8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 23, 2011 12:40 PM by susiesuer123

    Webhelp v browser-based AIR Help


      Hi, I 'm going to be writing help for a web-based application for the first time and am trialing Robohelp 9. Can anyone tell me the difference between the published files for Webhelp and browser-based AIR help? Would there be any technical difference in deploying them to a web server? My apologies if this has been answered elsewhere - I couldn't find a reference to it.


      Also (probably a separate question), is there any way to incorporate commenting with either output type? I know this is not supported in the SSLs, but is there a way around it using script? It seems strange that only the 'offline' AIR help includes online commenting. And Adobe's own help pages include it (though they don't seem to use Robohelp!).


      Many thanks in anticipation.

        • 1. Re: Webhelp v browser-based AIR Help
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Welcome to our community


          WebHelp consists of a large number of HTML files along with some JavaScript and other files. From what I know of it, Web Based AIRHelp is similar, but the components that present the navigation (TOC, Index, Glossary) are presented using Adobe Flash.


          I beleve only the locally installed AIRHelp supports commenting. I'm sure someone will correct me if I"m wrong on that.


          Cheers... Rick



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          • 2. Re: Webhelp v browser-based AIR Help
            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

            Browser based AIR help is effectively webhelp with a Flash front end. To the best of my knowledge any server that will host webhelp will host browser based AIR help.


            Commenting is not an option with either output.


            See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips



            • 3. Re: Webhelp v browser-based AIR Help
              susiesuer123 Level 1

              Thank you Peter and Captiv8r for your replies. I guess that means all users would need Flash player to view the help, but probably not a problem these days.



              • 4. Re: Webhelp v browser-based AIR Help
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                You've just got to consider corporate environments if that is applicable. Some will not allow but I suspect that is decreasing.


                See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips



                • 5. Re: Webhelp v browser-based AIR Help
                  susiesuer123 Level 1

                  Yes, I don't think it will be a problem. With choice of skins though, the Webhelp SSL output looks good. The Whirls skin, in the RoboHelp 9 demonstration project, has a professional look.


                  Many thanks once more.

                  • 6. Re: Webhelp v browser-based AIR Help
                    johndaigle Level 4

                    Just to add to what Rick and Peter have helpfully mentioned. For years we have had the venerable WebHelp Skin Editor.


                    What some folks may not realize is that if you are going to use the browser-based AIR output, you can also use the new AIR Help Skin Editor (Project Setup > Skins > New Skin > Create Adobe AIR Help skin. Then select a "template" - for example the Multi-tab Accordion.


                    It's like having more flexibility and more design options for color schemes, even if you are not using the full desktop AIR Help version.

                    ...thought I'd start spreading the word on this new feature which is not obvious at first blush.


                    John Daigle
                    Adobe Certified RoboHelp and Captivate Instructor
                    Evergreen, Colorado

                    • 7. Re: Webhelp v browser-based AIR Help
                      CraigCC Level 2

                      Hi Susie et all,


                      Just spotted this thread and am in the exact same position as you :-)

                      Really like the browser-based Air help look and trying to keep up with the limitiations and any issues.


                      We cannot use classic Air Help as the help system supports a web-based product and there is no way that the client will allow a 'special' install for a help system.The trouble starts when you start comparing Air Help, browser-based webhelp and browser-based Air help. In Air Help you are teased with the Favourites tab, the comments pod but they are not available for browser-based Air. The search also works differently in Air formats (results in topic window), something I only became aware of a few days ago. You cannot add custom buttons to tool bar in BB Air something I've found very userful in web help. We have also had a few formatting issues and use a different .css for webhelp and airhelp (mainly to get styles to match the different skins).


                      There is no doubt that the browser-based Air output looks slick and as John said the skin can be modified to give a corporate feel. But your visitors will need flash player to view content in the left hand pane - its flash that gives it the slick look and feel. I'm trying to run some test this week to find out what will happened without flash player AND to check how the help appears in the various browsers.


                      I'm curious, have you had any specific issues with running browser-based help on a webserver? We are still awaiting feedback from developers, but so far they have been unable to get browser-based help running on server - just a blank page with grey background. I'm reassured by Peter's comments so hoping it is some security setting that they can deal with. The most sensible approach now is to try and get webehlp running in same environment.


                      I will definitely post feedback and will be following this thread closely now.


                      Kind Regards


                      • 8. Re: Webhelp v browser-based AIR Help
                        susiesuer123 Level 1

                        Hi Craig,


                        It sounds as though you're way ahead of me in your investigations. Thanks for your insights and I look forward to hearing more.