I Didn’t Know RoboHelp Could Do That!

Even in this tech-savvy world, often what we know about our software is just what we need to know for our routine work flows. We don’t have time to explore every menu option or feature to have at the ready at a moment’s notice. Learning advanced features usually comes when a client makes a request that we “think” is possible, but haven’t really tried. So, when a client makes a request, we say “Yes! We can do that!”, and then painstakingly – through hard-fought, trial-and-error, against a deadline, all-nighters – figure out how.

Hopefully, you’ll find the information in Tanner Corporate Services recent webinar, “I Didn’t Know RoboHelp Could Do That!” helps you skip the pain and get straight to the expertise. In this webinar, we describe how we used three advanced features of RoboHelp, in unique ways, to meet the needs of two of our clients.

Our Technical Solution Uses 3 Advanced Features

  1. Multiple Merged Projects
  2. Dynamic User Centric Content (DUCC)
  3. Resource Manager and Synched Assets

Two Sets of Content Requirements

RH Advanced Feature 1: Multiple Merged Projects

We knew about merged projects, but before our client asked us for a technical solution, we didn’t know the extent of just how far merged projects could take us. We knew we were working with clearly-defined divisions of content, but how could the merged projects feature help us organize that content? We realized that RoboHelp is able to support multiple merged projects, and also that they can be used with DUCC. We were able to create multiple merged projects, which gave us a clear, easy-to-use way of organizing our client’s content in one online manual, but that includes multiple RoboHelp projects behind the scenes.

And, what’s more, the productivity advantages of using multiple merged projects became clear to us right away. Merged projects help us manage both writing and production. It opened the door for us to have multiple authors working simultaneously, and we could update targeted portions of content. We also experienced faster load, save, and generate times because we could isolate the specific chunks of content.

RH Advanced Feature 2: Dynamic User Centric Content (DUCC)

We knew about DUCC, but didn’t realize how much we could leverage it. DUCC helps us collect groups of topics into sets, like a library. Instead of having conditional content in one manual, we could create a library of multiple manuals that all worked seamlessly together. We use the DUCC categories as child projects, rather than filtering based on conditional build tags. This allows us to add content from other departments to our “library” of procedures.

RoboHelp Advanced Feature 3: Resource Manager and Synced Assets

We knew about the Resource Manager, but again, until our client had a need, we didn’t know how versatile the Resource Manager feature really is. We soon realized that the Resource Manager actually works really well in a multiple merged project environment. We can set multiple source locations, no matter which folder level requires the content. And, the Resource Manager keeps our settings in each session, regardless of which project we’re working in.

The synced assets feature was more versatile than we thought, too. We are able to put assets at the highest level of the project structure and sync them to all the sub-projects, even in the complicated multi-level folder structure of multiple merged projects with DUCC.

What We Learned That You Can Use

With any RoboHelp project, be methodical. Plan your projects strategically and document the plan. If you think a solution might work, test it. Try to test a sub-set of content, and if it works, apply the structure to your whole library. Always remember that requirements and client needs can change constantly, so be ready to adjust as needed. If possible, allow your decision-makers to see how your structure and organization looks behind-the-scenes, because it can help illustrate your strategy and gain buy-in.

Our standard philosophy is to ask more of what we already know, and to lean on the RoboHelp community. Our best advice is simply to try something, because it just might work, and then you, too, can say, “I didn’t know RoboHelp could do that!”

Maxwell Hoffmann

I am the Adobe Global Product Evangelist for Tech Comm Suite. I am passionate about powerful, single-source publishing that can deliver content anytime, anywhere, any way.

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