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Table support and table styles

Community Beginner ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

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Hi all,

I am currently evaluating help generation products. Overall I like what I see with RoboHelp. However, I find the lack of table options and styles. Table support is very robust in a competing product. Are there any recommendations on how to work around this limitation based on the limited table support in RoboHelp 2020? 

I have created some table styles (thead, tbody, etc). However, I have to manually edit the HTML to get the table configured correctly to use the styles. For example I have to move the tbody tag down a row and add the thead tags for the first row to get that tag/style to apply properly. 

 

Thanks,

 

RoboHelp 2020.4.173
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New UI

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

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It's late here so for now I will just point you to the topic on tables in the 2020 section of the RoboHelp Tour on my site. 

 

Also make sure you have Update 4 applied.

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See www.grainge.org for free Authoring and RoboHelp Information

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

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Thanks, Peter. I will take a look now. Have a  good evening.

RoboHelp 2020.4.173

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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Table templates are fairly recent and I believe more will be added. It's also quite straightforward to create your own CSS based tables so that you don't have to customise every table. After creating the table, next time you want it add a table and then apply the table style from the Styles icon on the right.

 

As you are new to RoboHelp, take a look at the About RoboHelp sample project as it is full of information about how to do things in RoboHelp. You can also use it to try them out for yourself. 

 

The current UI was introduced in the previous version (2019) and I think you will find that once you have learned your way around it, it is much easier to use than other tools.

 

Come back to the forum if you have issues.

 

BTW. The current version is 2020.4. If you downloaded an earlier version go to Help > Check for Updates and apply 2020.4.

________________________________________________________
See www.grainge.org for free Authoring and RoboHelp Information

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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Thanks, Peter, 

Your site is amazing and has already answered several questions. I did finally find the RoboHelp around tables. I will review that information as I work with tables. 

RoboHelp 2020.4.173

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Explorer ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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If you chosse to stay with Robohelp, I have sumbitted a feature request to add support to use the <thead> tag without having to manually edit the HTML. It sounds like that, at least in part, addresses one of your concerns. 

 

RH-7971 | Tracker (adobe.com)

 

If people know about it and upvote it, maybe it will get done? 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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Thank, AthensSlim. Once I found what Peter shared on his site and did the table the way he suggested I found that all of the table formatting is handled via CSS and not necessarily styling individual HTML tags such as THEAD. I expect there are pros and cons when it comes to using CSS to format the entire table like RoboHelp does vs being able to apply CSS to individual elements such as THEAD. I am not expert enough to have an opinion on that yet. 

 

I do still think table management is a bit awkward compared to other tools. I do hope that it is refined in future releases.  

RoboHelp 2020.4.173

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Explorer ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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I can tell you that the major reason that I add the <thead> tag is that when distributing in a printed format (e.g. PDF), it's the only way that I have found to have the table column headers span across multiple pages. Perhaps there are other ways, but that's straightforward enough. 

 

I would agree that the handling of tables is kind of clunky, but our company is and has been committed to RH, so I have nothing else to compare it to. It does seem to be getting a bit better with each release. I still find that I do most of the CSS management manually, though. 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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Ah - good point. I have not worked with the print aspect of RoboHelp. Fortunately, my tables are smaller. However, that issue would be a definite problem.

RoboHelp 2020.4.173

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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Glad you have found my site useful. When making your final decision as to which tool to use, you will consider ease of use but don't forget to compare the responses you get to questions in each product's forum and the availability of resources to help. Whichever tool you use, you are going to get stuck on something so those things have a value and should weight the decision.

________________________________________________________
See www.grainge.org for free Authoring and RoboHelp Information

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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Thanks, Peter. The support of the community has already impressed me. When I moved my focus from HelpNDoc, etc. to a topic-based solution I looked at both Flare and RoboHelp on paper. While Flare does seem to have a larger market share their price is 5-6 times more expensive than RoboHelp and is out of my budget (I am paying for a tool personally). I talked to Flare about their pricing - they see the value of their product (and love it) and would not ever have comparable pricing with RoboHelp. They brought up the support issue (and in their perception how bad RoboHelp support is). My experience with RoboHelp support was very good so I could not get on board with that argument. I also noticed that their comparisons between Flare and RoboHelp were not accurate based on my limited exposure to RoboHelp. If you are going to compare your product with competitors - at least be honest about it. As a result, I did not even trial Flare. It is out of my budget and they do seem fairly arrogant about their product. Plus I like the UI of RoboHelp much better. I have another 20+ days of my trial. However, I think RoboHelp will be the right product for my needs. 

RoboHelp 2020.4.173

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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With Flare I understand that many components are chargeable extras, the only extra cost item with RoboHelp is RoboHelp Server and you don't need that to produce online and print outputs. It is for stats and other options such as controlled user access.

 

They have always been very good at knocking RoboHelp as the company was formed by people who were made redundant when Macromedia (the previous owners of RoboHelp) were going to close down RoboHelp. Adobe saw the fit with some of their products and have even recoded RoboHelp now.

 

RoboHelp's own support sometimes gets it wrong as typically the agents are trained but are not real world users of the product, that's the same with any company. If ever you feel you have been given a wrong or unhelpful answer, come here.

 

What is it you are needing to produce?

________________________________________________________
See www.grainge.org for free Authoring and RoboHelp Information

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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I want to produce Word/PDF and online help for internal users covering technical how to type of information. However, the project that initiated the search for a solution is a customer project. I am thinking of a help site/printed documentation just for them that discusses the items specific to their project and links back to a copy I work for's help site for generic product help. 

 

I want to look at embedding specific pages from the other site (created in Flare of course) for the generic instructions for a particular topic. Joined with that would be my pages with customer/project-specific information and any additional documentation on a given subject that I would add as part of training/consulting. 

 

Yup - convoluted a bit. 

RoboHelp 2020.4.173

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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The first part is similar to the RoboHelp Tour (grainge.org) but the second part could be difficult.

 

Effectively that is a website within a website and right now I can't see how you can do that. You can add a link to the other site in the TOC as I have done in the RoboHelp Tour, last item. However that opens in another browser tab. You want it to appear as if it is one of your topics if I have understood correctly. 

 

There is an option to Import HTML File and I think you have the source files. I am not sure how well that would work though with something produced in Flare.

 

I will check with Adobe what is possible here.

________________________________________________________
See www.grainge.org for free Authoring and RoboHelp Information

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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What I have found with the Responsive target is that if I have the link to the external site in the same frame the page will load inside the mainframe of the site. That is good - except there is no way back to my page. I was hoping that breadcrumbs would sit above the external page that renders. That is not the case so far. If I could give the user some form of a back button then this solution would be satisfactory. 

RoboHelp 2020.4.173

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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I think that may be what you will have to accept but let's see what comes back.

 

I suggest you look at frameless outputs as they are more customisable and where development will be going forward.

________________________________________________________
See www.grainge.org for free Authoring and RoboHelp Information

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 14, 2021 Apr 14, 2021

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LATEST

To display a website within the project you can click the Insert HTML Elements icon and insert an iFrame.

 

image.png

________________________________________________________
See www.grainge.org for free Authoring and RoboHelp Information

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