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Changing Skins

Changing Skins

Creating online documentation for websites is all about customization. Nobody likes to use a standard interface anymore. Standard interfaces are often too bland, particularly website interfaces that you automatically generate using established software.

For users who don’t want their sites to look like every other site on the Internet, RoboHelp lets you easily “skin” your online documentation. Simply put, skinning means replacing the current look and feel of an application with a completely different set of colors or graphics. RoboHelp supports downloading different color schemes and customized graphics directly from the eHelp website, or you can even make your own skins that match your existing site. Although the default skin looks acceptable, for some people it still may look a bit too default. RoboHelp allows you to easily locate and import new skins from the Robohelp Exchange.

You can even preview each skin as well as sort them based on ratings, popularity, category or date uploaded. The eHelp website currently hosts around 60 different templates that you can use with your project.

You can view other skins that are included with RoboHelp by following these steps:

  1. Select File > Generate Primary Layout (WebHelp Output). This dialog lets you modify the project’s name, where to store files you generate, the default template, and the skin you use when you generate files.
  2. Click the From Gallery button to launch the Skin Gallery dialog box, where you can look through about a dozen included skins.
  3. Click the Preview button if you want to see a larger version of the selected skin,
  4. If you find a skin you like, select the skin and click OK.
  5. Click Finish to close the dialog box and generate the files with the new skin.
  6. Click the View Result button after RoboHelp recreates the files. You can view your project with the newly applied skin.

If you do not find skins in the Skin Gallery that you like, you can also find several skins available for download from the web. To find skins on the web, right-click RoboHelp’s Skins folder in the Project tab and select Import from the Web from the context menu. RoboHelp launches a new browser window where you can click Visit the WebHelp Skins Gallery and view dozens of new skins. Most of the available skins seem to fit into common “themes,” such as mimicking the Windows XP scheme, the Netscape Browser or Opera browser, or a skin that looks remarkably like Internet Explorer 6. After you find a skin you like and want to download, click on the semi-hidden download link below the skin’s description.

After the skin file completely downloads, maximize RoboHelp HTML and follow these steps to apply the skin to your project:

  1. Right-click the Skins folder.
  2. Select Import from the context menu to open the Import Skin dialog.
  3. Browse to the files on your computer to find the skin that you just downloaded, and select it.
  4. Click Open.
  5. View and modify the skin in the RoboHelp Skin Editor dialog box.
  6. Click OK to close the dialog box and save the skin in your project.