Getting started

Adobe RoboHelp software is designed for developing Help systems, e-learning content, policies and procedures, and knowledgebases. Its enhanced editing and layout capabilities enable you to create professional looking content. With the new Multiscreen HTML5 and eBook layouts (SSLs), you can now take your content authored in RoboHelp, FrameMaker, or Microsoft® Word to mobile devices, eBook readers, and tablets. You can create custom fluid layouts to ensure that users can view the output on a wide range of devices.

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Multidevice output generated using RoboHelp

With the Multiscreen HTML5 layout, you can even generate desktop output from legacy projects in screen layouts that are different from the traditional WebHelp layout. For example, you can place the TOC on the right or design a page for displaying search results. In the multiscreen paradigm, desktop is another screen with a specific width and height.

Worldwide, Adobe RoboHelp is a leader of online Help authoring tools through innovation. New features create a more productive experience for technical communicators and their audiences.

For latest information about Adobe RoboHelp, visit www.adobe.com/go/learn_robohelp_product_en

Before you begin working with your software, take a few moments to read about the basic workflow and the many resources available to you. You have access to instructional videos, plug-ins, templates, user communities, seminars, tutorials, RSS feeds, and much more.

Basic workflow

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Indicative infographic: RoboHelp input and output formats

1. Create a project.

Every Help system has at least one project. The basic element of the project is the topic. See Projects.

2. Author the content.

Create topics. You can add multimedia now, or later when you customize the output. Work with the application developer to start planning which topics to also use for context-sensitive Help. Context-sensitive topics appear when the user clicks a Help button in the user interface or presses F1. See Working with topics.

3. Import files.

You can import HTML files, Microsoft Word files (.doc, .docx, .docm, .rtf), FrameMaker books and documents (.book, .bk, .fm, .frm, .mif), XML files (.xml), and Adobe PDF files (.pdf). See Projects.

4. Develop the navigation.

Based on the hierarchy, or organization scheme, of the content, create links among topics and to external content if necessary. You can also link text or images to other content. Create a table of contents that reflects the content hierarchy, and include an index that users can browse. You can also create browse sequences, paths a user can follow through Help topics. For example, if a user must read several related topics to understand a feature completely, you can link them in a browse sequence. See TOCs, indexes, glossaries and Linking, navigation, and search.

5. Customize the output.

You can apply layouts (which determine behavior and appearance) and formatting. You can also use conditional text to show or hide content, depending on user interest, application being used, skill level, and other factors. Add multimedia to make your Help more compelling and richer. See Conditional text and Generate, view, and publish output.

6. Generate, test, and distribute the Help package.

Generate the output so you can view the Help and check links, formatting, and so on. Test every output you intend to distribute, including printed documentation. See Generating output.

Activation and registration

To review complete system requirements and recommendations for your Adobe® RoboHelp® software, see www.adobe.com/support/robohelp.

If your computer is not connected to the Internet, you can check the ReadMe file on the installation disc.

Install the software

  1. Close any other Adobe applications open on your computer.

  2. Insert the installation disc into your hard drive, and follow the onscreen instructions.

Note: If the computer on which you are installing RoboHelp does not have the latest version of PDF Add On, you can install the latest version while installing RoboHelp. You can also install the ExtendScript toolkit. RoboHelp uses this toolkit to provide scripting capabilities. For more information about ExtendScript, see About ExtendScript Toolkit support.

For more information, see the ReadMe file on the installation disc.

Help with installation

For Help with installation issues, see the Up and running section on the RoboHelp hub page.

License activation

During the installation process, your Adobe software contacts an Adobe server to complete the license activation process. No personal data is transmitted. For more information on product activation, visit the Adobe website at www.adobe.com/go/activation.

Register

Register your product to receive complimentary installation support, notifications of updates, and other services.

Note: Register only once for RoboHelp.

 To register, follow the onscreen instructions in the Registration dialog box, which appears after you install the software.

If you postpone registration, you can register at any time by choosing Help > Registration.

Adobe Product Improvement Program

After you have used your Adobe software a certain number of times, a dialog box appears, asking whether you want to participate in Adobe Product Improvement Program.

If you choose to participate, data about your use of Adobe software is sent to Adobe. No personal information is recorded or sent. The Adobe Product Improvement Program only collects information about the features and tools that you use in the software and how often you use them.

You can opt in to or opt out of the program at any time:

  • To participate, choose Help > Adobe Product Improvement Program and click Yes, Participate.

  • To stop participating, choose Help > Adobe Product Improvement Program and click No, Thank You.

Adobe provides more information about the Adobe Product Improvement Program in a frequently asked questions (FAQ) list on the Adobe website.

Help and support

Adobe Community Help

Adobe Community Help is an integrated environment on Adobe.com that gives you access to community-generated content moderated by Adobe and industry experts. Think of Community Help as collections of related items rather than books. Adobe continually curates and adds to these collections.

