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An Overview of RoboHelp 7
 

An Overview of RoboHelp 7

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Presented by Neil Perlin at Documentation and Training West, May 6-9, 2008 in Vancouver, BC. ...

Presented by Neil Perlin at Documentation and Training West, May 6-9, 2008 in Vancouver, BC.

With two releases of RoboHelp in 2007, Adobe is working to restore its place in the help authoring world after several uncertain years. If you’’re a RoboHelp X5 user who’s been waiting to see where RoboHelp was going, come to this workshop. Version 7 offers the most significant interface changes in years, and some significant new features. Plus you can use it with Captivate and Acrobat to build multi-modal help. This workshop offers a hands-on overview where you’’ll use RoboHelp 7 to create a simple help system and look at its integration with the rest of the Adobe Technical Communication Suite.

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An Overview of RoboHelp 7 An Overview of RoboHelp 7 Presentation Transcript

  • An Overview of RoboHelp 7
  • Who Am I?
    • Neil Perlin - Hyper/Word Services.
      • In tech. comm. since ‘79 at DEC.
      • Hypertext since ’85, WinHelp since ‘90.
      • HTML since ‘91.
      • Using RoboHelp etc since ’91.
      • Training/consulting on RoboHelp etc since ’95.
      • Training/consulting on XML, single-sourcing, mobile, structured authoring since ‘98.
      • STC’s lead W3C rep – ’02 – ‘05.
  • Purpose of This Workshop
    • Look at what’s new in RoboHelp 7.
    • Look briefly at the larger Technical Communication Suite.
    • Show RoboHelp’s overall ease of use.
  • Seminar Contents
    • 1 – Review of RoboHelp and TCS
    • 2 – Create a RoboHelp Project
    • 3 – Link to a Captivate Movie
  • 1 – Review of RoboHelp and TCS
    • RoboHelp 7
    • TCS
    • RoboHelp 7
  • What Is RoboHelp?
    • An online content authoring tool – not a help authoring tool used to create:
      • Online help, plus ...
      • Online documentation.
      • Online tutorials.
      • Online sales brochures.
      • Other online material.
  • A Quick Tour
    • RoboHelp essentially consists of:
      • WYSIWYG and HTML editors.
      • Contents, index, glossary, and other editors.
      • A topic previewer.
      • Project management and reporting features.
      • An image map editor.
      • Output creation and conversion features.
        • Easy to convert between HTML-based formats.
  • RoboHelp 7’s Main Screen
  • Compared To RoboHelp 6’s
  • What’s New In RoboHelp 7?
    • “Pod-ized” and customizable workspace.
    • Allows multiple ToCs and indexes for single sourcing.
    • Snippets.
      • And variables, if you’re coming from X5.
      • Note that snippets, variables, and build tags let you create a virtual, quasi-CMS.
    • Cleaner code – RIP kadov.
    • FlashHelp Pro.
  • What’s New In RoboHelp 7?
    • Updated RoboSource 3 VCS.
      • Actually updated in RoboHelp 6…
    • Support for:
      • Unicode and double-byte characters.
      • Word 07.
      • Vista.
      • Framemaker 8 support.
        • Imports FM and book, in addition to MIFs.
      • MDI (Multiple Document Interface).
  • What’s Not In RoboHelp 7?
    • Authoring in native XML.
      • Not consistent with FrameMaker 8’s support for XML and DITA.
    • No multi-directional workflow.
      • FrameMaker  RoboHelp but not RoboHelp  FrameMaker.
    • No Web 2.0 features (depending on your definition of Web 2.0).
    • No workflow support.
    • TCS (Technical Communication Suite)
  • What Is TCS?
    • Suite consisting of:
      • RoboHelp 7
      • FrameMaker 8
      • Captivate 3
      • Acrobat 3D 8
  • RoboHelp and TCS Integration
    • Some integration at the interface level:
      • Can launch Captivate and import Captivate movies.
      • Can import FrameMaker files in FM, book, MIF formats.
      • Cannot export to FrameMaker.
  • 2 – Create a RoboHelp Project
    • Output Language and Format
    • Start a New Project
    • Create Content
    • Add a Contents Tab
    • Add an Index Tab
    • Create Links
    • Add Graphics
