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arqwe
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Graphic quality in project imported from word/graphics disappear from compiled chm

May 1, 2012 2:51 AM

I've been searching for a means of importing graphic quality when importing a word doc with graphics to rh. Linking the graphic files in word instead of embedding them seemed to be an effective solution. But only when compiling to web help. Oddly enough, when I compile to a chm (after importing the word doc, and the linked graphics displaying in rh), all the linked graphics disappear - from rh, from the word document, and even from the graphics folder where they were saved. It is the strangest thing. I've tested this extensively in RH8, and somewhat in RH9. Does anyone have any advice regarding this or know if Adobe is planning on solving this major bug? Has anyone found an efficient way of improving graphic quality (especially of screen captures that were resized) other than manually inserting them in the RH project?  TIA.

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2012 12:50 AM   in reply to arqwe

    First of all, there is no bug here. Resizing graphics is an issue regardless of whether or not you are working with RoboHelp.

     

    Second, linking is not supported, the images must be embedded in the Word document.

     

    Now let's look at the general problem. First see http://www.grainge.org/pages/various_rh_projects/images/index.htm. It's an old topic but I believe the general information holds good. More recently I found something else that may be relevant. I needed to resize some screenshots rather than some other image. As soon as I applied any resizing, the text became ugly. That led me to suspect that the tool the developers use to create the screens can have an impact when resizing. I haven't had a chance to test that yet by working with screens from different products using differerent tools.

     

    Open one of your Word documents and right click on an image that is giving you grief. Use the Save Image option and save the image as a jpg or whatever. Then open that in a grapics editor. Recently I tried to help someone whose image size was something like 5000 pixels wide. Given the average screen size, no wonder it look bad after being reduced to the size required to fit on screen.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2012 3:16 AM   in reply to arqwe

    Sorry, I should have indicated it was more about resizing being the usual cause, be that direct or via Word.

     

    Yes importing is common and whilst we do see people with problems, most people have success.

     

    I don't know what the reason behind linked images is for sure, I suspect it is to do with the import being able to access the images from a network location.

     

    I'll take another look at the thread later. Have to go out now.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2012 7:36 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    Can you send me a Word document with some images?

     

    One that imports cleanly without being expanded to full size.

     

    One that imports cleanly only if expanded to full size.

     

    One that will not import cleanly and has to be reworked in RoboHelp.

     

    See the Contact page on my site. It's OK to attach the document to your email.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2012 9:09 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    I have tested the documents you sent and what I find is that the documents where you reset the image size give a clear image, as expected. That said they would be way too large.

     

    The smaller images are importing into RoboHelp with little difference in the quality they were in Word. Both had been significantly resized. If you resize in Word, they are then clear in Word but the same rescale in RoboHelp is poor. That is because in RoboHelp they were imported at the size seen in Word (already reduced) so when increased, the data is not in the file to give the required clarity.

     

    One thing I did notice was the png images were importing as jpgs. At one time if you imported documents with pngs they would show as missing. The 902 service release changed that but I am not sure without further research whether they should import as pngs. At the moment they are importing as jpgs. What are you finding using the documents you sent me?

     

    I also saved the png you had reset in Word as a png. I then resized that in SnagIt to 50% and whilst it could be increased back to size better than the image imported at reduced size, it was still unacceptable. Whilst I will find out the format in which RoboHelp should import the pngs, I don't think that will help too much. The key issue here seems to be the original size of the image, the fact that screenshots do not resize down too well and certainly not down to the degree you require ( around 50%).

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2012 9:33 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    Please confirm that in RoboHelp 9 you have the 902 service release applied?

     

    Also please run a quick test to see if there is any difference according to whether you paste the image into Word or use Insert > Picture.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2012 12:38 AM   in reply to arqwe

    When I imported the reduced size images the quality was no different to when they were in Word. Both are bad in the reduced size documents before I start and are no worse in RoboHelp.

