My RoboHelp 2019 Review

Enthusiast ,
Sep 13, 2019 Sep 13, 2019

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RH 2019 Review – Version 14.0.8

For anyone interested here's my review of RoboHelp (RH) 2019 Update 8.

 

Note that I posted this earlier in the week on the old forums but it didn't come over with the new forum changeover. So here it is again, with some minor updates.

 

And speaking of the old forum (sigh)... I don't like what I've seen so far in the editor to create new content for the forum. First off, I can't indent text! We all know white space is good for readability. Secondly, I can only use this ugly serif font, Times New Roman or whatever this is. Thirdly... okay, I'll shut up now. This isn't a review of the forums, but perhaps I'll do that one in a later post.)

 

About this Review

I did this review to determine if RH 2019 offered significant reasons for me to upgrade my software and my projects. I'm currently using RH 2017. I downloaded the trial version (14.0.8) about a month ago and started comparing it against the latest RH 2017, listing the things I liked etc. Below are my pros / cons etc. and my recommendation on whether to upgrade at the end.

 

I'm also basing my review and user experience around converting our legacy projects. This obviously needs to work for us. These are old projects that at one time were in Word (old Doc-to-Help) then were imported into  and have been in RH for 15 years and have been heavily modified by us with JavaScript files and custom CSS modifications.

 

Note that RH 2019 comes in two modes. Classic and new (or "re-imagined"). The new mode is the default, but you can launch an older project in classic mode. In fact, running an .xpj launches RH 2019 in classic mode until you tell it to upgrade to the new mode. Classic mode behaves the same as RH 2017 did, same UI and same functionality with possibly some bug fixes.

Most of my comments below are from comparing RH 2017 against the new mode. Where I discuss the classic mode, I use "classic" in parentheses to indicate that.

 

 Pros

  • Different and minimalist UI. No more ribbon. Could be bad if I can't find things. But that should pass with time.
  • Properties for topics etc. are always available in a panel to the right. Generally, there's no more need to right-click and open separate dialog box.
  • We can now continue to work with RH editor while Help generation is undergoing. In 2017 you had to modify something in Np++ if you wanted to keep working.
  • Synonyms and Stop Words, useful things that used to be buried, are now much more available and visible.
  • Project opening times is about 3x faster (41 seconds for mammoth Core help vs. 1m 21s in 2017). Very nice!
  • No more need for .fpj files. If something is in Windows explorer, it's available to the project. You don't have strange virtual folder system and database files anymore.
  • Embedded preview window.
  • Collaboration options, including .git support, seem promising.
  • When you rename a project, it doesn't need to close and reopen. Yay!
  • CSS3 variables are supported. Before, they only worked in the output and not in the editor. Now they work in the editor too.
  • Project innards are re-organized (more of a con for me, but for new projects I can see where this is helpful).

 

Cons

  • Images, scripts, and other assets are all organized into an "assets" sub folder now. While this makes the organization of the source files more visually pleasing in Windows Explorer, it also causes other problems. For example, any CSS references that use background images need to point to the right location.
  • Minimalist UI takes some getting used to. It's not always easy to find what I need now that icons all share the same color. For example, before, it was very easy to distinguish which SSLs (presets) were HTML5 and which were printable. Now they're all…just…gray…
  • We used to be able to Ctrl + Click on a link to open that topic in the editor. Now you have to find it in the Contents and open it. (You can work around this by double-clicking the link and in the Link to dialog box, select the desired topic and click Edit.)
  • We used to be able to generate to a .doc format. This was useful to post process printed output. Now, RH only supports going to PDF directly for printable output, meaning there's no way to post process. (Update - I hear this is coming very soon in the next update, but why it was left out from the initial product release left me scratching my head in the first place)
  • On the embedded preview window, you cannot right-click and choose View Source to see the .htm code in Np++ like you used to do in the old preview window in RH 2017. Sometimes you want to see the code like it's going to be in the output, not just the source code. (Update - I'm told there's a source icon next to the preview icon. Perhaps that's the normal source view in the regular RH editor? I'm looking for a source view of the actual output. I don't have any more RH trial days to double-check that.)
  • You used to be able to search for a phrase or text across an entire project, but now you can't. You can only search for text within a project. Searching for text across the project, only searches files names. RH 2017's project search was better. This means we're back to using Np++ if we want to globally change something across the entire project. (Update - I'm told this coming in the next update. That's good. But again, why was RH rushed out without something so obviously helpful in it?)
  • When creating links, you used to be able to create screen tip text to provide user-friendly text. (Update - Apparently you can do it after the fact by doing more clicks to access the link's properties. A shame it wasn't in the original dialog box right where you're creating the link.)
  • There's no Remove Attributes item anymore on a right-click list. There is a Clear Formatting button on the Properties pane that seems to do the same thing, although with less control. You used to be able to clear the type of attribute to remove before. Now, it clears everything out.
  • JavaScript code is not executed in the main editors anymore! This can make topics appear broken. Also, there's no way to test your JavaScript in the preview window like you used to be able to do. For example, try to insert a simple JavaScript alert inside a topic either in the head or in the body:

