I'm doing some prototyping with WebHelp in RoboHelp 11, but documentation on certain features seems to be a bit scarce (as far as I can find), and I have a few questions.
First and most important is Multi-User environment. I understand RoboHelp supports this feature, but I can’t seem to find much information about it, especially in regards to WebHelp. The ideal scenario would be to have the files on a shared drive, and have multiple users access it whenever needed. Is this at all possible? If yes, what would I need to do to set it up? If no, is there another alternative (preferably one that doesn’t involve SQL servers)?
Secondly, I have a minor problem with a style sheet. Once imported into RoboHelp, certain styles are categorized in the “Other” section, and do not appear in the “Styles and Formatting” pod at all. I can still call these styles in the HTML code, though their formatting is strange, and not what it should be.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I think you may be a tad confused with terminology as well as function. Apologies in advance if you feel I'm speaking down to you, but I'm making a bit of an assumption here based on what I perceive your understanding to be.
You seem to be confusing source with output. You use RoboHelp to create and edit source documents. You then tell RoboHelp to generate output files that all users can access. Only folks making changes to the documents need RoboHelp. For others, your users, all they need is a browser.
There is nothing special about the output files. No SQL server is needed. You simply copy the output files (and folders) to the location where you want folks to access them from and away they go.
Hopefully that helps clarify things a bit.
Entry-level explanations are what I need, so no need to apologize.
The files I need to put on the shared drive are the source files, not the output files. Essentially, I need to know if RoboHelp has the ability to Lock files in the event that there are multiple users editing the same project. So if one user starts editing source files, then a second user accesses those same files while the first user is still editing, is there I way to lock one of them out from making changes?
If you plan on having multiple folks making edits, you need to investigate using a source control system. RoboHelp ships with one, but you have to specifically install it and configure it. It's called RoboSource Control. But many places already have a source control system configured. You might ask your developers if they do. If so, it may be simpler to just have RoboHelp piggyback on their source control system.
I've looked into Source Control, but the documentation I've come across for it almost always refers to RoboHelp HTML, whereas I need to use it for WebHelp. Am I misinterpreting that at all?
Okay, time for an analogy.
Think of RoboHelp HTML as being like working in your kitchen. It provides all the tools you need to help you create dishes you serve. Think of your topics, images and all that as being ingredients you mix together. Think of the WebHelp output as being like a batch of tasty Chocolate Chip cookies,
When you tell RoboHelp to generate WebHelp, it is like mixing the cookie dough, plopping wads onto the baking sheet and baking the cookies.
Source Control works with the "raw ingredients" to manage how many chefs are working with the project. (After all, you don't want three different chefs to add salt, right? It would ruin the recipe.) That's where source control kicks in. It provides a check in and check out system to keep everyone from stepping on one anothers' toes.
WebHelp is just one "recipe" RoboHelp HTML is capable of creating.
Ok, thank you for clarifying. I was worried it was referring to the HTML5 output, specifically. It looks like RoboSource control requires creating a database and access to some kind of SQL or MSDN server, so that's out of the question for me, but I will look into my options.
Rick is right that Source Control (whether built-in or third party) is the most common way to "lock" a file when projects are open by multiple authors. And that requires some kind of database to make that happen.
However, you might want to look at something called the "Resource Manager" which, while it doesn't have the sophistication of full source control, may be "good enough" if you and your team have a good protocol for working together. Basically you can share common "assets" (css, topics, images, etc.) which reside on a share drive. Then as the files are dragged and dropped into each author's projects, the asset can become "linked". So that if another author changes the shared source file, all other authors who are sharing the same file will be notified of the change and offered the opportunity to update their projects with the changes.
I created a short video on this feature for Adobe TV here:
RoboHelp 11: Share Topics in Resource Manager | RoboHelp 11 Features | Adobe TV
(While the video refers to sharing files in "the cloud" that is only one solution. Note that you can use a common share drive on your network as well.)
Adobe Certified RoboHelp and Captivate Instructor
Also keep in mind that it's not a good idea to work on Robohelp source files on a network drive. Theoretically some changes were made so you can now (since RH9 or 10-ish?), but reports have been varied, and my own experience has been bad in terms of performance.
Changes were made to enable network use, it's not just theory. Adobe clearly stated at the time that this method of working would work for some and not for others. It is entirely dependent on the network. Clearly it did not work for Amebr. I found it worked OK but slower than from a local drive. The difference was minimal when editing but more noticeable when generating an output.
It is something each user must try for themselves.
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips
Source files hosted on a network drive is noticeably slower compared to local files. Editing/changing pages causes a slight delay, but generating output is painfully slow.
As @Peter said – YMMV (your mileage may vary) – grin!
In regards to my CSS problem, the styles that aren't being listed are Unordered lists (ul). RoboHelp says it should be listed under HTML lists, but it doesn't show up in the editor at all.
There is a dropdown for some styles and the Styles pod that shows all styles. Where are you looking for the unordered list style?
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips
I'm looking In that style pod you mentioned, and it does not appear. In the CSS editor in RoboHelp, these styles are categorized in the "Other" section, and do not appear anywhere else. They can be referenced through the HTML code, and but the formatting isn't what it should be.
I think I can clarify the Other section for you. For specific help on the display issues you have, we might need some more information about the specific CSS. See if the below helps you sort out the issues first.
The Other section defines styles that generally shouldn't be selected independently - basically set and forget, with one exception that I can think of off the top of my head.
Other > Background + Text (BODY) defines the style for the body tag. This is applied to all other tags unless you specifcally set something else. For example, if you set a font of Arial here, your font will default to Arial for everything, unless you specifically customise an element (for example, change Normal, the equivalent of the p tag, to Calibri).
Other > Lists defines the basic style for ol and ul tags. You apply ol and ul by clicking the appropriate button on the toolbar (ol = numbers, ul = bullets). If you then want to customise specific lists, that is where the Lists section higher in the dialog box comes in - it defines classes you can apply to individual list items - for example, maybe you want extra space before the first bullet in a list: define it here, then manually apply to only the first item in your bulleted lists.
Other > table.xxxxx are the styles you define for first row, first column, etc when you create a table style. You only choose the overall table style and Robohelp automatically applies each row/column style for you. So you don't want to select these individually. The Tables section higher in the dialog box allows you to define the table styles, including specific styles for first row/column, etc.
The Other section will also show any classes you've created that aren't specifically tied to one html tag. I think you would have had to manually add these to the stylesheet in a text editor. These styles aren't 'set and forget', but don't fit in to the other categories in the Styles dialog box.