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kjc90
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Illegal character error on good filename

May 15, 2009 7:41 AM

I created a new RoboHelp project and tried to insert a graphic named Timeline.jpg. I got the following error:

 

Unable to rename file, "Timeline.jpg".

The filename contains illegal characters.

 

I tried inserting a graphic that I had used in a previous RoboHelp project and got the same error. Then I opened a previous RoboHelp project and was able to successfully insert the Timeline.jpg graphic into that project.

 

I'm on Windows XP and RoboHelp 8. I would really like to avoid having to re-install RoboHelp, but I'm not sure where to look to troubleshoot this error message. Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks.

 
Replies
  • RoboColum(n)
    5,357 posts
    Oct 8, 2004
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    May 15, 2009 7:51 AM   in reply to kjc90

    Hi kjc90 and welcome to the RH community.

     

    I'm wondering if the project name is at fault here. Can you tell us what the project title is?

     


    Read the RoboColum(n) for mutterings on RoboHelp, Technical Communication Suite and technical communication.

     
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  • RoboColum(n)
    5,357 posts
    Oct 8, 2004
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    May 15, 2009 9:12 AM   in reply to kjc90

    It is longer than any project title I've ever used but it isn't too long. It also doesn't contain any special characters which I thought might be the issue. Is the project on a network drive?

     


    Read the RoboColum(n) for mutterings on RoboHelp, Technical Communication Suite and technical communication.

     
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    May 15, 2009 6:49 PM   in reply to kjc90

    And it's not source-controlled, I presume?  When inexplicably odd behavior occurs, the two basic all-purpose fixes I have my writers try are 1) Reboot the PC, and 2) Rebuild the cpd file. If that doesn't work, then we dig deeper.

     

    This fixes a *lot* of weird problems.

     

    G

     
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    May 18, 2009 9:02 AM   in reply to kjc90

    Hi there

     

    Perhaps try attaching the image to this thread? If you can do this I'd be happy to download it and see if I get the same issues when attempting to insert into one of my own RoboHelp projects.

     

    In this rare case, I'm advising to use the actual Attach function as opposed to my normal advice to insert the image inline.

     

    Cheers... Rick

     

     

     
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    Jan 19, 2010 5:44 AM   in reply to kjc90

    Did anyone ever make progress on this?

     

    A colleague is now unable to import images to her project (RH8.02, CHM output, Windows XP, local disk, no source control); she gets 'Unable to rename file, "SAXS_1_32_slit.png". The filename contains illegal characters'. Other images give a similar message.

     

    I can import the image to a test project on my PC; her project is quite large (some 3000 topics) so I don't want to copy it to my PC if I can avoid it.

     

    What strikes me as odd is that RoboHelp has no need to rename anything. It should simply copy the image to the project directory and insert it into the HTML. We can verify that the image is copied in OK; she just can't import it.

     

    Jeff `jonestech' described a similar problem in http://forums.adobe.com/message/2390997#2390997

     

    Obviously we tried zapping the CPD and rebooting -- no help. Any ideas?

     

    --- Derek

     
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    Apr 16, 2010 10:45 AM   in reply to NL_Derek-GsBV5a

    We're having trouble with this too.  Any solutions?


     
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    Apr 21, 2010 12:45 PM   in reply to kjc90

    We're having the same problem. With three copies of RoboHelp 8 HTML running in the office (all under Windows XP Pro), two of us can insert images with absolutely no problem, and the third gets an "illegal characters" error on virtually every image. In fact, I'm able to insert the very same images with no problem at all, while my co-worker gets the error message. We've done all the usual, including rebooting, deleting the CPD file, and so on.

     

    I guess our next step will be to re-install RoboHelp. It does seem like this is becoming a a more pervasive problem.

     

    A copy of the image is attached, although it shouldn't be the source of the problem because I can import it with no problem.

