Reviewing RoboHelp Projects

 

 

What's covered?

RoboHelp offers two ways of getting your project reviewed, PDF Review and Tracking. This page describes how they work. It also covers other options for reviewing your projects.

PDF Review and Tracking - What's the Difference?

PDF Review is more appropriate for SME (Subject Matter Expert) reviews while Tracking is for use between authors using RoboHelp.

PDF Review

PDF Review creates a PDF file that you share in one of a number of ways so that the reviewer can add their comments. Note that it does not allow them to edit the content, simply to add comments to guide the RoboHelp author. The process works best if the author has Acrobat X Pro or above installed but it can still work if the reviewer has Acrobat X Pro or above.

Starting the Review

On the Review Ribbon, click Create PDF to open this dialog.

 

 

General Settings

Project Manager / Table of Contents

These options allow you to choose what is displayed in the tree below.

Select Topics / Files

The options here allow you to further refine the topics included in the tree.

Set Topic Status to Sent for Review

This one is particularly important. Once the PDF has been circulated, the topics included must not be edited until the review process is completed. Whilst setting Sent for Review does not actually prevent the topic being edited, it is a clue that you should not.

 

PDF Settings

What you see here will depend on whether or not you have Acrobat X Pro or above installed on your PC.

Save Locally / Send as Email Attachment

You can either

  • Save the PDF locally for distribution as you wish.
  • Start a process that saves the PDF to a location of your choice and then creates an email with the file attached. An additional dialog will open that are easy to follow and allow you to invite reviewers and set deadlines.

Send for Shared Review

This option will only be enabled if you have Acrobat X Pro or above installed and is designed to be used when uploading to a network location or Sharepoint server.

The Enable Commenting in Adobe Reader field will be disabled as commenting will automatically be enabled.

You can upload the PDF to a network or Sharepoint server using the Save Locally option. The difference there is that commenting is not automatically enabled.

Enable Commenting in Adobe Reader

This option will only be enabled if you have Acrobat X Pro or above installed. Assuming that is installed so that the field is enabled, I am not clear why anyone would choose not to enable commenting as the workflow relies on the reviewer being able to comment. Selecting the option means the reviewer can comment with Acrobat Reader only.

If the field is not enable because Acrobat X Pro or above is not installed, then the workflow relies on the reviewer having access to Acrobat X Pro or above so that they can enable commenting.

Save In

This defines where you want to save the PDF. Your choice will depend on which of the other options you choose.

 

Reviewing the Comments

Once your reviewers have completed their review, you need to import all their comments into your project before making any changes.

The process is simplest if all the reviewers save their comments in the same PDF file but I believe you can import from multiple copies provided you import all the comments before making any changes. I have not tested that so set up a test before you proceed.

To import the comments, you go to the Review ribbon and select Import Comments. You then navigate to where the commented PDF has been saved and start the Import process. When it has finished, a dialog will display with statistics and an option to set the status of those topics to Reviewed.

With the comments imported, you work through the topics in RoboHelp and click on the Comment flags to see what was said, then edit accordingly. After completing the changes in each topic, set the Status to Reviewed if you did not select the automatic option.

If you accidentally import a file a second time, RoboHelp picks that up and skips the comment.

Tracking

Tracking is similar to Word's tracking feature. The important differences between PDF Review and Tracking are:-

In the example below, I have turned Tracking on in the Review Ribbon by clicking Tracking and then changed Peter's to Paul's.

When the review is complete, the original author will work through the comments accepting or rejecting them.

There is an important difference between RoboHelp and Word when reviewing the changes. In Word, if you accept the change, Peter's will be deleted and Paul's will be accepted with a single click. You either do want Peter's to change to Paul's or you don't. In RoboHelp you have to accept the deletion and accept the change or reject both. To my mind this is a bug as you can reject the deletion and accept the addition so that you have Peter'sPaul's in your topic.

How to Share the Project

If it is in source control, that's straightforward.

Otherwise you can:-

Before you send the project, consider creating a backup first so that you can revert to the original in case of need. I always recommend creating the backup as a zip file. That prevents you opening it accidentally and working on it before you realise it was the backup. This way you always have a clean backup that can be used to create a new clean copy time after time.

Other Options

Donations

If you find the information and tutorials on my site save you time figuring it out for yourself and help improve what you produce, please consider making a small donation.

Topic Revisions

Date

Changes to this page

29 May 2017

New topic.