6 Replies Latest reply on Feb 20, 2008 12:03 PM by johnmccallum

    .chm file size

    WendyCh
      Hi Everyone-
      I converted a RoboHelp v4 project to a v7 project. The orginal project had links to multiple external .pdf files. While converting, I also updated the project which forced me to add a few more links. I expected the outpul file size to increase but it increased drastically, going from about 10 MB to 180 MB. This makes it look like the files are embedded in the project but I know they're not. I did have the "optimize chm file size" selected, but is there another way to reduce the size while keeping the links?
      Thanks,
      Wendy
        • 1. Re: .chm file size
          Pete Lees Level 2
          Wendy,

          The KeyTools utility available from http://www.keyworks.net/keytools.htm provides an Examine CHM File feature with which you can peek inside a .chm file. This should enable you to confirm whether or not any unwanted files have been pulled into the .chm file at compile time. However, bloating on that scale would normally indicate that the compiler has dragged in a lot of unwanted stuff; any local files to which there are links in the source topics are normally embedded in the .chm file.

          KeyTools also provides a Recompile feature that can help to optimise the size of the .chm file without breaking any of its functionality.

          Pete
          • 2. Re: .chm file size
            WendyCh Level 1
            Thanks, Pete,
            I downloaded Keytools and found that some of my graphic files are huge. I'm going to try to convert those and see if that helps to reduce the size.
            Do you know how I can make sure that those links to the PDFs, which are local on my PC, aren't embedded into the .chm file?
            Thanks again!
            Wendy
            • 3. Re: .chm file size
              Pete Lees Level 2
              Wendy,

              If the HTML Help compiler follows the path that you specify in a hyperlink and finds a file at the end of it, it will pull the file into the help file. So you just need to ensure that, when you compile, any files that you don't want to be embedded in the help file are located elsewhere — really, anywhere other than the locations specified in the hyperlinks.

              Pete
              • 4. .chm file size
                WendyCh Level 1
                Hi Pete-
                It worked! I moved my folder of PDFs when I compiled. I then placed the folder back into my project file when viewing the compiled .chm. Everything linked perfectly!
                Thank you!!!
                • 5. Re: .chm file size
                  Pete Lees Level 2
                  Wendy,

                  Sorry but, not for the first time, I wasn't thinking straight.

                  As a rule, you use standard hyperlinks to make links to files that are to be compiled into the help file, and ShortCut controls to link to files that are to be left outside it. The online help for RoboHelp should provide some information on how to insert these controls.

                  There are several things to watch for if you decide to use ShortCut controls:


                  • Because of something called the " relative path bug", these controls may not work properly in help files that are opened context-sensitively by the associated application. There are ways to work around this using JavaScript.

                  • The controls don't work at all in help files that are stored remotely on network drives.


                  Pete
                  • 6. Re: .chm file size
                    Level 2
                    Pete,

                    I think you were thinking straight all along. When you use a Shortcut control, the external document is opened in its own application. When you use a direct hyperlink (or parser function) the external document is opened in the help window. I know the later is what I want most of the time. So it seems to me that that should be the distinction of when to use one or the other, no?

                    John