Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing PDFs to create a project, part of RoboHelp 9 HTML Essential Training.
As you begin to create projects here in RoboHelp 9, you may realize you have a great deal of content in other formats--for example, a PDF document. If that's the case, you might consider creating a brand-new project by importing the PDF and creating the project based on the content in that PDF file. You can also bring PDF files into existing projects. We are going to look at both scenarios now, starting with creating a new project. So you can close any project you might have opened, if you're following along, and you'll be looking at the Starter.
You can create a new project from the File menu, selecting New. Or from the Create New section here in the Starter, click More. Make sure the Import tab is selected, and you'll see there are a number formats to choose from. We are going to be importing a PDF document, so make sure that one is selected. When you click OK, you need to find that file now, so we'll click our little Browse button here to locate the How to Use LDC Web Help PDF file located in your 02_04 subfolder of the Chapter 2 files.
Now we will click Open with that selected, and it is inserted into the Import field. We are ready to move on to the next step by clicking Next. Here we give our project a title. Let's call it How to Use LDC. It adjusts the file name for the project as well, and you can see the location for the project. Now mine is going to the desktop. You can click the folder icon to select a different location, and keep in mind that you may end up with several different files in this location.
So for me, with desktop selected, I am going to click New Folder, and just type in LDC, and click Create to create a separate folder on my desktop for all of these files that are about to be generated. Now I will click OK. So it appears now in a subfolder on my desktop. Perfect! I can click Next to move on to the next step, and this is where you're going to select how topics are going to be imported, right at the top, Create new topics based on styles. When you make this election, the Next button is highlighted, because then you will need to choose the styles that you're going to create the topics based on.
There's a way to preview that, but you do need to be familiar with the styles used in your PDF file; otherwise, you may end up with a single topic. Notice the second option is Create a single topic, which if you have a 20-page file, it will create a 20-page-long single topic, which makes a little bit more difficult to work with. So another good option is create new topic for every page in your PDF. Now in this case, you have to choose how those pages will be converted. Will they be brought in and converted to HTML files? Will they be images, so, pictures of your PDF pages? Or there is another option here to convert as absolutely positioned HTML, and you need to be careful with this one.
When you do this option, it's a little bit more advanced. You do have to have a fairly advanced knowledge of HTML. And just keep in mind that subsequent editing could be difficult, because positioning the content is a little bit tricky. Use this option if the other options simply don't produce the results that you are looking for--and it's not recommended for printed documentation, by the way. So I am going to leave mine selected at Convert as HTML. Also images, when they come in, what are they going to be converted to, JPEGs, GIFs, or do you want to leave images out? Select None if you don't want to bring in the images.
And the last option here is the Page Range. By default, you will be bringing in every single page in the PDF file, but if want to choose a different range, you can do that as well. We will leave it that All and click Finish. Now it just takes a moment to create the new project. It's analyzing the PDF according to your options that were selected in creating the new project. Now there will be some work to do here, but the nice thing is we have got our PDF file imported into our brand-new project. So if we take a look at the topic list, for example, you will see there are a number of topics, and they are simply numbered.
So you will see the file names with a number after it--the titles are those numbers. And to look at those topics, you just have to double-click them obviously to open them up here in our Document pane. So for example, if we go to the second one here, How_to_Use_ldc_webhelp_02, and double-click that, you can see it's actually a blank page. This might be a topic we simply don't need. So in that case we might right-click and choose Delete, confirm by clicking Yes, and we are looking at our index now. Let's go to the third one, double-click that.
It's a Table of Contents. Now you may or may not want to keep that, knowing that you could be creating Table of Contents here anyway. So for me I'm thinking that's not useful. I am going to right-click and delete it as well. Let's go to the fourth one, double-click that, another blank page. So you can see there is some work to do here. When we get to the fifth topic and double-click that, there is our first page, Welcome to lynda.com, and here's an example where we might just want to rename the topic. So you might want to come in here and go to Properties, for example, and just change the name, the Topic Title, from _052 something like Welcome.
And when you click OK, you'll see in the title column it has been renamed. It will be a little bit easier to understand what you are looking at. The first one, when we double-click that, just says Printed Documentation, and that's what it's generating by default here. And it's really up to you what the end product's going to be, but this might be a page again that you would right-click and delete. So you do need to go through each of the topics. It's based on the pages, remember, that was your selection. There are number of different topics, one for each page. So in this case you will want to edit your topics accordingly until you get the project started.
But you do save a lot of time by being able to create a brand-new project here based on a single PDF file. Now of course you can also bring in PDF files to an existing project. So for example, if we wanted to bring in another file, we would go up to File, down to Import, and from here we are going to choose PDF document--and this is different. We are not creating a new project from a PDF we are just bringing one in. For example, we have coursedetails in our exercise files. We can select and click Open.
We see the same options here. Do we want to create a new topic for each page? Well, I happen to know this is a single page and it should be a single topic. There are no graphics. I am going to keep None selected and click Finish. You can see it's successfully imported. We can close it up. And if we go to our Topic List now, scroll down to the bottom, you can see we have our Course Details. Double-click it to open it up and see what that looks like. So all we have here is the content. We might want to do a little bit of formatting, even add a title, for example, like Course Details. Just hit Return a couple of times and then go into formatting our content.
Good idea to probably save that up. So if you do that PDF files, you can create brand-new projects from those files, or choose to bring them in individually into an existing project.
- 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.