Multi-authoring Support in Adobe RoboHelp



Adobe RoboHelp 7 has a great multi-authoring support. You can use a Source Control system to achieve the same. In my opinion it is the best way to achieve true multi-authoring. Alternatively, if you want to avoid the complexity of setting up a Source Control system, you may use the Merged Help feature of RoboHelp to achieve multi-authoring. However, I repeat – I strongly recommend using a Source Control as it provides added benefits:

  • It gives you the flexibility of working on all the files in the project – true multi-authoring. Even two or more authors can work on the same file simultaneously. You may wish to restrict access by setting adequate permissions and/or setting an option for not letting two authors work on the same file.
  • It also provides Version Management. You can retrieve older version of not just files and folders but even complete projects.

Multi-authoring using Source Control

Adobe RoboHelp 7 has an in-built support to connect to any Source Control that supports Microsoft Source Code Control Interface (MSSCCI) API. This includes most of the Source Control including RoboSource Control (which ships for free along with Adobe RoboHelp 7), Perforce, Visual Source Safe version 6 and 7 etc.

The most important characteristic of this integration is that RoboHelp shields the author from the complexity of the Source Control. An author will never require opening the Source Control program. He can manage most of the tasks like – Adding a project to the Source Control, Retrieving they latest version of the project or any of its older versions, checking the history of a file etc without leaving RoboHelp HTML application. RoboHelp HTML has a very friendly toolbar that can do all of this without the author leaving the authoring application. Apart from this, the application also keeps a track of files that get modified when you work on a project. If you are modifying existing files in a project, they will be automatically checked out, including project files like the ones used for storing Conditional Build tags, User Defined variables, Snippets etc. It also keeps a track of the new files that get created while you work on your project. And as soon as you close your project or application, it will ask you to check all the modified and newly added files into the Source Control program. Simple isn’t it.

Most of the Source Controls programs, including RoboSource Control provide the option of locking and / or notifying the author if a file is already in use or is being updated by another author. Some advanced Source Control systems, including RoboSource Control also allow the same file to be edited by multiple authors at the same time. However, in such a case, the one checking-in the file will have to make sure that he merges all the changes checked-in by another author. At times this could become tricky and thus I would recommend you to do so only if you are a power user. By default, this feature is turned off in RoboSource Control and it will lock a file if the same is being updated by an author.

If you have not looked at RoboSource Control, I would suggest that you give it a try right away. There is a very nice article on the RoboHelp Developer Center by Matthew Ellison that talks about how to set up and use RoboSource Control –

Multi-authoring using Merged Help feature

Adobe RoboHelp has a very powerful feature, using which an author can set up merging of multiple smaller projects into one single project when the smaller projects are published in a specific folder structure. For the purpose of multi-authoring, you could do the reverse. Meaning thereby, that a single mammoth project can be split into smaller projects in such a way that an author gets to work on an independent help project. The beauty of this feature is that, after you set up the system, you do not have to collaborate with any of the other authors. You can publish your part of the project independent of the other authors. When you publish, the system is smart enough to make changes to just your part of the project without affecting the other part of project. Pretty neat isn’t it.

Multi-authoring is a very powerful feature and providing multi-authoring support is just a small part of it. I will cover it in more detail some other day.

– Akshay


Akshay Madan

Posted on 03-31-2008


  • By Rycheza2077 - 10:21 PM on December 1, 2011   Reply

    Well crafted content material such as this nowadays is far as well rare, as well as we appreciate you setting up time and effort into your wonderful internet site.

  • By clear skin max discount - 12:27 PM on November 30, 2011   Reply

    33. I will immediately grab your rss feed as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  • By logan airport - 7:08 AM on November 20, 2011   Reply

    Exactly what I was looking for, thankyou for posting .

  • By Jann Hanvey - 5:22 AM on November 1, 2011   Reply

    Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thank you However I’m experiencing concern with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting equivalent rss downside? Anyone who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  • By bedava tv izle - 5:24 PM on June 3, 2011   Reply

    I discovered your blog website on google and test just a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the superb operate. I simply extra up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking ahead to studying more from you afterward!…

  • By Apurva Shah - 9:53 PM on March 24, 2011   Reply

    Hello Akshay

    I am developing custom version control connection which will connect Robohelp Client to Perforce as we are facing problem in existing connector provided by Perforce.I have some technical question regarding this.Can you able to direct me whom shall I ask this question?

    • By Ankur Jain - 1:41 AM on March 25, 2011   Reply

      Apurva, we have enhanced Perforce integration in the latest version of RoboHelp (i.e. RoboHelp 9). You may want to consider using the much enhanced Perforce integration capabilities in RoboHelp 9 vs. developing the customer version control connection in-house.


Join the discussion