4 Replies Latest reply on Mar 31, 2010 9:50 AM by Rachelm777

    Trouble generating what my client needs - HTML

    Rachelm777 Level 1

      Robohelp 8.1

      I've read through the posts and help files but can't find exactly what I'm looking for.

      • I've created an online help manual for a client. I first generated the normal HTML output, which made a .chm file. They could view my work fine, but they want to have all of the HTML files.
      • So, I generated again, this time using the XML output. I then zipped up the contents of the !SSL! folder ("XML_Output") and sent to them, but they couldn't figure out which file to open to view/"start" the entire manual.... i.e., an "index.html" file or anything like that. I looked, and also can't figure out what file to use to open/start/view the manual.
      • The closest thing I could find about this was:  after generating the XML output, the message says to click here to view (in my case) "[My_File_Name].xml".  I looked for such a file, found it, but it only opens up as a bunch of html gibbrish (not a layout view). I open from within my browser (File/Open file...), see the coding stuff and get a message: "This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below."

      Bottom line, I need to provide my client with the full HTML documents, and tell them how they can view those documents all together as a manual without having to open up every single topic's page separately.


      Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!


        • 1. Re: Trouble generating what my client needs - HTML
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

          Welcome to the forum.


          I think what you need to do is establish whether they want HTML files as webhelp or whether what they mean is they want the source files.


          Looking at what help format they want, if their help will be installed locally, then they need the CHM which suggests the HTML files they are seeking are the source files, the RoboHelp project. Whether or not you supply that is down to your contract with them. Some contractors retain the source to ensure they get repeat business, some customers insist they have the source so that they are not tied to you in the future. That is a contractual matter and I will leave it to the contractors here to comment if you need more on that.


          If the help is to be installed on a server, then a CHM is of little use to them so they will want a WebHelp output and those HTML files will be the same as the source HTML files. If they do want WebHelp, you still need an understanding as to who owns the source files. Make sure you keep a copy so that if there is repeat work, you have the old help as a start. They won't pay you to recreate the existing help.


          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips



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          • 2. Re: Trouble generating what my client needs - HTML
            RoboColum(n) Level 5

            Hi Rachel and welcome to the RH forums.


            First of all I presume you mean by "normal HTML output" that you created WebHelp. If so, you could just deliver all the output that was generated. This is located in a folder controlled by the Output Folder and Start Page field in the properties of your WebHelp single source layout. Note that the start page is a .HTM file and this is the file used to launch the help. So if you deliver all the files locatedin this directory and get the customer to launch the .htm file mentioned in this field, everything will work.


            BTW the same applies for the FlashHelp output. However I personally would not persist with this output type unless you want to deliver flash based content. WebHelp is designed exclusiveky for online content.You may also want to see if they want the help installed locally in which case the Microsoft HTML Help single source layout (which creates a single CHM file) would be the way forward.


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            • 3. Re: Trouble generating what my client needs - HTML
              Rachelm777 Level 1

              Thanks!  Bingo! Actually, the first output I generated, I used the "Microsoft HTML Help" option in the Single Source Layout pod. I think this was my problem - there's no index-type file with that. I just generated a new output, using the "Web Help" layout this time, and there's the "index" file we were looking for. I think this will do it for them.

              Thanks for your help!


              • 4. Re: Trouble generating what my client needs - HTML
                Rachelm777 Level 1

                Thanks for your reply and help - useful information on the file sharing aspect. I'll need to think about that...