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Exclude Topics from Search

Jul 14, 2009 2:27 PM

Hello,

I am looking for a way to exclude published topics, pop-ups, etc., from Search after publishing in WebHelp.  We are using RH7 HTML.  I searched the forum but I couldn't find a thread on this.  I would appreciate any information anyone could provide about my question.  Thanks,

 

TW

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 15, 2009 12:53 AM   in reply to Trustwriter

    You want to exclude published topics and popups. What's left?

     

    RoboHelp 8 has an option in Topic Properties to exclude that topic and Rick Stone has a method that does the job for earlier versions. It is the same as described here (I think).

     

     

    http://blogs.adobe.com/techcomm/2008/04/excluding_content_from_being_s earched_in_robohelp_projects.html

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 30, 2009 6:41 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    Can someone help me determine what I am missing? I have searched the forum, but I have not found any helpful information regarding this specific issue.

     

    I am using RH8.

     

    I selected the Topic Properties > Exclude from Search option. The topic is excluded from searches in WebHelp. The topic is NOT excluded from searches in HTML Help (.chm files). What am I missing?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 30, 2009 6:49 AM   in reply to Cal Wilson

    Hi Cal

     

    You aren't missing a thing. Please report this as a bug. I did. Afterward, Adobe contacted me and advised that this was a limitation for .CHM output. I disagree. There is a way to coax files to be excluded from search in a .CHM. So in my opinion, if I can make it work by kludging things outside of RoboHelp, they should tweak RoboHelp so it works within the product, no?

     

    Unfortunately it doesn't help at the moment, but it may for the future if Adobe hears from enough of us. That happens via the Bug Report. (link is in my sig).

     

    Here is how you exclude from search in a .CHM. You sneak behind RoboHelp's back and rename the topic you wish to exclude from having a .htm extension to having a .xhtm extension. Of course this will break any links. Don't sweat that. We will fix it.

     

    This will also show the topic as missing in action. So you delete the topic (but not the references) and you add the new .xhtm version to your list of Baggage Files. Once you do that, you simply amend any links to now look for .xhtm and not just .htm.

     

    Recompile and you should be golden.

     

    Cheers... Rick

     

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 30, 2009 7:23 AM   in reply to Captiv8r

    Rick,

    Thanks for responding.

    I have reported the bug as you suggested.

    I followed the steps to rename the file, add the file to the baggage files, and direct the links to the .xhtm file. I have missed something as now the links present the following error. The error is presented in both WebHelp and HTML Help.

    I seem to recall there is an option to set links to open .xhtm and .htm files, but I don’t recall where it is. Is there such an option? Please remind me where to find it.

    The XML page cannot be displayed

    Cannot view XML input using style sheet. Please correct the error and then click the Refresh button, or try again later.


    System error: -2146697204. Error processing resource 'http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd'.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 30, 2009 7:37 AM   in reply to Cal Wilson

    Hi Cal

     

    Well Carp! I guess RoboHelp 8 changes this a bit.

     

    Okay, I found that all I needed to do is to edit the Baggage File and remove the first line.

     

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

     

    Once I did this, the link opened the topic as desired and didn't present the error.

     

    Cheers... Rick

     

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 30, 2009 8:45 AM   in reply to Captiv8r

    Rick,

    I removed the line from the Baggage File, and all is well.

    I did find two other items that might be of interest.

    I have a screen capture in the file. I had to add the screen capture as a Baggage File also; otherwise, it did not show in the topic.

    The topic has a master page. The master page has a logo in the header. The logo does not appear when I use the link. Apparently the link to the master page is removed. For my purposes, this is not a huge deal. I am only dealing with one topic.

    Thanks again for your help.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 30, 2009 8:54 AM   in reply to Cal Wilson

    Hi Cal

     

    Good info!

     

    Indeed if you aren't using the image elsewhere, certainly RoboHelp won't be aware of it and you will need to add it. That makes total sense. The Master Page bit surprises me a tad. After all, it's just code in the topic. Then again, that's why you are doing what you are. To remove it from search. So I guess in a sense it does have some logic to it.

     

    Cheers... Rick

     

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2010 2:52 AM   in reply to Captiv8r

    Hello,

     

    I tested this method in RH7, and it had a drawback that made it unusable for us: Those XHTM topics didn't work as popups when help was run on Windows Server 2003. (Probably applies to Windows Server 2008, as well.) Haven't tested it recently, but one can assume that doing the same thing will still give the same result. If anyone tests this, please post back, thanks!

     

    If I remember correctly, another difficulty with this method is that XHTM topics do not show up in the Topic List, nor do you get a hit if you try Find Topic.

     

    Additionally, if your help is being translated, you have to keep these XHTM files in mind, otherwise it is easy to miss them when you send all HTM files to translators. It's details like this that can mess up a project, because different team members don't know or remember to look for XHTM files before they create a new topic (which ends up being a duplicate), translations are missed, etc.

