31 Replies Latest reply on Oct 28, 2017 11:18 AM by Peter Grainge

    Blank topics in the Compiled Help

    Kate Sasnyk

      Hello,

       

      While compiling Help in ReboHelp 8, I've encountered the following problem: after each compilation there is one or several blank topics in my Help - each time different. For example, after one compilation, the first topic contains only the title and no content and the other topics are ok; after the next compilation, the first topic is no longer blank but one of the others becomes blank.

       

      Did anyone encounter the same problem or has any ideas how to solve this problem?

       

      Thank you,

      Kate

        • 1. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Welcome to our community

           

          Unfortunately we have nothing much to offer you at this point but more questions.

           

          All we know at this point is that you are using RoboHelp 8. What we don't know is the following:

           

          RoboHelp 8 has two service release patches. Each must be installed in order. Have you installed those patches?

          RoboHelp 8 comes in two flavors. RoboHelp for Word and RoboHelp HTML. Which "RoboFlavor" are you using?

          RoboHelp8 is capable of producing many different output formats. HTML Help (Compiled CHM), WebHelp, FlashHelp, AIR Help, JavaHelp, Oracle Help, WebHelp Pro, FlashHelp Pro. Which output format are you producing?

          RoboHelp 8 output may be viewed in a variety of ways. Clicking preview, viewing in the Web Browser, etc. How are you viewing?

          RoboHelp 8 output may be placed in a variety of places. Network drives, Thumb drives, External Hard drives, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, Web Servers. Where is your output being viewed from when you are seeing this issue?

          Does this issue manifest with ALL output types? Or is it specific to one output type only?

           

          Cheers... Rick

           

           

          Helpful and Handy Links

          RoboHelp Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form

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

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          • 2. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
            Kate Sasnyk Level 1

            Hello Rick,

             

            Here are the answers to your questions:

            • I've got both release service patches installed.
            • I use RoboHelp HTML
            • I use it for creating Web Helps
            • I view the output in Web browsers (IE, Mozilla, Opera, Chrome)
            • I'm viewing the output from the hard disk of my PC
            • I haven't investigated this issue for other output types. As I produce only WebHelps, this issue appears for them each time I compile.

             

            Thanks,

            Kate

            • 3. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Hello again Kate

               

              Sorry for the delayed reply. I was stuck in PowerPoint purgatory for many hours yesterday chasing a problem!

               

              For the topics where you don't see content, have you examined the HTML page to see if the content is actually there?

               

              Admittedly I'm grasping a bit at straws here. But it almost sounds like we are dealing with a CSS issue. If you examine the HTML page using something like Windows Notepad, it should tell us whether the content is there or not. And if the content is there, it means some other action is hindering display of the content. But if the content isn't present, we need to examine more on the RoboHelp side.

               

              By chance are you using Build Tags? That could also account for it.

               

              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

              • 4. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                Kate Sasnyk Level 1

                Hello Rick,

                 

                I've examined the pages which appear blank in the Help. When I opened the HTML files of these topics they were also blank and of 0 KB size.

                 

                The conditional build tags are in the template but currently I don't use them because I'm producing the sole output - Web Help.

                 

                Thanks,

                Kate

                • 5. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                  I notice you answered one of Rick's questions with "I'm viewing the output from the hard disk of my PC".

                   

                  The question was where is the source project which could be different so can you confirm that project, not just the output, is on your hard disk?

                   


                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                   

                  @petergrainge

                  • 6. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                    Kate Sasnyk Level 1

                    Peter,

                     

                    The source project is also there - on the hard disk of my PC.

                     

                    Thanks,

                    Kate

                    • 7. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                      After you generate the webhelp and find you have these empty files, are you correcting that before you try again?

                       

                      How big is this project zipped up?

                       


                      See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                       

                      @petergrainge

                      • 8. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                        Kate Sasnyk Level 1

                        Peter,

                         

                        There's nothing to correct in those topics which are generated blank. They are complete in the sources, they are blank only in the output. When I regenerate Help for the second time, they appear ok and complete, but the other topics become blank.

                         

                        Any ideas why it is so?

                         

                        Thanks,

                        Kate

                        • 9. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                          With you now.

                           

                          Inadequate or corrupt memory can cause 0kb files to be created but it's likely you would have problems with other applications. Can you try on another machine as even if this is not the problem, it could help pinpoint the installation as the problem?

                           

                          How big a project is this?

                           

                          Are the blank topics deep down in the TOC?

                           

                          How many levels does the TOC go to?

