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A Basic RoboHelp 8 HTML Tutorial

© 2010 Ugur Akinci

A. Introduction

This Adobe RoboHelp HTML 8 tutorial shows the basic steps required to create a RoboHelp project. (Robohelp comes in two flavors: Robohelp for Word, and Robohelp HTML). In this tutorial, we will use RoboHelp 8 HTML and generate a  help file, starting from a “Blank Project”.

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 from the Start menu or click the desktop icon to launch the application.

RoboHelp 8 HTML Starter screen appears:

RH-StartupScreen

RoboHelp 8 -Starter Screen

2. Click the “(Create New) Blank Project” option to display the New Project Wizard dialog box:


RH-NewProjectWizard

RoboHelp 8 -NewProjectWizard

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 Integrated  Explorer Screen, displaying the First Topic created by default:

RH-Integrated Screen

RoboHelp 8 -Integrated Explorer Screen

RH’s default workspace has 4 panes, integrated within a single frame:  Project Manager Pane, Conditional Text pane, Topic Edit pane, and the Topic List pane at the bottom.

NOTE: Conditional Text is an important single-sourcing functionality that you cannot find in Robohelp for Word.

C. Create Content for The Default Help Topic

1. Start typing your content for the default First Topic in the upper-right pane, just like you would when you are creating a normal text document. Use the formatting buttons in the tool bar to edit your text anyway you like.

2. To insert images, select Insert > Images from the menu bar, or click the Insert Image button on the tool bar.

D. Create a New Help Topic

1. Select File  > New > Topic from the menu bar or click the Create a New Topic button (question mark on a blank page) in the Project Manager pane to display the New Topic dialog box:

RH-NewTopic

RoboHelp 8 -NewTopic

2. Enter a Topic Title, File Name, Master Page (if you’re applying a page template), select a Language from the drop-down list, enter Keywords for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

3. Select the Exclude From Search check-box if you do NOT want this topic to show up in any searches.

4. Click OK to have the new topic displayed in the Topic List pane at the bottom.

5. Double click any topic in the Topic List to display it in the Topic Edit pane. Start editing the way you’d normally edit any text.

Continue creating and populating new topics by following the same steps above. All topics will be listed in Topic List pane at the bottom as well as the Project List pane on the upper left pane.


TABS:

Here is one of the many features of RH8 that I like: all new topics PLUS the RH Starter Screen are easily accessible through TABS:

RH-Tabs

RoboHelp 8 -Tabs

E. Create a Link

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

2. Click Insert > Hyperlink Popup from the menu or click the Insert Hyperlink button on the tool bar to display the Insert Hyperlink dialog box:

RHW-Insert Hyperlink

RoboHelp 8 -Insert Hyperlink

3. Enter the URL or link destination address.

4. Click OK to create the hyperlink.

F. View the Draft Help File

To generate a draft copy of your help file and view it inside your web browser click the Generate Primary Layout button (Yellow Question mark) on the  tool bar:

RH-CompileButton

RoboHelp 8 -CompileButton

You can accomplish the same by selecting File > Generate > Primary Layout from the menu bar.

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.

NOTE: Make sure your Project Manager Pod is not hidden (upper-left pane). If it is, display it by selecting View > Pods > Project Manager from the menu bar.

1. Find the Table of Contents folder under Project Manager and New Project (Default) file/icon underneath it.

2. Double click the New Project (Default) icon to display the separate New Project (Default) – Table of Contents pane right next to it:

RH-TOC_Pane

RoboHelp 8 -TOC_Pane

3. Click New TOC Book button on the toolbar to display the New TOC Book dialog box:

RH-New_TOC_Book

RoboHelp 8 -New_TOC_Book

4. Enter a Book Title for the first Book of your TOC (i.e., the first First-Level TOC entry).

5. Establish links (if any) with any user-created variables by selecting one from the Available Variables drop-down list and click Add.

6. If you’d like to hot-link your Book to any TOC topics, click the Book with Link check-box and then select one of the topics listed in the Existing Topics list box. If not, do not select the check-box.

7. To link a new topic to the Book, click New Topic button and follow the prompts. To search for an existing topic to link, click Find Topic button and follow the prompts. Your newly created TOC Book will look like this:

RH-New_TOC_Book_Displayed

RoboHelp 8 -New_TOC_Book_Displayed

8. To create a new TOC page under the newly created book, select the book and click New TOC Page button on the tool bar. The New TOC Page dialog box will display:

RH-New_TOC_Page

RoboHelp 8 -New_TOC_Page

9. Enter a Page Title for the first page of your TOC Book  (i.e., the first Second-Level TOC entry).

10. Establish links (if any) with any user-created variables by selecting one from the Available Variables drop-down list and click Add.

11. Hot-link your Page to a TOC topic by selecting a topic from among those listed in the Page Destination list box.

12. To link a new topic to the Page, click New Topic button and follow the prompts. To search for an existing topic to link, click Find Topic button and follow the prompts.

13. Create additional TOC books and pages by repeating the above process.

14. To create (compile) or view your TOC, click the Create/View Table of Contents button on the toolbar.

H. Create Index

NOTE: Make sure your Project Manager Pod is not hidden (upper-left pane). If it is, display it by selecting View > Pods > Project Manager from the menu bar.

1. Find the Index folder under Project Manager and New Project (Default) file/icon underneath it.

2. Double click the New Project (Default) icon to display the separate New Project (Default) – Index pane right next to it:

RH-IndexPane

RoboHelp 8 -IndexPane

3. Click Smart Index Wizard button on the tool bar to display the Smart Index Wizard:

RH-Smart_Index_Wizard

RoboHelp 8 -Smart_Index_Wizard

4. Follow the prompts and directions to create your Index.

5. Or, click New Index Keyword button (Golden Key) on the toolbar:

RH-Enter_Index_Keyword

RoboHelp 8 -Enter_Index_Keyword

6. Enter your Index Keyword. Click New Keyword Topic button to create a new topic and link to the index term. Click Find Topic button to find an existing topic and link to the index term.

7. Repeat the above steps and create and link as many Index Keywords as you like.

8. Click Create/View Index File button (far right) on the tool bar to compile and view your 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

NOTE: Make sure your Project Manager Pod is not hidden (upper-left pane). If it is, display it by selecting View > Pods > Project Manager from the menu bar.

1. Find the Glossary folder under Project Manager and New Project (Default) file/icon underneath it.

2. Double click the New Project (Default) icon to display the separate New Project (Default) – Glossary pane right next to it:

RH-Glossary_Pane

RoboHelp 8 -Glossary_Pane

3. Type in a glossary term at the top of the pane and click Add (the PLUS icon). The CURSOR moves automatically to the Definition For pane at the bottom.

4. Type in the definition for the glossary term you’ve entered.

5. Repeat the above steps as many times as necessary, for all the other glossary terms.

6. Click Create/View Glossary File button on the tool bar to compile and view your Glossary.

7. Click Import Glossary button (far right) on the tool bar to import an existing Glossary.

8. Or, click Glossary Hotspot Wizard to launch the Glossary Hotspot Wizard:

RH_Glossary_Hotspot_Wizard

RoboHelp 8 - Glossary_Hotspot_Wizard

9. Follow the prompts and directions to create your Glossary.

LAST STEP:

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

What do you think about this post? Did you like it? Did we miss anything? How can we improve it to help you better? 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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