     

    Not to deter you from using the workaround, which can be nice to have if it works on the operating systems your CHM is being run on.... just a heads up.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 16, 2010 12:12 AM   in reply to Captiv8r

    If I understand this correctly, the CHM format does not support "Exclude from Search". There is a workaround which is:

     

    (1) outside RH, rename the `secret' topic from *.htm to *.xhtm

    (2) include the renamed file as baggage

    (3) hand-repair all links which pointed to the renamed file

     

    In other words, a lot of work and error-prone, but possible for exceptional situations. And Eileen's caveats (popups, translation) apply.

     

    Is this description correct?

     

    --- Derek

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 16, 2010 6:10 AM   in reply to NL_Derek-56V59O

    Hi Derek

     

    Yes, you are understanding that.

     

    However, it occurs to me that the steps might be simplified. You might try simply renaming the topic to be hidden so its extension is XHTM. By renaming it from inside RoboHelp, it should take care of any links.

     

    The Microsoft HTML Help compiler is what works the magick with search. As I understand it, the compiler doesn't index files that don't end in HTM or HTML. So it might just be sufficient to rename the file you wish not to appear and leave it at that. I haven't tested this to confirm.

     

    Cheers... Rick

     

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 16, 2010 7:06 AM   in reply to Captiv8r

    Hi Rick,

     

    Yes, I had also understood that "exclude from search" was never envisaged in the CHM file format. I don't necessarily blame Microsoft for that; AFAIK they never implemented the function "cause gold coins to pour from my PC" ;-) either, and "exclude from search" is not an industry-standard or anything like that.

     

    Anyway I tried  it but couldn't get it working. The file suffix "xhtm" wouldn't work at all, suffix "xhtml" opened OK in Firefox, but not in Internet Confuser.

     

    In addition RoboHelp 8 is too intelligent for us. If I try to rename a file using Topic Properties it silently converts my "xhtml" to "htm".So I renamed it in Windows Explorer, and included it in the baggage. This of course means that I cannot edit it in WYSIWYG.

     

    I hand-edited the ToC to point to the xhtml file but in the CHM file the ToC link did nothing, and a test link I made from a regular HTML topic was also dead.

     

    Score so far: Microsoft/Adobe - lots; Derek - nil.

     

    Thanks anyway for thinking along,

     

    --- Derek

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 6:26 AM   in reply to NL_Derek-56V59O

    Can anyone confirm if this has been sorted out in Robohelp 9.  Can I exclude topics excluded by conditional builds, from appearing in the Search list?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 6:32 AM   in reply to Alchemex

    Hi there

     

    Not sure where the confusion is stemming from, but topics excluded using Conditional Tags have ALWAYS been excluded from search as they simply aren't present in the final result. Of course, this also makes the assumption that the conditional build expression is working properly. Sometimes folks get those munged.

     

    So sure, it should work fine. Always has for me!

     

    Cheers... Rick

     

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 6:39 AM   in reply to Captiv8r

    Hi Rick

     

    Did not work for .chm files.  When excluded using conditional builds, the topics would not appear in the TOC, but would still be visible if searched.

    There was a work around posted but not reasonable for every different build.  This thread confirmed my findings and gave the workaround - http://forums.adobe.com/message/2107525

    Was hoping there was a fix by now or that it was no longer an issue in robohelp 9.

     

    Regards

    Debbie

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 6:56 AM   in reply to Alchemex

    I am thinking that the CBT has been applied to the TOC, not to the topic itself. It's a common misunderstanding.

     

    Applying the tag to the TOC just stops it appearing in the TOC, not being in the build.

     

    Right click the topic in the TOC and you will see two columns, one to show tags applied to the topic and one to show the tags applied to the TOC.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 7:03 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    The CBT is applied to the TOC and the topic.  This was previosuly identified as a bug for .chm Robohelp 8 html files in the thread : http://forums.adobe.com/message/2107525 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 7:18 AM   in reply to Alchemex

    Hi Debbie

     

    I'm not trying to argue here or stir ill will, but I honestly believe you are confusing two different things here. Personally, I've never ever known a bug to exist where topics excluded using conditions would ever appear in the compiled CHM. Again, assuming the conditions properly removed the topics, they simply aren't there and as a result cannot be found in a search. They also would be removed from the TOC. This is why I never go near applying CBTs to the TOC elements.

     

    But this thread you have replied to is indicating something entirely different and I think this is where the confusion is stemming from. This thread is about the feature that was added to RoboHelp 8 (I believe - may have been 7) where the help author may now click a check box in Topic properties that says "Exclude from search" and folks (myself included) expected that to work in CHM format. But it only worked for WebHelp and possibly FlashHelp and AIR Help.

