
Kind Regards and best of luck
Thanks guys for a quick and helpfull response.
Pitpoints you mentioned and issues I should be considered of with possible solutions, that's what I needed.
That's helpfull input for designing how that stuff should work.
So far, I think, that if I don't find anything what could make search within documents, so I will move content from all documents into RoboHelp. New content will come directly into RoboHelp (that would be primary info source). And in case if anybody needs document as a file for particular topic, content should be exported from RoboHelp into doc or pdf.
And that's what I think without knowledge of specific RoboHelp features and whether it can cover that.
Any other feedback would be appreciated and point given
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The chances are very good that all of those files will have different styles, with a lot of spot formatting by multiple users of varying degrees of competence in Word. Bottom line: complete, formatting filth.
I think I'd:
- Create a new RH project with the styles you'll need.
- Save all the content into a text editor.
- Copy the content into new RH topics.
- Format the content with your new styles.
Because of lack of manuals and other info sources, I need some additional info on functionality I can achieve using RoboHelp.
Can I create a "Knowledge Base", where I can share access to content managment and take contrl over it. I.e. I want some of my knowledge base users were able to modify or create articles, but articles needs to be aproved before they are posted or I would like at least to see a history who modified what.
Thanks in advance