    Attachments:
     
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    Apr 21, 2010 2:37 PM   in reply to LarryTX

    Did your colleague try inserting a graphic into a test project that was placed in a totally separate folder? This would be the fix used by the original poster. If that works, then I'd try copying the project (minus cpd) into a new location and trying again.

     

    HTH,

    G

     
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    Jul 21, 2010 12:42 AM   in reply to kjc90

    In January I posted that a colleague had this problem. The beastie has now hit another colleague, so that 40% of our team is suffering.

     

    Did anybody ever get a workaround?

     

    --- Derek

     
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    Jul 21, 2010 1:08 AM   in reply to NL_Derek-56V59O

    I don't see anyone in this thread saying they have tried renaming the CPD and reopening the project. Just wondering if something got screwed up there.

     

    Maybe also time to copy a project from someone with the problem to someone who is OK. Does the problem persist?

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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    Jul 21, 2010 1:17 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    Now now, Peter, it's a bit early in the day but both LarryTX and I clearly stated the we had tried the CPD route.

     

    Unfortunately these are pretty big projects (3000 topics) so copying is not a five-minute job. And my vacation starts tomorrow so I don't have time until the middle of August. Johan (my colleague) is monitoring this thread and will try any useful ideas.

     

    --- Derek

     
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    Jul 21, 2010 1:43 AM   in reply to NL_Derek-56V59O

    You win on CPD, sorry I missed that.

     

    Zipping up a 3000 topic project and putting it on a network shouldn't take long though.

     

    Alternatively, if you want Johan to send it to me, I'll take a look.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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    Jul 21, 2010 6:22 AM   in reply to kjc90

    Bang! bang! bang! That's the sound of the bug being nailed to the wall !

     

    It turns out that there was an apostrophe (') in a folder name in the path (not the filename at all). When I renamed

     

    D:\author_df\_MyNotes\RHtests\oldMyProduct\Generic

     

    into

     

    D:\author_df\_MyNotes\RHtests\oldMy'Product\Generic

     

    I was unable to import an image. I changed the name back and I could import OK.

     

    We had no problems with RoboHelp X5, so it's presumably appeared since then. Interestingly Windows allows the apostrophe -- see grab

     

    21jul10.png

    That'll help to assure me of a relaxed vacation

     

    --- Derek

     

    Message was edited by: NL_Derek

     
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    Jul 21, 2010 12:03 PM   in reply to kjc90

    I'm getting the same error.

     

    This happened after I "upgraded" to 8.0.1.204 this morning.  Worked fine yesterday before the upgrade.  Now I can't insert any images at all, even ones I had inserted to the project earlier.

     

    It says, "Unable to rename file," but I'm not trying to rename it at all.

     

    Beats me...I'm at a standstill now.

     
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    Jul 21, 2010 1:18 PM   in reply to Johnt555

    It's extremely important that you now update to 8.0.2.208

    You'll find it here:

    http://www.adobe.com/support/robohelp/downloads.html

    Then return here if your problem still isn't fixed.
    Thanks

     

     

    John Daigle

    Adobe Certified RoboHelp and Captivate Instructor

    www.showmethedemo.com

     
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    Jul 21, 2010 1:37 PM   in reply to John Daigle

    Yes, I did that - download 8.0.2.  Problem persists...

     

    Did you see my note that I can insert images as long as they're in the Robo "Gallery?"

     

    But, it's the message, "Unable to rename file," that sounds like a bug, you know?  Didn't ask Robo to rename a file.

     

    Meanwhile the work-around helps...although my directory structure is going to be messed-up.

     

    And THANKS, btw!

     

    John

     
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    Jul 21, 2010 1:38 PM   in reply to kjc90

    Here's an update:

     

    I copied an image into Robo's "Gallery," clicked Insert>>Image and that worked.

     

    Any advice from the "robotic sages" out there?

     
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    Jul 21, 2010 2:52 PM   in reply to Johnt555

    >>Did you see my note that I can insert images as long as they're in the Robo "Gallery?"

