Re: Converting from Word to RoboHelp

Subject: Re: Converting from Word to RoboHelp
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 13:13:02 -0800 (PST)

> Here, lies the problem. Simple "copy from word" and
> then "paste in RoboHelp HTML" does not work since all
> the formatting, etc. are lost in the process. I also

This does not work and it has nothing to do with attributes...help
topics are fundimentaly (sp) different than document text.

I had this exact same scope at a gig a couple of gigs ago. I came in
to do the help and they handed me 3 300 page documents in 3 Word
files.

1) I created a template...a CSS format, if you will. Took maybe a day
or two.

2) I created a blank topic, then copied the first chunk of
information from the Word document that was appropriate for a topic.
It might have been a paragraph, a set of paragraphs, a small H3 or H4
type of section. Each page ended up creating an average of 3-4 help
topics.

3) I rewrote the topic to properly conform with Help conventions.
This included changing the text from descriptive to procedural,
applying styles, obvious hyperlinks, etc. Took maybe an hour to 3
hours per topic.

4) gathered all the functional and system requirements I could
find...located the shared drive where developers stored all their
documents as PDFs...hundreds of them..created a PDF catalog so I
could do word and phrase searching. This took another day or two.

5) With the application launched infront of me, tried to perform the
topic and made adjustments as appropriate, usualy after searching
through the document database mentioned in step 4...found that the
documentation was behind the changes. This took maybe another 3-6
hours per topic. This was a great time to learn the application at
the same time. Amazing what hands-on usage does to the learning
curve.

6) With changes, sent the topic back to the document author so he
could re-examine his text and make changes.

Did this for each topic...took me about 5-6 months to convert the
three books to a help system.

Sometimes the project was a drag, sometimes great fun, always challenging.

=====
John Posada, Senior Technical Writer
Current gig ending 4/15
Resume: http://www.tdandw.com/Resume_Posada_022202.doc
mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com, 732-259-2874

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"The ultimate developer's tool for designing help systems. A product
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References:
Converting from Word to RoboHelp: From: Alan Alda

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