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I am also curious to know how the search works as far as if RoboHelp looks first at the Title of documents, or does it just bring up the results randomly based on all documents that just reference the search term at least once?
I'm going to upgrade from RoboInfo 5 to RoboHelp 7 with server - and am curious if Adobe has done anything at all has been done to the search function over the past 4 years or so? or has nothing changed?
Revising my comments.
The RH Help files since early days, and through RH 7*, include several topics on how the full-text search works. It includes "advanced" search and explains Boolean strings. Wildcards, too, for HTML help but not Web Help.
In the RH Help search box, enter "search terms" (quote marks unnecessary) and click "Related Topics.".
Long ago I modified several of these topics and plugged them into my WebHelp projects.
*A more complete discussion is in help for RH X5 and RH 6. Start with "About advanced searching."
I think it's still valid for RH 7 output formats, but topics were revised in RH 7 help.
Merged WebHelp projects, unfortunately, reduce the Search function to Basic (no this, no that, etc.). Thank heavens for ZOOM!
hughbetcha, I don't know the specific answer to your question about the mechanism except that it's basically a full text search engine. Here are some other Search items of note in RoboHelp 7.
1. Search highlighting is a new feature in RoboHelp 7 for WebHelp and FlashHelp (and the server versions as well)
2. One cool thing that has been overlooked is that when the end-user searches on a term, the highlighted first occurance of the term comes up to the top of the topic window (instead of simply taking you to the top of the topic)! So, this is a real improvement especially for those necessarily long topics where the search term may be way down in the text.
3. There is a new Synonym editor which allows authors to create synonyms for nicknames and jargon words. So for example, if someone searches on "picture", the topic results for "image" will appear.
4. I found Boolean seaches work quite well (though not wildcards) in regular WebHelp and FlashHelp.
Hey, Leon. I have not tried boolean searches in RH 7 merged WebHelp yet. Have you? Maybe Peter will chime in.
These are great search improvements. Of course, being the demanding authors we are, we always want more!
Fortunately Adobe is on track to continue improving seach as a priority.
Thanks John. Yes Adobe is on track - just not quite there yet.
My biggest problem is that if a user enters for example, "Creating a Quote" in the search field, I want the page on "How to Create a Quote" come up as the first result. Instead, I get lots of results that come up that simply mention the word "quote" somewhere within them. So, I don't know of away around that or how you can control the results that come up.
I know Zoom is probably the best alternative. The best thing about the RoboHelp server though, is that you can see what people are searching for, and that makes it easy for me to know what information may be missing from my projects as I can see if someone is entering a search term, but no results come up.
The more posts we get like this, the more we can make our case for the next iteration of search in RoboHelp. Also, let us know your experience with ZoomSearch if you implement it.
If you Google 'jse internal search engine' you'll find what I've used. Again Zoom is probably a great thing to use, but this is free (and it's always difficult for me to get approvals to purchase anything with my company!)
That was my experience with one project but that was accessing massive amounts of documentation.
So just keep an eye on the size of the files and keep testing. As long as it works...