||The Willamette Galley
A Bi-Monthly Newsletter
Volume 4, Issue 3, July 2001
RoboHelp vs. ForeHelp
Summary by Christie Christopherson
Note: This summary provides information that addresses several key issues about choosing and using RoboHelp
and ForeHelp. If you have additional points to add, please send them
This summary lists strengths and weaknesses of two Help Authoring Tools (HATs): RoboHelp and ForeHelp.
In general, ForeHelp has a strong user base that appreciates its ease of use, independence from Microsoft Word,
rich feature set, and great technical support. Most techwhirlers that wrote about this topic preferred ForeHelp
because of those reasons.
- RoboHelp is the industry leader.
- Easier to find Help authors with RoboHelp experience than authors with ForeHelp experience.
- Works directly with Microsoft Word.
- Easy for Word users to learn and understand.
- RoboHelp 7 is stable.
- Dependent on Microsoft Word, which means that you must not only update RoboHelp when there are new features, but also potentially whenever Word has changes.
- More difficult learning curve than ForeHelp.
- Documentation can be intimidating, and information is hard to find.
- Can be expensive to own because of frequent major upgrades.
- No support for older versions.
- Poor technical support experienced by most techwhirlers (however, some techwhirlers have experienced good technical support from Blue Sky [now eHelp]).
- Versions of RoboHelp prior to 7 are buggy.
- Not dependent on Microsoft Word.
- Learning curve is good, easy, and almost nonexistent.
- Good documentation to get you through your learning stages.
- Great technical support.
- Uses a database system to store its Help source files, which provides you with the ability to easily structure and restructure your Help system.
- Rich feature set compared to RoboHelp.
- Supports JavaHelp.
- Functions are buried in the menus (however, there is an icon available on the toolbar for almost every menu item, so you can customize the toolbar to reflect the functions you use the most).
Visit the following URLs to obtain demo versions of each HAT.
Thanks to the following techwhirlers who contributed to this topic (click on a name to jump to the original posting):
This summary was originally published on The Official TECHWR-L Web
site, http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/. Reprinted with permission.
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Revised: July 2001
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