     

    I did not see anything about a Gallery reference from you up-thread but down below??? I'm a bit confused now. This thread was started in 2009 and is getting a bit long in the tooth

    Is your problem that you are not able to import images, or is it that you are interrupted by illegal character errors as shown by NL_Derek in post 18?

     

    If you can import from the Gallery (where we know there are no mis-named folders) maybe you were trying to insert the original image from a mis-named folder? Honestly I don't know.What is the image format and does it display correctly once it's in your project?

     

    >>although my directory structure is going to be messed-up.

     

    This should not be a problem. Once you insert your image from the Gallery or anywhere else, it is automatically copied to your RoboHelp Project folder. From the Images pseudo-folder (as Rick calls it) in Project Manager you can then locate it and move it to any project subfolder you like by dragging and dropping.

     

    John

     
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    Jul 21, 2010 2:57 PM   in reply to John Daigle

    Just to be clear also. Did you do the "Rename the .cpd file and reboot RoboHelp to recreate it?" as referred to by Peter up-thread?

     
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    Jul 21, 2010 3:05 PM   in reply to John Daigle

    No, but I will.

     

    Thank you, again.

     

    John

     
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    Jul 23, 2010 2:41 PM   in reply to Johnt555

    The problem remains.  I get the "Unable to rename"because of "illegal characters."  I get this even though I'm not trying to rename anything, just inserting a new, properly-named image from the same folder I was previously able to insert images from the day before.

     

    Robo8_Error_Msg.jpg

     

    I've gone back and traced the entire folder path and file names...no spaces or illegal characters.  I've also checked to make sure I have access to the image folders.

     

    The reason I think it might be a bug is that this began to happen after I downloaded the update.  I've been able to continue by saving the images to Robo's "Gallery" folder.  From there, no problem.

     

    I now have 8.0.2.208

     
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    Jul 26, 2010 3:02 PM   in reply to Johnt555

    I found the answer I was looking for here:

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/433500

     

    Plus, I removed RB7.

     

    THANKS for everyone's help.

     
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    Jul 26, 2010 8:17 PM   in reply to Johnt555

    Hey John. Glad to see you solved it. However, the link to the thread you mention is *this* thread? Was this what you meant to do? What specifically was the magic solution? Also, can you tell if removing RoboHelp 7 affected the solution, or was it coincidental?

     
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    Jul 27, 2010 8:40 AM   in reply to RoyceSA1

    Sorry that I wasn't more specific in reporting my solution.

     

    I cannot say that the deletion RB7 helped because I had done that before making my other changes.  Another website that I had visited suggested that Robo sometimes has a problem when a previous version still exists, so I can't say that removing it solved the problem.

     

    Previously, all the project files were in a folder on my desktop, several layers deep.  BeforeI upgraded to v.208 I did not have a problem inserting images and I never got the "illegal character name" or "cannot rename" errors.  AfterI upgraded the problems began.  BTW, I had checked the file path back to the image locations to make sure there were no spaces, illegal file names, etc.  So I knew the errors were bogus.

     

    After the upgrade I also noticed that all of the images I had previously inserted remained viewable in Preview Topic, but ALL of the images disappeared when I looked at the project after compilation.  At that time I was able to insert new images by saving them to the Gallery folder of RB8.  Perhaps I may have been able to insert them from another, nearby folder...I don't know.

     

    AfterI deleted RB7 I figured, heck, why not make everything clean and simple and copy the whole project from the desktop folder to a new folder in the root of "C."  When I re-opened the project everything was okay - back to normal.

     

    If I can suggest anything from my experience it would be that clean, simple directory structures are what RB-8.208 likes most and if you get too far away from RB's project folders you may get similar errors.

     

    Hope this helps, and thanks again for your assistance!

