4 Replies Latest reply on May 6, 2007 10:40 AM by Peter Grainge

    Overwritten Topics in RH Office 2002

      Hi all, first time user of the forums, looking for a little assistance. I am using Robohelp Office 2002 to create a web help document for our end users. I have been having ongoing problems with my topics being overwritten as I make changes and update content.

      For example, I have a topic about updating our software. If I make changes to the topic at some point and then save and recompile, little gremlins in the Robohelp software are overwriting the topic. In the TOC Composer pane on the left, the topic title is "Updating", but that link takes you to a different page. The topic that was originally about updating now might be about an entirely different topic like Networking Instructions. This happens in both the authoring environment and in the generated web help HTML files.

      In the Topics tab, you click on it and find that it also points to an entirely different page. My project now spans 22 chapters and a couple hundred topics, so I'm finding that every time I edit, 30 or so topics get overwritten/changed and I have to bring the HTML files out of a backup. It's like playing whack-a-mole where changing something in a completely unrelated topic affects other topics that have not been touched for days/weeks.

      Since Adobe no longer supports this version, I was hoping that one of you knows what causes this, and what I can do to avoid it. This problem is costing me hours of labour that I can't really afford. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
        • 1. Re: Overwritten Topics in RH Office 2002
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
          Welcome to the forum.

          I don't think I have seen anything quite like this. Maybe RoboWizard has but he is US based so he won't be online until later.

          Is this RH HTML?

          One problem that did used to occur was that you made changes and then opened another topic and the changes were lost. That occurred if you ticked the Save without Prompt option. I very much doubt that is involved but make sure that option is not ticked.

          Is the project on a network? That can cause many problems although again I think this one unlikely.

          Are you using any form of source control? If you are, I can't help but I would check that very carefully.

          The fact that you say the TOC Composer updates bothers me. If you change a file name, the properties for a TOC item should pick that up. If you change the title, then the TOC should not update automatically. A lot of people use different titles in the TOC so it is not set to update. You either need to update that yourself or drag the topic across again.

          It sounds much more like the project is corrupt which gives you two options. One is to import the topics into a new project, with no guarantee that is the solution. The other is follow the instructions in my topic on Opening Projects. Do backup first.

          • 2. Re: Overwritten Topics in RH Office 2002
            RoboWizard Level 4
            Hi all

            I think Peter is spot on with his suggestion of disabling the Save without prompt. I believe what you are seeing here is indeed a bug that manifested in version 2002 and was fixed in the 2002 R2 release I think. As I recall, the R2 release was a free update to those that had the base 2002. So you may wish to see if you can still download and install it. Here is a link to a page where you may be able to do this. Click here

            I read and understood the TOC part a bit differently than my esteemed colleague Peter did. I think you meant to convey that the TOC link did not change. But the node name you gave to it was called "Updating". And after the gremlins do their thing, you still see the same name, but a different topic when you click it, no? If so, that totally confirms my suspicion that it's the same bug. The one where content from a different topic overwrites the content in the existing topic.

            Cheers and happy Friday all... Rick
            • 3. Re: Overwritten Topics in RH Office 2002
              JamesMilano Level 1
              Hi guys, thanks for the response. Robowizard was more spot on with his analysis. The TOC link did not change in either the WSYWIG editor or the finished output, but when you click on the link it takes you to an entirely different topic. I'll download that update and see if it fixes things. Other than doing the update and backups, is there any way I can avoid having this happen?

              I think I do have the auto-save enabled, but I also make it a habit of clicking the Save button after I have worked on a topic. Also, the project files are stored on a network drive, and I have the only copy of Robohelp installed locally. Should I copy/paste the network project folder locally and only do output to the network drive?

              Thanks again.
              • 4. Re: Overwritten Topics in RH Office 2002
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                Whilst RoboWizard's understanding of the TOC issue may have been better but looks like one of my thoughts was spot on! RoboHelp projects must NOT be worked on when on a network drive. The project must be local. Also you should generate the outputs locally and not to a network drive.

                To get your help onto the server, you then either publish from RoboHelp, the last page of the wizard, or you copy the files by whatever means suits you to the server. Do not generate to a server.

                Almost certainly this is the cause of all the problems. RoboHelp is underpinned by an Access database and they do not work well across networks.

                Problem now is that moving it locally will likely not correct the mess that has occurred. See the last paragraph of my first response.

                1] Download and install the update RoboWizard refers to.

                2] Move the project locally and create another copy of it. You may need to use that if the next steps don't go well.

                3] Try my suggestions for correcting things. I am assuming too many changes have been made since the project was last backed up and good.

                If you hit further problems, post back and we'll try to point you in the right direction.

                RoboWizard: How filthy rich are we now with £1 / $2 for every network based problem? I'll look for your reply when I get back from the Merc dealer.

                Sorry to tease James. As a new user you were not to know but I make the point this way so that you and anyone else seeing this thread knows we are not kidding on this one. Networks are a no no unless used with source control.