    • Generate the Output
    • Start a New Project
  • Output Language and Format
    • Language – HTML.
    • Format – WebHelp, a now-common format pioneered in RoboHelp.
      • Pros:
        • Platform and browser independent.
        • Runs locally, from network drives, or servers.
        • Easy to learn – “Everyone knows the web.”
      • Cons:
        • Proprietary codes.
        • IT may balk at having “100s or 1000s of HTMs!”
  • WebHelp Distribution Requirements
    • Distribution
      • All files in the project’s WebHelp subfolder.
    • Configuration
      • A modern browser, and that’s it.
      • Essentially a “zero footprint” installation.
  • New Project Dialog Box
  • New Project Dialog Box
    • The format you select becomes the default.
    • But you can test-output the project in any other format or change the default at any time.
    • WebHelp – WebHelp project.
    • WebHelp Pro – Adds server-based usage reports, virtual merge, natural-language search.
  • New Project Wizard Screen
  • New Project Wizard Screen
    • Title… – The project title.
    • File name… – The name for all the project control files – HHP, HHC, etc.
    • Location… – The drive and folder that will contain the project’s files.
    • …first topic – The first topic in the project.
      • Can be the first real topic or just a throwaway to get the project started.
  • Ex. 1: Start the Project
    • Create Content
  • Creating New Topics
    • Topics contain the content, graphics, links, and formatting.
    • Each topic is a separate HTML file.
    • You can:
      • Create new topics in RoboHelp, using it like Framemaker or Word.
      • Import existing HTML, DOC, Framemaker MIF and FM, PDF, and XML material.
  • New Topic - General Tab
  • General Tab
    • Topic Title – The title of the topic.
    • File name – The topic’s HTM file name.
    • Template – The template for this topic.
      • The default is the one previously used.
      • None – uses the settings from the default CSS.
  • Previewing Topics
    • To preview a topic without compiling the entire project:
      • Display the topic in the topic pane and select View > Item or press Ctrl/W, or...
      • Right-click the topic on the Project Manager tab or Topic List tab and select View from the popup menu.
  • Ex. 2: Add Topics
    • Add a Table of Contents Tab
  • The Contents Tab in WebHelp
    • No skin With a skin
  • Contents Tab Objects
    • Headings – Shown by and .
      • Can have an unlimited number of sub-heads and/or topics.
      • RoboHelp refers to headings as “books”.
    • Topics – Shown by .
      • RoboHelp refers to topics as “pages”.
      • Note – You lose the tab effect if you use skins.
  • TOC Pod Mini-Toolbar
    • Located at the top of the TOC pod.
      • New TOC Book – Add a head or subhead.
      • New TOC Page – Add a topic under a head.
      • New Merged Project – Merge modular projects.
      • Left/Right/Up/Down – Change a head’s or topic’s hierarchy level or sequence.
  • New TOC Book - General Tab
  • General Tab
    • …Title – Head on the Contents tab.
    • …Variables – Variable to use for the head.
    • …With Link – Links the head to a topic.
    • …Destination – The target for a book with a link.
    • New… – Create a target topic for this head.
    • Find… – Find a topic to which to link.
    • Link To – The link’s target address.
  • New TOC Page - General Tab
  • General Tab
    • …Title – Title to appear on the Contents tab.
    • …Variables – Variable to use for the title.
    • …Destination – The target topic or anchor.
    • New… – Create a new topic.
    • Find… – Search for a topic to which to link.
    • Link To – The link’s target address.
  • Ex. 3: Add a Contents Tab
    • Add an Index Tab
  • The Index Tab in WebHelp
    • No skin With a skin
  • How to Add Index Keywords
    • The New Topic dialog box’s Index tab.
      • Which you tried when you added the topics.
    • The Index and Topic List pods together.
    • Existing text.
    • The Smart Index Wizard.
  • “Existing Text” Method
    • The Index tab and pod methods take you out of the topic that you’re indexing.
