I am working to convert a very large FrameMaker manual into RoboHelp. Two of the files are over 330MB each. When I try to link or import either of these, I get the message that "File X could not be opened. Please verify that FrameMaker is installed and this is a valid FrameMaker file."
I have several other files that work fine. I do have FM installed and these documents open fine in FM. I see from a 2008 post that the diagnosis of a similar problem was large file size. Is there any workaround? I have a lot of cross-references in these files that are going to be wrecked if I break it up into smaller files. Plus, breaking them up into a zillion files is going to wreck any advantage I had from linking to the source files.
I am on a very short deadline with this. Please help!
I forgot to mention that I am running TCS 3.5 on Windows 7. I have 4GB of RAM. The files are stored on my hard drive. Some of the other files in the document that are working are 71MB and there's no problem with those.
Are you running the 32 or 64 bit version of Win7? If 64, you could try adding more RAM to see if RH could digest those 330 MB files. If that’s not possible, try closing down as many apps as possible to conserve memory – just leave FM open at its starter screen.
I'm running the 64 bit version. I guess you mean to add more RAM physically? That would take several days at least, and I don't have that much time. I have put in a request to my manager already :-).
I changed the virtual memory to 2.0 GB. I deleted the CPD file, changed the project settings to not use Distiller to create the images, closed all other applications. I cut the file into two pieces to see if that would help, and it still chokes on the 107MB piece.
Any other suggestions? The fact that the last post on this subject was dated 2008 made me think that it's not a common problem, but I can't be the only person out there dealing with large files.
Jeff, is there any assurance that if I get more RAM installed on my machine, that RH itself will be able to handle the large file? I split the file again and it seems that under 100MB works, and both pieces linked fine, so it's not a problem with the contents of the file. I could put a rush on my manager IF I have some assurance that will solve the problem.
Hi Jay, please open all the files in FrameMaker and update your book prior to updating the files in RH. Address any errors in your update process.
The "File X could not be opened" mssg makes me think that there's a missing resource or other dialog that is hanging up your process. Opening files and addressing ALL resulting dialogs will remove that impediment.
**make sure you're not suppressing your errors via the Frame Alert Preferences, as this only masks "problems" in your FM files.
Thanks for the input. I have all alerts set to go off in my Preferences. I don't import the book--only the chapter files.
I do occasionally get a message that the Fonts are unavailable with these documents. However, at the moment I'm not getting that message from the troublesome files. I also resolved all unresolved cross-references.
@Jeff - I think that statement should be more general.
Generally speaking, nearly *ANY* application is happier with more RAM, but like many things, you may have all the RAM in the world and it may make no difference.
For example, I'm salivating because Google is installing Google Fiber here in my city. 100 times faster than my cable modem. But I've also been researching and I find that if I'm trying to Skype and my partner I'm skyping with has a low speed connection, my experience will be the same as before, as part of what I'm doing depends on the recipient.
Just pondering out loud a bit... Rick
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@Matt, I tried importing the book file. RH stopped at the two problem chapters and politely informed me they were not valid Frame files.
I moved to a computer with 32GB of RAM, a heavy-duty number cruncher with core i7. Still choked.
I'm now looking at having to break the chapters into numerous chapters, which is actually the best solution for a reader of the manual. It is however going to take time I didn't really have.
Any hope of Adobe coming out and saying just how big a file RH can handle from Frame? My experience with this project so far says somewhere around 100MB.
Further testing, with the help of a software developer, tells me it is not memory in my machine that's causing the problem. We turned to the issue of why these files are so darned large and realized the files for the graphics, which are after all just screen captures, are outrageously large. Therefore, of course, when they're imported into Frame the Frame file gets huge.
To reduce the size of each graphics file and reimport it will take considerable time. Is there any way in Frame to compress the graphics, as you can do in PowerPoint?
If the files are that huge, then you've imported your graphics by copy, rather than by reference. FM internally stores the image files as uncompressed simple rasters. Not an optimal FM workflow to begin with.
In the two really big FM files, you can do a quick test to see if the graphics are the culprits by toggling them off ( esc v v ) in the respective files. Save and then try a RH conversion.
FM11 allows you to remove the facet associated with your imported graphics. For more info, see the FM11 Reviewer's Guide, available at the FrameMaker product page at adobe.com
Not sure how much this will reduce the file size, but should help somewhat.
BTW, what was your file type for screen shots?
Another thought might be some sort of ExtendScript processing to automate conversion. Sorry but I don't have any insight on where to start or whether this is even possible.
I tried the esc v v and the graphics disappear, but the file size remains the same. Again RH choked. I now don't know if that means the graphics are not the problem or that the file retains the graphics info and RH has to still process it, even though they're not appearing in the Frame view.
The person who did this manual imported the graphics by selecting a PNG file in Explorer, pressing Ctrl-C, and then in the anchored frame pressing Ctrl-V. I had not known that was possible to do until late yesterday evening when she told me. We did get one message once that "Unable to import graphics copied and pasted into FrameMaker", which led to my discovering her method, so that itself could be the issue.
We have to copy the graphics in rather than link them by reference. Our file management is simply not good enough to support copying by reference.
However, I also discovered late yesterday evening that the PNGs (screen captures) were about 4 times as large as any similar screen capture files I've seen. We're working now on resizing and compressing them, and then reinserting them into the Frame documents. I will also research Matt's suggestion about the functionality of FM11 to "remove the facet associated with your imported graphics", although we have FM10 and it possibly does not have this functionality.
Oh dear - you've definitely pasted them into the FM document - not best practice as you now know. Since you've got FM10, you've got Extendscript built in for free - there may be scripts out there that can do resizing for you. You may end up having to resize the PNGs outside of FM and re-import them manually.
You did it! I searched for an ExtendScript that extracts the graphics and found it at: http://blogs.adobe.com/techcomm/2011/12/extendscript-of-the-week-exter nalizing-graphics.html. I installed it, opened the troublemaking file, ran the script, and voila. All the graphics were pulled out into a separate folder and linked by reference. RoboHelp chewed it up happily.
Thanks very much for your help, all of you.
That's great news - I vaguely remembered reading that blog post, but since I hadn't had any time to poke around with Extendscript or use much in the way of graphics in FM, I'm sorry I couldn't have linked to it for you.