 

 

 

  <script lang="javascript">

    alert("test");

  </script>

 

 

 

You can insert code via the html code editor, but neither the editor nor the Ctrl + W preview shows the alert. It worked fine in RH 2017, and I used the preview topic feature a lot to quickly test if JavaScript was working in my project or topic. Now, you only see the JavaScript if you generate the output.

 

  • There's no option to right-click and edit a  link. I can remove the link, but I don't want to remove it. I just want to correct it. Seems the only way is through the html editor. (Update - I'm told you can double click the link to bring up the dialog or go to Properties > General. Again, w/o any more trial days I can't access RH 2019 anymore to verify. But hope that's the case.)
  • The helpful Primary Output button that used to be on Output > Primary Output in RH 2017 is sorely missed. I used to be able to generate the primary output with minimal clicks, even if I generated something else. Now I have to click Output, then Output Presets, then choose the Preset, then finally Generate. 4 clicks vs 2 before. Even with the Quick Generate button on the toolbar, it still takes 3 clicks. I'd like to have a Generate Primary button directly on the toolbar to do a 1 click generation at any time like what used to be on RoboHelp 2017.
  • While there's a brief "Generation finished" message at the end of generation, it's only good if you're looking at the window, because it only lasts a few seconds. I need something that is static, like the old Generation Finished message box in 2017. I often start a build (often multiple builds from different RH projects) and then I start work on something else while they're building. When I come back to the window, the generation message has already disappeared so there's no way for me to know if the generation finished or if it crashed and stopped prematurely.
  • There's no output view that shows the log as a project is generated like in 2017. That was helpful for a sense of progression. Also, the log file does not immediately appear when you generate an output. If something fails, you want to know where and why. The log is also a visual reference point that progress is being made. You have to right-click on the preset and choose View Log to see the log.
  • There are some grammar errors in messages etc. For example, after generating a PDF  I get "Make sure there is no broken links". Links is plural. Obviously in and of itself this is not a big of a deal, but it feels like the creators rushed their product out the door without the proper level of linguistic testing. I'd be more apt to trust a software team that spends the time needed to fix minor grammar and spelling errors as those types of fixes also indicate that other "small" things were also not overlooked.
  • I have many pdf presets in our largest project. They used to build fine in RH 2017 classic. Now, each of them gives an "failed to generate" error message. Again, with no easily visible log message anywhere about what went wrong. The View Log does open a log, but the resulting log gives no indication of really what the problem is.
  • I have ~40 SSLs that were converted to presets in our large help file, one for each chapter. But now these all try to print the ENTIRE contents. It looks like there's not a way to print just a topic or a part of a TOC as a PDF file. How does one print just a single chapter? It sounds like to print a single chapter now, you have to get creative with Conditional Build Tags to block out the TOC items you don't want.
  • Conditional Build Tag colors are now background highlights instead of overlines. I know this is just my personal preference, obviously, but to me the overline does not obscure other custom highlights used by my style sheet. A nice enhancement would be to let us switch to our preferred CBT styling.
  • (classic) RoboHelp Command Line (RHCL) - When generating HTML5 outputs doesn't generate all the Helps. The template data does now finally does copy over, but it still struggles to build all the Helps. Sometimes they just quit, and I get the usual "build in RoboHelp to recover" error in the log file. But building in RH classic manually through the UI doesn't fix the RHCL problem. It seems like the same problem that existed in RH 2017 and earlier versions that still hasn't been fixed.
  • Changing a paragraph to a new style is not as straightforward as it was. Previously, you would just click in the styles drop down and choose the style. I select the text and from the Properties and I choose Styles. In my converted project, there are no styles listed. The list just shows "(none)". So instead, I have to use the HMTL view and manually type the style. (I did see in the actual sample projects that this worked fine so it's probably some sort of upgrade issue going from a RH 2017 project.)

