Part 2: Streamlining localization workflows using Adobe Tech Comm Suite tools, RoboHelp

Wednesday, May 2 2012 @ 3:01 PM, By Maxwell Hoffmann

This is a sequel to our earlier blog, “Part 1: Streamlining localization workflows using Adobe Tech Comm Suite tools, FrameMaker,” which covered highlights from a White Paper released by Adobe at the GALA conference held in MONACO. This White Paper was authored by a team of authors from Globalization Partners International, based on content and research from a series of blogs on this topic. This blog, Part 2, covers several features from RoboHelp that help streamline the localization process for Help and Policy Authoring.

Like many translation professionals (and their customers) GPI discovered that certain features in both FrameMaker and RoboHelp are particularly useful in reducing time and costs from language translation projects. Most of the projects involve speeding up post-translation formatting, or working with some form of single source publishing.

Although you may download the entire PDF version of “Streamlining localization workflows using Adobe technical communication tools,” you may find the summary in this blog useful. You may also wish to view our recorded webinar, which touched on many of these topics, “Reduced Cost, Faster GTM – Best Practices in Structured & Unstructured Authoring to Drive Downstream Localization Efficiencies.” Please note that you will be prompted to log-in with you free Adobe account credentials to view this on-demand webinar.

 

Ways that RoboHelp Benefits Translation Projects

The following are some basic features of RoboHelp that provide essential support to translation and localization projects:

  • Unicode support for over 35 languages
  • Edit topics side-by-side with Multiple Document Interface (MDI)
  • Support for multiple tables of contents, indices and glossaries in different languages
  • Granular control over language definition: assign a language at the topic or even paragraph levels, in addition to the project
  • The “LANG” attribute is used for thesaurus, spell checking, Smart Indexing and also creating the search index
  • The language attribute specified at the paragraph level is given the highest preference
  • RoboHelp produces clean XHTML code with no “extra steps” required
  • The new Review and Collaboration workflow can streamline project workflow saving considerable time and cost as your team is empowered to collaborate and communicate accurately and efficiently

Collaborative Review in Cloud or on Desktop

An entire RoboHelp project (or selected topics) may be output for PDF Review. A PDF files is generated, which is optimized for annotations and comments via free Adobe Acrobat Reader. The PDF file may be placed “in the cloud” (e.g. Acrobat.com), on a shared server, or for remote reviewers who lack access to the cloud, individual copies of PDF may be emailed. Multiple reviewers can make comments and annotations to the same PDF file on cloud or server.

Whether a single review PDF is used or multiple “desktop ”copies of PDFs, all comments and annotations may be imported back into the RoboHelp project“ in place in the source files. Comments and annotations dated and identified by multiple reviewers are merged.

Note: although collaborative review within the cloud would be preferable, the language translation industry has 1000s of linguists in remote areas with limited connectivity bandwidth. In such instances, it is a great benefit being able to send out individual PDF files via email.

Using Track Changes to Manage Comments

The RoboHelp user may use RoboHelp’s Track Changes feature (almost identical to that in FrameMaker) to locate the next change, and accept or reject it. It is also possible to accept or reject all changes in a topic. Since imported PDF comments were placed “in place,” many opportunities for errors are eliminated.

Marking Topics as “Ready for Review”

Sometimes projects are authored or translated in stages. Some portions of content (or topics) may be submitted for translation after base translation has begun. RoboHelp Project Manager can be used to select topics and mark them “Ready for Review” to prevent other, unapproved topics from becoming part of the review process. This is one more tool that can prevent errors during the review process.

Managing Shared and Reusable Assets

RoboHelp 9 provides an enhanced Resource manager and increased support for Version and Source Control applications. Projects with multiple authors may have document assets leveraged more effectively when authoring or editing the source language files for translation.

Assets may be Kept Up-to-Date via “Live Linking” in Resource Manager

Source and Version control helps keep team members “in synch.” RoboSource helps multiple authors avoid getting out-of-synch as changes occur in their projects. Many source control applications integrate directly with RoboHelp and can be invoked directly from with a RoboHelp project:

  • RoboSource Control 3.1
  • Team Foundation Server 2010 and 2008
  • Perforce
  • Microsoft Visual Source Safe 5.0
  • Any other version control application that supports Microsoft Source Code Control API

Other key improvements to Robohelp 9 that aid Translation projects

  • Asset folders are now unlimited
  • Users can create “links” via “drag-n-drop”
  • Prevent duplication and maintain consistency with Asset Links
  • Streamlinked ePub output from RoboHelp

In conclusion

This blog (and the White Paper it references) touches on only a few of RoboHelp’s advanced features that make any Help or Policy and Procedure authoring and publishing easier. The features selected here have significance in improving time and cost savings for projects that will be translated into other languages. We encourage  you to explore both the White Paper an on-demand Webinar that were referenced at the beginning of this blog.

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