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Course Name
Adobe RoboHelp Workshop

Contact Hours: 10

Course Description
In this course, you study the background of online-help systems since they arose in the 1990s. You explore a range of online-help systems, surveying their varied content, organization, format, and—in particular—navigation systems. You study a sequence of RoboHelp tutorials to learn the basic tasks that professional help writers must know to do their work. Concurrent with the tutorials, you study techniques for task analysis and industry-standard format for writing style, headings, lists, tables, notices, and highlighting. During this course, there are four projects: you "model" a help system based on an existing compiled help; you format text and graphics to design a help system; you document a simple procedure in a help topic that you compile; and you create your own help system for a software application. Final units involve generating PDFs from your help source and importing files (such as Word, HTML, FrameMaker and XML) into RoboHelp.

The instructor will be readily available by e-mail to help with problems and discuss help writing in general. You will be asked to purchase two books for this course:
  • Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications. Although the hardcopy is available for purchase, you are encouraged to use the PDF or help-file version of this resource. Before you purchase this item, contact your instructor on how to get a copy of the PDF or help file.
  • Webber, Granor. Is the Help Helpful?: How to Create Online Help That Meets Your Users' Needs. Hentzenwerke ISBN 1930919603. There will be reading quizzes on the chapters of this book.
Educational Discounts


When you sign up for this class, you may become eligible to purchase RoboHelp (Full Version) for a discounted price plus shipping charges.

If you are registering through an accredited college, university, community college or technical college, you will be required to provide an “offer of proof” that you have enrolled in this course of study. This can be arranged by supplying a copy of your course registration that shows the institution that you have enrolled at for this course.

You can call toll-free for more details at (800) 874-9001

Other Notes:

  • Students can start any time.
  • The instructor provides lots of time to complete each unit, making the course about 2 months long. You can go much faster if you choose to.
  •  Students will enjoy interaction and will send practice files, and online-help projects which will be critiqued. The instructor is always available for questions, problems, discussion.
  • You need access to Robo 8. Adobe does not provide separate flavors of it any more. 
  • You'll generate both HTML Help and Web Help. 
  •   Dr. McMurrey's students have completed the entire course within the 30-day free trial period.
  •  If you have more than one computer, you can do a second trial period on your other computer!



Outcome
Upon completion of this course, you will:
  • Have a general understanding of the history of online-help systems and authoring tools
  • Have surveyed a broad range of online-help system design and format
  • Know the basic terminology and concepts involving online help: topics, links, various types of popups, TOCs, style sheets, snippets, skins, and context-sensitive help
  • Be able to perform the essential tasks of online-help development:
    • start a project
    • create and link topics
    • format and edit text
    • add graphics and tables
    • create TOCs and indexes
    • use system-supplied style sheets
    • customize style sheets
    • import files
    • create and use conditional text and user-defined variables.
  • Have created a satisfactory online-help system, including most of the features previously mentioned, for a software application.

Assessment
The primary activities for this course include the modeling help project, the formatting help project, the simple procedure topic, your own original help project, small compiled help files that indicate your understanding of the tutorials, and reading quizzes on a book focused on developing online help. To successfully complete this course, your instructor must approve all of these activities.


Outline
Week 1

In this first unit, you study the background of online-help systems since they arose in the 1990s. You explore a range of online-help systems, surveying their different content, organization, format, and—in particular—navigation systems.

Week 2

This week, you begin studying a sequence of RoboHelp tutorials to learn the basic tasks that professional help writers must know to do their work. Also this week, you should be ready to create a simple help project, modeling it after an existing, compiled help.

Week 3

This week, you continue studying basic RoboHelp tasks, but also study or review industry-standard format for writing style, headings, lists, tables, notices, and highlighting. Also this week, you write one instructional help topic using those formatting features.

Week 4

This week, you continue studying basic RoboHelp tasks, but also study or review techniques for task analysis. Also this week, you use graphics and unformatted text to create a more complex help system.

Week 5

This week, you begin work on your own help system for a software application. Ideally, you find a shareware product on the Internet whose developer you can consult and who would want to incorporate your help into her or his software application. You will produce the two main types of help outputs for your help project: MS Help and HTML Help.

Week 6

In this final week, you'll explore how to generate PDFs from your help source and how to import files (such as Word, HTML, FrameMaker and XML) into RoboHelp. You also explore how to create context-sensitive help and what's-this help.