6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 27, 2013 9:45 AM by eeddings

    HTML Help .chm - Print error on compiled help when a mini TOC is in use

    eeddings Level 1

      Hi all,

       

      I thought I saw a thread about using the print function in compiled .chm causing an error, but I can't seem to find it.  I wanted to add to the discussion, because I've isolated the issue a bit fuurther, and it seems to occur only when a mini TOC placeholder is in use in the project.  A bug report was submitted some time ago, but I have submitted another to include these findings.

       

      My environment:  Windows 7 64-bit, Internet Explorer 9, RoboHelp 10.0.0.287

       

      My findings.

       

      1. Open the "Employee Care" sample project that ships with RoboHelp 10.

      2. Compile the "Microsoft_HTML_Help_Location_Based_US" SSL and view the generated output.

      3. In the compiled .chm output's TOC, right-click one of the TOC entries and select the "Print" menu option from the popup menu. The Print Topics dialog displays.

      4. Select the "Print the selected heading and all subtopics" radio button and click the OK button.

      5. The standard Windows "Print" dialog displays.

       

      ----^ This is the expected result. ^----

       

      1. In the "Employee Care" sample project that ships with RoboHelp 10, open the "Introduction" topic and add a mini TOC to the top of it (Insert --> Placeholder --> Topic TOC).  Accept the default settings when adding the mini TOC.

      2. Compile the "Microsoft_HTML_Help_Location_Based_US" SSL and view the generated output.

      3. In the compiled .chm output's TOC, right-click one of the TOC entries and select the "Print" menu option from the popup menu. The Print Topics dialog displays.

      4. Select the "Print the selected heading and all subtopics" radio button and click the OK button.

      5. A standard Windows "Webpage Error" dialog displays.  The error displayed is as follows:

       

      "Line: 49

      Error: The value of the property 'TextPopupInit' is null or undefined, not a Function object"

       

      You can click No (don't debug) to dismiss the error and display the standard Windows "Print" dialog like in the first scenario above, but the error has already popped and the clients don't like it.

       

      I only see this issue when a mini TOC is added to any topic in any project.  I've made Firefox my default browser and the problem remains.

        • 1. Re: HTML Help .chm - Print error on compiled help when a mini TOC is in use
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Hi there

           

          I'm sure printing from a compiled CHM file sounds like a wonderful idea. At least in theory.

           

          The fact of the matter is, it's woefully inadequate if your goal is to provide the user with a nicely formatted printed version of what they are viewing inside the CHM file.

           

          What folks need to come to terms with is that Print and Online are two completely different mediums and it's unlikely you will find that magickal "one size fits all" approach. I suspect most folks pretty much ignore the issues surrounding the printed output from a CHM file and just let the user get what they get if they choose to print. After all, if they are printing, it's likely not because they are compiling a printed book based on the printed pages from a CHM, no? My guess is that it's for temporary use somehow.

           

          If you are serious about getting "Pretty" print from a CHM file, you need to consider including a PDF document that is formatted as you wish the user to see it in print, then ship that along with the CHM (and probably a link inside the CHM to open it) and have them print from the PDF version.

           

          Think of yourself as a pilot in a small aircraft and a looming storm approaching. It's going to be quite a bumpy and unexpected ride if you stay the course.

           

          Cheers... Rick

          • 2. Re: HTML Help .chm - Print error on compiled help when a mini TOC is in use
            eeddings Level 1

            I don't condone or encourage the action of printing from the .chm.  I actually do generate printed documentation in addition to online .chm deliverables for this client (painstakingly I might add).

             

            The "bug" is client-facing and it is the (I believe) direct result of having a mini TOC inside the project when a .chm deliverable is compiled and displayed.

             

            Is it possible to control and disable that "Print" menu option?  I'd be really happy if it weren't there at all, then I could close this bug and get it out of my queue.

            • 3. Re: HTML Help .chm - Print error on compiled help when a mini TOC is in use
              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Hi there

               

              Unfortunately it is not. The function is simply part of the HTML Help viewer application. That's squarely in Microsoft's territory.

               

              If you have RoboHelp 10, there is the capability of creating a CHM output that is just a container for a Skinned WebHelp. Perhaps that would accomplish what you want?

               

              Cheers... Rick

              • 4. Re: HTML Help .chm - Print error on compiled help when a mini TOC is in use
                eeddings Level 1

                Thanks for the idea, but I can't switch the project to WebHelp.  This .chm project consists of a master project with 18 slave projects and a slew of remote jumps.  I'd have to recreate all of the remote jumps if I switch to WebHelp.

                 

                Hopefully Adobe can fix this issue.

                • 5. Re: HTML Help .chm - Print error on compiled help when a mini TOC is in use
                  Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  eeddings wrote:

                   

                  Thanks for the idea, but I can't switch the project to WebHelp.  This .chm project consists of a master project with 18 slave projects and a slew of remote jumps.  I'd have to recreate all of the remote jumps if I switch to WebHelp.

                   

                  Hopefully Adobe can fix this issue.

                   

                  Well, first off, even though it would be WebHelp, it would be inside a CHM container. So for all intents and purposes it would be a CHM file. But having said that, I'm not sure there is a way to merge these hybrid types of CHM files.

                   

                  If your statement about Adobe fixing the issue is meaning that they can either remove the Print icon from the CHM Viewer, I wouldn't hold my breath because as I said, that's in Microsoft's lap and they haven't updated the CHM viewer in a long while. Doubtful they ever will.

                   

                  The only hope would then be for Adobe to update the code used for the Mini TOC. The only way that will happen is if enough folks submit this as a bug via the following link:

                   

                  http://www.adobe.com/go/wish

                   

                  Until that would happen, your likely best bet is to simply avoid using the Mini-TOC feature or just insert a warning that if the topic is printed, it will cause issues. Or, you could use bookmarks and links to establish your own verision of a "Mini-TOC"

                   

                  Cheers... Rick

                  • 6. Re: HTML Help .chm - Print error on compiled help when a mini TOC is in use
                    eeddings Level 1

                    "The only hope would then be for Adobe to update the code used for the Mini TOC."

                     

                    This is my hope.