 

Buggy Things

  • If you right click on linked text and choose Locate in Contents panel, is it supposed to highlight the topic? It opens the folder, but it doesn't highlight the file.
  • I only see the vertical blue flashing bar which doesn't give a sense of progress. How do I know if a project generation is hung or if 2019 just takes a long time? I have a project generating for more than 2 hours. It usually only takes about 10 minutes max. It's probably hung, but how do I know?
  • Sometimes if you try to apply a style from Properties > Styles, it won't work. For example, add a span tag to a line of text. Now try to set that line of text to Heading 2 in the main editor. It does nothing. No underlying change is made in HTML code. If you want to apply a paragraph style and it has a character style (span tag), you have to first switch to the html view,  select just the text----don't select any tags--and then switch back to the main edit view and apply the style.
  • In Quick Generate (similar to the old Batch Processing), I have a long list of presets (SSLs) and the items I want to generate are at the end so they're not visible, but there's no scrollbar, so it's impossible to generate the items I want from Quick Generate. I'm using a large 1920 x 1080 resolution monitor.
  • I cannot cancel an output. I click the blue x button, but nothing happens. Again this is with two of my converted projects where they spin away forever. The sample projects sound like they cancel fine.

 

Issues to Fix After Upgrading a RH 2017 Project to 2019

  • Not all images are brought over during conversion. For example, background images referenced inside a CSS file and on the disk (but not technically in a RH 2017 project) do not come over.
  • Attempting to upgrading classic (2017) RH 2017 projects, the conversion succeeds but with this CSS issue: "Warning: Failed patching and copying CSS Dependencies from …" then it lists the pathway to the Common_Web.css file. I ran our CSS file through a style sheet validator, and it shows 128 errors. Yet it worked fine in RH 2017. Oddly enough, pasting back in the CSS style sheet a little at a time, reopening after pasting in every quarter of the .CSS or so, and it works now.
  • After upgrading a project and viewing the project upgrade log file, you cannot do Ctrl + F within it to easily find issues. You have to copy and paste the results into Np++ and search there. A simple control to cycle through issues would be helpful. Maybe, the find and replace enhancement in the next update will fix this.
  • After upgrading a project, none of our JavaScript content work in the preview window. in header and footer are broken. These come from standard.htt for the header and a footer .hts file referenced inside the standard.htt footer's section.
  • After conversion, some nested lists come across messed up, while they looked and functioned fine in RH 2017. I'm not sure how many of these there are. These will now need to be manually fixed if we can't find a way in NP++ to do it.
  • CSS references that use background images are missing their images after the conversion. Technically, they were not part of RH 2017 because they weren't within a topic, but they are in the project because they are referenced by the CSS. The workaround isn't too bad. We have to modify the URL on the style to get into the right folder. Then we need to manually copy the .png files for the notes styles from RH 2017 folder into the new assets/images folder.
  • We have .hts files we use for footer code. Images that we show dynamically through JavaScript code inside of those .hts files have incorrect references now with the new structure and so are missing from the output.
  • Our large Core help project (~2400 topics) won't finish generating after conversion. The TOC gets generated but not any topics.
  • Merged help system is messed up after conversion. Filtering doesn't work. TOC items remain, plus order of items on filtering tab is again messed up. The workaround of using dummy.htm with tags doesn't make it work.

 

Items I Couldn't Research

I wanted to research these with my converted files but wasn't ever able to due to bugs:

 

What does our printable output look like in the pdf? Can we get by without post processing in word?

  • I can't test it because I can't get any PDF to build.

 

How does a merged HTML5 help system compare with RH 2017's? Is the Speed of search results in merged HTML5 help improved? Speed of opening a large merged HTML5 help output?

