WebHelp and Field-Level Help

New Here ,
Dec 01, 2010 Dec 01, 2010

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Years back I maintained a Microsoft HTML Help project and a What's This Help Composer project for a desktop application. In 2005, I converted my Microsoft HTML Help project to a WebHelp project and it went up on the Web. To save on translation costs, the What's This Help project was removed from the application.

Now, customers have indicated that they want the old field-level What's This Help back again?  My questions are:

1.  Using RoboHelp 7, I am under the assumption that I cannot integrate a What's This Help project into my WebHelp project (correct me if I am wrong), but can I create a standalone What's This Help project?

2.  Can I publish a standalone What's This Help project to the Web like I did with my WebHelp project? Or, must the What's This Help project be installed on each PC locally?

3.  If the What's This Help is not a viable option, what are my other field-level help choices?  Right now, I have help topics in my WebHelp project mapped to the Help buttons in windows.  Could I map help topics in my WebHelp project to field names?

All help would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

LoneWriter9

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Adobe Community Professional , Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010
.HLP and .CHM files are for local installation, not for use from a server.What's This help is not a webhelp option.It sounds like you are going to end up with two systems. Local for field help and web for the rest. Seems very disjointed.See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips @petergrainge

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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Try a different approach. What you are after is Context Sensitve Help at field level. If you have a topic for every field then your developers can call that and it can be done so that the help opens with the tripane window showing the required field level help.

Keep this in mind though. We are moving away from it for two prime reasons.

  1. Our help had grown to over 12,000 topics to accomodate that so it was a pain to maintain.
  2. The users who saw what we proposed preferred it.

What we are doing is moving to screen level CSH. When the user gets the help they get the page(s) for that screen and they include tables listing and describing all the fields. They scan down the list for the field they require and then see the description alongside. What they find better is they read about that field but also see it the help for other fields on the same screen that they might not have looked up before.

So it suited us and the users preferred it. I would do some hard talking with the users before making the change as you are upping the maintenance.


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

@petergrainge

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New Here ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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Thanks Peter for your advice. I totally understand why a separate help topic for each field would significantly increase the number of help topics in a project. Since I already have context-sensitive help topics mapped to the Help button in most windows of our application, your suggestion would be the easiest to do. Because of the ease of maintenance of this option, I will highly recommend it to my management.

But I need to present all options to my management. With that in mind:

1.  Could I still do the old fashioned pop-up windows using the What's This Help Composer and make it a standalone project (since the main help for my application is WebHelp)?

2.  If I can, could the .hlp be placed on the Web, or would it need to be stored locally?

Thanks for your help.

LoneWriter9

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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.HLP and .CHM files are for local installation, not for use from a server.

What's This help is not a webhelp option.

It sounds like you are going to end up with two systems. Local for field help and web for the rest. Seems very disjointed.


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 ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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Thanks again Peter.  You gave me the information that I need to present to management.  Since we do not have alot of extra disc space on our installation cd and you said What's This help must be local (not Web) based, I think that management will say no to What's This help just for that reason.  I am going to highly recommend your solution and take advantage of the Help buttons in our application that are already mapped to Window Overview type help topics...then all I will need to do is add the field-level help to each window-level help topic (as you recommended).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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You are saying your application is installed on the user's PC? Is that correct and they then access webhelp? If so where is that webhelp. I'm not sure all the ducks are in a row yet.


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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LEGEND ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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Hi there

Just popping in to suggest another alternative. What you can do is insert bookmarks at each field in the page level help, then link the fields to the bookmarks.

Cheers... Rick

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New Here ,
Aug 05, 2015 Aug 05, 2015

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Dear Rick ,,

Can you please explain the bookmarks option for the Whats this help in Robohelp?

Regards

fahad

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