Hello! I searched this forum for a while, so sorry if this has been asked before. If I'm using FrameMaker 2017, do I need Robohelp to generate Context Sensitive Help (CSH)?
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No, but the interface is much easier to work with (IMHO) in RH than it is inside FM.
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(teasing Jeff in this first part)
No, but you'll find that the Fm>Rh setup has challenges, and the direct Fm publishing has challenges as well.
A personal choice, to be sure; I choose the Fm route over the Fm>Rh route.
my team just switched to FM 2017 and we would like to generate CSH using Framemaker (not Rh). Could you let me know how you handle the help map file? As far as I have understood, you need to manually adjust this file everytime you generate the output, right? Is there any other way? This just doesn't seem feasible...
Thanks and BR
Unless you're adding CSH markers, you shouldn't have to touch the map file. But as with Rh, if you need to add new markers or adjust IDs, you need to adjust the .h file. The difference is whether you do this in a text editor (easy enough) or in Rh's UI (even easier).
Jeff's right, in that the .h interface makes it easy to do this in Rh, but then again, there's a lot of overhead in managing and setup of integration, not to mention a heavy processing load each time you update Fm content in Rh.
Bottom line: You need to travel down each road to see which is the more rational choice.
Thanks for your reply. We have found a different approach and it seems to be working. Here's the link, if you're interested in generating CSH with FM2017: Context-sensitive help in FM 2017 - map file and code
Yes, the thread you found describes the process I outlined above...create the TopicAlias markers, manually create the .h file and store with your source Fm docs, then publish. The extra details Dieter provides are very illuminating.
One user was concerned about having to adjust the .h file for each new publish. There's no need for that. The only time you modify the .h file is when you modify or add to your TopicAlias markers. The same is true for Fm>Rh, or for a full Rh workflow.
I would like to add that I have been working on this, and submitted a HTML 5 context sensitive help file based on Frame 2017 only to R&D, and it works really well.
The code that worked in the end for the programmer to call the CSH was
when she used the CSH_topicname
and not the number from the .h file
If you need the full instructions that we used for the whole procedure, i can copy them from here, but they were taken from the Frame Help files, and from posts here.
My only concern in using the CSH_# is that if you introduce/delete a marker, your mapping may increment/decrement, which might throw off the numbering of markers after the new/deleted marker.
My understanding of how this works, is that there is an h file, and after the initial compilation by the system, it does not change unless the user edits it.
So the numbers will not change after the first compilation
The h file must be in the folder where the source Frame is.
The way we got it to work was to use the markers and not the number, we did try to use the numbers but could not get it to work.
So I do not see why this should create a problem.
I suppose if using the CSH_XX markers is working, then that's great.
I just implemented CSH for a client last week and had great success creating Map IDs (via TopicAlias Markers) and then using the map numbers specified in the .h file.
Unless you have a really complicated output requirement, the built in publishing system with FM should be just fine. If you need to tweak all the details of the output, then maybe RH would be a good compliment. We have found that using the CSH system without adding RoboHelp to the mix works just fine.
FrameMaker's subset of RoboHelp functionality does not include the ability to generate a map file (a basic feature of help authoring tools). While it's technically possible to create and maintain the map file manually in a text editor, I would strongly recommend getting the Technical Communication Suite and linking the FrameMaker source to RoboHelp to generate help.
Linking (rather than importing) FrameMaker source is not covered in Adobe's documentation, so I created this sample project and doc:
The correct way to write help calls is documented here (which is referenced in Using FrameMaker):
With next release of FM, the plan is to continue to improve HTML and other output types and work is underway on a new publishing engine.
From answers in this thread it seems each method has advantages and disadvantages.
My version of Frame actually generates the map file.
Of course there are also considerations of budget, the size of the source Frame and the number of projects you have to manage.