Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Generating FlashHelp output, part of RoboHelp 9 HTML Essential Training.
Up until now, as we've been creating our RoboHelp projects and generating output, we've focused on a couple of different layouts, including HTML as well as WebHelp. Now we're going to shift our focus to maybe the most popular type of output, and that is FlashHelp. And very much like WebHelp, FlashHelp will also work on almost virtually any browser that's out there, and on any computer, so it is cross browser and cross platform. The difference with Flash of course is that it's going to allow you to create a more visually stunning help system through the Flash functionality, so you're going to see a much more graphical user interface.
You'll see animations when you go to use certain things like the index, the Table of Contents, and so on. Also, you'll have the ability, if you so choose, to create your project in a vertical orientation, that is, to have the navigation going across the top of your screen with content down below, as opposed to a navigation pane down the left-hand side. And the one thing that users of your Help system will need to have is an Adobe Flash Player, version 6 or later, as well as a web browser. And just so you know most new computers these days come with a more recent version of Adobe Flash Player, and almost every single one of those computers will have some type of browser installed as well.
So let's switch over now to RoboHelp to see what a FlashHelp project looks like. We'll continue working with our How to Use LDC Flash project that we've been working with throughout many of the previous chapters. Just notice up at the top on the title bar I've gone to the exercise files and opened up How to Use LDC with Flash on the end. Now so far it's really no different than the projects we've been working on previously. Notice in the Single Source Layouts pod we're still using WebHelp here as the primary layout, but if we want to focus on creating FlashHelp output, we can change the Primary Layout by just simply going a little further down the list to FlashHelp, right-clicking, and choosing Set as Primary Layout.
Now we'll be focused around creating projects designed for FlashHelp. So that's step one. Let's see what it looks like to generate this now, by double-clicking FlashHelp. Here we're going to see the FlashHelp Options screen. Now we can simply save and generate, but one change we might want to make is what we see on the title bar after we generate this. The title of our project is How to Use LDC Flash, and that's okay, that appears automatically in the Title bar, but we can change that. Let's just have it say, "How to Use lynda.com." There we go.
So that's what our users will see, even though our project name will stay the same. There are a number of options down below. You can see where it's going to go, for example. You can see the skin that's going to be used by default. We'll talk about that later on. Right now, we'll keep the default Beautiful Vista Flash. And you can see there is a Table of Contents, Index, Glossary, et cetera, some compliancy-type options. Let's just click Save and Generate, and when we can we'll click View Result to see what this looks like in our default browser. So we'll click View Result. It opens our default browser.
Now you might see what I'm seeing, and that is a warning, kind of a message across the top saying that my system is being protected here for my security, and certain things are not running, scripts and ActiveX controls. But just click that message and then click Allow Blocked Content and when you click Yes you'll see the actual Flash output. And it is much more graphical in nature, so we have some nice colors. You can see over here on the left-hand side we have our TOC books that can be expanded and collapsed, and there is a bit of animation when we do that, a nice little flow.
As you hover over the various buttons across the top, notice there is some animation there as well. Glossary. There is the Print option there. And there is also some navigation going across the top, so we see links, and right now we're looking at the Welcome topic. And we can go to Home by clicking Home at anytime, go to Getting Started. And as we move around through the various topics here, you can see how that changes across the top of our screen. So we really could just close up the Navigation pane to create a little more space in our width and use this navigation system across the top.
Let's go back to Contents. So we'll click that, leave it open, and that's an example of a very simple FlashHelp output. So we'll close up our browser to return to our RoboHelp project. Now that you have an idea of what FlashHelp looks like, it's time to take it to another level.
- Touring the interface and workspaces
- Creating a project and importing content
- Auto-creating a TOC
- Merging help projects
- Generating FlashHelp output
- Controlling page layout with tables and DHTML
- Creating indexes, search terms, and glossary terms
- Building forms with buttons and check boxes
- Controlling output with conditional text
- Creating skins and master pages
- Reviewing projects and managing comments and changes
- Applying ActiveX controls
- Generating printed documents
Skill Level Beginner
Q: When I insert the ActiveX Calendar control and try to hide the title by setting the ShowTitle property to false, the title is not removed and remains visible. Why is this happening?
A: There are many ActiveX controls available and many versions of a control may exist. Different versions of a control can behave differently. Certain properties may work in one version of a control and not in another. ActiveX controls can be installed on your computer by different programs other than RoboHelp, such as Microsoft Excel and Access. In this title, version 11.0 of the Calendar control is used. If you are using a different version of the Calendar control, the ShowTitle property may not work properly. Go to www.microsoft.com to learn more about ActiveX controls and their properties.
1. Getting to Know RoboHelp
2. Creating WebHelp Projects
3. Merging Projects
4. Formatting Topics
5. Creating FlashHelp Projects
6. Using Graphics and Multimedia
7. Using Tags, Variables, and Snippets
Using multiple TOCs2m 56s
8. Working with Tables and DHTML
9. Working with Indexes and Searches
10. Using Forms and Frames
11. Using Skins and Master Pages
12. Reviewing Projects and Collaborating
13. Using ActiveX Controls
14. Generating Printed Documents
Next steps1m 25s
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