Bookmark the RoboHelp Help hub page to find the best content on the web about RoboHelp, including these resources:
  • Videos, tutorials, tips and techniques, blogs, articles, and examples for designers and developers.

  • Complete online Help, which is updated regularly.

  • All other content on Adobe.com, including knowledgebase articles, downloads and updates, Adobe Developer Connection, and more.

Viewing online Help content

  • When you launch Help from within the product, your default web browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.) will launch with the product Help content displayed.

  • You can then use your browser’s native functionality to search, bookmark, comment, or rate the content.

Accessing Help content

  • When you are connected to the Internet and you select help in FrameMaker, your web browser opens a Help page on the Adobe website.

  • To view FrameMaker help when you are not connected to the Internet, download the Help PDF of FrameMaker on your computer.

For more information on the offline Help, see Offline Help.

Services, downloads, and extras

You can enhance your product by integrating various services, plug-ins, and extensions in your product. You can also download samples and other assets and see various resources to get your work done.

Adobe Exchange

Visit the Adobe Exchange at www.adobe.com/go/exchange to download samples as well as plug-ins and extensions from Adobe and third-party developers. The plug-ins and extensions can help you automate tasks, customize workflows, create specialized professional effects, and more.

Adobe downloads

Visit www.adobe.com/go/downloads to find free updates, trials, and other useful software.

Adobe Labs

Adobe Labs at www.adobe.com/go/labs gives you the opportunity to experience and evaluate new and emerging technologies and products from Adobe. At Adobe Labs, you have access to resources such as these:

  • Prerelease software and technologies

  • Code samples and best practices to accelerate your learning

  • Early versions of product and technical documentation

  • Forums, wiki‑based content, and other collaborative resources to help you interact with like-minded users

Adobe Labs fosters a collaborative software development process. In this environment, customers quickly become productive with new products and technologies. Adobe Labs is also a forum for early feedback. The Adobe development teams use this feedback to create software that meets the needs and expectations of the community.

Adobe forums

To reach out to experts in the Adobe RoboHelp community, visit www.adobe.com/go/learn_robohelp_forum_en. If you comment on a Help page, the comment is automatically posted on the forum. The experts and other users can respond to your comment.

Adobe TV

Visit Adobe TV at http://tv.adobe.com to view instructional and inspirational videos. The Technical Communications channel features videos relevant for technical communicators. The videos on the RoboHelp channel help you get started.

RoboHelp sample projects and output

Visit the RoboHelp resources page and download sample projects created with RoboHelp and other resources, such as workspaces and applications configured for implementing context-sensitive Help.

RoboHelp Developer Center

Visit RoboHelp Developer Center for articles written by internal and external RoboHelp users on various user-requested topics.

Previous RoboHelp Help

Download the documentation of older versions of RoboHelp from the RoboHelp Help hub page.

What’s new in RoboHelp 11

Authoring enhancements

Headers and Footers in printed documentation
You can now choose to add headers and footers in the printed output of a document. For details, see Add headers and footers to printed documents. To ensure the headers and footer display in the output, you need to add headers and footers to your master pages. For details, see Adding headers and footers for printed documentation.

You can also view a video at: Customize Headers & Footers for Print Output

Importing headers and footers from Word documents
You can also, now, import the headers and footers from a Microsoft Word document into a master page in your project. For details, see Import a Word document into a RoboHelp project

Collaboration features

Managing shared resources on the cloud
You can now share your project resources using the new RoboHelp cloud-sharing feature. With the integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, and SkyDrive, you can now work in a distributed environment with other users to shared your project resources on the cloud.

For more information, see Managing Shared resources.

You can also view a video at: Share Topics in Resource Manager

Publishing feature enhancements

Generate Responsive HTML5 output
RoboHelp 11 provides a new The Responsive HTML5 SSL, which lets you generate output for all sizes of devices of your choice. from the same source content. Using Responsive HTML5, you can create a single output that is optimized for all your screens. Responsive HTML5 automatically adjusts to the screen a user is accessing it from and also adjusts to dynamic screen size changes, such as a flip of orientation or resizing of the browser.

For more information, see Generate Responsive HTML5 output.

See the video, Responsive HTML5 Output

About RoboHelp Server

Adobe® RoboHelp® Server is a server-based Help solution that provides real-time end-user feedback on your Help and knowledgebases. RoboHelp Server gathers and logs data about what questions users ask while searching content and how users navigate through topics. Results are displayed in an easy-to-view graphical format for quick interpretation. Your Help system resides on a server (for example, Adobe Help Resource Center), and you can make instant updates to your Help system content.

RoboHelp Server contains the back-end processes, database functionality, and ODBC connections necessary to integrate it. RoboHelp Server works with the authoring tool, so authors can edit content, set master project options, maintain windows, and view reports.

