24 Key RoboHelp Terms

Nandini Gupta and Samartha Vashishtha

If you’re a new or intermediate-level user of RoboHelp HTML, you’ll surely find this compendium of 24 commonly encountered terms useful. And once you’re done with the basics, go ahead and explore the community content links under the respective term.

RoboHelp Server

Adobe RoboHelp Server is a server-based solution that provides statistics and reports about your Help content. Using these reports, you can analyze the efficacy of your Help content for the target user base and iron out the identified issues. For further reading, visit the following links:

RoboScreen Capture

RoboScreen Capture is a screen capture tool included with the Technical Communication Suite. Use it to capture and edit images for your Help content. For further reading, visit the following link:

RoboSource Control

Adobe RoboSource Control is a version control (SVC) application that lets you manage changes made to one or more documentation or development projects. For further reading, visit the following link:


A project is the source for generating output in RoboHelp. It is a container to which you add different elements, such as content, navigation (TOCs, breadcrumbs, browse sequences, and so on), look-and-feel (skin and styles), and metadata (language and Project-level settings). A project file has an .xpj extension.You can generate different types of output from a single RoboHelp project by using various single-source layouts (SSLs). For further reading, visit the following links:

Merged project

A larger project made up of two or more child projects. For example, four technical authors may create portions of a large documentation set independently and then merge their Help projects. For further reading, visit the following links:


A topic is the basic element of a RoboHelp project. You can create topics from scratch or by importing content from external sources, such as FrameMaker and Word documents. The Project Files folder in the Project Manager pod provides easy access to the topics in a project. You can keep multiple topics open for editing. The HTML tab lets you view and edit a topic in HTML format. For further reading, visit the following link:


RoboHelp skins are a lot like skins for blogs or CMS-powered websites. You can use skins in RoboHelp to change the appearance of WebHelp and FlashHelp systems by changing colors, buttons, fonts, and icons. Skins also let you specify backgrounds or add logos.RoboHelp includes predefined skins that you can use right away. For further reading, visit the following links:


A RoboHelp environment or workspace is an arrangement of UI elements, such as pods, panes, toolbars, and menus. You can create environments or workspaces for different tasks (for example, authoring and review), save them, and load them when required. For further reading, visit the following links:


A pod is a workflow pane that you can float or dock anywhere in the RoboHelp application window. Pods provide quick access to logically grouped features from one location. For example, you can access various components of the project from the Project Manager pod. For further reading, visit the following link:

Single-source Layout (SSL)

Each RoboHelp project includes multiple single-source layouts or SSLs, enabling you to generate different types of output from the same project. Each SSL offers a variety of options to filter content from the project and customize the output.The Single Source Layout pod provides access to the SSLs. Certain SSL types, such as Oracle Help and JavaHelp, are not listed in the SSL pod. You can access the complete list of supported SSLs by clicking the Create Layout button. For further reading, visit the following link:

Content Category

Content categories are named parts of the project that you can select from a drop-down list in the output. Generating output as a set of content categories helps you create dynamic user-centric content (DUCC). In other words, users can dynamically filter the content based on role, department, geography, products, operating system, or any other parameter specified in the SSL. For further reading, visit the following links:

Conditional Build Tag

Conditional build tags in RoboHelp let you easily assign tags to topics that you want excluded from a particular output type in single sourcing scenarios.For example, if you want a topic to appear in printed documentation, but not in online help, you can use the conditional build tags. For further reading, visit the following links:

AIR Help

AIR Help is a commonly used term for the output you generate by selecting the Adobe AIR Application output type in the Adobe AIR layout properties. The advantage of AIR Help over other RoboHelp output types is that AIR Help supports commenting and moderation and web 2.0 features, such as topic rating and RSS feeds. For further reading, visit the following links:

Printed Documentation

Printed Documentation is a RoboHelp SSL that generates output in Microsoft Word or PDF formats. You can add a title page, a TOC, a glossary, and an index in addition to the content (can you rephrase “content”? glossary, index, etc. is also content). For further reading, visit the following links:


