We produce our documents using FrameMaker 2.7. We will be
upgrading to FrameMaker 8 soon. We would like to be able to produce
help files for our products. The Adobe website makes it sound like
you can use RoboHelp to generate help files directly from the
I’ve read the posts here and see that there are a few
problems, but nothing more than what I would expect for a complex
product like RoboHelp. I realize that there will be a learning
curve and that we will have to set up some kind of cross-reference
lists for the various styles.
Overall, how would you rate your experience? Does it really
work? Any suggestions about how to minimize the problems would be
I’ve been using FrameMaker since 1987, but have zero RoboHelp
experience. On the other hand, I have thirty years of experience
documenting complex software applications (primarily by
experiencing the product and interviewing developers). I am well
compensated for my experience.
My many posts to this forum document the anguish I am
enduring learning the FrameMaker/RoboHelp integration.
Adobe is responding with updates and (a) patch, but for now,
the online help for RoboHelp is woefully incomplete. Maybe the lack
of help is the primary problem – but that is no minor issue.
I suspect that many experienced RoboHelp users have already
worked through how to import Word docs into RoboHelp in earlier
versions of the product, and are grateful for the few improvements
offered in the Tech Comm Suite.|||
You may want to check out some of the posts on FrameMaker +
RoboHelp integration on our Technical Communication blog. There is
a summary post which links to other posts on the same topic.
I agree documentation could have been better. That’s one
reason, Mahesh and myself have done several Captivate demos on this
workflow and documented the best practices as part of our blog.
You will notice I am supporting this forum as a volunteer
till the user community becomes large enough to sustain itself. We
have addressed a number of issues in FrameMaker patch 8.0.2 and
RoboHelp patch 7.0.1. Please feel free to share more feedback on
this forum or through the blog or directly e-mail to me.
Group Product Manager
Adobe Technical Communication Suite, FrameMaker and RoboHelp
E-mail – vivekj at adobe dot com|||
Thank you for the input. Adding RoboHelp to our suite of
tools does not appear to be painless, but it looks like it will be
able to do essentially what we need.
BTW, we’re using FrameMaker 7.2, not 2.7. My fingers were not
completely awake yesterday.|||
Indeed, the product will eventually be wonderful. My client
selected it among others I researched for them because you can find
more tech writers with RoboHelp experience than other products.
I have just sent you off-line a description & files
documenting the first of the issues I’m encountering.
I just about have the bog posts memorized. Still I watch them
often & they are helpful.
I need a nap.
There is some common wisdom about release 1.0 software.
RoboHelp 7.0 is effectively 1.0 for FrameMaker integrated
The development team has done some great things in a fairly
short period of time. As Vivek notes some early blog posts (I’m
paraphrasing) ‘There is still a way to go.’ I can say that this
development team is the most active, helpful development team I
have ever experienced in Adobe over twelve or so years I have been
using a great many of their various products.
The recent 7.01 release did address some very real issues and
gave an idea of that their team does take the issues raised on
these forum pages and through direct e-mail seriously… and can
provide releases to address these issues relatively quickly.
All that said I am still, slowly, working through various
issues that arise… though most of them you will find documented
Hope these comments help you as you weigh your
Just a quick addendum.
I completed migration of my project from RoboHelp for
The RoboHelp 7 project is stable and updating reliably. With
regard to workflow, I have documented each issue I’ve encountered
in this forum so others should be able to follow suit and check
here if they get stuck.
A few Key Learnings:
(1) Use “Add by Reference” with FM files you plan to
(2) Everything turns on fmstyles.css. Edit that file and get
make it right.
(The free version of TopStyle was a great little tool for
(3) Spend time understanding the Style Mapping and ancillary
(4) Judiciously select which paragraphs include
auto-numbering and turn the rest off.
(5) Do not use (or remove) <Default Font> from all
variables in your FM files.
(6) Use a FrameMaker template file and book (you have one
right?) and create a project around that first — the fewer files
the better — this way you can more quickly shape the project to
your liking. Later bring in the large quantity of ‘real’ files.
Hope these thoughts help you.
Thanks to Vivek, Vivek, Mayank, Akshay for their great
Great info. Thanks.
- Can’t link Robohelp to FrameMaker
- Framemaker import to Robohelp?
- (RH9 & FM10) Some internal links don’t keep when converting from Framemaker to Robohelp
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