I'm using RoboHelp 2015 (I have an upgrade to RH 2019) and I publish Responsive HTML5 output.
I have 4 RoboHelp projects: Platform X, Product A, Product B, and Product C.
The content for Platform X is one book: Getting Started with Platform X.
I would like to generate 3 help outputs: 1) Platform X and Product A; 2) Plaform X and Product B; 3) Platform X and Product C.
1) Is there an easy way to pull in the content from the Platform X project to all of the Product projects and publish?
2) Can I easily include links from Product topics to Platform X topics? (because the topics will be available eventually, but maybe not when I develop content.)
As a manual process, when I'm ready to release a help for a product (for example Product A), I can create the Platform X book and blank topic files. Using Explorer, I can copy the topics with content (and approriate images) from the Platform X file folder to the Product A file folder to make them available in the Product A project and generate the help output. I'm looking for an easier process that is more automated and less error prone. There's got to be an easier way to share content from multiple projects to single output.I haven't found anything by searching the help or clicking around the RH menus.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Sounds like merged projects is what you'd be using - see Peter Grainge's site (grainge.org) for info on merged help.
I think there might be an easier solution in this case. I think the scenario is you have some topics common to all outputs and others specific to certain outputs. For users of a given output, you do not want them to see the content of the other outputs.
Here with 2015 you would use tags to identify topics related to a specific output. Then you would use an expression so the output contains untagged topics and only the required topics for that output. You could duplicate each output (SSL) and just change the path and the expression.
With 2019 you would create a TOC for each output. Here the output is determined by what is in the TOC used. The preset as the SSLs are now known would again be duplicated to vary the path and the TOC used.
If it is OK for different users to see all the content then you could follow Jeff's suggestion and use merged help with filtering. However, from what I understand of your requirement, it seems like extra work breaking up your existing project into a parent child setup.
Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. Your summary is correct - one book is shared and all other content depends on the specific product. So given that, it sounds like you are suggesting one RoboHelp project as solution. Thinking this through, when I generate the HTML5 output for a product - would I need to change the output properties to read "Product A Help" and update the header logo file with the appropriate product logo, right?
Right now, I manage the 4 projects. Next year, I expect the development teams to continue developing new products that run on the one platform and there will be multiple authors for the new product help. Given that plan - do you have other suggestions where we can keep the product specific projects independent? (I'm not using RH source control to manage projects - but we are using version control to manage all documentation content in a repository.) Or if we follow the one project approach, I'll need to research how to manage the content for multiple authors.
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Would I need to change the output properties to read "Product A Help" and update the header logo file with the appropriate product logo?
Not if you create duplicates and customise each one to suit the output, as I suggested.
Given that plan - do you have other suggestions where we can keep the product specific projects independent? (I'm not using RH source control to manage projects - but we are using version control to manage all documentation content in a repository.) Or if we follow the one project approach, I'll need to research how to manage the content for multiple authors.
You don't have to use RoboHelp's own source control, the requirement is to use a source control system. It you don't want to, you could create copies and insist each author touches only certain stuff. It's not good and everyone has to be very disciplined. TOC, index, snippets and many other things must be controlled by one person. In other words it can be done but expect issues.
In 2019 the theory is multiple authors can access the same project without source control. You would put the project in a shared location. However, again it will not be problem free but there's little real world experience of that to draw on.
Source control is the safest with multiple authors.