                           


                          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                           

                          @petergrainge

                          • 10. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                            Kate Sasnyk Level 1

                            Peter,

                             

                            The same problem appears on the projects of other members of my team. Empty topics can appear randomly, no matter how deep in TOC they are. The project contains about 400 files of size no more than 15 KB. The TOC has 3 levels.

                             

                            Thanks,

                            Katya

                            • 11. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                              I take it you mean other team members get the same problem when they generate rather than you get the problem if you generate their projects.

                               

                              Is source control involved here?

                               


                              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                               

                              @petergrainge

                              • 12. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                Kate Sasnyk Level 1

                                I mean that some TechWriters from the company I work for accounter the same problem with blank topics when compiling WebHelps for their projects. I'm using svn, but it has nothing to do with their projects.

                                • 13. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                  If they are using source control as well, it could be that something about the workflow you are all using is behind this. I'm more inclined to thinking it is a source control problem than a project problem.

                                   

                                  Try one of the sample projects and see if you hit the same problem there. Click Open on the RoboHelp Starter page and then click Samples in the ribbon on the left.

                                   

                                  Assuming you don't, that is a further pointer to source control being the problem.

                                   

                                  I would also try generating a CHM from your project on the basis that the results will help.

                                   


                                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                   

                                  @petergrainge

                                  • 14. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                    Kate Sasnyk Level 1

                                    Hi again,

                                     

                                    I've tried to compile the .chm file out of the source files - no empty topics. The same when compiling WebHelp out of the sample project - no empty topics.

                                     

                                    Still, I don't think the problem is in the source control tool because all the files I use are checked out and reside on my PC hard drive. The output folder of the project is not committed at all. That's why, the source control tool should not influence the output at all.

                                     

                                    Any other ideas, what is the problem hidden in?

                                     

                                    Thanks,

                                    Kate

                                    • 15. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                      So your own project is OK with a CHM and the sample is OK with webhelp. It's just webhelp from your own projects. Did you try generating to a different location on your hard disk?

                                       


                                      See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                       

                                      @petergrainge

                                      • 16. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                        Kate Sasnyk Level 1

                                        Hello again

                                         

                                        I tried to export the source to the folder on another drive on my PC. So, when the folder was already not under SVN and was on another drive, I deleted all the previous output files, so that the output was empty and tried to recompile the Web Help again - now from the other location. Unfortunately, it did not help either - still blank topics are found after compilation

                                         

                                        The only way I found to get the Help without blank topics is to compille the Help several times saving it each time to the new direction. After each next compilation different other topics become blank and the previous become ok. So, I replace the .html files of the blank  topics in the output of the originally compiled Help with the topics of the further compilations which are no more blank.

                                         

                                        Do you know any simpler ways?

                                        I'd be very grateful for any other ideas

                                        • 17. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                          I tried to export the source to the folder on another drive on my PC.

                                          You confirmed before you are working from your hard disk but the above sounds more like a network. Have you tried with the source in C:\Test?

                                           


                                          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                           

                                          @petergrainge

                                          • 18. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                            Kate Sasnyk Level 1

                                            Peter,

                                             

                                            Exactly, I work from the hard disk because the sources are checked out to my PC.

                                             

                                            In the reply above I described the procedure of exporting the sources. That is, I disconnected them from the source control tool. So, I tried to compile Help from  the copies of the source files (not under source control) in the Temp folder (not under source control) on my D drive.

                                             

                                            Thanks,

                                            Kate

                                            • 19. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                              Can you share the project with me? See the Contact Page on my site.

                                               


                                              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                               

                                              @petergrainge

                                              • 20. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                                Kate Sasnyk Level 1

                                                Sorry, I can't, signed the privacy agreement...

                                                • 21. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                  Correct me if any of the following statements are wrong:

                                                   

                                                  1. WebHelp from a sample project works fine.
                                                  2. CHMs from any project work fine.
                                                  3. If you create a new project with just a couple of topics, that works fine.
                                                  4. The problem is only with webhelp generated from one of your source controlled projects.
                                                  5. All your source controlled projects including those of your colleagues have the problem.
                                                  6. You are generating to a partition on your hard drive labelled D.
                                                  7. IT have checked that you have full permissions on your D drive.
                                                  8. You have also tested the same happens if you generate to your C drive.

                                                   

                                                  I am not seeing how that can be anything other than your projects or source control or your environment. You have removed one project from source control and it makes no difference so that leaves the projects themselves or your environment.