RoboHelp Server interaction with different components
Note: With RoboHelp Server, you can install your database server on a separate machine or use any of the existing database servers.

Tracking and reporting

Adobe RoboHelp Server provides end users with the ability to find information when they have questions. Users can view content using any standard browser and operating system. Any number of users can access the published documents.
Note: You can define the maximum number of database connections for Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server database management systems through the maxload property in the robohelp_server.properties file.

RoboHelp Server tracks the following types of data:

  • Where users request assistance: Identifies the location where users make repeated requests for specific information.

  • How users search: Searches that users perform repeatedly. This data can be mined to move frequently searched information to a more prominent position in the content for easier access. You can also use this information to find information gaps and to improve heading titles for more intuitive navigation.

  • How users navigate online content: Tracks how users seek information in online content and how frequently they access particular information such as headings and articles. This information is available at a topic level.

  • RoboHelp Server tracks all the operating system and browser details. You can use this information to improve the content quality for browsers preferred by users.

Automatic project merging

Concurrently work on multiple projects and merge them into the project at run time.

While building an online information system, authors can develop and publish their content according to their own schedules. RoboHelp Server provides automatic project merging, so authors can work on different parts of a project at the same time, and publish them to the same server. When end users view the content, they see one seamless online information system. Do not worry about sharing source or depending on a single author or project—all the separate projects are merged when users access the content. Users can navigate across all the projects using the Index, Contents, and Search buttons.

By default, the projects are added to the Table of Contents in the order they are published to the server. You can customize this order in the Projects page of the Web Admin interface. When you merge projects, each project file in the authoring tool remains intact, but the keywords from the indexes and glossary terms are combined at run time, or when end users access the system from the server.

Support for languages other than English

The runtime interface (including Table of Contents, index, glossary, and search) can be automatically localized, and authors can publish projects written in various languages to the same server. You can change the display text on the user interface of the online system to another language, including text on the Contents, Index, and Search buttons.

In addition, end users can perform a full-text search of online content in their native language. This flexibility allows authors to develop content in languages other than English and take advantage of server-based online information systems.

Integration with SharePoint

RoboHelp versions 10 and above provide native integration with Microsfot SharePoint. This integration allows for an end-to-end workflow using SharePoint as the content repository. It also allows for the sharing RoboHelp assets across projects and users. You can then use the SharePoint workspace as a repository for your RoboHelp generated PDF reivews and finally publish the RoboHelp content to the SharePoint server.

Use SharePoint as content repository for RoboHelp content:
RoboHelp supports version control with Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and above natively. This means that you do not need to install any third-party plugins. Add your RoboHelp projects to SharePoint repository. You can then check-in and check-out files, and perform other version control operations from within RoboHelp. For details, see Version control with Microsoft SharePoint.

Publish Multiscreen and Responsive HTML5 content to SharePoint natively for both desktop and mobile access:
Publish RoboHelp content directly to a SharePoint site from within RoboHelp and in accordance with Microsoft security and compatibility recommendations. RoboHelp supports publishing the Multiscreen HTML5 and Responsive HTML5 output to SharePoint in its native format (ASPX), ensuring a problem-free display of output in SharePoint. When you view the published output, the topics appear in the SharePoint chrome as a single continuous HTML page. For details on publishing to SharePoint, see the details on the SharePoint tabs in the respective dialog documentation for:

Link SharePoint assets across RoboHelp projects and users:
You can link SharePoint assets (such as images, multimedia files, captivate videos, CSS files etc.) across multiple RoboHelp projects and authors. Live linking in RoboHelp Resource Manager is integrated with SharePoint. This implies that when an asset is modified by one author, the change is reflected in all the topics and in all the RoboHelp projects that use (link) that asset. For details on how to add a SharePoint location, see Add a shared location.

Host RoboHelp content on SharePoint workspace for PDF review:
Select the RoboHelp topics that you want to send for review. Host this PDF for review in the SharePoint workspace, and send the link to reviewers. Your reviewers can provide review comments using the free PDF reader, without having to install or learn any additional software products. You can then import all the comments from stored on the SharePoint workspace to the RoboHelp project in one click. For details, see PDF review.

SharePoint version matrix

The following matrix details the RoboHelp - SharePoint version support.

RoboHelp Version

Version control

Publish

Resource sharing

Review

11

SharePoint 2010 +

Native support: SharePoint 2010 +

Via SharePoint mapped drive: SharePoint 2007

SharePoint 2007, 2010 +

SharePoint 2007, 2010 +

Adobe Acrobat X +

10

SharePoint 2010

Native support: SharePoint 2010

Via SharePoint mapped drive: SharePoint 2007

SharePoint 2007, 2010

SharePoint 2007, 2010

Adobe Acrobat X +