     

    As I explained earlier, that level of reduction will lead to a severe reduction in clarity and I am seeing little or no difference between the reduced size images in Word and what RoboHelp shows.

     

    I assume you meant you have also reduced TO 70-75% rather than BY that amount but even that will cause this issue. It is in the nature of the graphic rather than what RoboHelp is doing. That is witnessed by the fact the screen capture is no worse in Word which we all know is good at image reduction.

     

    How bad is the difference you are seeing and are you viewing at 100%.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2012 1:17 AM   in reply to arqwe

    If you import the document pngnotresetinword.docx you are saying the image imports into RoboHelp as a PNG, correct?

     

    I did a different test and can see what you are getting at but at the moment for reasons I cannot explain, the png is importing as a jpg so I would expect to see a difference.

     

    Leave it with me for a while. Prompt me if I don't get back within 48 hours.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2012 2:09 AM   in reply to arqwe

    Sorry to come back but this is very important in the dialog I am having with Adobe. The PNG importing as a PNG is with the document you sent as above, not some other document or some other image.

     

    I know about the setting.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2012 2:50 AM   in reply to arqwe

    It seems the cause of that is that the PNG in Word is transparent.

     

    Please create a PNG that has no transparency, insert that into Word and see what happens in your webhelp.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2012 3:31 AM   in reply to arqwe

    So when import now and the image comes in as a PNG, then the webhelp is OK, is that what you are saying?

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2012 10:51 AM   in reply to arqwe

    If your screen capture is capturuing the image with transparency, then it is going to come in as a JPG. You need to capture the screen and then ensure there is no transparency.

     

    Can we stock take now? It seems that if your images are PNGs with no transparency, they are importing OK and are OK in the webhelp. So it would seem you have a workflow that gives you what you want. Correct?

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 4:01 AM   in reply to arqwe

    I think you have answered your question. When Word resizes, the image has transparency. When RoboHelp saves the Word document as HTML, it has to use Word's Save As Web Page and the resized images then have this transparency meaning they have to come in as JPGs.

     

    It may be that RoboHelp can engineer a solution but that would need a feature request and it will not help you in the short term.

     

    I realise that this has not really got you a good workflow but at least the issues are understood.

     

    Taking just the example you used, is that representative? Do you need to show, in that example, the whole ribbon?

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 5:06 AM   in reply to arqwe

    Because when Word resizes it is introducing transparency and transparency is something the import cannot handle, as explained. Where there is transparency, Word saves the image as a JPG, then hands it over to RoboHelp. I don't think there is anything Adobe can do but I will be taking that up with them.

     

    I suspect that most people are working in RoboHelp to create their topics or accepting that the level of resizing required is just too great.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 6:11 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    I just realised I misread your first sentence. I'll look again later but I thought they came in as gifs for me.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 7:17 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    I imported your resized gif and confirm that too is coming in as a JPG. My guess is the issue is really to do with transparency and I have asked Adobe to confirm that.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 11:58 PM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    It is the same issue. To convince yourself the format is converted to JPG by Word, save the gifnotresetinword document you sent me in Word as Web Page or Web Page filtered. Where you save it you will see a folder named gifnotresetinword_files and in it you will find a JPG. The file has been nowhere near RoboHelp at that point.

     

    The image will show as reduced if you open the HTM version of the document as that size is what is applied in the file and that is what RoboHelp has to assume you want, the image to be the same size. Interestingly the JPG file is still full size.

     

    Why Word changes the file format is something I cannot help you on, You will have to take that up with Microsoft.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2012 5:38 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    I have spent some time saving Word documents in different ways with different resized images but every time the format is converted by Word to JPG. I turned off transparency in SnagIt, reduced the number of colours and so on.

     

    Nothing but resetting the images to full size in Word seems to stop it converting the format to JPG.

