Command Line Compilation Captivate I'm not saying that indexing is easy, but if you're going to include one you need to update it with each release. Example 2: Topic Content and Navigation Many of the new help topics are sparse. For example, the home page has no body text at all and only three links. When you open a context-sensitive help topic, you can't get the TOC or Index. If your topic has breadcrumbs, you can go back to the Home page, but you just get the home page with three links: Introduction, What's New, and Adobe Help.
This means that if you click F1 and view a context-sensitive help topic and then want to perform another search you have to go back to the Help menu. You might think you could at least search from the What's New topic, but the topic doesn't have any links in it. Figure 7: Example 3: The help describes the Snippet pod. However, it doesn't define a snippet, give you guidelines about creating snippets, or link to any other topics about snippets.
The topic provides only six sentences in a topic that could easily be the first topic a user accesses about snippets. Now open the main help system using Contents and Index. Look in the Contents for snippets. The TOC assumes a certain amount of knowledge about the product to be able to navigate its many options. There is some basic content about snippets in the help system, but it's hard to find because the cross-linking is so minimal.
Small stuff formatting errors and tiny text Many of the new topics have inconsistent formatting in them. Most of these issues deal with sloppy alignment such as bullets and feedback statements that appear to the left of the parent numbered list item. It's a subtle error, but one that shouldn't exist in the leading help authoring tool. Figure 8: Many of the new RoboHelp topics do not tightly control formatting, especially in lists.
I guess I'm finally getting older, but it struck me as odd that RoboHelp's body text is all hard-coded to use an absolute font size of 8 points. It's very difficult to read and doesn't follow W3C recommendations for accessible content. Strange Controls In RoboHelp's online help, the left navigation area doesn't appear to have been created with RoboHelp.
It's a custom control. The Search doesn't search the help—it searches the Adobe LiveDocs web site, which as far as I can tell doesn't include any topics about RoboHelp7 at all. I searched for the missing index terms and then tried words like "help" and "topic" and "project" all with no search results. The Browse drop-down at the top allows you to select other Adobe products, not sequences of topics in RoboHelp's online help.
Adobe has taken two well-known terms from help and changed what they do without actually improving the user experience for getting help about RoboHelp. They didn't even use RoboHelp's left navigation control.
Does that mean RoboHelp's left navigation isn't recommended for use by RoboHelp users? I'm not sure what it means, but it seems like a strange enhancement to RoboHelp's online help. Is it fair to critique the online help? You might ask: Is it fair to critique RoboHelp's online help? I mean, who uses online help anyway? Oh, wait.
This is a help authoring tool. We all hope that our users use our help. Shouldn't RoboHelp set a very high standard for help development?
And shouldn't it demonstrate the best practices that are well-established in the help industry that it has dominated for so long?
Yes, of course it should. Bugs I can't offer a full list of bugs in RoboHelp 7 because I didn't do that kind of testing, but here are some things that I discovered while reviewing the product. The ability to create a style on-the-fly by typing a new style name in the Styles List on the formatting toolbar seems to be gone. The Save Without Prompt option states in the help that it saves "when you open another topic, change views, or close the project.
Adobe maintains a list of known and fixed bugs in their knowledge base http: Unfortunately, many of those features have been on the request list for several years. I'm still waiting to see RoboHelp lead the way in help authoring, especially now that Microsoft seems to be backing away from their traditional role as the leader in help authoring technology.
So what should we expect from RoboHelp? Increasing RoboHelp and FrameMaker Integration While Adobe took a small step towards product integration with RoboHelp 7, they still have a long way to go to achieve true integration. We need more than products that launch other family products easily. We need more than products that can do one-way import of content. We need to be able to learn one product and easily be able to use the other because they share a standard user interface and common functionality.
We need related products like Framemaker and RoboHelp to seamlessly integrate with each other so we can efficiently create, manage, and deliver content in one place without a tool bias towards a particular media. Providing More Guidance for New Help Authors The RoboHelp user base is increasing by adding users who are not traditional help authors or technical communicators.
RoboHelp needs to provide more guidance for these transitional users. These users need more templates and stylesheets for example, a Vista look-and-feel with a stylesheet that includes nested lists and a style guide explaining how to use the stylesheet ; they need to know more about the process and best practices; and they need to see a world-class help system in RoboHelp's online help. Beginning RoboHelp users shouldn't have to go through a lengthy setup process to get started generating and distributing content.
The setup enhancements should come after they've mastered the basics and are ready to improve their existing help system. Improving Topic Editing RoboHelp could use some improvements in the way topics are edited. Help authors need to be able to continue the sequence of a numbered list without hard-coding the next step. It should be easy to generate interrupted lists with notes and feedback statements.