     

    THIS feature still doesn't work for CHMs in ANY RoboHelp version. However, I believe Adobe can find a way to make it work in a future version. But in order for them to see it as important enough to add, they need to hear from enough folks that desire it. (hint hint - Wish form is in my sig)

     

    Cheers... Rick

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 7:19 AM   in reply to Alchemex

    That thread is this thread to save anyone else clicking it.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 7:27 AM   in reply to Captiv8r

    Hello again

     

    Just a note to add that the "Exclude from Search" check box is not in any way affiliated with a Conditional Build Tag. It is a separate feature entirely.

     

    Cheers... Rick

     

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 10:59 PM   in reply to Captiv8r

    Hi Rick

     

    Thanks for the reply.  Let me do a more testing and try what Peter said and not use the CBT on the TOC but on the topics only.  At the moment, I have them set on both.

     

    Regards

    Debbie

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 11:13 PM   in reply to Captiv8r

    What I have found is that if TOC and the topic has a CBT then it still shows up in the search.  If you only put the CBT on the topic and not the TOC then it doesn’t show in the search.  Weird but true, tested on multiple builds. 

    Thanks everyone for their input.

     

    Cheers

    Debbie

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 11:51 PM   in reply to Alchemex

    That is a bug. Please follow this link.

     

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

     

    Removing a topic from the build automatically excludes it from the TOC, RoboHelp always did that. There is no need to apply both tags as choosing just one will give whatever result you want. However, choosing both should still exclude the topic.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 12:37 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    Hi folks

     

    I just tested this in version 7 and in version 9. In each version things behaved properly and the topic was excluded. This leads me to believe the problem is likely with the project.

     

    Filing a bug report may make you feel better about things, but it won't have any effect because Adobe won't be issuing a patch for version 7 assuming they were to find a bug.

     

    Cheers... Rick

     

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 12:56 AM   in reply to Captiv8r

    Good catch sir.

     

    You should be in bed and I should have been more awake!

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 1:02 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    LOL, what's that about old age and treachery? (Heartburn woke me up)

     

    I've had my seltzer water and will be toddling back to bed soon!

     

    Rick

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 1:11 AM   in reply to Captiv8r

    For the curious - I saw someone with a T shirt that read

     

    Youth and talent are no match for age and treachery.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 5:39 AM   in reply to Alchemex

    #Debbie (or others that might still be listening),

     

    Having been in this thread in 2009, all the comments have peaked my curiosity.

     

    I am hoping to save myself a great deal of testing time by asking for clarification.

     

    I understand the CBT basics. I understand that when Debbie applied the CBT to the topic, the topic did not show in the search results.

     

    Is the topic still accessible in the .chm output as noted next?

     

    My goal is to create a topic. Use the topic as a destination for a cross-reference (hyperlink) making the topic readable. But I want to exclude the topic from the search results. This would mean that the topic could only be accessed by using the hyperlink.

     

    Will Debbie’s approach work, i.e., using a CBT?

     

    It seems all this would be solved if Adobe would just listen and make the Exclude from Search option work for .chm files.

     

    Thanks in advance for saving me testing time.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 5:58 AM   in reply to Cal Wilson

    No Debbie's approach will not help you as Rick has identified she has a project specific issue. Ignoring that, this is how it works.

     

    If you apply the Exclude from Search setting, the topic remains in the build so it is accessible via a hyperlink, the TOC or anything else except a search. Because of the problem, which is also present in RoboHelp 9, the search does find it. Whether or not that is a bug or a limitation of the Microsoft Compiler has already been covered in this thread.

     

    CBTs exclude topics from the build so nothing on earth will find them. The fact that is not the case for Debbie is seemingly a one off, as Rick has reported.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 6:58 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    Hi there

     

    Just a note to also say that I erred in not picking up immediately that Debbie is using RoboHelp 7. She replied to an old thread where the Exclude from Search option was being dicussed. I overlooked that her version didn't sport the Exclude from Search and mistakenly concluded that she was confusing this option with a Conditional Build Tag.

     

    Please, for anyone reading this, consider submitting a Wish Form to ask Adobe to consider building the feature into the next version. As I've said in other threads, it *CAN* be done. I've done it. I know it can work. We just need to convince Adobe that folks are still building CHM format so it is worth the time adding it in.

     

    Cheers... Rick

     

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 10:01 AM   in reply to Cal Wilson

    Hi Cal

     

    The workaround to make this work for a CHM file is described at the link below:

     

    Click here to view

     

    Cheers... Rick

     

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 10:24 AM   in reply to Captiv8r

    Hi Rick,

     

    LOL.

     

    Thanks for sending the link to the work around.

     

    I have used (do use) the work around. I am the same Cal that you helped by providing the work around in 2009.

     
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