  • Again, I can't test these because I had two helps that wouldn't ever build, and one was our largest (Core) help. There was no indication as to why not. The log files never appear to track down what's causing the failure.

 

Questions and Concerns

  • Will support for .doc output be added back in? We need this. (Note that Peter Grainge emailed me and said this should be in an update any day now, and that it'll generate .docx only and it'll do it without having word installed. That's welcome news. Why the new RH was sent out half baked without it and other things is another question.)
  • Will you add support for Ctrl + W and the main editor to show JavaScript? We need this.
  • I know with batch generation, you can generate multiple outputs (presets) from one project, but is there a way to generate multiple outputs from multiple projects with a single click? We have ~20 projects that we need to generate regularly. Is there a better way to handle this than through the buggy RHCL. If RHCL worked perfectly in 2019, that alone would probably prompt me to upgrade to at least RH 2019 Classic, because we need a working RHCL generation.
  • Is there a way to share glossaries among different projects? It doesn't look like it. Each project has its own glossaries folder. Maybe we could do some kind of symbolic link… that would probably work. I'm told that in a merged project only one project needs a gossary.
  • Is there a way to share custom words added to custom dictionaries from spell checker among other projects / users? Probably not, but I can't find where the data is stored in the new RH to verify.

 

Should You Upgrade? Final Observations

The re-imagined RH 2019 may be a good fit if you're creating new projects or if your legacy projects are not heavily modified with .CSS and JavaScript implementations like my projects are. I did expect that things would convert cleanly, that if something worked just fine in RH 2017, it'd surely work in 2019, despite the number and types of modifications made. I suppose I naively expected too much.

 

Anyway, for us, to upgrade to the new "Re-Imagined" RoboHelp 2019 would require me to manually adjust or fix a multitude of things that currently work just fine in RH 2017. The gains at the moment do not outweigh the amount work I'd have to do just to get my outputs behaving like they already do in RH 2017.

 

Your experience may not not be the same as mine, but I suspect that other Help projects that have been around a while or that are heavy on customizations (custom style sheets, custom java scripts, custom output destinations, and so on) may not convert cleanly and you'll be left with a lot of manual fixing to do. Get the trial and test it out. I'd be interested if that has been your experience and what Adobe's response has been.

 

Something else to keep in mind is that all indications point to the fact that the "Re-Imagined" RH (non-classic) is what will get Adobe's attention, time, money, and development energy going forward. The classic mode will likely "die the vine" so to speak, and I doubt it'll be enhanced in coming years. I'm not sure where that leaves those of us who have been long-standing RH customers but who can't afford the overhead needed to manually fix up all the issues of upgrading to the new RH.

 

Hope something here helps someone else. Good luck with your own endeavors with RH 2019!

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Explorer ,
Sep 16, 2019 Sep 16, 2019

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Thanks Jared. 

What you said here really sums it up for me. 

The gains at the moment do not outweigh the amount work I'd have to do just to get my outputs behaving like they already do in RH 2017.

The product feels rushed. Not having the export to Word, for example. Converting projects isn't work the hassle. So much stuff needsd to be fixed. 

For now, I'm going back to the old version of RH. 

Finally, having two names for the same product reflects this confused delivery. 

Ivan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Explorer ,
Sep 17, 2019 Sep 17, 2019

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Thanks for taking the time to write up this detailed review, Jared. We're also debating about converting our projects to the "re-imagined" rh2019. Many of our projects are large legacy projects that have been through many RH releases. One of the pros of the new release is the Collaboration feature, which works great, but it seems that usabilitywise, this release has taken a few steps back - for many of the reasons you've mentioned. I can't use CTRL+W to preview a selected topic. Now I have to open the topic in the editor for that shortcut to work. Also, it seems I can't use CTRL+P to print a topic in the editor or in preview mode. Since, I can't view the editor and the TOC windows side-by-side anymore, I can't create links by dragging & dropping a page in the TOC onto selected text. Also, several files I guess Adobe considered uncessesary to the project were deleted during the conversion process. For example, the Word templates we use for generating Word documents.

 

I am concerned about the conversion process moving our CSS file into the Assets folder, I need to see how that impacts the generated topics. I could go on. But I won't.

 

I will check out some of the other issues (i.e., cons) you pointed out. They'll give us more food for thought as we make a decision on converting the rest of our projects. By the way, I just installed the 2019.0.9 patch and we have the output option to generate Word docs.

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Enthusiast ,
Sep 18, 2019 Sep 18, 2019

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I'm glad they put Word back in and searching across the project. Finally...
I was told Word still had some issues that some things didn't generate right so hopefully it turns out well for you.

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 19, 2019 Sep 19, 2019

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Hi Jared,

 

Thanks for looking at RoboHelp 2019 and sharing your detailed review. Let me respond to the same from Adobe's side.

 

Classic project migration:

From the beginning this has been one of our top priority focus area. We know that if existing projects don't migrate well people will be very reluctant to upgrade. Tricky part is, which you have also covered, over the years projects have evolved in their own unique ways and it is challenging to take care of all the scenarios in an exhausting way. For this we need support from the users to share their issues with us. We have worked with every user who have reached out to us and helped with the project upgrade.

 

Many things in 2019 work differently, we are strictly adhering to the HTML5 and CSS3 standards and that makes some things incompatible during upgrade especially styling. Classic has many non-css way for styling, e.g. space characters for padding. This creates conflict and may require users to manually fix some parts of it. Output are all based on HTML5 now so classic WebHelp won't work as it is. These are some of the areas which may require extra work after the migration but our attempt has been to minimize the extra effort as much as possible.

 

Update 9:

It went live on Sep 11 and has two major gaps covered which you have also pointed out, Word output and Find/Replace across project. Apart from these there are a bunch of enhancements and fixes.

https://helpx.adobe.com/robohelp/kb/fixed-issues.html

 

Clarifications:

  • By default images and other resource files go to assets folder but you can have your own folder management and everything will work fine. Background image referenced from CSS not working was a bug (fixed in update 9) and not because of the folder hierarchy.
  • By default if you click any link in the editor then it shows in the Properties panel, you can easily modify the link from there, double click also works.
  • RoboHelp 2019 has a different way to run from the command line. Classic had a separate application, RHCL, for command line which had the challenge to keep up with the main application. In 2019 you can easily create a .bat file and run for multiple projects. You can also create a Script file ( in javascript language) and achieve the same.
  • For applying the paragraph style in 2019 you don't have to select the text, if you just put your cursor in the paragraph and you would be able to change the style. On selecting the text it will assume that you want to apply the style on selected text.
  • Background image not coming during project upgrade was a bug fixed in update 9
  • Instead of Remove Attribute, for every applicable place Remove option is provided in the right click context menu.
  • Printing a single chapter should be possible. PDF generates only the topics which are present in the TOC and their references, if you don't want to print the references then you can switch off from the preset.
  • Locate in topic expands the folder and highlights too in the Contents panel. It could be some intermittent issue on your machine.
  • Switching to source view for applying any style should not be needed. It will be good if we can do screen share to look these issues.
  • CSS editor is not fault tolerant so any parsing error stops the editor from further parsing. This may lead to issues during upgrade.
  • Custom words added to the dictionary are shared across projects

 

Feedback taken for the following, we will try to take care of ASAP:

  • Sharing glossary among projects
  • Right click option to edit the link
  • Ctrl + Click on a link should open the topic
  • Option to open Preview in locally installed browsers. Then you can use the browser's view source option. It will help in testing the JavaScript as well.
  • Ability to provide Screen tip while creating link
  • Grammar errors in the text
  • Scroll bar in quick generate panel
  • Option to set primary output
  • Make generation message sticky and more actionable
  • Visual reference that a progress is being made on output generation
  • Provide options for CBT styling
  • Project generation hung but progress bar is still on
  • Find in the log file
  • Nothing happens on cancel generation

 

Need cooperation on the following because they are project/scenario specific

  • To figure out why PDF generation is failing.
  • Do let us know the project upgrade issues with some sample project if main project can't be shared

 

2019 release provides us modern platform to innovate and respond to user's need faster. Without getting into the debate of timing of 2019 release, I will suggest let's look forward. From Adobe's side we are fully committed to take our users along and provide a happy experience. You will continue to see the evolution at a rapid pace and we look forward to your support in that journey.

