12 Replies Latest reply on Oct 29, 2012 12:54 PM by Peter Grainge

    Formatting Issues in RoboHelp 7

    AnnieTechWriter Level 1
      I've created a new help project in RoboHelp 7 with some imported topics and some new topics.

      In many instances, when I create an expanded hotspot the formatting looks fine in the WYSIWYG. When I preview the expanded text it may or may not look the same. When I compile the project (as WebHelp) it looks different once again.... and if I compile the same project as a .chm it may look totally different.

      The format difference is (usually, but not always) that the text is bold and black when it should be not bold and a stock text color. Sometimes it's italicized when nothing else on the page is. There is no consistency to what is wrong, or, as I mentioned how it shows up in different views.

      I have looked at the html source code but everything appears to be correct.

      Is anyone else experiencing this? It happens with both the imported topics and the newly created topics.
        • 1. Re: Formatting Issues in RoboHelp 7
          MergeThis Level 4
          The styles are either in the HEAD section of the topic, or in an external .css file of your choosing. If your browser is not guided by either of those, it will use your settings on your machine or use the HTML default style sheet on all other machines (default.css, as provided in each RH project).

          Look for "expandspot" and "expandtest" in either location to see what, if any, styles are set.

          Good luck,
          • 2. Re: Formatting Issues in RoboHelp 7
            Yeah Annie,

            I had the same issue in my project, in generated web help even bullets and numbering leave its original places and get disorder.

            Grainge can help you out in this way.
            • 3. Re: Formatting Issues in RoboHelp 7
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
              Try a different style sheet first.
              • 4. Re: Formatting Issues in RoboHelp 7

                I have similar problems myself. In both the Design view and teh Preview the prokect looks fine but when I come to compile and publish it the formatting goes awry. Sometimes it's bullet spacing, other times random gaps and very often the text color & boldness of expanding text is different.


                I've generally found that there are problems in the code (especially with the spacing issues) that don't surface in the Design view or Preview. This makes editing the project very time consuming as I need to generate the layout each time I want to check whether I've made the right corrections on a page. Is there a way to fix the Design view or Preview?


                Sometimes the problems in the code aren't necessarily what is wrong but what Robohelp interprets well. I've found robohelp responds more accurately to <span> commands compared to code in the line <li> or paragraph <p>. I not a programmer and my understanding of this is very basic. I've just tried different things to try and get the right output. The big thing for me though is that it makes editing m project very slow. Is there a way to fixt these problems automatically or to streamline the process? I've experimented with using Ultraedit to "mass replace" faulty string of code but it's difficult to do this with any accuracy.

                • 5. Re: Formatting Issues in RoboHelp 7
                  Willam van Weelden Adobe Community Professional & MVP



                  I think you should try a different css first, as Peter suggested. And, as Leon suggested, you may have inline styling in the top of your topic (before the </head>  tag). This may overwrite styling in your style sheet.


                  Although the WYSIWYG doesn't show all formatting correctly, your output will normally render correct. (Try outputting with the option W3C compliant topics checked.)


                  I've found that RH7 has the nasty habit of changing a css on output (it creates a _ns style sheet) and sometimes just removes styling. This doesn't happen with robo generated styles though. Personally, I paste my original stylesheet over the outputted style sheets.


                  Last, the order in which the styles in your CSS appear have influence on the styling. An element that is presented later, may overwrite certain styling from a previous element (only came across this once in RH though). If you have problems with dropdowns, try formatting them again with the Robo CSS editor.





                  • 6. Re: Formatting Issues in RoboHelp 7
                    LCAndrew Level 1

                    Thanks for your advice. I've tried eidting the style sheets. But I've found it very

                    fiddly in RH7 and it doesn't seem to want to make changes. I've also tried to use an external editor to alter the style sheets that are generated but I can't seem to figure out why the formatting problems are occuring. I thought that maybe the style sheet was overwriting the style in other bits but even removing the style (i.e. font-weight: normal / font-style: normal) from the style sheet doesn't solve the problem. Even more confusing to me now is that the problem is not wholesale, it only hapens in some cases.

                    • 7. Re: Formatting Issues in RoboHelp 7
                      LCAndrew Level 1

                      Looking at the problem a bit more I've realised that (at least part of) the problem happens when RH7 generates the primary layout. I can see in code of the output that the styling comannds are lost on certain expanding text outputs. I think it's ones where RH7 has applied the style code in the paragraph command <p>, where as ones with the styling in <span> commands seem ok.


                      This explains why just changing the style sheet and uploading it with the project doesn't work. Perhaps I need to edit the style sheets in RH7 before generating the layout? Unfortunately I haven't figured out hwo to do this effectively. I can't seem to remove the existing style tags without deleting the style and creating a new one. and then when I do it doesn't like a minimilist approach to style (i.e. not defining font weight etc). I've set up RH8 on a separate computer to try to see if there are improvements that will help me in this but I'm a little worried about incompatibility/ugrading issues.

                      • 8. Re: Formatting Issues in RoboHelp 7
                        Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                        Have you looked at the code for the exceptions? Maybe inline styling has been applied or maybe there is an embedded style sheet.


                        Did the topics start life in Word?


                        See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                        Follow me @petergrainge

                        • 9. Re: Formatting Issues in RoboHelp 7

                          I am resurrecting this because I have been having similar issues with RH7 HTML.  When I compile and publish, it randomly changes pages or sections of pages to a completely different font and format - generally small caps in a different color and center instead of left justified.  The side by side comparison of the code appears to be the same (to my coding novice eye).  I have attempted to change the CSS to have them all the same.  Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't. 


                          We now have new eyes on this project and they want all the font and formatting to be the same.  I would like that, too, but I can't figure out a consistant way to fix it. 


                          Any help would be greatly appreciated. 





                          • 10. Re: Formatting Issues in RoboHelp 7
                            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                            You say the problem is random but do you mean that one section of a particular topic can be one font one day and another font the next OR that some paragraphs are as you want and others are not the same thing?


                            See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips




                            • 11. Re: Formatting Issues in RoboHelp 7
                              TracyG0564 Level 1

                              On some pages, a paragraph will have the unwanted font, while on others the entire page will have it.  Some pages never change from font that the page was created with.  Once the page or section of a page has that font, I have not found a consistant way to fix it.  I'd also like to know why it happens.  (I tell people that it's just possessed, but I don't think that they like that answer. )

                              • 12. Re: Formatting Issues in RoboHelp 7
                                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                                I suspect that some inline styling or an embedded CSS is causing this. You haven't indicated how much you understand about cascading styles. If you are not familiar with them, take a look at http://www.grainge.org/pages/authoring/html/html_stuff.htm


                                Otherwise look at the HTML for your topics.


                                Post back and let us know how you get on.


                                See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips