List Conversion in TCS – Best Practices

Technical Communication Suite provides different settings for achieving proper conversion of FrameMaker’s autonumbers to Lists in RoboHelp while maintaining the look and feel and allowing tweaking of some of the properties.

This blog describes the best practices for achieving different results of List conversion.

Just maintain the look & feel and indentation

Explanation: If you are concerned about the look and feel of the list prefixes and the relative indentations of various list levels, select this option. The generated content will have the same look and feel as the source content.
Best Practice: Use the autonumber option “Convert Autonumber to Text”
Best Suitable for: Small sized lists which do not require any further editing in RoboHelp.
Advantage: Maintains the exact look and feel including list prefix styling.
Limitation: Since it is not a real list, it will not behave like list while editing in RoboHelp’s editor. E.g. Pressing enter after a bulleted list item, will not populate a bullet automatically in the editor.

Convert complex autonumber definitions to multilevel lists in RoboHelp

Explanation: If you wish to edit converted list in RoboHelp’s editor, use this option. This will achieve the best possible conversion while maintaining the List behavior.
Best Practice: Use the autonumber option “Convert autonumber to RoboHelp List”. Do not map the FM paragraph style to any RH paragraph style.
Best Suitable for: Complex multilevel lists
Advantage: Very fine list editing experience in RoboHelp’s editor.
Limitation: Since RoboHelp Multilevel List style is associated with a Paragraph style, mapped Paragraph Style will override the list properties. So, it is suggested not do any Paragraph style mapping. The limitation may be overcome by using the technique mentioned in the last section of the blog.

Convert autonumber to simple XHTML Lists as per XHTML standards

Explanation: If you wish to generate simplified lists based on XHTML standards using <ol>, <ul> and <li> tags, use this option. This will try to achieve best possible simplified conversion for complex multilevel lists.
Best Practice: Use the autonumber option “Convert autonumber to HTML List”.
Best Suitable for: Simple lists without much of nesting.
Advantage: XHTML standard maintained for lists.
Limitation: Indentation of list items at various levels will be controlled by the properties of <ol>, <ul> and <li> tags as rendered by various browsers. The styling of list prefixes will be lost.

Convert complex autonumber definitions to multilevel list while maintaining the look and feel

Explanation: If you wish to convert complex lists to RoboHelp lists and also wish to map the paragraph style, use this option.
Best Practice: Create a RoboHelp Multilevel list in RoboHelp style mapping CSS. Associate various levels of the list to various RoboHelp paragraph styles. Map FrameMaker paragraph styles to these newly defined RoboHelp paragraph styles. These styles may be shared through CSS or .isf file. For designing multilevel list styles in RoboHelp 8 please refer blog titled “Multilevel list in RoboHelp 8
Best Suitable For: Any kind of list to be mapped in RoboHelp.
Advantage: Complete control on mapped list.
Limitation: It requires designing of CSS styles.

Mayank Agrawal
RoboHelp Engineering