RH2011 - Is there a way to branch for multiple versions?

New Here ,
Aug 25, 2015 Aug 25, 2015

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Hi,

I have this enourmous user guide that is now going to get bigger. It will have several versions; all versions will have common topics and all versions will have topics unique to specific users. Now, instead of creating another project and having to manage multiple users guides, is there a way I can create several users guides in one?

  • I would like to be able to edit a topic in one version and have it automatically update the topic in another version.
  • If RH does not have this capability, what is the easiest way to go about this? I've just been told I may have several different versions of this user guide by next year, some in different languages.

I haven't updated to 2015 yet as I have a pressing deadline coming up and I don't want to deal with any bugs right now until I research what 2015 has to offer.

I start the new version of this project next week, so any quick advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Pam

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LEGEND ,
Aug 25, 2015 Aug 25, 2015

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Hi Pam

When you say "several versions", do you mean that you will be creating different outputs that perhaps ship with each version? If so, you need to investigate using Conditional Build Tags. Using Conditional Tagging, you tag content and later produce an output that only contains the content you want and leaves the rest out.

If all versions will be using the same help system, you might instead opt for Merged help. With Merged Help, you create a master project and it has a Merged Projects folder where you insert outputs from other individual projects.

Cheers... Rick

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New Here ,
Aug 25, 2015 Aug 25, 2015

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Thanks Rick,

Let me explain further. The user guide is for an app that creates reports based on data analysis. Company A has access to 12 reports. Company B has access to 5 of those reports plus 2 reports that Company A does not have access to. You still with me? So some topics are shared and some are not.

When these users log on to the app, they will see the user guide that pertains to their role / company only. Hence I am creating user guides for each company. These are all online (HTML5), no printed versions get shipped. So I need to create user guides for the same app, but specific users see a different user guide.

At this point in time I have a big release next Monday. Then at the end of Sept, I am supposed to have both user guide versions completed for another release. Not enough time if you ask me.

As I have only been working with RH since last year, I am still somewhat of a novice. I don't know how to do conditional tagging or merged help. I would need to sit and learn this, which is no problem except for time constraints.

What's your best suggestion here? Maybe take a vacation?

Thanks again!

Pam

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 26, 2015 Aug 26, 2015

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I think both of Rick's suggestions would work just fine for you but my preference would be merged help. There is a free full tutorial on my site that both explains when to use merged help and how to set it up.

Doing so for next Monday might be a bit ambitious though.


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

@petergrainge

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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New Here ,
Sep 15, 2015 Sep 15, 2015

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Rick & Peter,

I ended up creating two separate user guides out of the same content, however the second user guide (I'll call it UG2) will not include all content from the first user guide (UG1). So, per Rick's suggestion, I tried to use Conditional Build Tags in UG2. I followed all the instructions that RH11 has to offer as well as other online sources, but I cannot get the CBTs to work. Perhaps I am missing a pertinent instruction somewhere. Can you guys help me with this?

First I created a tag called Removed_from_UG. Then thinking that maybe RH didn't like my underscores, I created a tag called REMOVED. Neither works when I tag anything.

I tried adding tags to:

  • topics in the TOC pod
  • topics in the Project Manager
  • actual content within a topic in the Design Editor

I can see all the diagonal lines on topics I don't want to display in UG2, but when I generate the HTML5 layout and view it (on my local drive), the content is still visible.

Here are some examples of tags applied that don't work:

This is tagged in the content:

ScreenHunter_7715 Sep. 16 11.01.jpg

This is tagged in the Project Manager:

ScreenHunter_7716 Sep. 16 11.04.jpg

This is tagged in the TOC:

ScreenHunter_7717 Sep. 16 11.06.jpg

Thanks,

Pam

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LEGEND ,
Sep 15, 2015 Sep 15, 2015

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Hi Pam

I believe you are halfway there.

What do I mean? Well, there are two steps to using Conditional Build Tags. You define the tags and apply them to content. That's the first step and it appears you have done this. So this is why I say you are halfway there.

The second step is to create something called a "Conditional Build Expression". This is the part that tells RoboHelp to actually exclude the content. My guess is that you haven't yet done this.

To implement the Conditional Build Expression, you adjust the Single Source Layout recipe. So right-click the Multiscreen HTML 5 recipe in the Single Source Layouts pod and choose Properties.

tmp1.png

Then expand the Screen Profiles section and click the profile you are interested in. Once you have done this, click the Define... button.

trmp2.png

The Define Conditional Build Tag Expression dialog should be presented. In the Available Tags area, click the tag you wish to exclude, then click the button to move that tag to the Exclude from output area. Then click OK to dismiss the dialog.

tmp3.png

Once you have done this you should be able to generate and see the results.

Oh, and if you are excluding all the topics inside the Custom Buyer Groups folder, there should be no need to apply the tags to the TOC as well. Any topic that is excluded will be automatically removed from the TOC during the generation process. And if all the topics inside a book are removed, the book will be removed too,

Cheers... Rick

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New Here ,
Sep 15, 2015 Sep 15, 2015

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Oh...I was looking for the CBE and couldn't find it. I'm generating Responsive HTML5, and I see where this is located now. Thanks a bunch. I'll go back and try again.

Cheers,

Pam

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New Here ,
Sep 17, 2015 Sep 17, 2015

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Sorry Rick - one more question. Is there an easy way to organise, or keep track of, what should and should not be tagged in a large project? I've been adding content to this user guide for almost 2 years now.

Some topics are common for both user guides and some topics are only available in one of the user guides. I thought you might know of some way to make sure I didn't publish content in the wrong version.

Also, I've just now been informed that there may be 2 or 3 more versions of this user guide - it could end up getting very hairy with 5 versions.

Thanks again,

Pam

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LEGEND ,
Sep 18, 2015 Sep 18, 2015

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Hello again, Pam

I'm not sure I've ever seen any sort of method put forth for managing things like this. Mostly, I believe it's simply up to the author and the way they wish to manage it. For example, Author A may wish to create and maintain an Excel spreadsheet and list all the different topics associated with any build. Author B may choose to tackle it using an entirely different approach, Perhaps by simply using some folder management in the RoboHelp application itself.

Admittedly, I would fall into the Author B category myself. If I were attempting to keep it all in a single project, I would likely create folders for each main version or category or whatever. Then ensure I copy the correct content to each folder. I would also likely create sub-folders within each folder. Again, ensuring that each sub-folder contained only topics that were relevant to the version or category.

I would also have a sibling folder (as well as sibling sub-folders) to maintain the content that would be part of any of the outputs.

I feel a bit like a political candidate in being rather evasive here. I'm not really trying to evade the question, but there are so many variables that it's difficult to say exactly what I might do without knowing more.

Hopefully what I've offered will provide some framework to ponder.

Cheers... Rick

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