RoboHelp becomes a better assistant

RoboHelp X5 gains welcome features that greatly expand audiences that can be reached through help documentation.

RoboHelp X5, the first version of the popular help-authoring system since eHelp was acquired by Macromedia, gains welcome features that greatly expand the audiences that can be reached through help documentation. It also includes some integration with Macromedia formats such as Flash.

One of the big features in RoboHelp X5, which was released last month priced at $899, is the ability to write to the FlashHelp format, a dynamic and interactive Flash-based format that can be delivered to Flash players. Also welcome in this version is the ability to import PDF files and export help documentation as PDF files.

This feature will be appreciated by developers who want to print help documentation as PDFs more effectively and by those who want to convert PDF manuals into help files.

RoboHelp X5 includes more standard content management features than previous editions, such as check-in/check-out and versioning, and it can integrate with application-developer- oriented version-control systems. X5 also works directly with XML files, which are common in documentation and manuals. This made it possible to import XML into my help projects or output my projects as XML.

One gotcha in the initial release I reviewed was the lack of support for Microsoft Office 2003, although support for this was expected to be available by press time.

For more information about RoboHelp X5, check out