2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 19, 2007 12:08 PM by johnmccallum

    Map ID customization

      We have converted our help files to RoboHelp HTML. We have a huge application with several thousand fields that have F1 help topics. Our developer is in the process of trying to figure out how to create the links between the fields in the application with the F1 help topics.

      She asked me, as an experiment, if it is possible to edit the .ali file to include the following line so that a specific map id is mapped to a different map id as defined in this line:


      Would RoboHelp HTML honor that line, if I were to manually add it to the .ali file. Or is there a different file in RoboHelp that can be manually edited to show how a specific map id must map to a different map id.

      I didn't think that manual editing of files was feasible with RoboHelp, but if anyone can kindly shed some light on this matter, it is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
        • 1. Re: Map ID customization
          ---Dirk_Bock Level 1
          Hi Mandavilli,

          the follwing explanation pertains to Micrsoft HTML Help systems.

          The process of linking a help call to a help topic consists of two steps:

          First, the numerical value used as parameter for the help call is translated into a name in form of a string. This happens using the IDH.H file of the help project, looking like:

          define# 4711 IDH_SETFAX

          The second step links this name to a file in the help system. This occurs in the ALI-file of the help project and looks like:


          You can generate the ALI-file from within RHO. Typically the IDH.H is read by RH and you manually link each entry to an existing topic. You can also generate the ALI-file in any other way - it's a simple text file - and use this file in RH. If you call your externally generated file <Projectname>.ali, RH will automatically use it.

          The only possible trap would be the use of a version control system, which may replace you ALI-file with the one stored in its database. You can avoid this by manually checking the ALI-file in before opening the project.

          Hope this helps.

          ---Dirk Bock
          • 2. Re: Map ID customization
            Level 2
            Hi Mandavilli,

            If it is any encouragement, I have been using Notepad to create my .ali files for years. I don't do any of the context sensitive help from within RoboHelp and have never had any problems. Because of the way our developer generates the map IDs, we find this the easiest solution so I would say it is not only feasible, but desirable to edit the .ali file outside of RoboHelp.