Topic Editors



What's covered?

This page describes how to set up RoboHelp so that when you double click certain topics, they automatically open in the required editor rather than the default editor. It avoids having to remember the topics that for some reason you do not want to open in RoboHelp.

RoboHelp Version

The steps described here are for Classic versions of RoboHelp up to and including RoboHelp 2019 Classic.

In the new UI versions of RoboHelp from 2019 onwards, it is as simple as going to Edit > Preferences > File Associations. Typically the reason for using a different editor was to use something that wrote compliant code. The editor in the new UI versions of RoboHelp uses and generates code that complies with CSS3 and HTML5 standards. See Preferences ( for more information.

How to Change the Default Editor

These steps are the result of some joint research by Rick Stone and myself. The need to be able to do this came up in a forum post which lead to Rick Stone asking me to check some of his findings. While Rick poked around some more, I found out a few other things. This is the result of our joint efforts.

First you need to make the editor known to RH so that it appears in the list when you right click and select Edit With. Skip steps 1 - 6 if that editor is already in the Edit With list.
In this example I will add UltraEdit, a text editor, but it could be any application you use to edit topics.

  1. Select File | Options | File Associations.
  2. You will see the applications that already appear in the list.

  3. If your chosen editor appears there, select it and skip to Step 7. Otherwise click Add to add a new one.

  4. Under Name, type the name of the application as you want it to appear in the list.
  5. Select one of the offered programs or click the folder icon to select another.
  6. Click OK to return to the first screen.
  7. Select Auto-select Editor and click the Auto-select button.
  1. Click Yes to the warning that will display and leave the check box unticked.
  2. If your editor is already set up here, just make a note of the Generator Tag. Otherwise click Add and in the dropdown list and select the editor you have just added.

  3. Click to the right and under Generator Tag, type in "<a name you will put in topics that are to use this editor>", for example <UltraEdit>. It can be any text you want.
  4. Click OK to both dialogs.

Now you need to set up any topics that are to use different editors.

  1. Double click the topic to open it in the RH WYSIWYG editor and switch to the True Code view.
  2. Locate the line in the <head> section
    <meta name="generator" content="Adobe RoboHelp 2015" />
  3. Delete the text in quotes and enter the text you recorded in step 10, for example "UltraEdit".
  4. Stay in True Code view and click Save. Do not return to the WYSIWYG view otherwise RH will undo step 14.
  5. Double click any other topic.

Next time you double click the topic you edited, it will open in your preferred editor. You will get a warning that it may already be open in the other editor. Check that it is not and then click OK. If you choose to tick the check box not to get the warning again, to reset that you will need to go to File > Options > General and click Reset All.


In Step 8, you may have noticed that the generator tag <none> is associated with Notepad. That means that if a topic has no generator tag line (see Step 13), it will open in Notepad.

You can change the editor if you prefer such topics to open in some other application, just select it from the dropdown list to the left of <none>.


If you find the information and tutorials on my site save you time figuring it out for yourself and help improve what you produce, please consider making a small donation.

Topic Revisions


Changes to this page

16 Jun 2019

Updated to cover RoboHelp 2019.

05 Feb 2017

Topic reviewed and updated for RoboHelp 2015 and above.

27 Jan 2005

New topic.