In previous articles you've learned about RoboHelp's User Defined Variables (how to create them, group them, and use them in topic titles).
As a brief review, variables can contain information that occurs frequently in your project, such as a product name, company name, or copyright notice. After creating the variable, you can insert it into any RoboHelp topic or onto a template by simply dragging and dropping. Now here's the cool part. Assume your company name now appears throughout your project and now you want to change it. Without the variable, you would have to search your entire project and update the company name. Thanks to variables, all you will need to do is update the definition of the CompanyName variable, and you will change the displayed company name project-wide in just a few seconds.
One issue you'll come across when inserting variables within a topic is that, by default, the variable text looks like regular topic text. In the picture below, I challenge you to locate the variable.
Did you find the variable text? I'm betting that the answer is no. So what's the big deal? This can be particularly frustrating if you need to replace regular text with a variable. For example, you can highlight regular text in a topic and convert it to a variable by dragging the variable on top of the text. That's an awesome feature. Before I begin however, I need to be able to tell, at a glance, if the text I'm looking to replace is already a variable. As it stands, I have no idea since I cannot tell the difference between a variable and regular text.
Luckily, RoboHelp has a handy feature that allows you to distinguish between variables and regular text in topics. To enable this feature, simply choose View > Show > Fields.
Voila. All variables in topics are now shown as green text. Best of all, variables only show up green in your project... when you generate a layout, the green color will not be visible to your users.
Taking a RoboHelp workshop next week. #techcomm
Posted by: Pat Barry | June 21, 2014 at 11:24 AM