RoboHelp 2019 – Update 8 (July 2019)


This blog post was co-authored with Amitoj Singh, Product Manager for Adobe Technical Communication tools at Adobe.

 tl;dr  Update 8 for Adobe RoboHelp (2019 release) introduces a new “frameless” layout and a new skin, introduces support for JavaScript-based Scripting, and a completely revamped “Special Characters/Symbols” browser. Update 8 also brings many fixes and enhancements in areas such as authoring, publishing, and stability.

After the successful roll-out of Update 7 for Adobe RoboHelp (2019 release) where we introduced command line-based output generation and the possibility to edit glossary terms and variable names, we are excited to ship two next-generation feature with Update 8.

Cool new feature #1 A brand new “frameless” Layout and Skin: Responsive, GDPR compliant, Section 508 compliant, SEO friendly, and highly customizable.

Cool new feature #2 JavaScript-based Scripting! For the automation fans among you.

Improved feature #1 A completely revamped “Insert Special Characters” browser.

We have also ironed out a total of 43 bugs, glitches, issues. As always, the detailed release notes listing all changes and fixes are available here.

However, before we go into the details of Update 8, here is a list of our blogs posts for all Updates we have rolled out since the first release of the next-generation Adobe RoboHelp (2019 release) in August 2018.

  1. RoboHelp 2019 – Update 1

  2. RoboHelp 2019 – Update 2

  3. RoboHelp 2019 – Update 3

  4. RoboHelp 2019 – Update 4

  5. RoboHelp 2019 – Update 5

  6. RoboHelp 2019 – Update 6

  7. RoboHelp 2019 – Update 7

In this post

What’s new and better

Following are the list of enhancements and bug fixes, which we have done as part of Update 8.

New: Frameless Layout and Skin Editor

Unlike the earlier layout and skins (Indigo, Azure or others) which used IFrames or frameset, the new layout is entirely frameless. We have built it from scratch. The output generated is far more SEO friendly, and every page would have its unique URL.

Unlike the earlier layout and skins (Indigo, Azure or others) which used IFrames or frameset, the new layout is entirely frameless built from scratch. This new layout means the output generated is far more SEO friendly, and every page would have its unique URL.

NOTE You cannot use existing skins such as Azure and Indigo with the new frameless layout. We ship two new skins for the frameless layout – “Orange” and “Dark” – and we are going to add more in the next update.

Screenshot of Adobe RoboHelp 2019 – Frameless output settings
Screenshot of the Skin Editor for the new Frameless Layout in Adobe RoboHelp (2019 release), Update 8

A few of the enhanced features that are part of the new frameless layout and skin editor:

  1. Option to enable or disable GDPR compliance.

  2. The new layout is fully Section 508 compliant.

  3. You can now define a separate Home Page for the published output.

  4. The home page and the topic page skins are fully customizable.

  5. You can customize the footer as per your website’s look and feel

  6. Better support for merged projects.

  7. WebHelp and Responsive HTML output are merged with the new frameless layout.

  8. There is a new option to turn responsive behavior of the final output on or off.

Screenshot of an example of an Adobe RoboHelp (2019 release) Frameless Output

New: Support for JavaScript-based Scripting

We have added advanced scripting support with update 8. You can now add your JavaScript and then execute it during pre-defined entry points. Such an entry point can be, e.g., after the import of a Microsoft Word or an Adobe FrameMaker file or during publishing events.

NOTE We have replaced ExtendScript-based Scripting with JavaScript-based Scripting in the RoboHelp (2019 release).

We have also added a few sample scripts and a Scripting Guide.

Screenshot of Adobe RoboHelp 2019 – Update 8: Author → Scripts → Add a Script

Snapshot on how you can configure post generation script in an output preset.

Adobe RoboHelp 2019 – Post Generation Script

Improved: Insert Special Character

We have completely revamped the “Symbol” dropdown. In opens as a separate “dialog” now and the available symbols are grouped by Unicode categories now. Also, you can easily find the character/symbol/emoji you are looking for with a simple search in the dialog box or by selecting the category of character sets.

For those who like keyboard shortcuts: We have added a new shortcut (Ctrl+4) to invoke the new “Insert Special Character” dialog. Give it a try.

Screenshot of the Insert Special Characters dialog in RoboHelp (2019 release), Update 8

Other Enhancement and fixes

Some of the other enhancements and fixes part of Update 8:

  • [Enhancement] A default skin is now pre-selected when generating output.

  • [Enhancement] You can now import glossary files into RoboHelp projects (including ones from RH classic).

  • [Enhancement] We have added a new option to create a RoboHelp Table of Contents (TOC) for an imported Microsoft Word document:

    Screenshot of Adobe RoboHelp (2019 release) – Update 8: Microsoft Word Import Settings (Advanced → Add Topics to Table of Contents)
  • [Enhancement] The “Use thumbnails” option in the Layout section of output presets has two new options now:

    • Create thumbnail for images

    • Style images with thumbnails

    Adobe RoboHelp 2019 Layout → Thumbnails
  • [Enhancement] You can now convert a table row to a table header row with a simple right-clicking in a table row’s context menu:

    Screenshot of Adobe RoboHelp 2019 – Table → Convert row to header row
  • [Enhancement] You can now “AutoFit” the width of all columns to the width of the cells' content, a fixed width for all columns, or to autofit the table to fill 100% of the available width automatically. All this is available in the right-click context menu of a table now:

    Screenshot of Adobe RoboHelp 2019 – Table → AutoFit
  • [Enhancement] We have added explicit “To” and “Cc” fields in the Link to Email option:

    Sreenshot of Adobe RoboHelp (2019 release) – Create an email link
  • [Fix] The shortcut Ctrl+t now creates a new topic.

  • [Fix] In the PDF Output, you can now set margin for below the header and above the footer.

  • [Fix] You can now easily navigate through the cells of a table with your keyboard with tab and shift-tab, and the arrow keys.

  • [Fix] You can now rename and update references in condition tags.

  • [Fix] Words added to the dictionary are now retained on closing a RoboHelp session.

In addition to that, we have done many other smaller enhancements. For details, please visit the Release Notes page.

How to get Update 8 of RoboHelp 2019 release

The best way to update Adobe RoboHelp 2019 is to click on HelpUpdates to download and install the latest patch. You can also download the installer directly from the RoboHelp Service Releases page.

Found a bug? Want to suggest an improvement? Let us know!

There’s a channel for that: We call it “Adobe Tracker.” Adobe Tracker is your place to go when you find a bug and want to report it to us so that we can fix it in the next update/release. You can also file in your feature requests, ideas, requests for improvements. It’s very easy to do, and the reports go directly into our system, and our product managers, engineers, and support people have direct access to it.

You can report a bug here.

Products, RoboHelp

Posted on 07-24-2019


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