12 Replies Latest reply on Nov 11, 2007 12:44 PM by Emely@HIG

    Generating JavaHelp 2.0 Output

      Hi all,

      Trying to generate JavaHelp output (client requirement), but running into problems. I followed Peter Grainge's JavaHelp page, and was able to get as far as the command line test to work properly.

      When I try to generate JavaHelp 2.0 output, I'm asked for the Install Folder for the SDK. I have specified just about every folder in my configuration, including:


      But with all of these, I get an error message:

      "Java Software Development Kit (Java SDK) is not installed in the folder: C:\Java\jdk1.6.0_01\bin.
      Cannot find java.exe, javaw.exe, and jar.exe."

      Any suggestions?


      P.S. Hi Peter, hope all's well!
        • 1. Re: Generating JavaHelp 2.0 Output
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
          Hi Greg

          Getting it all to run can be tricky. Other than the obvious rereading of the instructions, there's nothing else I can suggest. As you saw in the topic, I only had one go at this.

          I would suggest that if you still have problems after revisiting the topic, you get one of your developer's to sit down with you.

          Sorry, I wish I could help.

          • 2. Re: Generating JavaHelp 2.0 Output
            RoboColum(n) Level 5
            Hi Greg.

            As someone who has also recently started using JavaHelp for the first time I can sympathise with you greatly. Having seen it my advice to anyone considering using it is not to. Bit late now for you and me though. The only ray of sunshine here is that I've manged to persuade the powers to be to move away from it in the next release.

            I had the same problem as you whe trying to get Javahelp installed. The key to it appears to be to install the Javahelp SDK executable into a folder and then to extract the JavaHelp 2.0 files to the root directory where the SDK has been installed. I had to reinstall a couple of times before it worked.
            • 3. Re: Generating JavaHelp 2.0 Output
              themint100 Level 1
              Hi Colum,

              Yep, tried to convince them not to use JH, but they're a little slow on the uptake. They also didn't want to "waste" developer time working with a mere tech writer.

              Couple questions:

              1) I have the JavaHelp files installed in a directory at the same level as my Java install, like this:


              From the error message, it seems that the problem is not with the JavaHelp portion, but with finding the Java .exe's. In fact, I can get a .hs file to open from the command line, so think the JavaHelp portion is OK. Are you saying to place the \jh2.0 folder inside the \jdk1.6.0_01 folder (instead of at the same level, as it is now?).

              2) Can I ask which version of the JDK you managed to get it working with. I guess the 1.6 version is newly released, and I'm wondering if I have to install the 1.5 version instead (with RH5).

              Thanks for any help, all!

              • 4. Re: Generating JavaHelp 2.0 Output
                maniac9999 Level 1

                I might be able to help. I've been working with JavaHelp 2.0 for three years now and have some experience with installing the JDK and JavaHelp engine on PCs in my department. It's not fun to work with, I know.

                Both my JDK and jh2.0 folders are installed on the root of my C:\ drive. As for the version of JDK, I'm still using 1.4.2_04 (j2sdk-1_4_2_04-windows-i586-p.exe, 50 Mb). Haven't tried the 1.5 or 1.6 yet (mainly because we didn't see any improvement when we tried to fix the search highlighting bug using the 1.5 on a programmers PC while they rebuilt the index).

                I would install the version of the executable that is listed as the "Windows Offline Installation, Multi-Language" with the "p" and not the "p-iftw" in the filename.

                It's also pretty important to create the System Variable called "JHHOME" and edit your path variable so that it points to the j2sdk1.5.x\bin directory (or whatever version of j2sdk you're using.

                Before you do any of this, I would uninstall RoboHelp first, then install the j2sdk and javahelp 2.0, then reinstall RoboHelp so that it can find the java components.

                Hope this helps. Drop me a line if you want the procedure I created.


                By the way, I know what you mean about trying to dissuade developers from using JavaHelp. They don't get it.

                • 5. Generating JavaHelp 2.0 Output
                  themint100 Level 1
                  Hi Jim,

                  Thanks for the quick reply. In parallel, I decided to uninstall all the Java (JRE and SDK) that were installed (I had been on the 1.6 release). Rolled back to the 1.5.0_11 release, tried again, and everything generated fine. So I can only conclude that RH5 doesn't play well with the Java 1.6x SDK.

                  I will update all of the settings that I got to work so that it can be marked as an answer. I do have some formatting questions for you, but will take those offline.

                  Thanks Jim, Peter, and Colum!

