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Multiple issues with See Also controls when importing topics (RoboHelp 9)

Nov 20, 2012 9:47 AM

I was wondering if anyone has found workarounds to a very flaky area of RoboHelp...

 

Suppose you create several topics A, B, C and D, each with a See Also control in it. Let's suppose all the topics are assigned to the same See Also keyword, say 'Alphabet'. At a later date you create a new project, and need to import your old topics. The following problems arise:

 

1) When the topics are imported, RoboHelp does not recreate the 'Alphabet' See Also keyword in the See Also pod. However, the See Also functionality works (sort of) when the project is built. It is not possible to manually add the 'Alphabet' keyword in the See Also pod, because RoboHelp tells you it already exists! The result is an invisible 'Alphabet' See Also keyword, to which you cannot add further topics. As a workaround, I found it is essential to manually add the 'Alphabet' See Also keyword BEFORE importing the topics, and RoboHelp will then correctly assign A, B, C and D to it. However, this can be very awkward if you have hundreds of topics to import and are not sure what See Also keywords the topics reference.

 

2) When the topics are imported and the project is built, the See Also control does not work as expected. In RoboHelp, right-clicking the See Also control and choosing See Also [] Properties... reveals that the options you previously set, such as 'Popup menu' or "If no topics are associated with any of the See Also keywords..." have been lost! So all those nasty Topics Found dialogs return when you build the help (instead of popups). If you have a See Also control placed in every topic for consistency, it will never grey out if the topic doesn't belong to any See Also keywords.

 

3) When the topics are imported and the project is built, the current topic's name appears in its own list of See Also topics, i.e. it self-references. So for example, if you are viewing topic A and click the See Also link, topics A, B, C and D are listed, instead of just B, C and D. However, when you create new See Also keywords in RoboHelp, assign topics, and build the help, they work correctly and do not show the calling topic's name.

 

I spent hours analysing the HTML code of files I am importing, and the code of brand new topics created in RoboHelp, and I can see no obvious differences apart from some -1/0/1 flags in the green Metadata section preceding the SeeAlso code. I even tried changing these flags in my import files to exactly match the flags of new topics that RoboHelp just built, but when importing they still don't work. Clearly RoboHelp stores crucial See Also information elsewhere in the project, but does not make this reliably transportable by adding it to the HTM files that it builds, despite the huge Metadata comment block.

 

Adobe needs to put a lot of work into making it possible to cleanly re-use files as content re-use is a very common, and often critical, requirement.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 20, 2012 9:56 AM   in reply to ReactionAtWork

    Hi there

     

    After reading your post, I come away being unsure about your goal. Is the goal here to simply advise others as to what they may encounter using the See Also functionality? Or is your goal to advise Adobe about what you would like to see changed?

     

    If your goal is to advise Adobe about what you would like to see changed, you need to visit the Wish Form at www.adobe.com/go/wish and file an official request. Otherwise, it just gives you a nice warm glow that you had your say here. But it won't have much of any effect on the product.

     

    As far as any workarounds, I might suggest the following. You seem to be regularly creating a new projects and importing content. And if that's the case, I might suggest you create a template project that would already have these things in place so that as you add content, the expected keywords and links and whatnot are already in place. My thought is that this action would ease much of the frustration you are facing.

     

    Cheers... Rick

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 26, 2012 12:40 AM   in reply to ReactionAtWork

    I think Rick's point was the template project could already contain some of the files thereby avoiding the import.

     

    In the root of your project, there is a file rhakeyword.apj. Open that in a text editor and you will see the keywords. Maybe you could delete the one that Rh will not let you create. You may also need to delete the CPD file.

     

    Do this in a copy of your project.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

     

     

    @petergrainge

     
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