Authoring - Overview

The biggest problem faced by large organizations with numerous content providers is legacy content. How do you deal with obsolete content with little in the way of central control? HelpServer's Workbench allows you to convert and load all kinds of content in a central repository.

You can granulate Word documents to form discrete chunks of information with the hierarchic structure and the styles preserved.

You can convert RoboHelp projects created with RoboHelp Classic or RoboHelp for Word to HelpServer folders and topics while preserving links and context-sensitive help. After conversion, you can edit and maintain the information in HelpServer.


You can migrate WinHelp projects to a HelpServer content folder: simply drag and drop the WinHelp project file onto the HelpServer Workbench, and it will be converted into a full application help or documentation project.


You can convert XML from existing AuthorIT projects by dragging the XML file and dropping it on the HelpServer Workbench.


Plain html files can also be converted by dragging and dropping them onto the HelpServer Workbench.


If you use the Adobe Acrobat Pro software (a product of Adobe Systems); you can convert FrameMaker projects and pdf files.


If you are using a third-party tool such as XMetal to create your structured DITA files, you can import content from files that have a .DITA or .ditamap extension.


You can always transform your company's legacy content in HelpServer own HelpServer's XML format so it is ready to be imported in the HelpServer database.


Of course, old documents and files come in various formats, each type has its proprietary mark  up features, and converting all these to a single source isn't obvious. We advise you to first walk through your legacy content, the more you can smooth out the irregularities, the better the converted result will be. Also, after the conversion you should verify the result and where necessary you can make manual adjustment to have an even consistency.


HelpServer's authoring tool, the Workbench, provides the framework for organizing and editing all the elements of a content management system or a help project on multiple platforms.

The difficulty of creating new content and, later, adapting or updating the content to new scenarios is very often the main stumbling block for the adoption of a tool or technology. Hence, you’ll not find many bells and whistles in HelpServer's Workbench. Instead, you get a WYSIWYG editor, a spell checker, and the required functionality for editing and organizing your projects.

HelpServer’s interface is by default available in English. But it can be provided in French, German, Dutch, or Japanese, and other languages on request (delivery time is 2 months after request).


You can import content from files that have the .dita or the .ditamap extension. You can also generate output that produces DITA files. HelpServer does not validate against the DITA scheme. However, you can use a third party tool such as XMetal to create your structured DITA files. If you import content from DITA files you can further develop it and generate various types of web-based and print-based output. You can of course send the HelpServer content back out to DITA to import it in another tool.


 About HelpServer
 Starting up and logging on
 The basic working principles
 Using the content in help and documentation systems
 Formatting the content
 Searching and replacing text
 Reusing content with shares
 Navigating with hyperlinks
 Navigating with pointerpaths
 Using bookmarks and jumps
 Duplicating content with clones
 Using tables
 Including media files
 Navigating to web pages
 Using embedded chunks
 Including html code
 Navigating with menus
 Using snippets
 Spelling checking
 Using the view mode
 Creating an index
 Creating a FAQ
 Creating a glossary
 Team authoring
 Working with projects
 Setting up structured authoring
 Generating file based output
 Creating printed output
 Importing files and folders
 Loading files in the project gallery
 Converting legacy content
 Word documents
 RoboHelp projects
 WinHelp projects
 WinHelp header files
 AuthorIT XML
 FrameMaker projects and pdf files
 Dita maps
 HelpServer XML
 Including legacy content in real time
 Transferring objects between installations
 Customizing the look and feel
 User accounts
 Working with templates
 Working with metadata
 Workflow management
 Using event exits
 Appendix A: The URL parameters
 Appendix B: The object indicators
 Appendix C: Play Javascript