I am working with FrameMaker 12 and RoboHelp 11 in Tech Comm Suite 5. I am new to linked projects and want to author in FrameMaker (my existing files are unstructured) and then generate WebHelp in RoboHelp. I’m confused about options for including hyperlinks in my project and would appreciate any advice.
I have around 1200 HTML files whose content I want to make available to customers. The content of these files changes from version to version, but the file names generally do not. I also have to maintain several versions. So, on my server, I have versioned folders that contain different versions of identically named files.
Originally, I thought I would just insert hyperlinks into my FM files. That way, both PDFs (from Frame) and my generated WebHelp (from Robo) would have the links. However:
I can’t Find/Replace content in the hypertext markers in FrameMaker, so I can’t easily update the links to call a new version. With 1200 links, updating them manually isn’t feasible.
I wanted the user to be able to see the WebHelp and the content of these files in the same window. In RoboHelp, displaying in either an auto-sizing or custom-sized popup seems ideal. However, it doesn’t seem that I can create the hypertext marker in FrameMaker so that links will appear as popups in the generated WebHelp. I know I could set that up in RoboHelp, but I need to be able to update the FrameMaker source files without blowing away the hyperlinks I place in RoboHelp.
I played around with the idea of using Cross References in FrameMaker, but even if I convert the 1200 files to text, trying import anything but FM files into my FrameMaker project seems cumbersome.
The best solution that I’ve come up is placing the hypertext markers in FrameMaker. Then, when I update in RoboHelp, I can use the Find/Replace functionality to change the links to point to the right version number on the server. My disappointments in this method include
Having to give up on the popups.
Not being able to have these links in the PDFs I generate from FrameMaker. I’ll have to delete all the hypertext markers before generating PDFs so that users won't be pointed to the wrong files for their version.
Am I missing something that would make this task easier?