4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 1, 2011 1:12 PM by A25CharacterScreenName

    RH8: Paragraph formats '(none)' vs 'Normal'

    jaggedpeak Level 2

      Just looking for a bit of clarification about the paragraph styles 'Normal' and '(none)'.

       

      Some of the content I have in my topics include -

      • Paragraphs with style = '(none)'
      • Paragraphs with style = 'Normal'
      • Lists (created with the 'Create a numbered list' or 'Create a bulleted list' buttons) with style = '(none)'
      • Lists (ditto) with style = 'Normal'

       

      In my generated help (chm/webhelp), these all use the same font (Verdana - 8pt).

       

      If I generate printed documentation, they use different fonts (Times for (none), and Verdana for Normal).

       

      Not sure how to word the question, but I'll give it a try... Should I be using 'Normal' for all of these, or should I be doing something different? And, how do (none) and Normal 'behave' w.r.t. my .css file? (Sorry if I'm mixing terms, but I know I'm 'missing' something here :-( )

       

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: RH8: Paragraph formats '(none)' vs 'Normal'
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

          What you are up against is the new way of working RH8 introduced with list. Type in some text in an ordinary paragraph and you will see Normal in the style dropdown. Now click the bullet icon and it changes to None.

           

          See Lists in the RoboHelp Tour on my site. (RH8 New section) and all is explained.

           


          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

           

          @petergrainge

          • 2. Re: RH8: Paragraph formats '(none)' vs 'Normal'
            jaggedpeak Level 2

            Thanks very much, Peter. That clarified it nicely.

             

            One last bit... is there a way to find/change all instances of paragraphs (not lists) that have '(none)' as the style? (Change to Normal, that is)

            • 3. Re: RH8: Paragraph formats '(none)' vs 'Normal'
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

              I don't think so, at least in a way that doesn't take more time to find them than you could do it manually.

               

              How many topics are you talking about?

               


              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

               

              @petergrainge

              • 4. Re: RH8: Paragraph formats '(none)' vs 'Normal'
                A25CharacterScreenName Level 1

                jaggedpeak wrote:

                 

                Just looking for a bit of clarification about the paragraph styles 'Normal' and '(none)'.


                Some of the content I have in my topics include -

                • Paragraphs with style = '(none)'
                • Paragraphs with style = 'Normal'
                • Lists (created with the 'Create a numbered list' or 'Create a bulleted list' buttons) with style = '(none)'
                • Lists (ditto) with style = 'Normal'
                ...

                Not sure how to word the question, but I'll give it a try... Should I be using 'Normal' for all of these, or should I be doing something different? And, how do (none) and Normal 'behave' w.r.t. my .css file? (Sorry if I'm mixing terms, but I know I'm 'missing' something here :-( )


                Thanks.

                 

                What you have encountered here is what I call "the Great HTML Paragraph Heresy." If you were to consult a standard English dictionary you would find a definition for the word 'paragraph' something along the lines of;

                One or more complete sentences dealing with a single topic or thought, usually marked by the beginning of a new line, indentation or increased interlinear space.

                 

                In HTML, paragraphs are marked by <p> tags. In HTML 4.0, the ends of paragraphs should also be marked by the </p> tag, but the </p> tag is optional; if it does not exist, a User Agent would just consider everything as part of a paragraph until another tag is encountered that is inconsistent with a paragraph, such as the start of yet another paragraph, the start of a list (<ol> or <ul>), or an arbitrary block of text (<div>).

                 

                In early HTML markup, authors tended to focus on the last part of this definition ("marked by the beginning of a new line") and ignored the first part ("One of more complete sentences..."). This lead to a huge amount of text on the web that was marked as being "paragraphs" but which was quite obviously not; they were just snippets of text that the author wanted to start on a new line. Indeed, it is not uncommon to see a single, empty <p> to indicate interlinear space.

                 

                As it turns out, in RoboHelp parlance 'Normal' means 'Paragraph', and 'None' means 'No Paragraph.' So what you would normally want to do is use the 'Normal' style for any sections of text which are comprised of "One or more complete sentences dealing with a single topic or thought," and 'None' for snippets of text which are not themselves paragraphs. Typically, list items are not paragraphs, nor are snippets of text appearing in tables; it such cases this text should be styled as 'None.' It is not uncommon, however, to find true paragraphs in lists or tables; in these cases, the text should be styled as 'Normal' (i.e. a paragraph).

                 

                When it comes to fonts, if you have no style sheet the same font will be used for 'None' as is used for 'Normal,' i.e. the default font set up in your User Agent. If you set a new font for 'Normal' paragraphs in your style sheet, that font will be applied to all paragraphs, but not to any text which is not marked as being a paragraph (e.g. 'None'). If you wanted to set a font for the entire document, you would edit your style sheet and change the format for "Other->Background+Text(Body)". Then, everything which does not have an overriding style will appear as the <body> style.

                 

                The thing to remember about Cascading Style Sheets is that they ... cascade. Styles at higher levels in the document flow down to lower levels unless overridden. But if you set a font style for the entire document, and then a font style for for 'Normal' paragraphs, the style for 'Normal' paragraphs will override the style for the entire document. The same is true of lists and tables. If you set a style for 'Table,' for example, which is different than 'Normal,' and RoboHelp sneaks <p> tags inside of your table (which it does regularly) the 'Normal' font will take precedence over the 'Table' font.

                 

                Most of the time these conflicts will be minimal. If, however, you change the paragraph style to indent paragraphs, without interlineal spacing, as commonly appears in most printed material, you will start seeing funny styling when paragraphs are inserted into lists or tables.

                 

                My advice:

                 

                Use 'Normal' for text which matches the grammatical definition of a paragraph, and 'None' for everything else. Use shift+enter to add empty lines (HTML <br/> tag) when you want to start a new line for a scrap of text, or within lists or tables (unless you really did want to create a true paragraph). Watch out for anomalous "paragraphs" inserted by RoboHelp, and clean them up as you go (sometimes they can't be fixed, but you should be able to figure out when that occurs).

                 

                Hope this helps.

                 

                Lee