Using RoboHelp 2017 for company procedures – Quick review

We’ve been setting our staff the challenge of using some of the popular Help Authoring tools to create online company documents.

We asked them to make some notes on the applications they used. Here are some of the notes relating to RoboHelp 2017:

“Straightforward to use. Easy to import the content.

The responsive web templates supplied with it are nice looking and easy to customise. The layout editor has images that help you identify easily which stylesheet elements to change.

The search and replace didn’t change everything I wanted. I don’t know if I was using it incorrectly.

When you press the build/generate button, you have to wait until that process has finished before you can do anything else.

The output it creates produces folders that are all in lowercase, apart from one. If you need to manually create the folders on your website, this can catch you out. It did me.

The ability for users to filter content is really useful. You can filter content so it only relates to a country, a job role, pre and post brexit, etc. Obviously, you need to markup the document, and know where these conditions should apply.”

New software updates from Adobe

Adobe has officially released the Adobe Technical Communication Suite (2017 release) including the new 2017 releases for Adobe FrameMakerFrameMaker Publishing Server (2017 release) and RoboHelp. It has also released the 2.0 Release of XML Documentation Add-On for Adobe Experience Manager.

There have been a lot of improvements to the usability of the applications, reducing the number clicks required to carry out tasks.

For both FrameMaker and RoboHelp, Adobe has continued its developments in publishing HTML 5 output and personalised Help content. RoboHelp has a new, frameless Responsive HTML5 layouts that offer more intuitive navigation, and the ability to filter content dynamically. There is also a significantly improved search, which now has autocomplete.

It’s good that Adobe has focused on improving the usability this time – for Technical Authors and for the end users. It must be tempting to keep adding more to an application, when the best gains can be from improving what already exists.

RoboHelp 11 review (finally)

robohelp logoAdobe released its latest version of RoboHelp Version 11 (and Technical Communications Suite 5), a while back and asked if we could write a review. There have been a number of excellent reviews, so we’ve been wondering what extra we can say. We’ve decided to address some of the questions we’re often asked by organisations when they’re deciding which Help Authoring Tool to choose.

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How does DITA compare to a Help Authoring Tool?

One of the key questions when considering moving to the DITA authoring standard is: how is it different from what I have today? If you create technical documentation using a Help Authoring Tool, such as Flare or RoboHelp, you’ll probably want to compare DITA to these.

It’s not as easy a question to answer as you might think. As DITA is a standard rather than an authoring tool, you’re actually looking at two different things. However, let’s give it a go.

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