                  • 6. Re: Generating JavaHelp 2.0 Output
                    RoboColum(n) Level 5
                    Hi all. Looks like Jim has it sussed! If only I had known half of what he has suggested when I started at this company a couple of months ago. It would have prevented a few headaches. Thanks largely to a boss that listens and a large user base that has complained about the formatting of the Java help we have managed to get them to move to webhelp in the next release. I think the key is to sell the benefits to customers rather than to developers!
                    • 7. Re: Generating JavaHelp 2.0 Output
                      themint100 Level 1
                      As promised, I wanted to post what my successful installation looked like so that others might benefit. Unlike Jim suggested, I did not have to uninstall RoboHelp, and I don't think that's necessary. It is, as he suggested, just more important to get the Java install right and have the path and env. variables set properly.

                      1) RoboHelp

                      Version: RoboHelp 5.0.2, Build 801. I have this installed in the default location:

                      C:\Program Files\RoboHelp Office

                      2) Java SDK

                      The 1.6 SDK didn't seem to work. So I stripped off all the Java installs from my machine (both SDK and JRE) and started from scratch with the 1.5 release.

                      I downloaded the SDK from this URL:


                      Choose the "JDK 5.0 Update 11 with NetBeans IDE 5.5" option.

                      This installs the SDK, the JRE, and NetBeans (the IDE for Java). You probably won't use this as a tech writer, but it's there as part of the install, and won't hurt anything.

                      One thing I did when installing the SDK and JavaBeans was to select a path that had no spaces in it (i.e., not in "Program Files"). Installs like this sometimes automatically update your path, but don't always manage spaces properly, so this was just to be safe. I used the default location for the JRE (runtime environment).

                      Here's a cut and paste from my install dialog:

                      J2SE Development Kit 5.0 Update 11 installation location:

                      J2SE Runtime Environment 5.0 Update 11 installation location:
                      C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_11

                      NetBeans IDE 5.5 installation location:

                      3) JavaHelp

                      You also have to have JavaHelp installed on your machine. JavaHelp 2.0 is kind of the baseline now, apparently (the previous release 1.1.3, was pretty limited). I downloaded JH2.0 from this link:


                      I put it at the same level as the Java SDK install:


                      4) Environment Variables

                      As Jim pointed out, you need to set the Environmental Variable "JHHOME". The value of that path should be the root directory for your JH install, so:

                      - Right click on My Computer > Properties.
                      - Choose Advanced > Environment Variables > System Variables
                      - Check the value for JHHOME and make sure it matches the install dir. for JH (in my case, C:\Java\jh2.0)

                      5) Path

                      The path variable tells the OS where to look for executables it can run. Edit that as Jim pointed out.

                      Just for future reference. This was a bit painful, but mostly because I wasn't familiar with Java, but also the doc on the RH side was a bit deficient in guiding me toward a successful install.

                      Hope this helps, and Peter, feel free to snip and paste any of this that you want for your site. ;)

                      • 8. Re: Generating JavaHelp 2.0 Output
                        Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                        Sure will, many thanks.
                        • 9. Re: Generating JavaHelp 2.0 Output
                          maniac9999 Level 1

                          Glad to see you finally had success. Let me know how it works out with JDK 1.5 series, especially with the HTML related bugs that Sun claimed would be fixed with future SDK releases (ie, the text-indent css class bug)

                          It's funny, even with all the attempts I've made at making it work correctly (RoboHelp and JavaHelp), I needed to update the registry keys on my most recent install to get everything to work correctly (I got a new laptop at work). And I was only able to do that because Raul Ramos from eHelp/Macromedia/Adobe (who I believe left for MadCap, not sure), sent me a screenshot back in 2004 showing the proper key configurations.


                          • 10. Re: Generating JavaHelp 2.0 Output
                            themint100 Level 1

                            Thanks! It might be useful if you could post those registry entries for future reference...or a pointer thereto.

                            I'm not sure about the bugs that were supposed to be fixed in 1.5, but I did notice some minor indenting issues. Is there a thread that describes the problems somewhere? I'll be happy to report back on whether any of the issues have been addressed (as much as I can).

                            • 12. Re: Generating JavaHelp 2.0 Output
                              Emely@HIG Level 1
                              Hi all,

                              I have the same Java output issue. I have followed instructions of this post (and of a few other sources or this site and the Grainge site) without success. However, we have RoboHelp 6 installed (on an XP machine with Office 2003), do the file locations of Java SDK, JRE and help stated in this topic also apply for RoboHelp 6? Has anyone tested this with success? If not ... any alternative configuration and installation folders that have been successful?
                              thanks in advance,