Adobe Robo­Help 8 has sev­eral excit­ing new fea­tures. First and fore­most, Adobe Robo­Help 8 is now an XHTML Author­ing Tool – that means, there is clean XHTML code edit­ing in an visual envi­ron­ment. In addi­tion, you can val­i­date the code to assure World Wide Web Con­sor­tium compliance.

You can see the list of other new fea­tures below.  To learn more, please click on the reviewer’s guide below.  Reviewer’s guide also has sev­eral Cap­ti­vate demos which illus­trate some of these fea­tures.  You may need to down­load the PDF to view these demos.  You can also down­load the try it exer­cises.

Publish­ing Fea­tures – spe­cial enhance­ments for the end-user

Enhanced sup­port for Adobe AIRAdobe AIR™ tech­nol­ogy pro­vides a rev­o­lu­tion­ary new help appli­ca­tion that pro­vides many new ways for users to find infor­ma­tion, add and share com­ments, in a sys­tem that is always up to date. It com­bines the best of the Web as well as the desk­top, whether the user is online or not. Authors can gen­er­ate this excit­ing new Adobe AIR help appli­ca­tion and pack­age it for easy deploy­ment and man­age­ment of auto­matic updates.

Pow­er­ful Search engine – Search results are ranked by rel­e­vance with the ini­tial text of the topic for con­text, search high­light­ing, a syn­onym edi­tor and a brand new Key­word Search that can be defined to help the user find what they are look­ing for. Also added is a way to define search Phrases as well as Sub­strings. Another major fea­ture is that text in Adobe PDF and MS Office doc­u­ments can be searched.

Enhanced Printed Doc­u­men­ta­tion options – More flex­i­bil­ity in map­ping your online out­put styles to the printed ver­sion in Microsoft® Word or Adobe PDF.

Bread­crumbs / Mini TOC – Bread­crumb nav­i­ga­tion and/or a Mini TOC can be added with place­hold­ers on a topic basis or with Mas­ter Pages. If pre­ferred, bread­crumbs can be added glob­ally with a sin­gle check­mark when gen­er­at­ing output.

Improved Glos­sary – Glos­sary def­i­n­i­tions which are edited are auto­mat­i­cally updated in glos­sary hotspot links.

Merged Help imple­men­ta­tion – Merged project enhance­ments pro­vide a visu­ally intu­itive way to merge child projects which become part of a mas­ter TOC.

Twisties – Twisties pro­vide both expanded and drop­down hotspots and can now have con­fig­urable images which pro­vide a visual cue to the user.

More author-friendly enhance­ments

A new Styles and For­mat­ting pod – Quickly apply, cre­ate or edit CSS styles.

World class Table, List and Auton­um­ber­ing – Table designs (with many new pre­pared tem­plates) can now be cre­ated or mod­i­fied in the Styles edi­tor using a graph­i­cal pre­view and exposed for­mat­ting tools. List sup­port now includes enhanced han­dling of stan­dard HTML Lists, Mul­ti­Level lists and cus­tomiz­able autonumbering.

Eas­ier import of MS® Word and Adobe FrameMaker files – Define com­mon Import and Con­ver­sion Set­tings for con­sis­tent use of CSS and Style Map­ping across all projects.

Link­ing MS® Word files –By link­ing to MS® Word files you can keep your con­tent updated to the orig­i­nal source MS® Word doc­u­ment with­out re-importing each time.

Import DITA – Topic-based con­tent into a Robo­Help HTML project. This allows the DITA author to take advan­tage of Robo­Help software’s rich fea­ture set of TOC, Index, Glos­sary and advanced pub­lish­ing options.

Enhanced Uni­code and Lan­guage Sup­port – There is now Uni­code and lan­guage sup­port at the topic and para­graph level.

FLV for­mat now sup­ported – For com­pelling eLearn­ing and video presentations.

IFrame sup­port – Include an exter­nal HTML or PDF inside a topic.

Sin­gle Sourc­ing Fea­tures – write once, dis­trib­ute to many audiences

Brand new CSS Edi­tor – Pro­vides a graph­i­cal way to define Table Styles, and com­plex List Styles.

Mas­ter Pages (for­merly Tem­plates) – Help sep­a­rate lay­out and styling from con­tent. There are new place­hold­ers for bread­crumbs and a “mini” Table of Con­tents and the Body sec­tion of each topic.

Resource Man­ager – Allows you to man­age and reuse assets (includ­ing Images, Top­ics, Stylesheets, Mul­ti­me­dia and Snip­pets) across mul­ti­ple Robo­help projects.

For­mat­ted User-defined Vari­ables (UDV) – Pro­vide a robust way to make global changes to com­mon blocks of con­tent through­out many top­ics. A major new enhance­ment is the addi­tion of for­mat­ting and the inclu­sion of such things as images and links which are eas­ily cre­ated in a Design and HTML editor.

Pro­duc­tiv­ity Fea­tures – Work quicker, smarter, more efficiently

Script­ing - Auto­mate with built-in scripts or cre­ate your own. The entire Adobe Extended Script­ing Toolkit CS4 is included with Adobe Robo­Help 8, includ­ing many ready-made scripts to get you started.

Inte­gra­tion with other Adobe appli­ca­tions - Adobe Cap­ti­vate 4, Robo­Screen­Cap­ture and RoboSource Con­trol are sep­a­rate appli­ca­tions that are inte­grated into the Adobe Robo­Help 8 interface.

Cus­tom To Do List – This pop­u­lar Robo­Help favorite now allows you to edit the sup­plied tasks and add your own items depend­ing on your own workflows.

Usabil­ity Fea­tures – mak­ing the work envi­ron­ment easier

Project Man­ager Enhance­ments - Robo­Help software’s strength has been its abil­ity to help the author keep track of the many assets in a given project. Now, you can drag and drop top­ics and fold­ers to cre­ate the same hier­ar­chy used in the TOC. There is a choice to cus­tomize the list of files shown or switch to the tra­di­tional view with its vir­tual folders.

UI Enhance­ments - Color-coding to show pods with focus, easy close of top­ics in Design Edi­tor, more tooltips on Nav­i­ga­tion but­tons and more robust right-click Con­text Menu sup­port are some of the user-friendly changes to the interface.

Option to install Robo­Help for Word - You can now choose whether or not to install this appli­ca­tion and cre­ate desk­top icons. accord­ing to your preference.

Cus­tom File Type map­ping dia­log - In addi­tion to choos­ing your pre­ferred HTML edi­tor, there is an enhanced dia­log to asso­ciate file exten­sions with your choice of applications.

More func­tion­al­ity added to exist­ing fea­tures– Snip­pets can now be added to Pop­ups and Drop-down hotspots and DHTML effects in non-IE browsers. Because of improved HHAc­tiveX sup­port, Glos­saries and Browse Sequences can be included in the HTML Help (.chm) for­mat in Chi­nese, Japan­ese and Korean (CJK) multi­byte lan­guages. Improve­ments have been also been made to Mul­ti­ple TOC, Index and Glos­sary edit­ing (includ­ing the abil­ity to update Glos­sary def­i­n­i­tions automatically.)