7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 27, 2013 6:50 AM by Captiv8r

    Flatten project structure upon generation


      Hi folks,


      Is there an easy way to maintain a folder structure for my projects for my help files BUT, when I generate the CHM file output, for Robohelp to put all htm files at a "root level"?


      I'd like my application to reference the help files straight away like "Sorting.htm" not "grid_activities\Sorting.htm". But I also want to maintain some folders for organization so that everything isn't at the root level in the project.


      I'm thinking that there is no way since the links to images would need to be changed in the output files only on-the-fly.


      Any help would be greatly appreciated.





        • 1. Re: Flatten project structure upon generation
          RoboColum(n) Level 5

          That is correct John. Once you have a folder structure in your project it gets mirrored in your output. If you change the output structure you are asking for trouble.


          Out of interest though why is the folder structure an issue for your CHM file?

          • 2. Re: Flatten project structure upon generation
            jdefalco68 Level 1

            We have a WPF/C# application that has a help string in each XAML file for context-sensitive help. When the user is on the Login page we have a help string that tells the context-sensitive help which topic to display. In this example the string might be "login". We take that string and append ".htm" to the end of it to find the appropriate help topic file inside of the CHM file.


            If the technical writer puts the login.htm file into a Robohelp project folder named "\basics\login.htm" off the root then our application would need to look for the login.htm in the same path. Right now we only have the word "login" on the screen. And of course different topics would have different folders so there would be no way we'd be able to tell by file what to append.


            What we will have to do is to go back into the code for every screen and change the help string to actually represent the full path of each help file. Which isn't a problem really. That will just have to happen for our next release.


            I think the biggest issue we're having with Robohelp is lack of knowledge on how the product works. We're adapting but we make some missteps because we don't see the consequences down the road. We've watched some videos and gotten the basics down but there are more "connecting the dots" things that we need to consider and that will come in time with more and more use.

            • 3. Re: Flatten project structure upon generation
              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Hi there


              RoboHelp uses the Microsoft HTML Help compiler to do its magick for a CHM. This means that RoboHelp creates the necessary .HHP file that would be needed if you opened the HTML Help Workshop (HHW) supplied by Microsoft at the link below:


              Click here to view


              Note that when you install HHW, it will report that a newer version of the Workshop is already installed. But once you click OK, it will happily report that it has been installed.


              If you open HHW, you may do what you are seeking to do by clicking the Change Project Options button.


              This should open the Options dialog.


              From there, click the Compiler tab and enable the option Don't include folders in compiled file.




              Compile and you should have a "flat" file structure!


              Cheers... Rick

              • 4. Re: Flatten project structure upon generation
                Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Wow, who'da thunk it - the miracles of ancient technology ;>)

                • 5. Re: Flatten project structure upon generation
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                  Now, now. Baiting Rick is not permitted on these forums.


                  Waiting for you youngsters to come up with a better shape for a wheel than round.


                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips




                  • 6. Re: Flatten project structure upon generation
                    Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    I suppose I should have mentioned a couple of things.


                    1. This does mean you will need to ensure ALL topic file names are unique. (otherwise, you will encounter issues when the duplicates try to share the same folder)
                    2. It also means you will need to compile first with RoboHelp (to ensure the .HHP file is properly updated)


                    I tried simply amending RoboHelp's HHP file to include the setting that causes this to occur. Unfortunately, after making the changes things stopped working and no CHM was produced.

                    • 7. Re: Flatten project structure upon generation
                      Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Gaa! Okay, that solution may require more work than I thought. Here's the deal.


                      RoboHelp stores the TOC and Index as an XML file structure. My further testing seems to indicate that HHW is gagging on the files.


                      I'm going to suggest you file a Feature Request at:




                      And ask the dev team to consider building in an ability to create a flat file structure as HHW allows.


                      Sorry for the issues... Rick