Nad Rosenberg (President, TechWRITE, Inc) recently challenged us by asking if we had a way of converting our WebHelp Mobile output to a Mobile Performance Support Application. After a brief conversation and a couple mock ups, we found a way to easily post process our WebHelp Mobile to fit the bill.

A performance support application provides the information people turn to on the job when they’re unsure about what to do, need reminders, or they’re looking for a solution to a problem.

Flare’s WebHelp Mobile output is a good solution because it comes with the coding needed to fit different types of mobile devices AND it includes SEARCH (which if you create a do-it-yourself mobile performance support application, you have to spend a lot of time, money and/or energy to get a search service working). Flare gives this to you “out-of-the-box.”

Our WebHelp Mobile provided most of the solution, but needed the TOC to be the default page in the application. Below are the steps to accomplish this.

Create and Set Up a Mobile Target and Skin

The first part of the process is to create a Mobile target and skin, then set them up.

  1. Create a Mobile target and skin
  2. Open the skin and go to the General tab
  3. In the Caption section, type the name of your application
  4. In the Features section, select the TOC and the Search option (Note: The search option is optional).
    Skin Settings
  5. Save All

Generate and Post Process the Output

The next part of the process is to copy the advanced folder from the output to a new location then edit one of the files. The advanced folder contains the WebHelp Mobile output for newer devices(at the time WebHelp Mobile was released).  Most devices should already be using the advanced folder behind the scenes.

  1. In the copied folder open the Resources folder
    Windows Explorer
  2. Open the Toc_0.htm file in notepad
  3. Select the <ul> and everything down to and including the </ul>
  4. Copy the selected content and close notepad
  5. Go “up” a directory
  6. Open the Default.htm file in notepad
    Windows Explorer
  7. Select the <ul> and everything down to and including the </ul>
  8. Paste the content from the clipboard, overwriting the existing content
  9. Save
  10. Press [ctrl]+[h] on the keyboard to open the find and replace dialog
  11. Find ../ and replace with nothing, leave the field blank
  12. Replace All
  13. Find Toc and replace with Resources/Toc
  14. Replace All
    1. Note: This is case sensitive so notice what case your “Resources” folder is and match it here
  15. Save
  16. Close notepad
  17. Open the Default.htm in your browser to test the links
  18. Copy or FTP the files and folders to the desired location

Notes:

  • If you named the output file in the target you will not have a “Default.htm” file in your output folder, just edit the .htm file in the folder, it should be the only one there.
    Target Setting
  • If you have to support older phones, you will have to copy the full output folder structure (not just the ‘advanced’ folder) and do these steps for both folders.

About Nad Rosenberg:

  • Before starting TechWRITE in 1985, Nad managed documentation departments for several large corporations. She is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, an Associate Fellow at the Society for Technical Communication, on the Board of Directors of the Plain Language Association InterNational, and a Past President of the Philadelphia Metro Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. You can contact Nad at twnad@techw.com or 856-848-6593.

 

About The Author

Jose Sermeno

About Jose Sermeno

With over 10 years of experience in the software industry, Mr. Sermeno brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the product evangelist team, helping introduce new users to everything MadCap Software. In his spare time, Jose is the Project Director for San Diego City Robotics, the San Diego community college systems robotics program, and enjoys working in software design and open source hardware development. Prior to joining MadCap in late 2010, Jose ran a Drupal development shop, and was an application manager for Temple University Health System.

Last Modified: October 17, 2014

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