 

Thanks,

Vivek

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Explorer ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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A lot of the small things I can live with but the problems with PDF and Word exports is a serious concern. Also, the UI layout is a step backwards. The fact that you can't have Contents and TOC open side by side makes things difficult. The classic UI is more efficient. If Frameless was available in the Classic version, I'd use that instead.

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Engaged ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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You can have TOC and Contents open side by side. Select TOC tab to the right, open the desired TOC via double click, then select Contents to the right. The TOC is now displayed in the main window, your Contents tab to the right.

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Explorer ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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Doesn't work. When I click one option, it turns off the other. eg if I open TOC, it displays to the right. But when I select Contents, the TOC disappears. 😞

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Engaged ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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There are four sections: 1. Thing you want to see (TOC, Contents ...) 2. The thing you selected in 1. 3. The main window. 4. Properties etc. So, select TOC in 1. --> The list of all your TOCs is displayed in 2. Select desired TOC in 2 and double click. --> TOC opens in 3. Now Select contents in 1 --> Contents open in 2. 

I am using update 9, but it also worked before.

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Explorer ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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That's right.

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Explorer ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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I must say this pretty much echoes my experience when testing the upgrade. I'd consider trying 2019 in the event I get a new job or have to start a brand new project. But the aggro involved in problem solving,fixing and testing every single topic, graphic and feature until the 2019 help works like it did straight out of the box with 2017, is just too much to take on.

 

Im sure 2019 offers a lot of benefits to a new user compared to the old version, when starting from scratch. And I look forward to using it in future.    

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 24, 2019 Sep 24, 2019

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Jared makes some valid points that Adobe have responded to. It's important to keep in mind that some of his projects are complex and Adobe have offered to assist. I have referrred issues seen here to them and they have worked on them.

There are some feature issues that can make an upgrade difficult but I don't think I have seen anyone have to "fix every single topic, graphic and feature."

 

Please use the Blue reply button at the top to help me help you. The black Reply link nests replies and they sort out of order.

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Explorer ,
Sep 24, 2019 Sep 24, 2019

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My experience has been similar to johnvarvatsis. I've had to do a huge amount of fixing to get things to work.

Adobe has offered to help but couldn't fix the issues, esp CSS.

I've used Adobe products for 20+ years but this feels like it has not been tested properly at all. It feels rushed. 

Re: I don't think I have seen anyone have to "fix every single topic, graphic and feature." I had to go thru each page and fix html issues. The import is very brittle.

Hopefully the next release - please give it a proper name! - will be more robust... otherwise we'll have to seriously consider Madcap.

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Explorer ,
Sep 25, 2019 Sep 25, 2019

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Sorry Peter, I was probably being a bit melodramatic there. I should have said "review and possibly tweak" every topic graphic and feature. " I'm a happy 2017 user who won't move to 2019 until I can make a fresh start with a new project.

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 29, 2020 Dec 29, 2020

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Hi, I'm way late to this party, but I just upgraded from RH 2015 to RH 2020 and it hasn't worked for me.  I'm using legacy code developed 8 years ago with customized css and js and bullets etc. that did not convert properly.  The work to fix all the issues is not worth going to the new version.  I have asked our software team to upgrade me to RH 2017 instead.  I found the new user interface difficult to use. I miss my top toolbar and all the options it offered.  I would not recommend RH 2019/2020 unless you are starting a new project from scratch.

Thanks for this review, it saved my day!!

Lori

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 29, 2020 Dec 29, 2020

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Sorry but I have to disagree. Much has changed since the review was written and I know the author's project is complex.

 

Whilst some users have had issues they have mostly been ones that either Support or these forums have been able to resolve. 

 

Yes the new UI seems difficult to use at first as there is quite a learning curve. On the positive side I think most of those who have persevered have soon found it easier to find things. I know I now hate having to go back to Classic versions when trying to help people here. It is then that you realise the layout is actually easier to use, even though that doesn't appear to be the case at first.

 

The new versions use strict HTML5 and CSS3 so that anything you want to do that is not part of RoboHelp can be done if you have a good knowledge of both.

