I'm a new user of Robohelp 8, and I'm frustrated with the amount of work involved in taking Word files and importing them into Robohelp. In my environment, authoring is done in Word (2007 version) and imported into Robohelp.
It looks like authoring will most likely continue to be done in Word, because everyone writing material for help files has Word and uses it all the time, and because some of the material is used in other ways that involve tried-and-true conversion tools out of Word.
The basic import process works fine. I can take the Word file (which has styles applied for several head levels) and import it. I use the import settings to make the topics break on each new heading, and to convert the various Word heading levels to Heading 1 in Robohelp. All of that works.
But it took me most of a week to get a set of help files (roughly 100 topics in all) imported from Word and formatted correctly. There have been a variety of problems. I can't seem to get the bulleted lists to import correctly (the formatting is screwy). Text highlighting brought in from Word sometimes goes bad in Robohelp, forcing intervention at the HTML level. Bulleted lists have sometimes required HTML-level repair also. (HTML intervention has been necessary because pages that look correct in the RH editing window still display incorrectly in the Preview window.) I have not had much luck importing topic-to-topic linkages that were cross-references in Word. There does not seem to be any helpful way to prepare material in Word that is destined to become drop-down or expanding text in Robohelp; the same goes for "Related topics" links.
All of this could simply be lack of experience on my part, or maybe my strategy is wrong. Do other people have this much trouble? Are there secrets to how the Word file should be prepared? How much post-import cleanup should I expect? Is HTML intervention always going to be involved?
I appreciate whatever tips you can provide!
There are a number of pages on my site covering importing Word documents. The one for RoboHelp 9 was written recently and you will see that I did not cover versions 7 and 8. When I started writing the one for 9 I found a number of problems and I worked with Adobe who fixed things in 9.0.2. Some of the things I found resulted from changes made in the first release of 9 so to that extent 8 was better than 9 but not as good as 9.0.2.
I think the best advice I can give you is to suggest you take one of your documents and work with a new project following the procedures for 9 on my site as far as you can in 8.
Bottom line though will always be that the import is dependent on the quality of the source document, garbage in equals garbage out.
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips
Thanks, Peter. Reading through your material, I see quite a few things I can try. Most helpful!
I'll post again if I still have problems.