10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 22, 2008 4:08 AM by Pete Lees

    Printing Help

    mwillms
      Greetings:

      When I print an individual topic from a compiled HTML RoboHelp X5 project, the individual topic prints correctly with proper formatting, spacing, etc. However, if I select to print the same selected topic with all sub-topics, the same selected topic and all others no longer print in correct format or spacing. Additional line spacing is randomly inserted between paragraphs and bulleted text. I've tried different fonts, re-typing topics, everything I can think of, but can not get topics to print properly when group with other sub topics as they do when individually selected to print.

      Any suggestions on how to correct this?

      TIA, Matt

        • 1. Re: Printing Help
          Pete Lees Level 2
          Matt,

          Here's an explanation from Marc Islam of Microsoft of why this problem occurs:

          quote:

          When printing multiple topics, HTML Help will concatenate all of the topics together into one temporary file, load the file into a new HTML Help process, and issue a command to IE to print the file.

          Since the merged file can only have one <HEAD> section, the first topic in the merged file is the one that gets to define which JS and CSS files are used by all of the topics in the merged file.


          There's an article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base that suggests a workaround:

          http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=830609

          Pete
          • 2. Re: Printing Help
            mwillms Level 1
            Thanks Pete for the quick reply. Not sure how I would get that workaround into my existing project and the many help topics. Don't quite understand all those steps or how to implement. Is there any sort of setting in RoboHelp that solves this? or has RoboHelp released any updates that account for this and solve automatically? Matt
            • 3. Re: Printing Help
              RoboColum(n) Level 5
              This may or may not help but how about having PDFs embedded in the CHM?
              • 4. Re: Printing Help
                Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                Hi Matt

                There is nothing RoboHelp can do to change the behavior of the Microsoft HTML Help display engine. So no, no update from RoboHelp will change that one way or the other.

                If your goal is to provide a means for your end user to print the On-Line Help content, you should probably consider creating a .PDF output of the RoboHelp project. Then advise your end users to print from the .PDF.

                Cheers... Rick
                • 5. Re: Printing Help
                  Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                  LOL, sorry Colum. Didn't see you standing there! Excellent suggestion!
                  • 6. Re: Printing Help
                    mwillms Level 1
                    Hi Rick, Colum:

                    Yes, I do distribute a PDF of the help contents so that is avaialble without the formatting issues. My problem arises when users might want to just print directly from the help content window a single chapter of multiple topics. Given this seems like a common problem, perhaps RoboHelp should advise in the message they show when offering to print all related sub topics formatting issues might occur...

                    Thanks for the quick repies!

                    Matt

                    • 7. Re: Printing Help
                      RoboColum(n) Level 5
                      Well it should be............


                      .......I learnt nearly everything I know relating to RH from the wizard - amongst others
                      • 8. Re: Printing Help
                        Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                        Hi again Matt

                        Yes, well, in a perfect world. Again, the issue here is that RoboHelp has nothing whatsoever to do with the dialog the user sees when they print that way. It's all controlled by the Microsoft HTML Help viewer. And RoboHelp can't influence the dialog it produces as it is coming from a different part of the Operating system and not the help file itself.

                        Cheers... Rick
                        • 9. Re: Printing Help
                          mwillms Level 1
                          Thanks again for the explanation. Guess I'll address that somehow on my end. This forum has always been such a great help when I have questions using RoboHelp.

                          Thanks to all,

                          Matt
                          • 10. Re: Printing Help
                            Pete Lees Level 2
                            Matt,

                            Snippet 46 on Peter Grainge's site may help, but it does require you to keep duplicate copies of the .css file in your project.

                            http://www.grainge.org/pages/snippets/snippets.htm

                            If you prefer to use the ms-its protocol to link all the topics to a single .css file, as suggested in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article, then a good search-and-replace tool like FAR ( http://helpware.net/FAR/index.html) should enable you to modify the Link elements in your topics very quickly. As someone who doesn't actually use RoboHelp, though, I hesitate to recommend this in case it complains about/tries to undo/can't cope with the changes you make. Perhaps one of the RoboHelp veterans here can comment on that.

                            Pete