New and easy way to tweak FrameMaker styles in RoboHelp 9 for online publishing

Many a time, the FrameMaker content you import or link in a RoboHelp project needs a tweaking of styles. In versions earlier than RoboHelp 9, there was no easy way to achieve this from within RoboHelp. You either had to map FrameMaker styles to available RoboHelp styles or apply a new FrameMaker template for styles suitable for online content.
For more details about these two methods, see the blog Style mapping in TCS 2 – RoboHelp way or FrameMaker way

In RoboHelp 9, the style mapping workflow has been enhanced to let you edit source (FrameMaker) styles in RoboHelp and save the modified style attributes in a style sheet (RHStyleMapping.css).

Example

The FrameMaker content you are importing has a paragraph style, Heading 1. You want the same style in RoboHelp but with a background color. You can easily tweak the “Heading 1” style to apply the desired background color in RoboHelp, keeping the rest of the formatting intact.

What’s more, if you modify the “Heading 1” style in FrameMaker (For example, you apply underline), the corresponding changes will be reflected in RoboHelp along with the tweaking done in RoboHelp.

Here are the detailed steps:

  1. Link the required FrameMaker document in your RoboHelp project.
  2. Select File > Project Settings.
  3. Click the Import tab in the Project Settings dialog box.
  4. Click the Edit button in the Edit conversion settings for FrameMaker documents area.
  5. Select Heading 1from the list of Paragraph styles on the left.
    By default, [source] will be selected in the RoboHelp Style combo box on the right. When you modify a source style, RoboHelp adds an asterisk (*) to indicate that the style has been modified.
  6. Click the Edit Style button to open the RoboHelp mini style editor.
  7. Change the background color.
  8. Click OK.

You can modify any FrameMaker Character or Paragraph source style in the same manner.

Behind the scene
Once you edit a source style, RoboHelp saves the modified style attributes with a new style name (for example, FM_Heading1) in RHStyleMapping.css.

p.FM_Heading1
{
                background-color: #a5a5ff;
}

Whenever FrameMaker files will get converted to HTML files, RoboHelp will apply both the FrameMaker style (Heading1 in this example) and the modified style (p.FM_Heading1 in this example) from RHStyleMapping.css. The RHStyleMapping.css style overrides the FrameMaker style.

Note: If you are using a third-party editor to edit RHStyleMapping.css, you can create styles such as p.FM_<FrameMaker paragraph style name> or span.FM_<FrameMaker character style name> (ex: p.FM_Heading1) and modify the style attributes to make it suitable for online publishing. The style changes will be automatically reflected in RoboHelp.

Regards,

Gunjan Kumar

Computer Scientist, RoboHelp team

2 thoughts to “New and easy way to tweak FrameMaker styles in RoboHelp 9 for online publishing”

  1. Hi Dan,

    By default RoboHelp generates HTML files with same look and feel as in the FrameMaker source. Their may be some other problem, please try it on new FrameMaker file. If problem still exist then please share your FrameMaker file as this is working fine on my system.

    Regards,
    Gunjan Kumar

  2. Hi Gunjan,

    What settings would I have to tweak if I wanted the robohelp output to have the EXACT SAME STYLE as the FrameMaker source? I’ve tried various settings (and even no settings at all) and it always seems to revert all the styles/fonts (Frutiger etc.) I’ve used in FrameMaker to default Arial plain font.
    Thanks
    -Dan

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