RoboHelp 2019 - Word Output

There are some big changes in the generation of printed documents, the key one being you don't need to have Microsoft Word installed on your computer. The DOCX file created does not use any of the proprietary features of Microsoft Word meaning it can be read in any program that can read a DOCX file.

Creating a Word Output

Click Output > Output Settings the first time you generate so that you can configure your Word preset as required. After the preset is configured, you can either go back there next time or you can click the Quick Generate icon top right in RoboHelp.

The icons above the list of presets allow you to generate an output, view it or create further outputs.

Preset Configuration

The settings appear in five groups as below.


Variables can be included in the Title. Place the cursor where you want the variable and press CTRL + 1.

The language should be set for the Table of Contents, Index and Glossary page.

You can select a script to run after the document has been generated.


Most of the options here are obvious but be aware of a change from Classic versions. Previously in all versions of RoboHelp, the content has been limited by design to just those topics in the print layout TOC rather than all topics in the project not excluded by a condition expression as in online outputs. Now all outputs are based on the TOC used so any change to the TOC will also affect the print output. You can create a separate print toc if required.

  • Include Table of Contents sets whether or not there is a TOC in the generated document. TOC entries hidden in an online output will not be hidden in the Word output.

  • Include All Referenced Topics sets whether or not topics are not in the TOC but with links from topics in the TOC will also get included.

Classic versions of RoboHelp had an option to limit the depth of the TOC in printed outputs. If you want a limited depth, set up a TOC with the required number of levels.


Here you can apply a Master Page to your document. See Style Hierarchy and Headers and Footers below for information on how that will affect your document.


Here you can apply a Master Page to your document.

What you see under In Word Output will depend on whether you have selected a Master Page and/or a Word Template or left both blank.

See Style Hierarchy and Headers and Footers below for information on how that will affect your document.


You can create a Publish Location for this output. Typically that will be used to deliver it to developers. How this is set up is described in Publishing.

Style Hierarchy and Headers and Footers

Project uses one CSS file that you want for the printed output.

Leave the Master Page and Word template fields blank. The project CSS styles will be in the Style Mapping options. If you want headers and footers, then you must use a Word template with the required header and footer set up. Under Style Mapping the default will mapped to the Word template style if that style is part of the template. You can change that to the style from the CSS.

Project uses multiple CSS files.

If the topics are not all using the same CSS and if no master page and no template is selected in the Word settings, the CSS files will be merged and will follow cascading rules. Thus if the first CSS states that H1 is a red font at 24pt and second states H1 is a blue font at 24pt and the third states it is a green font at 18pt italic, the document H1 style will be green 18pt italic.

As this can be unpredictable, it is recommended that where multiple CSS files are used in the various topics, that you either use a Master Page with a linked CSS file or a Word template.

Project uses one CSS file but you want different styles in the printed output.

You can use a master page with a CSS file attached and/or you can use a Word template.

Master Pages

Using a master page you can quickly change the styles by taking your topic CSS and creating a print version, mystyles_print.css for example. You can then quickly redefine the styles as required.

You can use existing master pages. Note that any headers and footers in them will not appear in the output.

Word Templates

A Word template is required if the printed output is to have headers and footers.

The template can be set up to have all the styles you require and in Style Mapping, Variable "ProdName" is not defined will default to what is in the template if there is a matching style. You can change that to the CSS style.

If you are using a template solely to get headers and footers, create a new template to minimise the number of default styles in it.

Style Mapping

Under Style Mapping, you will see how RoboHelp has mapped topics and you can change that as required.

Generating the Output

Once you have defined the preset, click the generate icon.

Cancelling Generation

While an output is being generated, you can click the Cancel icon at any time.

Generation Errors

When you generate an output using Quick Generate, if it fails for any reason click the Error icon to access the log.

If you generated directly from the preset, you will get an error message. Right click the preset and click View Log.

Viewing the Output

Click the view icon on the Output Presets toolbar. The document will open in whichever program has been associated with the DOCX format.