 

If you don't have RoboHelp 2017 already I think you will find you will have to install 2019 which you can do as part of your subscription. That came in both Classic and new UI versions. 2020 is the first to not include Classic as it is no longer going to be updated.

 

If you want to post your specific issues in new threads I am sure the supporters here will do their best to help. Have you looked at the supplied About RoboHelp sample project as that explains most of the features in 2020. You should see the samples on the Starter Screen but if not then click Open Project on the Starter Screen to open File Explorer. Browse to Documents and then My RoboHelp Projects.

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

Please use the Blue reply button at the top to help me help you. The black Reply link nests replies and they sort out of order.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 30, 2020 Dec 30, 2020

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Hi Peter, I'm not very technical so being able to work the HTML5 and CSS3 is not a given.  With six Help systems to maintain I'm going to try and stay with Classic for now.  Thanks for letting me know about 2017.  If it's not available I will try the 2019 Classic and go from there.  I think the main issue is I'm feeling overwhelmed with being one resource with mutliple Help systems to upgrade manually and not having the time to do so.  Baby steps are what I need for now.  🙂  If things change I would welcome your assistance on the 2020 challenges.  Thanks again for all your advice it is well appreciated.  Lori

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 30, 2020 Dec 30, 2020

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Here's what I suggest you do.

 

  1. Carry on working in Classic for your production work.
  2. Pick one typical project and upgrade that to 2020. Your Classic version will remain untouched so you can continue production work in it.
  3. Every so often as time permits, when you do something in the Classic version, do the same in the 2020 project to get to learn how to do things. Don't attempt to keep them in sync, the new UI version is just a playground.
  4. When you are finally ready to upgrade, do a fresh copy of the Classic version.

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

Please use the Blue reply button at the top to help me help you. The black Reply link nests replies and they sort out of order.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 30, 2020 Dec 30, 2020

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Peter this is a wonderful suggestion and what I need right now...baby steps.  🙂  Thank you!

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 04, 2021 Jan 04, 2021

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Hi WiscoLori,

 

Peter's suggestion as a possible way forward seems to be a good approach. Let us all know how you get on with your conversion. We're still on RH 2017 here, unable to find the time to convert any of our projects to a new RH version at the moment.

 

Another problem for us is that RH 2017 has an insanely slow search for large merged help HTML5 projects that are online. I was told RH 2020 uses new algorithms that fix that. So on one hand, I want to upgrade to get that fix, but on the other hand I don't want go through the hassle of doing a bunch of manual fixes.

 

I am interested in whether 2020 fixed some of the issues I posted in my original review of 2019, so I may end up doing a 2020 review at some point.

 

Happy New Year everyone!

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 04, 2021 Jan 04, 2021

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Hi Jared,

Like Peter suggested, I'm hoping that by 'playing' with a copy of one of my Help systems in RH 2020 I can figure out how to address the things that did not convert well.  It might still mean lots of manual fixes.  I'm currently researching the bulleted lists that did not come over correctly.  Like you, I do not have a lot of time to make hundreds of fixes throughout my Help systems.  Thank you for your thorough and honest review.  For now I'm staying with RH 2015 as my production environment.  I will report back.  🙂 

Happy New Year!  Lori

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 11, 2021 Mar 11, 2021

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Hi, I wanted to report back on how my RH 2015 to RH 2020 is going.  I did as Peter suggested and used a copy of one of my Help systems as my test project.  It did help me to start learning the interface and made me feel more comfortable with it.  Most of my reluctance though was based on having to fix all the things that did not convert properly - mainly bulleted lists.  Once I figured out how to correct them, I ended up using my test project as my real conversion.  I had to adjust each and every bulleted list manually.  I've been working on it for over two months, in between my regular work.  I still am not real quick with the interface, and often have to look in the user guide or search online on how to do something.  But I'm feeling much better about it now than I did in December.  I still have some questions about things..for example I don't understand how RH converted my skin.  I will be posting a question about that on the Forum to see if anyone can help with that.  So...I'm almost done with converting one Help project.  Five more to go!  Luckily my projects are pretty straight-forward - non-merged projects consisting mainly of text, lists, tables, and images.  I hope to be done by end of year!

Lori

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