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A Basic

© 2010 Ugur Akinci

A. Introduction

This introductory Adobe RoboHelp tutorial shows the basic steps required to create a RoboHelp 8 for Word project.

(Robohelp comes in two basic flavors: Robohelp for Word, and plain Robohelp HTML). In this tutorial, we will use RoboHelp 8 for Word and generate a  Help file in Winhelp 2000 format.

NOTE: Robohelp is a deep program with too many functions and capabilities to count here. This Quick Start Tutorial barely covers 10% of everything you can do with RoboHelp.

The general steps are:

  • Open the application and create a new project
  • Create Help Topic
  • Create Link
  • Create  Table of Contents (TOC)
  • Create Index
  • Create Glossary

B. Opening the Application and Creating a New Project

1. Select RoboHelp 8 for Word from the Start menu or click on the desktop icon to open the application.

RoboHelp for Word dialog box appears.

RoboHelp for Word Opening Dialog Box

RoboHelp for Word Opening Dialog Box

2. Select the “Create a new Help Project” option button and click OK. The other option is “Open and Existing Help Project”.

New Project dialog box opens with different output options.

RoboHelp for Word Project Type Options

RoboHelp for Word Project Type Options

3. Select the WinHelp 2000 help project type (just for the sake of this exercise) and click OK to display the New Project Wizard dialog box.

RHW-New Project Wizard

RoboHelp for Word-New Project Wizard

4. Enter a TITLE for the help project and a NAME for the project file.

Note: In RoboHelp, each new Help file is created in the form of a project. The same project can be used to generate Help files in different formats.

5. Browse and find the location (path) where the project file will be stored.

6. Select a language from the Language drop-down menu. English is the default.

7. Click Finish to display the RoboHelp’s Word-integrated workspace. This consists of two screens displayed side-by-side: The Robohelp EXPLORER screen to the left, and Microsoft WORD screen to the right. You edit and compose the contents of your RH-Word file on the right and manage the components of your project on the left screen.

You can toggle the window and off by clicking the Hide Right Pane button on the RH Explorer toolbar.

The Word file carries the same file name that you specified in the New Project Wizard. In this exercise, it is called Sample_Help_Project.docx (for Word 2007).

RH automatically creates your first default topic for you titled “Welcome”.

C. Create Content for the Default Help Topic

Start typing your content for the default Welcome topic in the MS Word editor, just like you would when you are creating a normal Word document. You can do all format changes and import images, etc. just as though you were creating yet another MS Word document.

D. Create a New Help Topic

Select File  New > Topic from the menu to display the New Topic dialog box.

RHW-New Topic

RoboHelp for Word-New Topic

1. Enter a Topic Title, Topic ID (if you don’t like the default ID assigned by RH – which is the same as the Topic Title), Project Document name, and any Comments you may have.

2. If you’d like the topic title appear in the Index, click the Add to Index check-box.

3. Click OK to have the new topic displayed in the Topic List pane of RH Explorer.

4. Double click the topic name to have it opened inside MS Word. Enter the appropriate content just like you would when creating a new MS Word document. Save it.

Continue creating and populating new topics by following the same steps above. All topics will be listed in RH Explorer’s Topic List pane on the right.

E. Create a Link

1. Select the text you’d like to link in any topic.

2. Click Insert > Hyperlink from the MS Word menu to display the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

RHW-Insert Hyperlink

RoboHelp for Word-Insert Hyperlink

3. Enter the URL or link destination address in the Address field.

4. Click OK to create the hyperlink.

F. View the Draft Help File

To generate a draft copy of your help file click the Generate Primary Layout button (Yellow Question mark) on the RH Explorer toolbar.

G. Create Table of Contents (TOC)

A RoboHelp TOC consists of BOOKs and individual topics listed under those books. Thus to create a TOC you first need to create Books.

1. Select the TOC Composer tab at the bottom of the RH Explorer pane.


RoboHelp for Word-TOC_Tab

2. Right click to display a pop-up menu. Select New > Book to display the New Book dialog box.

RHW-New Book

RoboHelp for Word-New Book

3. Enter a book name (Caption) and click OK to create the first book of your TOC.

4. Create individual TO C topic entries under the book you created by dragging topics from the Topic List into the TOC.

5. Create more TOC books and individual topic entries by repeating the above process.

Topics that belong to a TOC book will be displayed with a BLUE icon in the Topic List.

H. Create an Index

1. Select the Index tab at the bottom of the RH Explorer pane. All the topics marked as “Add to Index” at the time of creation are automatically listed in the Index.

2. Enter new keywords by typing them in the K-Word window and then clicking the Add button.

3. To attach a topic to the keyword you just created, select the Index word from the upper pane and drag-and-drop the appropriate topic from the Topic List pane down to the Index Topics pane at the bottom of the Index keywords. Now that topic is linked to the index term you’ve selected.


RoboHelp for Word-Index

NOTE: One Index term can be linked to multiple Topics. When you compile the help file and click such Index terms, RoboHelp will ask you which linked topic you’d like to display.

I. Create a Glossary

1. Select the Glossary tab at the bottom of the RH Explorer pane.

2. Type in a glossary term at the top of the pane and click Add.

3. Type in a definition for the term you’ve just added at the at the bottom of the Glossary terms list.


RoboHelp for Word-Glossary


Generate your help file by clicking the Generate Primary Layout button (Yellow Question mark) on the RH tool bar.

Did you like this post? Can we improve it in any way? What do you think? Please feel free to share your mind…

RoboHelp 8 Resources

Adobe RoboHelp 8 HTML: The Essentials
Ret Robohelp Office 8 Win 1U
Upgrade Robohelp Office 8 Win 1U


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