RE: RoboHELP as a single sourcing tool

Subject: RE: RoboHELP as a single sourcing tool
From: Andrew Becraft <AndrewB -at- ACCINT -dot- COM>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 12:37:11 -0500

My two cents:

MS Word > Framemaker > WebWorks Publisher > Nearly anything you want!

WebWorks does have a pretty steep learning curve, and if you're committed to
Word, then your only viable option is RoboHELP. Other tools, such as
Doc-to-Help, offer single-sourcing to print and WinHelp from Word, but
setting up a Doc-to-Help project can be a nightmare, and localizing
Doc-to-Help projects can be very costly.

context-sensitive Help files, printed documentation, PDF files,
and HTML.

Even if you have to tweak the WinHelp for context-sensitivity after
outputting from Frame>WWP, the controls Frame offers as the single source --
variables, conditional text, etc. -- are infinitely superior to anything
Word has to offer, even with RoboHELP sitting on top of it.

Let me know off-list if you want more details or clarification.


Andrew Becraft
Technical Writer

-----Original Message-----
From: Sharon Key [mailto:sharon -at- dra -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2000 3:42 PM
Subject: RoboHELP as a single sourcing tool

Background...We're a small company...we write library automation software
for medium to large, academic and public libraries. Up until a year ago, we
provided our documentation in 15 three-ring binders. These docs were
produced using MSWord. Some of this stuff is very, very ugly. We're
talking about screen shots that were typed by hand. We want to convert
these docs into HTML and make them searchable by using Microsoft's index

In addition, we have several new software products. We're being told that
we need to furnish documentation for this new software in the following
formats: context-sensitive Help files, printed documentation, PDF files,
and HTML. We're not sure what our customers want; we assume they want
everything. Let it suffice to say that we will produce everything.

We attended the STC conference last year where single sourcing was a hot
topic. All the tools seemed very expensive. Everyone I talked to off line
told me to wait...single sourcing was currently a pipe-dream for most
people. Plus, it wasn't really ready for prime time.

My colleague has suggested that we use RoboHELP (WinHELP) to produce
everything. Now, I used an old version of RoboHELP in a former life, but
I've been away from it for about three years. On the other hand, he is
going great guns with it. Loves it. Talks about it like it's the best
thing since sliced bread. I'm lost.

Here's the question...does RoboHELP seem to be a viable single-sourcing
option for us? I've not been able to find anyone who uses RoboHELP to
produce all their documentation and I'm certainly not qualified to judge
this myself.

I'd be grateful for any insight. I can furnish more details if you need

Sharon Key
Data Research Associates
St. Louis, MO USA

Sponsored by Weisner Associates Inc., Online Information Services
Training & consulting for RoboHELP, Dreamweaver, HTML, and HTML-Based Help.
More info at or mailto:training -at- weisner -dot- com -dot-

Your web site in 32 languages? Maybe not now, but sooner than you think.
Contact ForeignExchange for the FREE paper, "3 steps to successful
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