I created "stand-alone" online help for a web-based application. I'm using RoboHelp 8 (patched) and creating WebHelp on a Windows XP SP3 box. I provide the WebHelp directory and its contents to the developers so that they can include it with the application when they package it for release.
For the next release, Product Management wants us to provide context-sensitive help (CSH) in addition to the existing WebHelp. The intent is for the WebHelp to be narrative, explaining concepts and describing workflows and step-by-step procedures. The CSH is intended to describe how to enter data or select values on each particular page of the application (pretty normal).
I haven't created CSH before, so I have some really basic questions for which I haven't found answers yet. I'm obviously missing something here, and poking around the forums and looking at the RoboHelp 8 help pdf file hasn't helped.
Do I add the CSH topics to my existing online help project, but make them non-searchable? Is the CSH then generated along with the WebHelp? Or do I need to create a separate RoboHelp project for the CSH topics? Obviously, I don't quite get how to do this.
You don't need to create a new project. Within your existing help you need to provide help that covers all the fields. One way is one topic per field and the other way is one topic for all the fields on a screen or a tab. With that method you would have a topic that starts with an overview of why you would use the screen leading into headings for each field or a table.
Whichever you use, it is your developers who make it context sensitive by calling the topic that the user needs, either the single field topic or the topic listing all the fields.
That all fields approach is easier for you to maintain and our users seem to prefer it as they pick up information about fields other than the one for which they went to the help.
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips
I understood how to implement the calls to the correct topics in the application, but I couldn't find any advice about whether or not one needs to create a different project. Fortunately, Product Management has asked specifically for page-level (rather than field-level) CSH. Thanks, Peter, for the information and the swiftness of your response.