It should be easier to format and standardize tables. So much content today gets created and edited by a lot more people than the help author s. Adobe needs to find a way to enable this kind of distributed web-based content development. Helping Users Manage Content Across Projects RoboHelp still doesn't make it easy to standardize certain project settings and share common content across multiple projects.
Importing and exporting isn't enough—there needs to be a high-level content manager. The old single project model doesn't reflect the reality of many organizations that produce multiple help systems and printed documents and share content text and graphics and style sheets. RoboHelp needs a way to specify a server that stores this shared content outside of an individual project. Snippets are a great new feature, but how are we going to organize them, find them, and reuse them, especially across projects?
Supporting Embedded User Assistance So much of the coolest user assistance is appearing directly in the user interface, but RoboHelp doesn't allow help authors to reuse RoboHelp content in the user interface. I wonder if Adobe could work with Microsoft and other coding tool vendors to create a way to manage on-screen user assistance through RoboHelp rather than embedding it in the code and requiring developer intervention to make simple textual changes.
At the very least, Adobe could provide more support for creating embedded user assistance windows in applications. The lag in RoboHelp's support for gathering user feedback and allowing users to talk to each other to create their own content is already causing people to look to other vendors for help.
There's still a lot to do with the RoboEngine. The Technical Communication Suite Adobe is continuing to pursue the technical communication market with its new suite of tools, which includes RoboHelp 7. It's beyond the scope of this one article to review all of those products. However, if you already work with FrameMaker, Captivate, and RoboHelp this could be a big step forward for the suite.
The integration of these products is still just in its infancy; however, they can do some cool things. You can place Captivate movies inside a FrameMaker or Acrobat file.
You can add 3D designs to FrameMaker documents. You can convert some FrameMaker features into RoboHelp features such as conditional build tags and user-defined variables. RoboHelp and FrameMaker are still two separate tools with different features and user interfaces. While the import of content is improving from FrameMaker to RoboHelp, the content is still pushed from FrameMaker to RoboHelp rather than allowing for shared content that is managed at a higher project level or two-way product integration pushing content from RobHelp to FrameMaker.
Tighter integration in the future—especially the potential for content sharing—is probably the single greatest potential that Adobe RoboHelp has in the marketplace right now. Do you need to rush out and buy the suite? Take a look at it, especially if you already use FrameMaker and RoboHelp or if you have a need to embed 3D graphics or Flash movies into your FrameMaker or Acrobat files. Authors producing hardware manuals should pay special attention to the technical communication suite.
The pricing for the suite seems very aggressive and indicates a good discount, especially if you use 2 or more of the tools in the suite. If you're just providing help with no printed documentation or online demonstrations, you don't really need the suite. RoboHelp v. Flare There are certainly more help authoring tools available besides Adobe RoboHelp and Madcap Flare; however, RoboHelp and Flare seem to have a special rivalry going on, especially since the Flare team is made up of former RoboHelp gurus.
It's likely that many of you will evaluate at least these two tools when choosing a help authoring tool. Is there a difference? Yes, but the differences seem to be fewer now than a year ago.
While it isn't my intention to directly compare RoboHelp and Flare in great detail, it's worth mentioning for perspective that Madcap Flare had almost all of the features in RoboHelp 7 in Flare 2.
I mention this because, if there is a race between RoboHelp and Flare, RoboHelp started some 12 years before Flare, but Flare seems to currently be in the lead by about 9 months.
Adobe Robohelp For perpetual: Buy or upgrade up to 9 licenses directly through oukeph.me store. For subscription: Only 1 license can be purchased from oukeph.me store per transaction. Upgrade from Adobe Robohelp (release) $ € $ ¥52, Upgrade from Adobe Robohelp (release)** $ €. Best Price Adobe RoboHelp 13 rows · Adobe RoboHelp is a help authoring tool (HAT) developed and published by Adobe Using RoboHelp to Develop a Simple Web-Based oukeph.me RoboHelp ( release) Start your day free trial. Adobe RoboHelp 10 Discount. What's new in Adobe Presenter 10 - Adobe Help CenterAdobe PhotoshopFeb 03, · From what I have seen about Windows 10 apps that ran on Windows 8 or seem to be working on 10 but that is no guarantee that it will be true of RoboHelp or its outputs.
Robohelp Take an imaginary graphics file viewer as an example. Anything can happen when your scheme is being cleaned up. This online sharing software needs to follow security regulations, thereby making the online sharing of documents completely secure. Run it every month to search for spywares on your macbook. Hold out as long as you can and and so either stop using the app, or update, but be informed about your selection.