Adobe RoboHelp: Merging TOCs

Adobe RoboHelp: Merging TOCs

For large help systems, it is common to reuse content in the Table of Contents (TOC) when part of the system uses the same options and/or features.

For instance, you might need to include a common introduction for several modules. With RoboHelp, you can include a topic in multiple locations in the TOC, allowing for easy reuse.

Check out the image below. Notice that the Getting started topic is included in each of the four modules. If anything were to change within the common content, such as renaming a topic or adding a second topic, I would have to update the TOC in four locations. That is not just a lot of work, it is also a recipe for inconsistencies.

TOC with duplicate content

Fortunately, using RoboHelp’s multiple TOC feature, we can optimize the workflow by merging.

Setting up a TOC for Merging

  1. On the Project Manager pod, open the Table of Contents folder. Then right-click the Table of Contents folder and choose New Table of Contents.

Create a new TOC

  1. Give the new TOC a name and click OK. In this sample, I call mine Introduction.

Create a new TOC: Provide a name

The new TOC opens automatically.

  1. In the TOC, add the content that you want to share. In my case, it is just the Getting started topic.

Add content to the new TOC

Using the new TOC

With the TOC set up with all common content, you can embed the new TOC.

  1. Go to the main TOC and select the location of the shared content. In my case, this is the Getting started topic. Click Insert TOC Placeholder at the top of the Table of Contents pod.

Choose TOC to embed

  1. On the Insert TOC Placeholder dialog box, select the Table of Contents you want to include. Then click OK to add a Placeholder.

Merged TOC

  1. Remove the common content from the TOC and then repeat these steps for every location where you want to include the common content.

Multiple Merged TOCs

Once you have set up the project, generate the output. For your reader, the TOC will look as if nothing happened. However, if you change the name of the topic, you only have a single TOC to update.

Output for readers

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