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space Email RoboHELP 5.5: An Impressive Help File Authoring Tool For All Resellers

By Rebecca Frances Rohan

Who says helping people does not pay? The more technical the world gets, the more profit in lending a hand. Blue Sky Software Corp.’s RoboHELP 5.5 enables you to give that help to Windows and Web users. Besides giving you the ability to build stand-alone Windows HLP files, you can create help for applications developed in 16 environments, from C++ to HTML to Access.

Help Explorer ties the Microsoft Word 7 or 97 (not included) word processors to a complete tools window tiled on the left side of the screen. On the left, RoboHELP Explorer switches among a folder-type view of your project, your project Index and the project Table of Contents. It also can switch between tools for creating images, adding links to destinations on the Web, capturing screens, and making context-sensitive help for applications with the What’s This? Help Composer module. What’s This? supports EXE, DLL, VBP, and OCX (ActiveX Control) files.

On the right side of the screen, Word gets a RoboHELP toolbar with icons. With it you can increase Word to a full-screen view while retaining the power to create jumps, new topics, macro hotspots, graphics, go-to-topics and more. The RoboHELP Word toolbar lets you save work to the appropriate HLP format and run the error checker.

You can use RoboHELP to make hypertext help from print doc files. You also can make print docs from help files, but Version 5.5 makes your documentation work harder by putting it on the Web.

RoboHELP 5.5
Blue Sky Software Corp.
MSRP: $499
Version 5.5 supports both RTF- and HTML-based files, including Windows 3.1, Windows 95, NT 3.51 and 4.0, Microsoft HTML Help for Windows 98 and NT 5.0, Windows CE Help, Netscape NetHelp 1 and 2.

RoboHELP also includes Blue Sky’s own cross-platform, browser-independent HTML-based WebHelp. WebHelp puts familiar help touches on the Web, such as expanding and collapsing subject trees, tabs to switch from Contents to Index, and pre-set browse sequences. WebHelp also supports context-sensitivity with, for example, the JavaScript ShowHelp function and standard HelpOptions variables.

Hypertext help files lend themselves to distributing information about more than just programs— they’re a sound and familiar environment for providing customers with a knowledge base of general -purpose programs and vertical applications. RoboHELP 5.5 smashes the geek barrier so any non-programmer can create professional help files without sweating blood. This, in turn, will take some of the strain off your technical support staff.

Production houses thrive on jobs cranking out and cleaning up document conversions, but with RoboHELP 5.5, you may not need them anymore. Indeed, besides bundling the result with your own applications or services, you might want to consider using RoboHELP to start your own help file sideline for customer’s applications. It’s that easy and it’s that good. endstop

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