    • The “existing text” method keeps you in the topic.
    • You can select text to use as an index entry and code it with just a few mouse clicks.
      • Highlight the desired word(s), right-click, and select Add To > Index Keyword.
  • Ex. 4: Create the Index Tab
    • Create Links
  • Jumps (Hyperlinks)
    • Take you from a starting topic to a target topic.
      • The target topic usually replaces the starting topic in the same window.
      • The target topic may open in another window.
    • You can turn text or graphics into jumps.
    • You can add “bookmarks” to target topics and jump to them rather than to the top of the target topic.
  • Ex. 5: Create Links
    • Inserting a Graphic
  • Image Dialog Box
  • Image Dialog Box Fields
    • Image Name – The image file name.
    • Text Wrapping – To specify how the image aligns with any surrounding text.
    • Screen Tip – To specify text to pop up if a user hovers the pointer over the image.
      • The <IMG> tag’s ALT attribute.
    • Size/Margins/Borders – To set the image’s height, width, margins, and borders.
  • Ex. 6: Insert an Image
    • Generate the Output - WebHelp
  • Building the WebHelp
    • There are two ways to build:
      • If you already set the build options, click Generate Primary Layout on the toolbar.
      • To set or change options:
        • Select File > Generate Primary Layout or
        • Double-click WebHelp (Primary Layout) on the Single Source Layouts pod.
  • WebHelp General Screen
  • WebHelp General Screen
    • Select Output Folder/Start Page – Output folder and start page for the project.
      • … folder – WebHelp folder under !SSL!.
      • … start page – Launcher – <projname>.HTM.
    • Use Lowercase… – Converts file names to lower case for use on Unix servers.
    • Conditional Build Expression – To create a build formula, if you used build tags.
  • WebHelp General Screen
    • Skin – A “faceplate” for the project.
      • Default – Uses eHelp’s default skin.
      • Traditional... – Does not use a skin.
      • Gallery – To select a skin from the set supplied with RoboHelp.
    • Table of Contents – The TOC to use if you created more than one.
    • Index – The index to use if you created more than one.
  • WebHelp General Screen
    • Glossary – The glossary to use if you created more than one.
    • Default Topic – The topic to display when the WebHelp starts – the home page.
    • Variables – To change a variable’s value for this output.
    • Section 508… – Enables Section 508 features.
  • WebHelp General Screen
    • W3C Compliant… – Ensures clean code but may cause problems in older browsers.
    • Add Mark… – To run the help locally w/o getting the “blocked content” message.
      • Use during development or for a local output.
      • But disables links to external files (DOC, XLS, PDF) and links in the preview window with no warning.
  • To Change the Default Format
    • You can change a project’s default output format if necessary.
    • Right-click the desired new format on the Single Source Layout pod and select Set As Primary Layout.
    • This means you’ll never paint yourself into a corner by picking the wrong format at the beginning of a project.
  • Ex. 7: Build
  • 3 – Adding the Movie
    • The Pre-Created Movie
    • Connecting the Help and the Movie
  • The Pre-Created Movie
    • I’ve created a Captivate movie for use in this help system.
    • It demonstrates how to change the base of a number using Windows’ calculator – the movie does most of the work as you watch.
    • Demo of the movie.
  • Connecting the Help and Movie
    • You can now link from a topic in the help file to the movie.
      • Note that you could also create links from the movie to topics in the help file.
    • You’ll create a “Show Me” link that runs the demonstration.
  • Ex. 8: Link the Help and Movie
  • Thank you... Questions? Hyper/Word Services 978-657-5464 [email_address] www.hyperword.com
  • Hyper/Word Services Offers…
    • Training • Consulting • Development
      • Flare • RoboHelp • RoboInfo
      • Mimic • Captivate
      • XML
      • Single sourcing • Structured authoring