5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 29, 2010 12:07 PM by Wish*~

    How do I generate a Word document and a PDF from Help files?




      I am new to RoboHelp HTML, and am using version 8.  I updated some Help files, and now I want to generate output.  Here are my questions/ or the process I used:

      • To compile the help, I clicked Generate Primary Layout.  Is this correct?  I noticed that the date stamp on the xpj file has not changed.  The date is still from many months ago.  (Why is that?  Should it show a recent update date?)  However, the files that I updated do reflect the dates when I made the updates.  These include art files, an hhp, and htm, js, ldb, pss, cpd files.
      • To generate a pdf, I clicked Generate PDF.  I was not able to generate the PDF at first, but then, I enabled macros in Word 2007 (Trust Center Settings > Enable all macros...and clicked the checkbox, Trust access to the VBA project object model), and clicked Generate PDF.  At the end of the generation, I got this error in Word: Microsoft Office Word has encountered a problem and needs to close.  We are sorry for the inconvenience.  The info you were working on might be lost.  Word can try to recover it for you.  I closed the dialog and Word generated several blank documents.  Microsoft Office Diagnostics was run and found one problem and corrected it.  Despite the error message, a pdf was generated.  (If you could give me any insight on why I got the error messages, that could be helpful to know).
      • How do I generate a Word document?


      Thank you!



        • 1. Re: How do I generate a Word document and a PDF from Help files?
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

          Welcome to the forum.

          I would like to suggest a different workflow.


          When you select Generate Primary Layout, RoboHelp does that based on the settings in whatever is set to be your primary layout. Better at least the first time to double click the layout so that you see the settings and can change things to how you want. After that, you can use Generate Primary Layout if you wish but I prefer to go via the layout itself and check the settings.


          The XPJ file only changes when certain things need to be recorded in it and that is not every time you work on the project. In other words, don't worry about the date of the file.


          Now to the PDF. Again not the best place to start and again better to go from the layout itself. You can try just generating a PDF but many users prefer to create a Word document and do some editing in that. It may just be tidying page breaks to improve appearance, it may be more, that's your call. Once the Word document is good, generate the PDF from there.


          You will find the layouts I refer to in the Single Source Layouts pod. View > Pods.


          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips



          • 2. Re: How do I generate a Word document and a PDF from Help files?
            Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Welcome to our community


            Note that RoboHelp is capable of creating a variety of layouts. WebHelp, FlashHelp, AIR Help, Microsoft HTML Help, JavaHelp, Oracle Help, ePub and more.


            Any of these layouts may be nominated as the Primary layout. So when you generate the Primary layout, you get whatever has been configured as the Primary layout.


            Only certain actions will result in a change to the .XPJ file. The actions are indicative of major changes to the project. So I wouldn't fret the fact that the date time stamp wasn't updated.


            Indeed the Printed Documentation Single Source Layout recipe is what you use to create PDF. Generally what happens is that RoboHelp creates a Microsoft Word document as an intermediate file type, then creates the PDF from that. As you might imagine, there are a host of things that can go wrong during the process. I might suggest that you first get a Word document to generate cleanly. Then once you do that, focus on PDF. I know that I typically gen a Word document and stop there. I just open Word and use Word to create the PDF.


            If you look at the properties for the Printed Documentation Single Source Layout recipe (View > Pods > Single Source Layouts then right-click the Printed Documentation layout and choose Properties) you will see that PDF, Word or both are options at the top of the dialog.




            Hopefully that gives you a nudge in the right direction.


            My fellow Adobe Community Expert Peter Grainge has excellent info on Printed Documentation on his site at Grainge.org. Click the link below for that.


            Click here to visit Peter's site


            Cheers... Rick


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            • 3. Re: How do I generate a Word document and a PDF from Help files?
              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              LOL... Didn't see you pop in there, Peter!


              Yeah! What he said!

              • 4. Re: How do I generate a Word document and a PDF from Help files?
                Wish*~ Level 1

                Thank you, Peter!  These instructions were very helpful.  I went to your Web site and found excellent instructions for printing there.

                • 5. Re: How do I generate a Word document and a PDF from Help files?
                  Wish*~ Level 1

                  Thank you, Rick!  These instructions were very helpful.