RoboHelp 8 - Tables

Goodbye to the inline styled tables that were written in HTML that was unique to RoboHelp. The code is now completely standard and the styles come from the stylesheet.

Creating a Table

The process starts in the Style Editor by selecting Table Style in the dropdown and accessing the context menu.

From there you access the table style editor which gives the ability to define a table exactly how you want it. It gives you a lot of customisation ability but it does take a bit of time to figure out how it works. I will be adding some Captivate videos to show how it is done.

The cells in a table are not automatically set to Normal (<p>). I am used to that as it is the way DreamWeaver and other HTML editors work but it may take some getting used to by users of previous versions of RoboHelp. You can define a font here or select a style in the Design Editor. The latter is my preference and I suspect this will also be something that benefits me when generating printed documentation. Because the default here is Times New Roman, it is quickly apparent to me when working on my topics if I have not applied my Normal style to table cells; the text will be in Times New Roman instead of Verdana. By seeing the difference, there is a visual prompt to to apply a style to the table contents.


  • There is a good range of options although rather than defining the font for the cells here, I would have preferred to be able to select a style from my CSS. Less work when things change later on.
  • For those who generate printed documentation, tables that split across a page break have always had the top border missing on the second page. Not so with tables generated using the Table Editor.
  • Tables from earlier versions can be converted to be styled from a stylesheet and the dialogue allows you to remove any inline styling in the process.

Not so good

  • The Table Editor does not allow you to specify the vertical alignment for the cells, you have to edit your CSS in Note Pad or an editor such as Top Style. Provided you apply the 8.0.1 patch, the cell content will then by correctly aligned in the Design Editor. Hopefully the editor will include vertical alignment in the next release.
  • Styles for the cells that are defined in the table editor cannot be mapped when generating printed documentation with a Word template. The end result is your printed documentation may not look the way you want it to. Applying a style to the cells solves the problem but that can fail with Normal and Table Text. As well as allowing authors to define the style in the editor, there should be an option to select an existing style and the problem with mapping Normal and Table text needs to be fixed. Meantime I have defined a procedure for my authors that is in a RoboHelp 8 project you can download from here.

If you see either of the problems below, you need to apply the 8.0.1 patch.

  • Additional borders displaying as you work in a table, usually with nested tables or where bulleted lists are used.
  • Table column width not applied in printed documentation.


A very welcome change that means if corporate styles change, it is easy to amend all the tables from the CSS.