6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 25, 2010 11:21 AM by kcarveraz1

    Are these customizations possible? (Expand dropdown if it contains search term, show updates, etc)

    kcarveraz1

      TCS 2 (RoboHelp 8, WebHelp, 700+ topic knowledge base, no CSH

       

      Hi all,

      I'm working with a client who has quite a "wish list" for their WebHelp system (which may be moving to WebHelp Pro if they jump through corporate hoops to get their RoboHelp Server in place). I'm looking for input on which of these customizations are possible, and if so, any pointers you can give to lead me in the right direction. The good news is that I have a developer who can create whatever scripts, etc. I need.... the bad news is he hasn't worked within the parameters of RoboHelp/WebHelp before. We also need to provide the client with time estimates for each of these customizations, and the solutions can't require ongoing work/maintenance once they're implemented.

       

      • Automatically expand dropdown text if the user searches on a term that appears in the dropdown
      • A button users could click that would highlight/signify recent updates to the topic in some way (without the writers having to manually tag/remove a flag on the updates)
      • A comment box on the Welcome page that users can submit that is not dependent on email
      • A way to customize the Search context (tag some specific lines from the topic that will appear in the context; not just whatever is at the top of the page)

       

      Thanks in advance!

       

      Katie Carver

      Senior Technical Communicator

      Docs-to-You, LLC

        • 1. Re: Are these customizations possible? (Expand dropdown if it contains search term, show updates, etc)
          RoboColum(n) Level 5

          Hi Katie. There is a lot of food for thought here so bare with me as I try and (hopefully) add some answers to your questions.

           

          Automatically expand text in dropdowns

          I see a slight issue here as what would happen if a search returns two topics. Or are you just talking about when a topic is chosen to be displayed from the search results? Peter grainge has outlined a method that worked for him here.

           

          Recent update button

          Typically this is done by the writer via a button linked to a dropdown or someother such method. It could include a simple summary statement (e.g. Updated to include the ability to add blue widgets) rather than the specific textual change.

           

          Welcome page comment box

          This sounds like the AirHelp (rather than WebHelp) output maybe the way to go here. This would allow comments across all the content, not just one page. If you only want it on one page this should be achievable with your developers help. I guess you'd need some script to pass the comments to some sort of repository (e.g. Access DB).

           

          Search context

          If your client gets the go ahead for the RoboHelp Server application it will provide context to the search results and ranks them also.

           

          Hope this is of some use. No doubt others will chip in with ideas and comments.

           


            The RoboColum(n)   @robocolumn   Colum McAndrew
          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Are these customizations possible? (Expand dropdown if it contains search term, show updates, etc)
            kcarveraz1 Level 1

            Thanks for the helpful information, Column. Please see my responses...

            - Katie

             

            Automatically expand text in dropdown

            I  see a slight issue here as what would happen if a search returns two  topics. Or are you just talking about when a topic is chosen to be  displayed from the search results? Peter grainge has outlined a method  that worked for him here.
            Correct; when a topic is chosen to be displayed from the search results, they want the dropdowns to auto-expand if the dropdowns contain the search term. The methods on Peter's site sound great for creating a link that auto-expands a dropdown...but that won't work for Search will it? Here's the scoop from the developer I'm working with:

            For some reason, they have chosen to highlight the text by enclosing it in a font tag (of all 

            things) and applying an RGB color to it with a style declaration.  Ugh.  

            For our purposes, this is about the worst way they could have done it. However, it is possible.  And if THAT is possible, then it's also possible to find the highlighted text within a hidden section and unhide it.

             

            Recent update button

            Typically  this is done by the writer via a button linked to a dropdown or  someother such method. It could include a simple summary statement (e.g.  Updated to include the ability to add blue widgets) rather than the  specific textual change. We are steering them in that direction.

             

            Welcome page comment box

            This  sounds like the AirHelp (rather than WebHelp) output maybe the way to  go here. This would allow comments across all the content, not just one  page. If you only want it on one page this should be achievable with  your developers help. I guess you'd need some script to pass the  comments to some sort of repository (e.g. Access DB). That's exactly what I told them (AIR Help), but they are interested in the usage tracking/reports that the RoboHelp Server - WebHelp Pro solution provides. It sounds like we'll need to work with their IT deparment to implement a solution on the web server that we will hook up to a general comments form in the WebHelp (not going to attempt to make it topic-specific).

             

            Search context

            If  your client gets the go ahead for the RoboHelp Server application it  will provide context to the search results and ranks them also. Does RoboHelp Server let you control what is displayed as the context? They have information at the top of all of their topics that is not helpful if it is what appears as the context. They'd like it to pull from a bit farther down in the topic.

            • 3. Re: Are these customizations possible? (Expand dropdown if it contains search term, show updates, etc)
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

              Pinching Colum's headings...

               

              Automatically expand text in dropdowns

              That method was not intended to work from search results. Given that the method requires the call to the dropdown to contain the dropdown ID, I cannot see how you would get that into the search results.

               

              Recent update button

              You can see an example of what Colum has suggested on my site. Most topics have a Revisions button at the end. Click a few and see how it works. I have used a javascript method as the site is maintained using Dreamweaver. RoboHelp comes with Dropdown functionality built in.

               

              Welcome page comment box

              Colum is right that locally installed AIR help would allow users to make comments but whether or not that route is viable will depend on your developers' and customers' views on installing the help on each user's desktop and their access to the internet. There is information about AIR help on my site and it covers what you would need to set up.

               

              I suspect you might find Colum's other suggestions of getting your developers involved in setting something up from the webhelp would be less of a logistical nightmare.

               

              Search context

              Ordinary webhelp gives you context but you don't get to force it to be what you want. I wasn't aware it was any different with Pro but Colum will be able to advise on that. If not, there is an article about ZoomSearch on my site and you can get that to include text that you define for each topic. May still not be quite what you want but it would be closer.

               


              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

               

              @petergrainge

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Are these customizations possible? (Expand dropdown if it contains search term, show updates, etc)
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                Katie

                 

                My reply was written before you last post appeared so read it that way.

                 


                See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                 

                @petergrainge

                • 5. Re: Are these customizations possible? (Expand dropdown if it contains search term, show updates, etc)
                  kcarveraz1 Level 1

                  Thanks, Peter. Your site is very helpful; I refer to it frequently, but never came across the ZoomSearch information. I'm looking at it now and am quite intrigued.

                  - Katie

                  • 6. Re: Are these customizations possible? (Expand dropdown if it contains search term, show updates, etc)
                    kcarveraz1 Level 1

                    My apologies for the typo on Colum's name in my earlier post. (I've been discussing table columns in an email thread all morning -- oops! )

                    - Katie