11 Replies Latest reply on Nov 14, 2013 12:53 PM by AIR-Chayah

    RoboHelp 10: Problems generating Printed Documentation

    AIR-Chayah Level 1

      Environment

      Windows 7 Enterprise, Service Pack 1, 64-bit operating system

      Office Professional Plus 2010 Versions 14.0.7106.5001 (64-bit)

      RoboHelp 10: 10.0.0.287

      Visual Studio 2010 Professional. I open RoboHelp from within Source Control (have been doing it for two years).

       

      Problem

      Sometime after moving to RoboHelp 10, and even after successfully generating Printed Documentation output, I encountered a major problem generating Printed Documentation from RoboHelp: “Internal error encountered. Failed to generated Printed Documentation”. The error occurred when I tried to generate Printed Doc using my default TOC, which looks something like this:

       

      Topic A

      Topic B

      Book 1

      Book 2

      Book 3

      Topic C

      Topic D

       

      Based on an old Peter Grainge reply to someone about a similar problem, I removed all but the first topic from the Chapter Layout pane and generated the Help. Everything was fine until I got to the topics after Book 3. At that point everything started to fail again. When I removed Topics C, D, etc. from the Chapter Layout pane, the output was built successfully.

       

      I tried moving Topics C, D, etc. to the top of the Chapter Layout pane, and got the same error. I tried creating a new folder and put Topics C, D, etc. into that folder. Failure after failure.

       

      As an experiment, I removed all the Topics C, D, etc from the Chapter Layout pane, but then added them to the Print Document Section Layout pane (not where I want them). The Printed Documentation built successfully.

       

      During attempts to build with Topics C, D, etc. in the Chapter Layout pane, I kept getting a Word error: Word is trying to recover your information. After that there was always a failure.

       

      Selecting PDF as the output did not work when the Topic C, D, etc. files were at the bottom of the Chapter Layout pane.

       

      I create a new TOC and a new Printed Documentation SSL. Failed to generate.

       

      As a matter of reference, I've been generating Printed Documentation from the same TOC for more than a year and so cannot figure out what has changed in RoboHelp or Word to cause this grief .

       

      Has anyone experienced anything like this?

      Carol

        • 1. Re: RoboHelp 10: Problems generating Printed Documentation
          Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Does it work with one of the sample projects?

          • 2. Re: RoboHelp 10: Problems generating Printed Documentation
            AIR-Chayah Level 1

            Thanks for your reply, Jeff.

             

            Yes, I created an "online manual", copied several single topics to the bottom of the Chapter Layout pane, and generated PDF and Word successfully.


            However, I'm not sure that the test is valid: While I created this sample project locally, I work in my project in Source Control. In addition, the sample project contains significantly fewer files than are in my project.

             

            Two of the quirks in my project are:

            1. I can generate the Word Printed Documentation for my project as long as I don't include the single topics that typically reside at the bottom of the TOC in the Chapter Layout pane.
            2. I can generate the Printed Documentation when I include those single topics from the bottom of the TOC in the Section Layout pane.

            For a while I thought that it was because the "Critical error of Source Control Provider. Please restart IDE." message was hiding behind the application and I couldn't get to it fast enough to click OK. When you don't realize the message is hiding out on you, RoboHelp just sits there, waiting, and you end up thinking that it's crashed.

             

            Since I'm also getting the "Microsoft Word is trying to recover your information" message (which I did not get with the sample project), I thought it might be a Word problem, perhaps related to the documentation template that is our default. But that makes no sense considering that I can build the Printed Documentation based on the two quirks above.

             

            Carol

             

            Carol

            • 3. Re: RoboHelp 10: Problems generating Printed Documentation
              Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              So I'd be tempted to think that not everything you need is checked out of source control when it comes time to create printed documentation. Sorry I can't help you further - I don't use any SC & I never create PDFs out of RH (FM is sooo much better at doing that!)

              • 4. Re: RoboHelp 10: Problems generating Printed Documentation
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                Not so much of the "old Peter Grainge".

                 

                What happens if you generate without topics C and D? I'm wondering if what has changed is the content in those toipcs.

                 


                See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                 

                 

                @petergrainge

                • 5. Re: RoboHelp 10: Problems generating Printed Documentation
                  AIR-Chayah Level 1

                  Hi, Jeff.

                  Thanks. I did try checking everything out of source control. That didn't solve the problem (and I've never had to do this in the two years I've been generating Word versions from my Help project).

                  I typically create a Word document from the Help because tech reviewers like to be able to read the whole thing in one document and make their changes in the Word document.

                  I tried generating a PDF just to see whether Printed Doc would work for PDF -- might have helped to isolate this as a Word problem.
                  Carol

                  • 6. Re: RoboHelp 10: Problems generating Printed Documentation
                    AIR-Chayah Level 1

                    Haha, young Mr. Grainge! Sorry about the misplaced modifier.