     

    There is a forum at http://windowssecrets.com/forums/ which is where I go for any Word problems. Maybe they can help. If they do, please post back. They will not be familiar with RoboHelp but there's no need for that. The help you require is to stop Word converting resized images to JPGs.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2012 4:14 PM   in reply to arqwe

    Hi there

     

    Personally, I'd be doubtful there is much of anything Adobe can do to solve this issue. If I could offer an analogy here:

     

    RoboHelp simply uses what Word has to offer it. So think of RoboHelp as a consumer and Word as a restaurant. The restaurant may have chicken or beef on hand along with a recipe for preparing a dish containing Chicken or Beef. Perhaps the dish is referred to as simply a meat burrito. So the consumer orders the recipe, but the chef decides to substitute goat meat instead of the Chicken or Beef. How can the consumer even know that the burrito contains anything different than Chicken or Beef? All they know is that they are given a burrito that has meat inside. Aside from complaining, there really isn't anything they can do to ensure that only Chicken or Beef ends up in the burrito, can they?

     

    Likewise, RoboHelp only knows it's sucking in the content of a Word document. While it's prepared that Word may supply images, how is it to know that Word is pulling a switcharoo with the image format?

     

    Cheers... Rick

     

    Helpful and Handy Links

    RoboHelp Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form

    Begin learning RoboHelp HTML 7, 8 or 9 within the day!

    Adobe Certified RoboHelp HTML Training

    SorcerStone Blog

    RoboHelp eBooks

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 11, 2012 12:40 AM   in reply to arqwe

    To twist Rick's analogy, if the restaurant's meat supplier has delivered minced beef and someone walks in asking for a steak, there isn't much the restaurant can do. They can only work with what has been delivered. In the same way, authoring tools can only work with what Word has delivered.

     

    It would take a developer with more detailed technical knowledge to advise whether or not there is any solution here. To the best of my knowledge though, all authoring tools will face this problem. Most offer free trials so try them on a non production machine.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2012 1:47 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    Ayelet

     

    I haven't read through the thread again but see if this helps.

     

    Capture the same Word ribbon using SnagIt and save it as a PNG. I deselected Use Transparency but I am not sure that is the issue.

     

    Now do a Save As in SnagIt and Resize the image to 50%. Make sure you deselect the Use Resampling check box. Save with a different file name.

     

    Now insert both images into a Word document labelling them so that you know which is which.

     

    Import the document into RoboHelp and you will see the image you reduced as remained as a PNG.

     

    Generate WebHelp. Does the image that you resized still look good allowing for the massive reduction?

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2012 1:59 AM   in reply to arqwe

    Please read again. I was talking about saving the original image using SnagIt, which I believe you said you have.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2012 2:52 AM   in reply to arqwe

    Use Resampling appears when I select the Resize option. Maybe it wasn't in your version. Enter "Resampling" into SnagIt's help search.

     

    If you cannot find that, then maybe your version is too old.

     

    I will send you a document with the two images.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2012 4:03 AM   in reply to arqwe

    I think we have pretty much reached the end of the road then.

     

    In Word at 100%, both images look the same.

     

    If you zoom in Word, then only the image that Word resized down has the data in the file to zoom in. However that image will look poor in WebHelp because of the way that Word saves that file when saving as an HTML file, which is RoboHelp's start point. As already covered, RoboHelp has to take what Word gives it.

     

    In RoboHelp, the file that Word handed over in the required format did not look poor because Word did not convert it to a JPG.

     

    I can think of no other way to resolve this.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

    @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2012 7:45 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    Hi, Guys! I am observing your conversation as I have a similar issue.

     

    What I have noticed is that an image is processed by Photoshop (copied to a new PS tab from clipboard and saved as PNG) , it is converted to JPG by Robohelp when linkin a WORD document. But if an image has been saved as PNG w/o PS processing and uploaded to word document, it is not converted by RoboHelp. I use RH 902 and Word 2003. Can this be useful for you? What can be the reason for such behavior?

     
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