Working on Topics

When you open a project and a topic, it will display as shown below.

On opening a topic from the Contents panel, it displays alongside. This is the main working area and is shared with editing other features such as the Table of Contents.

  1. By clicking the Contents icon in the Project Toolbar 1 on the left, the folders and files appear in the Contents Panel. The icon labels are shown in the image but they can be toggled by clicking the guillemets (double chevrons).
  2. When you click an icon in the Project Toolbar, it opens in the Project Component Panel 2. What shows in that panel depends on the tool chosen. In this image the Contents Panel is shown.
  3. On opening a topic, it appears in the authoring area 3. With multiple topics open, you can right click for various Close options or to locate a topic in the TOC.
  4. Depending on what has focus, 4 will display relevant options. In this example the top icon on the right has focus so the Content Properties of whatever has focus in the content are shown. The other icons access the Topic Properties, the Styles and the Spell Check. Clicking one of the icons a second time hides the right panel.
  5. Above these areas is the Standard Toolbar that is described in User Interface.

As you work in the topic, what you see in the Right Panel will change, as below.

If you move folders and files using File Explorer, the changes will be shown in Adobe RoboHelp straightaway. You don't have to close your project to see this. Beware of broken links though. Broken links are now shown in a Report.

Content Properties

What you see here will depend on what has been selected in the topic.

Here an image has focus and you can see the content properties that you can accept or change. There is more about that in Images, Videos and Captivate.



Here some text has focus.


Displays the tag for whatever has focus in the content. The icons allow you to Update the CSS from any inline styling applied and Clear Formatting removes any inline style from wherever the cursor is applied.


ID allows advanced users to apply an ID to an element.

Class - If the style is a class such as, the class name will appear here. Also you can add a class name by typing in just the class such as "red" (without quotes) but note it must be letter and case perfect or it will have no effect.

Translate Select enables you to include/exclude topics from Translation.

Condition Tags can be applied to topic content here. Condition Tags for the whole topic are applied in Topic Properties.


Apply inline changes to selected text. To apply the change to a whole paragraph, click within it rather than select the whole paragraph.


Apply a border to the selection.


Sets margins, padding, float and clear properties.

Page Break

You can control where page breaks occur when printing the topic, both from a browser or in PDF and Word outputs.

To always have a page break before any Heading 1, for example, you would set the Page Break Before option to Always in the dropdown.

To avoid a page break you would set the style to Avoid.

The dropdowns contain the most commonly used options and these are defined in the  Adobe RoboHelp online help. Advanced users may want to use the other options supported by CSS3. These can be set by editing the CSS in Source View.


Apply a background image or shading. In the code you may see rgba as well as rgb values. The "a" is for alpha channel, which specifies the opacity of the color.



If a table has focus, an additional icon and Table Properties will be displayed so that you can edit the table as described in RH2020 Tables.

Topic Properties

Here you see the options contracted for ease of finding.


Let's look at them individually as they are important.


The General properties are grouped here. The Description field expands automatically for longer content.

The content of the Description area can be used in the search metadata, in cross references or it can be used for your own notes.

In the Output Presets there is an option Use Topic Description As Search Context. Tick that if you want your descriptions used in that way or leave it clear if you want to use it for your own notes.

Do be careful you don't use it for your own notes and tick the box. Could be awkward!

This is also where you can apply a master page to your topics, the language to be used, the topic status and any map ids.



Here you can set any search keywords that you want the user search to find in addition to words in the text. Also you can exclude the whole topic from the search. Type in the keyword and press Enter.


Style Sheets

You can apply more than one style sheet to a topic.

Adobe RoboHelp lets you apply more than one style sheet (CSS) to a topic. Here only one is applied. To apply another, click the dropdown to select it or you can browse to add a new CSS.

CSS cascading rules apply in the order the style sheets are shown. The dots to the left are "drag handles" that let you drag the style sheets into the order you want.

To remove a style sheet from a topic, click the X icon.



Index keywords can be added in the Index Editor on the Project toolbar or entered here. Just add the keyword and press Enter.

The Index Editor lets you remove a keyword from just one topic or all topics.

Here you can click X to just remove it from the topic whose properties you are reviewing.



See Also

See Also keywords can be added and removed here as well as in the See Also Editor on the Project toolbar.


Condition Tags

Condition tags can be added to a topic here, just click Apply Tags.

Content Condition Tags are applied by selecting content and then right clicking to open a dialog to set the tag. The tags set for content are then shown here.


If you click the X here, the tag will be removed from all content in the topic with that tag. To remove it selectively, click somewhere within the tagged area and then click Remove Condition Tags in the context menu. Unlike older versions, you don't have to precisely select the tagged area.



This shows references to and from other topics.


File Info

Basic file information is shown here. Click the Location link to open the folder in File Explorer.


Select the CSS style to be applied.

The highlighted icon allows you to toggle between previewing the styles as shown or changing to a list of the style names without a preview.

The list now defaults to showing all styles so that as you click in paragraphs, the style for that paragraph is highlighted.

Spell Check

Click the Spell Check icon to see this dialog.

Select where to Look In and then click the Run Spell Check icon alongside.

Your general spell check properties can be edited by clicking the cog icon.

Creating New Topics

New topics are created by right clicking in the Contents Panel or clicking the + icon and selecting New Topic. Enter the Topic Title and File Name, then in the Properties set up anything else you need to define.