A RoboHelp resource is an image, multimedia clip, or any object that you use in your project or help topics? You can share resources across RoboHelp projects. If you link shared resources instead of copying, the Resource Manager notifies you if the images in the project are not in sync with those in the shared location. For further reading, visit the following link:

Master page

Master pages in RoboHelp let you separate the layout and styling of a Help topic from its contents. Such a distinction comes particularly handy in single-sourcing scenarios. Every master page in RoboHelp can be associated with a different Cascading Style Sheet (CSS). The master pages themselves are separate files (.HTT files) included in the RoboHelp project. For further reading, visit the following links:

Baggage file

Baggage files contain files other than Help topics that are part of your documentation project. For example, you could include a PDF file or some sample code library files. For further reading, visit the following link:

Style Sheet

A RoboHelp style sheet is a CSS document that you can associate with any number of HTML topics. For further reading, visit the following links:

Inline Style

An inline style is a style applied directly to a body of text in the Design Editor, instead of being applied through a style sheet. For example, when you instinctively select a body of text and press Ctrl+i to italicize it, you create an inline style. Inline styles override embedded styles and styles in the style sheet. Therefore, use inline styles with care. For further reading, visit the following link:


A snippet lets you reuse content in various places in a project or across projects (using the Resource Manager). It can be a paragraph of text, a code listing, an object such as an image, or an entire topic.If you change a snippet, it is automatically updated in all the topics. You can manage and preview snippets in the Snippets pod. For further reading, visit the following links:

User-defined Variable

A user-defined variable (UDV) helps you maintain information in one place and reuse it several times in a project. When you modify a UDV, every occurrence of that UDV is updated across the project. If you generate multiple types of output from a single project, you can create different variable sets for different SSLs. The User Defined Variables pod lists all the UDVs in a project. For further reading, visit the following links:


Breadcrumbs display a path in the output to let users navigate the folder structure of the current topic. When you preview a topic, actual breadcrumb links are not generated; only the layout of breadcrumbs is visible. At runtime, users can configure breadcrumbs to appear at the top or the bottom of a page. For further reading, visit the following link:

Browse sequence

A browse sequence provides a path to move through a series of topics. You can auto-create browse sequences from a TOC or manually define the order of topics in Browse Sequence Editor. In WebHelp layouts, you can enable or disable browse sequences at a project level. For further reading, visit the following link:

Script Explorer

RoboHelp provides extensive scripting capabilities that let you automate repetitive tasks and workflows. You can manage and execute scripts using the Script Explorer pod in RoboHelp. To help you get started, RoboHelp bundles several sample scripts that you can customize or use as-is. Word Count, UDV Converter, EclipseHelp.jsx, SaveAsProjectTemplate.jsx, and Link Converter are some sample scripts that RoboHelp provides out-of-the-box. For further reading, visit the following links:

Note: Some features discussed in this article are not available in RoboHelp HTML version earlier than RoboHelp 9.


About the authors

The authors work on the Community Help and Learning team at Adobe Systems. You can follow them on Twitter at @nandinizg and @samarthav.


  1. Pingback: panda
  2. I wish to voice my love for your generosity giving support to men and women that require guidance on this one content. Your very own dedication to getting the solution throughout had been really useful and has specifically empowered somebody just like me to reach their ambitions. This warm and friendly help and advice signifies a great deal to me and far more to my fellow workers. With thanks; from everyone of us.
    cheap BAD BOY snapbacks http://www.curcioenterprises.com/images/hats.asp?p=cheap-BAD-BOY-snapbacks.html

  3. I would like to show my respect for your kind-heartedness in support of folks that absolutely need assistance with your matter. Your real commitment to passing the message across ended up being definitely insightful and have truly allowed those just like me to attain their endeavors. The warm and helpful suggestions means a great deal to me and extremely more to my fellow workers. Regards; from all of us.
    cheap Kidrobot snapbacks http://www.baaestheticmasters.com/2011/hats.asp?p=cheap-Kidrobot-snapbacks.html

Comments are closed.