                                                   

                                                  If you create a new project on your C drive (I emphasise C drive) and import some topics, see if they still go wrong when you generate. Keep importing until something goes wrong. Import a limited number each time so that if it is topic related, you can see when it goes wrong. Do not use source control on this project. Instead create a copy of this project and check that into source control. By checking periodically you may find a point at which the standalone copy works but the source controlled copy gives the problem.

                                                   

                                                  Of course there are easier ways but if your management / client will not agree to let me have a copy, I cannot see what happens when I generate. That would instantly give us some clues.

                                                   

                                                  Perhaps it will help if you explain that Adobe only recognise about six people worldwide as Adobe Community Professionals and not one is going to risk losing the value of that recognition by making anything public. So unless you have the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken, it's a much easier way to go.

                                                   

                                                  I would like to help you more but without being able to replicate the problem, there's not much I can do.

                                                   

                                                  Please let us know how you get on.

                                                   


                                                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                                   

                                                  @petergrainge

                                                  • 22. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                                    Garima12 Level 1

                                                    Hi,

                                                     

                                                    I am facing the same problem.

                                                    Were you able to find any permanent solution?

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    Thanks,

                                                    Garima

                                                    • 23. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                                      Kate Sasnyk Level 1

                                                      Hello Garima,

                                                       

                                                      We found no permanent solution to this issue. It seems to be a RoboHelp bug that appears under certain conditions...

                                                      However, we've elaborated a workaround:

                                                      1. After first WebHelp compilation, I copy the output to some temporary location on my PC.

                                                      2. Compile the WebHelp for the second time.

                                                      3. Replace the empty HTML files in the Output temporary folder with the good files from the second compilation.

                                                          Sometimes, some blank files from the first and second compilation output remain blank. So, I recompile the WebHelp as many times as needed to replace all the blank files in the Output folder that is in the temporary location. Once done, I replace the Output folder from the last compilation with the Output folder that I copied to the temporary location in step 1 and which now contains all good files.

                                                       

                                                      I know, the process is not convenient at all; however, it is better than nothing

                                                       

                                                      Regards,

                                                      Kate

                                                      • 24. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                                        riteshpai

                                                        Hi Kate,

                                                         

                                                        I was also facing the same problem with the blank topics in the Webhelp output and found the solution to it. It's because of the antivirus software. One of the antivirus software's tools used to scan all newly-created files instantly, which was interfering with the Webhelp generation. Once I turned off that tool, this issue was resolved. So you can either turn off the antivirus completely or just this specific antivirus utility.

                                                         

                                                        Regards,

                                                        Ritesh Pai

                                                        • 25. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                                          Kate Sasnyk Level 1

                                                          Thanks a lot, Ritesh!

                                                           

                                                          The issue was really in the antivirus! Once we turned it off, the WebHelp generated without empty topics Yay!

                                                          • 26. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                                            lb79925935

                                                            Can you list specifically which antivirus program you are using please? And thank you!

                                                            • 27. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                                              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                              This is a five year old thread so those involved might not be following any longer. I'm guessing you are having a problem with blank topics but more information is needed to help.

                                                               

                                                              Which version of RoboHelp, which outputs and which browsers for a start?

                                                               


                                                              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring information

                                                               

                                                               

                                                              @petergrainge

                                                              • 28. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                                                lb79925935 Level 1

                                                                We are currently using a WebHelp output, RH9, and IE 11.  It is a new issue

                                                                for me.

                                                                 

                                                                On Sat, Oct 28, 2017 at 4:39 AM, Peter Grainge <forums_noreply@adobe.com>

                                                                • 29. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                                                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                                  I am very surprised you haven't encountered this issue sooner if you are using RoboHelp 9. At that time browser updates were causing many issues for help and there were updates for the browsers then current. IE11 was not about then and I doubt you will find any fix.

                                                                   

                                                                  I suspect you will find other current browsers have issues with RoboHelp 9. Time to upgrade I think.

                                                                   


                                                                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring information

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  @petergrainge

                                                                  • 30. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                                                    lb79925935 Level 1

                                                                    I'm actually on the list for the upgrade and I can't wait!  Right now I'm

                                                                    using the F12 developer tools to view my TOC when I generate the files....

                                                                    But the topic not displaying, that was new.  This will just further my

                                                                    justification for the upgrade. Thank you again for your swift response!

                                                                    • 31. Re: Blank topics in the Compiled Help
                                                                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                                      Check the version is the issue by downloading the trial but do so on

                                                                      another machine, not your production machine.