RE: Flare vs RoboHelp for Word Importing

Subject: RE: Flare vs RoboHelp for Word Importing
From: "Paul Hanson" <phanson -at- Quintrex -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2007 10:21:16 -0600


I am not addressing your questions about graphics, etc, below because
your first sentence sent me on another tangent. You wrote, "My co. is
interested in the best method for converting "continually updated" Word
docs into CHM."

>From my perspective and based upon the work I have done here, I don't
think you are talking about a "conversion." To me, a "conversion" is
'changing source files from one file format [A] to another file format
[B]. Then, after the conversion, the content is then maintained in the
[B] file format." For example, when we get a new client here, we often
convert data from the old system to our system. Once the data is
converted into our system, it is then maintained in our system and no
longer in their old system. After the "cut date," only our system is
used. In the same way, if you are really converting your Word docs to
HTML to generate CHM files and then going back to the Word docs to
update them, you are really not converting because you are going back to
the "old system" and editing after the conversion.

An alternative approach I would explore would be to manipulate the
content within the "continually updated" Word docs so that you can
distribute them as PDFs. In this way, you could link to them from the
CHM file. Your cited issues would no longer be an issue. If you really
want your "continually updated" Word docs to be in CHM format, I think
the path I would explore would be to convert the Word docs to HTML and
have those that "continually update" the Word docs use an HTML editor to
update the content. I don't know if it is you that is "continually
updating" these Word docs or if they are coming from writers outside
your department. There may be other considerations in pursuing that

I can give you another example that might make what I wrote above make
sense. Recently, I converted from WinHelp to WebHelp. This meant my Word
docs were converted to HTML. After the conversion, I no longer maintain
the content in Word. Everything is done through my HTML editor
(Dreamweaver). In my head, I wouldn't willingly convert from HTML to
Word in order to generate WinHelp. By extension, I wouldn't willingly
convert from Word to HTML to generate CHM files.

Paul Hanson
Technical Writer
RoboHelp ACE -
Quintrex Data Systems
email: phanson at

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include single source authoring, team authoring,
Web-based technology, and PDF output.

Now shipping: Help &amp; Manual 4 with RoboHelp(r) import! New editor,
full Unicode support. Create help files, web-based help and PDF in up
to 106 languages with Help &amp; Manual:

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Flare vs RoboHelp for Word Importing: From: Jonny Benjamin

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