3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 27, 2012 12:39 AM by Peter Grainge

    How to automate a linked, expandable TOC

    George the scribe Level 1

      We use RoboHelp 8 and Word from the 2007 version of MS Office.

       

      When writing the help for a given software module, we create the help file in Word and import it, using styles to break it into topics. We set up an expanding TOC in RoboHelp, as shown in the screen capture below:

       

      TOC image.PNG

       

      There is a linked "book" for every topic in the project.

       

      My question is: how can I achieve this result efficiently?

       

      Right now, I must create a new book for each topic, type the topic name as the name for the book, click the checkbox to link to a topic, and scroll through a list of topics to select the matching one. After that, I use the left or right arrow to indent the topics to get the intended hierarchy.

       

      This takes 2-3 minutes per topic, so I spend hours doing this.

       

      What I would like is a way to tell RH "Create a TOC with a linked book for every topic in the project". Then, I would have a complete TOC except for the hierarchy, and all I would have to do is apply the indents--a matter of a few seconds per topic. Is there a way to create that type of a complete TOC automatically?

       

      I appreciate any suggestions.

       

      -- George

        • 1. Re: How to automate a linked, expandable TOC
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

          Normally books are for groups of topics so you create those just for the groups you will need. Then you can drag the topics from the topic list to under the books. The Topic Title will display as the topic name under the book.

           

          Below I just created the books and then dragged the topics across.

           

          toc_creation.png

           


          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

           

          @petergrainge

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How to automate a linked, expandable TOC
            George the scribe Level 1

            Thank you for the quick answer, Peter.

             

            In part, you are saying that our multi-level TOCs (which typically have at least 5 levels, and which don't have many consecutive entries at a given level) are not a good match for Robohelp's normal approach to TOCs. If your example is typical, RH's TOC approach really works best for a shallow hierarchy, with multiple consecutive items at a given level (and perhaps without each "book" linked to a specific topic in the project).

             

            Do you know of a better way to create a "deep and linked" TOC like ours? I'm probably not in a position to cause that approach to be changed--and I also have to say that it works pretty well for our content.

             

            Oh well, it may be that all that interactive handwork will continue to be required. But I would love to hear any suggestions that anyone has for how it can be streamlined.

             

            -- George

            • 3. Re: How to automate a linked, expandable TOC
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

              It was more about suggesting that you have a disproportionate ratio of books to topics. I cannot say that is wrong because I don't know the content but it does seem high. Also having to drill down five levels could get frustrating.

               

              However, if that is what you feel the content dictates, that is what you must go with. I'm just suggesting a long hard look at it, not that it is wrong.

               


              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

               

              @petergrainge