Generating help in multiple locales using Adobe RoboHelp 10

Adobe RoboHelp software is an easy-to-use authoring and multichannel, multiscreen help publishing solution.

Using RoboHelp 10 -

  • You can deliver content to iPad and other tablets, smartphones, and desktops using output formats such as multiscreen HTML5.
  • Working in multi-author environments using next-generation collaboration and review features.
  • To personalize and optimize content for relevance and search.
  • Easy development of context-sensitive help with usability enhancements.

Adobe RoboHelp 10 supports output formats as shown in graphic below:

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The help author has to concentrate on the content and need not to worry about different output formats as it would be handled by RoboHelp itself. They have to simply select the output formats and generate with required options.

How to change default Language setting?

RoboHelp 10 is shipped in English, French, German and Japanese locales but the help can be generated in many more languages.

Help authors many a times face such scenarios when they have to generate the output in multiple locales.

When you create a new project the default Project language is same as that of installed RoboHelp.

This implies that the same language is used by RoboHelp to show any text/LNG Strings in the output apart from main authored content spelling checks, and dictionaries and in generating smart indexes. Besides help content there are a lot of default text elements in output runtime user interface of help systems like table of contents, index, glossary, search, no results found etc. This is a big list of such strings which can be there in any help system commonly called LNG strings.

But if you want a different language for these then use can select it from the Project settings dialogue. For example if you are using French RoboHelp and want Spanish language settings then you can go to “File > Project Settings” and select Spanish from the Language dropdown. Refer to image below:
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RoboHelp provides fine control over language setting and besides project users can define language for a particular topic or even for a particular paragraph.

To change language setting of a topic open “Topic Properties” dialog and change the language from dropdown in “General” tab.

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For changing the language for a particular paragraph open the “Paragraph” dialog and define new language from here.

Language defined at the paragraph level takes precedence over language defined at a topic level. Language set at the topic level takes precedence over language defined at a project level. Language defined at the project level can never take precedence over language defined at paragraph level. If multiple languages are defined at the project, topic, and paragraph level then the effective language as per the precedence is used for dictionary or thesaurus association and for spell checking.

Users can change this default language to following 36 languages:

Bulgarian(Bulgaria), Catalan(Spain),Croatian(Croatia), Czech (Czech Republic), Danish(Denmark), Dutch(Netherlands),English(UK), English(US), Estonian(Estonia), Finnish(Finland), French(Canada), French(France), German(Germany), German(Switzerland), Greek(Greece), Hungarian(Hungry), Italian(Italy), Japanese (Japan), Korean (Korea), Latvian(Latvia), Lithuanian (Lithuania), Norwegian Bokmal(Norway), Norwegian Nynorsk(Norway), Polish (Poland), Portuguese(Brazil), Portuguese(Portugal), Romanian(Romania), Russian(Russia), Simplified Chinese (China), Slovenian(Slovenia), Spanish(Spain), Swedish(Sweden), Thai (Thailand), Traditional Chinese (Taiwan), Turkish(Turkey), Vietnamese (Vietnam)

So it is interesting to note that while we are localizing Adobe RoboHelp in 3 languages, we are enabling our users to create help with ample support in 32 more languages.

Going a step further -> Editing LNG strings for customized needs

While as part of RoboHelp localization we provide LNG strings in 36 languages, users can also modify these strings for any language to suit their needs.

The LNG strings can also be edited for any customization needs. This can be done from File > Project Settings > Advanced button > LNG file tab

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All the strings are listed in the LNG File tab under different sections like WebHelp, AIRHelp etc. The desired string can be edited by selecting and clicking on Edit button. In this way help authors can also edit the LNG strings to customize existing strings.

 

How to create multilingual WebHelp from RoboHelp?

  1. Create a project in RoboHelp.
  2. Create separate topics for each language.
  3. Create separate table of contents from above topics for each language.
  4. Also create separate index and glossary for each language
  5. From the Single Source layout (SSL) pod open the WebHelp and click on content categories.
  6. Create new categories by clicking on New button and rename it after any particular language.7
  7. Each content category is now shown as a separate language. Select it and set the language specific Table of Contents, Index, Glossary and language.
  8. 8Now generate WebHelp and open it in browser.
  9. Select any particular language from the category dropdown.

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Please note that the system you intend to open the localized help should have the locale specific code pages installed.

Authors :-
Sumer Singh – Lead Quality Engineer
Vinay Krishan Sharma – Program Manager

Adobe RoboHelp homepage

RoboHelp: Recommendation for creating localized Microsoft HTML help which is not fully Unicode compliant

This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages is provided via machine translation.

Technical help authors can use RoboHelp 10 to create help in multiple formats (like Webhelp, FlashHelp, AIR Help, MultiScreen HTML5 and Microsoft HTML etc.) and locales.

While generating localized Microsoft HTML help (CHM help) with English locale settings using RoboHelp, Help authors might face following issues:

  • CHM Help output is not getting generated
  • The Table of contents (TOC) entries get seen as question mark(as shown in below screenshot)
  • The Topics authored in the Help are not visible when viewed and an error is shown: “This program cannot display the webpage” (as shown in below screenshot)
  • Index for double byte languages may appear garbled

The above mentioned issues are not encountered while:

  • Creating other help formats using RoboHelp10.
  • Generating Microsoft HTML Help in the languages with code page 1252.
  • The languages are English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish.

These issues are encountered while:

  • Generating Microsoft HTML help for rest other locales. (e.g. Russian, Japanese, Chinese Simplified and Korean)
  • Even for locales which seems to be similar to English and fall in code page 1250 like Polish, Hungarian, Croatian, Czech Albanian and Romanian

The reason for these issues is that HTML Help is not fully Unicode compliant.

For the help authors who want to generate localized (take Chinese Simplified as example) Microsoft HTML help we would recommend using the following settings -

  1. (Recommended) Change the language for *non-Unicode programs to Chinese (Simplified,PRC). There is no need to change the display language to Chinese as only changing system locale should work. Also keep the project language as Simplified Chinese.

Control panel settings

Change current system locale

*language for the non-Unicode programs can be changed from

  • Windows 7 -“Control Panel” >”Region and Language” >”Administrative” >”Change System Locale”
  • WinXPP-SP3- “Control Panel” >”Regional and Language options” >”Advanced” >”Select a language”
  • WinXPP-Sp3 users’ also needs to install the Simplified Chinese language pack.

2. If its required to keep English locale settings for some reason (generating help in multiple locales on same machine) then follow the below steps (also refer below screenshots) -

  • Create a new project with Filename\Location in English and keep project language as Simplified Chinese
  • Create topics with name(Title and Filename) in English and topic content in Chinese Simplified
  • Create TOC and rename the TOC entries to Chinese
  • Index and “See also” also needs to be kept in English

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Step 2

Step 3

We hope that this blog helps our customers facing issues generating Microsoft HTML help in multiple locales. We also endorse other help formats like WebHelp , Flashhelp and AIR help which are fully Unicode compliant.