Adobe RoboHelp 8

Adobe RoboHelp 8 is an XHTML Authoring Tool

Adobe RoboHelp 8 has several exciting new features. First and foremost, Adobe RoboHelp 8 is now an XHTML Authoring Tool – that means, there is clean XHTML code editing in an visual environment. In addition, you can validate the code to assure World Wide Web Consortium compliance.

You can see the list of other new features below. To learn more, please check our comprehensive Adobe RoboHelp 8 Reviewer’s Guide. The reviewer’s guide also has several Captivate demos which illustrate some of these features. You may need to download the PDF to view these demos.

Publishing Features – special enhancements for the end-user

Enhanced support for Adobe AIR – Adobe AIR™ technology provides a revolutionary new help application that provides many new ways for users to find information, add and share comments, in a system that is always up to date. It combines the best of the Web as well as the desktop, whether the user is online or not. Authors can generate this exciting new Adobe AIR help application and package it for easy deployment and management of automatic updates.

Powerful Search engine – Search results are ranked by relevance with the initial text of the topic for context, search highlighting, a synonym editor and a brand new Keyword Search that can be defined to help the user find what they are looking for. Also added is a way to define search Phrases as well as Substrings. Another major feature is that text in Adobe PDF and MS Office documents can be searched.

Enhanced Printed Documentation options – More flexibility in mapping your online output styles to the printed version in Microsoft® Word or Adobe PDF.

Breadcrumbs / Mini TOC – Breadcrumb navigation and/or a Mini TOC can be added with placeholders on a topic basis or with Master Pages. If preferred, breadcrumbs can be added globally with a single checkmark when generating output.

Improved Glossary – Glossary definitions which are edited are automatically updated in glossary hotspot links.

Merged Help implementation – Merged project enhancements provide a visually intuitive way to merge child projects which become part of a master TOC.

Twisties – Twisties provide both expaded and dropdown hotspots and can now have configurable images which provide a visual cue to the user.

More author-friendly enhancements

A new Styles and Formatting pod – Quickly apply, create or edit CSS styles.

World class Table, List and Autonumbering – Table designs (with many new prepared templates) can now be created or modified in the Styles editor using a graphical preview and exposed formatting tools. List support now includes enhanced handling of standard HTML Lists, MultiLevel lists and customizable autonumbering.

Easier import of Microsoft® Word and Adobe FrameMaker files – Define common Import and Conversion Settings for consistent use of CSS and Style Mapping across all projects.

Linking MS Word files – By linking to MS® Word files you can keep your content updated to the original source MS Word document without re-importing each time.

Import DITA – Topic-based content into a RoboHelp HTML project. This allows the DITA author to take advantage of RoboHelp software’s rich feature set of TOC, Index, Glossary and advanced publishing options.

Enhanced Unicode and Language Support – There is now Unicode and language support at the topic and paragraph level.

FLV format now supported – For compelling eLearning and video presentations.

IFrame support – Include an external HTML or PDF inside a topic.

Single Sourcing Features – write once, distribute to many audiences

Brand new CSS Editor – Provides a graphical way to define Table Styles, and complex List Styles.

Master Pages (formerly Templates) – Help separate layout and styling from content. There are new placeholders for breadcrumbs and a “mini” Table of Contents and the Body section of each topic.

Resource Manager – Allows you to manage and reuse assets (including Images, Topics, Stylesheets, Multimedia and Snippets) across multiple Robohelp projects.

Formatted User-defined Variables (UDV) – Provide a robust way to make global changes to common blocks of content throughout many topics. A major new enhancement is the addition of formatting and the inclusion of such things as images and links which are easily created in a Design and HTML editor.

Productivity Features – Work quicker, smarter, more efficiently

Scripting – Automate with built-in scripts or create your own. The entire Adobe Extended Scripting Toolkit CS4 is included with Adobe RoboHelp 8, including many ready-made scripts to get you started.

Integration with other Adobe applications – Adobe Captivate 4, RoboScreenCapture and RoboSource Control are separate applications that are integrated into the Adobe RoboHelp 8 interface.

Custom To Do List – This popular RoboHelp favorite now allows you to edit the supplied tasks and add your own items depending on your own workflows.

Usability Features – making the work environment easier

Project Manager Enhancements – RoboHelp software’s strength has been its ability to help the author keep track of the many assets in a given project. Now, you can drag and drop topics and folders to create the same hierarchy used in the TOC. There is a choice to customize the list of files shown or switch to the traditional view with its virtual folders.

UI Enhancements – Color-coding to show pods with focus, easy close of topics in Design Editor, more tooltips on Navigation buttons and more robust right-click Context Menu support are some of the user-friendly changes to the interface.

Option to install RoboHelp for Word – You can now choose whether or not to install this application and create desktop icons. according to your preference.

Custom File Type mapping dialog – In addition to choosing your preferred HTML editor, there is an enhanced dialog to associate file extensions with your choice of applications.

More functionality added to existing features – Snippets can now be added to Popups and Drop-down hotspots and DHTML effects in non-IE browsers. Because of improved HHActiveX support, Glossaries and Browse Sequences can be included in the HTML Help (.chm) format in Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) multibyte languages. Improvements have been also been made to Multiple TOC, Index and Glossary editing (including the ability to update Glossary definitions automatically.)

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Posts from multiple members of the Adobe TechComm team.

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