     

    John

     
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    Dec 16, 2011 10:36 AM   in reply to kjc90

    PROBABLE SOLUTION:

     

    I don't know if this is your issue, but I had this same problem and this was the solution for me. RoboHelp hates special characters. If anywhere in the file path of the image or the project -- from C:\ on out -- there is an apostrophe or an ampersand or any special character in a folder name, the image import will crap out even if there are no special characters in the image name itself. I had to change a folder name in my directory tree and the import worked immediately. Good luck.

     
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    Mar 12, 2012 8:57 AM   in reply to Rob in Cleveland

    I took the spaces out of the directory name, and was able to place the previously-unplaceable graphic! What weird, demented developer at Adobe was responsible for this bizarre requirement?

     

    Lee Anne

     
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    Mar 12, 2012 8:33 PM   in reply to Ms Lee Anne Ward

    In Tools > Options do you have the Use Underscore in File Names field ticked or cleared?

     

    You haven't told us what "previously-unplaceable graphic" you are referring to. This seems to be your first post in this thread so we have no idea what problem you are referring to. What were you trying to do that gave you a problem with a space in the folder name?

     

    What version of RoboHelp are you using?

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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    Mar 13, 2012 5:19 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    Peter,

     

    Use Underscore is checked. The issue was a space in the folder name. Once the space was removed, the problem was solved.

     

    The previously-unplaceable graphic was any of a number of simple .png files. No special characters or spaces in the names of the files.

     

    “This seems to be your first post in this thread so we have no idea what problem you are referring to.” Strange, as I was replying to a response in a thread that specifically dealt with not being able to place graphics (this one), but getting an error indicating illegal characters in the file name. On my screen, my reply is clearly shown as the last reply in that thread.

     

    The problem was seen with RoboHelp 9.02.271.

     

    Lee Anne Ward, PMP, BSLS, BSME

    Technical Writer

     
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    Mar 13, 2012 5:47 AM   in reply to Ms Lee Anne Ward

    Yes I could have been clearer, still jet lagged. What I meant was I was not clear exactly what steps YOU were following, there are many posts in this thread.

     

    Not sure quite why this problem arises, as you can see it is a while since this thread was started and I know since then there have not been other reports.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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    Mar 13, 2012 5:53 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    I understand about the jet lag, although I’ve not had to deal with it for many years.

     

    Apparently, the problem still occurs. It may be that, since the reply before mine, there was a known and posted solution, there hasn’t been a need for reports. I was basically just confirming that the solution that was proposed does work for me.

     

    Oh, how I miss the days when Blue Sky did RoboHelp. It was so easy to use, back then. That was 1998!

     

    cid:image001.png@01CD00F6.A02A6460

    Lee Anne Ward, PMP, BSLS, BSME

    Technical Writer

    Doble Engineering

    www.Doble.com<http://www.doble.com/>

    617-926-4900

     
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    Apr 12, 2012 10:20 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    Hi Peter,

     

    Although this is my first post, I have been using Robohelp for many many years.   I experienced the same issue as what has been discussed in this thread since 2009.  The illegal characters (e.g. apostrophe) that my co-worker inserted in his directory structure for the French project made it impossible to insert any graphics (we were getting the same error as described by others).  This series of posts gave me the information I needed to troubleshoot the issue.


    After removing the apostrophes from the top level folder of the directory structure (a very simple 2 minute fix), the images could once again be inserted without any issues.  We are using Robohelp v  9.0.1.262

     

    I am wondering if this issue has ever been reported to the Adobe Robohelp techies and if they will ever fix it?

     

    Thanks for everyone who's ever posted.  It took me approx. 45 mins from beginning to end to troubleshoot this issue because of this knowledge base/forum.

     

    Genevieve Richer

    Consultant

    Ottawa, Ontario

     
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    Apr 12, 2012 12:19 PM   in reply to Gigenny123

    If in doubt about whether a job has been done, do it yourself.

     

    The more people who report a bug or request a feature, the more likely it is to be actioned. Please follow this link.

     

    http://www.Adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform&product=38

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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