                     

                    Yes, I built the Printed Documentation without including those topics in the Chapter Layout pane. I also built the Printed Documentation with those topics by selecting them in the Section Layout pane. And at one point the other evening I built the whole thing with those pesky files at the top of the pane.

                     

                    This morning I checked out all the files and attempted to generate "Printed_Documentation_for_Tech_Review" with the entire TOC structure. The pesky files are from "Abbreviatioons" on. Internal error, failed to generated Printed Documentation.

                    SNAG-0032.png

                    I removed the files from "Abbreviations" on, from the Chapter Layout pane. Printed Documentation was built successfully.

                     

                    I added "Abbreviations" to the Chapter Layout pane as the last topic in the "Administration Console" book. Failed to generate.

                    SNAG-0035.png

                    I moved "Abbreviations" to the top of the Chapter Layout pane. Failed to generate.

                    SNAG-0036.png

                    I moved "Abbreviations" to the Section Layout pane. Built successfully, which leads me to believe that there is nothing wrong with the file.

                    SNAG-0037.png

                    The build failure is always proceeded by the following Word error message. I'm hard pressed to believe that this is a Word problem since the build works for all the other topics and for "Abbreviations" when it's part of the section layout.

                    SNAG-0003.png

                    FYI, "Abbreviations" is a very simple topic.

                    SNAG-0038.png

                    The Word output is 307 pages.

                    I just copied "Defining Complex Filters" to the "Working with Projects" book in the Chapter Layout pane and it built successfully! I had left "Abbreviations" in the Section Layout pane for this generation.

                    I've now removed "Abbreviations" and regenerated with "Defining Complex Filters" still in place and it has built successfully.

                    I added "Abbreviations" to the "Working with Projects" book in the Chapter layout and RoboHelp is now spinning its wheels "updating images". I am going to have to Ctrl+Alt+Del the application and will probably have to restart my computer .... RH will think that the output is still being used unless I restart the computer .

                    When I'm up again, I'll try adding other topics (not "Abbreviations") to the "Working with Projects" book and see what happens.

                    Carol

                    • 7. Re: RoboHelp 10: Problems generating Printed Documentation
                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                      You left this thread at a point where you were going to try again later. Does your silence indicate progress?

                       

                      If not, can you take a copy out of source control and send it to me. See the Contact page on my site and send the project as instructed there. Do make sure you include a link to this thread and please do not email the project direct.

                       


                      See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                       

                       

                      @petergrainge

                      • 8. Re: RoboHelp 10: Problems generating Printed Documentation
                        AIR-Chayah Level 1

                        Dear Peter,

                         

                        Thanks for following up. Last Friday I finished extensive testing on my own and working with RoboHelp Support. Here's what I sent to Support this morning.

                         

                        If after reading this screed, you think it worthwhile for me to get a copy from Source Control for you to look at, I will do so. Thanks for offering to look at it.

                        Environment

                        • Windows 7 Enterprise Service Pack 1, 8.00 GB RAM, 64-bit OS
                        • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 Version 14.0.7106.5003 64-bit--Note: We repaired my current version of Word, in case that was the problem, but did not reinstall Office--we do not think that the Word version is the problem because we generated successfully with other TOCs and when generating individual documents.
                        • RoboHelp 10.0.1.292. Upgraded from RoboHelp 9 in May 2013. Replaced hard drive in September 2013 and reinstalled RoboHelp.
                        • Visual Studio 2010 Professional 10.0.40219.1 SP1Rel (I open the project from Source Control and check files out to a folder on my desktop.)

                        Issue

                        Printed Documentation failed multiple times with the default Table of Contents, which contains all the topics in the project. TOC specs are as follows:

                        • Properties: .docx, desktop location, no conditions, embedded images, “Generate a single document”, “Retain hyperlinks”.
                        • 330 files, 12 top-level books, 15 second-level books, 7 third-level books, 6 fourth-level books, and 8 fifth-level books

                        Results

                        Generation to Printed Documentation does NOT fail for other, module-specific TOCs, nor to WebHelp Pro SSLs for the same sets of topics. In addition, and perhaps more important, generation to Printed Documentation does NOT fail with “Generate Individual Documents” selected, or when there are approximately fewer than 259 files in the TOC.

                        • Did not fail consistently based on any particular topic.
                        • Did not fail consistently based on location of any particular topic in the TOC.
                        • Failed when I created new TOCs based on ‘working’ TOCs. For example, copied a module-specific TOC and then added topics to it from the default (superset) TOC. I did this in case the original default TOC was corrupted.
                        • Failed when I create a new TOC with the same folder/file structure from scratch.
                        • Failed when I created a new TOC with a flat file structure from scratch.
                        • Failed when I retrieved an older TOC from the last release of the product.
                        • Failed when I created new SSLs each time. I did this in case the SSLs had got corrupted.
                        • Failed when I did not open the project from Source Control (removed project from Source Control and worked locally).
                        • Began to see failure when there were more than about 258-263 files in the TOC. For example, successfully generated Printed Documentation with 262 files in the TOC. Added one topic and the generation failed. Removed that topic and added several others, one at a time. Consistently failed. To test this, I created a TOC with all the files in a flat structure, generated a report for the TOC, printed it, and counted the number of files. I then began deleting files and regenerating the Printed Document to try to identify the number of files in the TOC when the generation failed. Successfully generated up to about 258 files and then it began failing. (Occasional successes at 260 and 261, but that may be because I didn’t always consistently remove the Glossary and Index from the Chapter Layout pane.)

                        Other Comments

                        (I know that we should generally post non-RH issues to other forums, but in this case I wanted to include all potentially related issues in this posting.)

                        • The first time you generate any type of output, the “Critical error of Source Control Provider. Please restart IDE.” Message appears. This message appears behind RoboHelp. As a result, if the RoboHelp window is maximized, you think that RoboHelp is hung. Forcing a close of RoboHelp leaves the partially generated Word document in an unstable state. When you re-open RoboHelp and try to generate the output again, RoboHelp says that the output is in use. Unfortunately, there is no way to ‘free’ the Word document and you have to restart the computer. In addition, when the dialog box is hidden, even using Alt+Tab to find the dialog box is complicated because you can’t grab it and click OK until RoboHelp completes its processing. The workaround is to reduce the size of the application window so that you can see the dialog box and try to quickly grab it and click OK. That said, as soon as processing is complete you can grab the dialog box and click OK; at that point RoboHelp displays its own error message about the success or failure of the output generation. It is not clear whether the RoboHelp API or Source Control puts up this error message, but it’s definitely a problem until you happen upon the workaround.
                        • RoboHelp does not check SSLs even when I right-click the SSL in the Single Source Layouts pane, click Check In, select the XML and SSL files, and leave “Keep checked out” deselected. The red check mark remains next to the SSL name. In addition, even when I Check In All files before closing the project, the next time I open the project RoboHelp displays a series of Check In dialog boxes requiring me to check them in again.
                        • When RoboHelp hangs during a Printed Documentation failure and the Version Control setting is to check in all files when closing a project (which I’ve now deselected to avoid this problem), Ctrl+Alt+Del indicates that you cannot shut down the program because RoboHelp is waiting for a response. Yes, RoboHelp was waiting for me to check in some files (because of the Version Control setting), but hid the Check In Source Files dialog box behind the application. This usually left a Word document in limbo, forcing me to restart the computer.
                        • At one point RoboHelp stopped saving changes to an SSL after I made changes and clicked Save and Generate. Each time I reopened the SSL, I had to select .docx, etc. all over again.

                        Carol

                        • 9. Re: RoboHelp 10: Problems generating Printed Documentation
                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                          Try the version of the project I have uploaded back to you. Email yesterday refers.

                           


                          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                           

                           

                          @petergrainge

                          • 10. Re: RoboHelp 10: Problems generating Printed Documentation
                            AIR-Chayah Level 1

                            I opened the project in RoboHelp -- without going through Source Control -- and changed the file name to "01_PeterCarol".docx". Results: "Internal error encountered. Failed to generated Printed Documentation." The error is preceded by this error: "Microsoft Word is trying to recover your information."

                             

                            What version of Word did you use to generate the output successfully? As noted earlier in this thread: "Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 Version 14.0.7106.5003 64-bit--Note: We repaired my current version of Word, in case that was the problem, but did not reinstall Office--we do not think that the Word version is the problem because we generated successfully with other TOCs and when generating individual documents."

                             

                            Carol

                            • 11. Re: RoboHelp 10: Problems generating Printed Documentation
                              AIR-Chayah Level 1

                              Update: Problem resolved by installing 32-bit Microsoft Office.

                               

                              Based on recommendations from Adobe Technical Support and Peter Grainge, my IT guy uninstalled 64-bit Microsoft Office and installed 32-bit Microsoft Office. I created a new Printed Documentation SSL using the default Touchstone Table of Contents (which had failed repeatedly) and successfully generated a single document.

                               

                              From Peter's site::

                              “Windows 7 64-bit OS supports both 32-bit and 64-bit applications. Legacy 32-bit applications run in 32-bit mode, called Wow mode. Due to Windows architecture restrictions, any 32-bit application cannot interact with a-64 bit application. Currently RoboHelp 9 runs at 32-bit in Wow mode on 64-bit Windows OS. When RoboHelp (32-bit) tries to interact with Office 2010 (64-bit) it fails and RoboHelp thinks that Office is not installed.”

                               

                              Here are some useful links for anyone dealing with 32-bit and 64-bit compatibility:

                              http://www.grainge.org/pages/authoring/rh9/using_rh9.htm

                              http://www.pcworld.com/article/197415/Office_2010.html (Beware of Office 2010’s 64-bit Shortcoming, written in May 2010, so some of the information may be a bit out of date)

                              http://blogs.technet.com/b/office2010/archive/2010/02/23/understanding-64-bit-office.aspx

                              http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee681792.aspx (Office 2013 64-bit, updated July 2013, recommends 32-bit Office for most users)