11 Replies Latest reply on Sep 23, 2008 5:13 PM by Captiv8r

    Hyperlinks to PDFs...

      I have opened a RH for Word project using RH HTML as I was told by several people that the HTML flavour supported hyperlinks to files other than HTM or HTML. I used links to PDFs and when compiled the Help File, it all worked fine. However, since I saved my work in VSS (I am not using the Version Control facility from RH, I simply uncheck files in VSS, work on them using RH and then check them in.

      After having checked the files in, I checked everything out and re-opened my project: BIG MISTAKE. My TOC file must have been corrupted as my TOC had a few topics but all with broken links, my index was empty and worst of all, none of my hyperlinks to PDFs work. When I compiled the HTML Help File and clicked on the hyperlinks, it takes me to a 'This program cannot display the webpage' page. I have managed to recover my index and TOC files by uncompiling the Help File that I saved in Visual Source Safe (aka the 'correct' help file, not corrupted), but I do not understand what is going on with my hyperlinks.

      Any ideas? I checked on the true code and it all seems fine. Hyperlinks are of the type
      <a href="../OG-DUB-W11 - Instruction11.pdf">here</a> where OG-DUB-W11 - instruction11.pdf is my PDF file and here the hotspot text.

      When I compiled the 'correct' Help File (with the hyperlinks working), I noticed that the PDFs were all incorporated in the compiled file as they were listed in the bottom, but they are not anymore.

      I do not know what to do, can anybody help?
      Thank you in advance from a person who is nearly bold from pulling her hair due to RH use...
        • 1. Re: Hyperlinks to PDFs...
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
          How did you open a RH for Word project using RH HTML?

          • 2. Hyperlinks to PDFs...
            mcp_TechAuthor Level 1
            Hi Peter
            I used File > Open, then opened my hpj project. RH HTML created a xpj project either when I did this or once I compiled the help file. At that point, none of my hyperlinks were working as I could not get them to work in RH for Word (only seems to work for links to HTM or HTML files).
            I then went through all my automatically generated HTM files and inserted hyperlinks by going to Insert > Hyperlink > File and specified the path to a PDF file. I also chose 'Display in Frame' for 'Hyperlink Options' and then 'Page Default'.
            I compiled and my hyperlinks worked allright in my CHM file. I noticed that all the PDFs were included in the compilation process, which made the HTML Help File large (but it is OK).
            I then put all my source files in VSS and checked everything back out: that is when it all went pear-shaped. My hyperlinks are not working anymore, I get the 'This program cannot display the webpage' screen of death.

            Is there a file (with all the hyperlinks) that I am missing?
            Has RH got its knickers in a twist and has changed the file association (It looks like it is trying to open a webpage, not a PDF)?
            Did I not open my RH for Word project correctly?
            • 3. Re: Hyperlinks to PDFs...
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
              Looks like you did import it correctly. I had always gone the import route and simply hadn't realised that if you point to an HPJ file, it starts the import routine. Not realising that was a correct method I had wondered if it was a contributory factor.

              With that ruled out and the fact that the problem started only after source control, I will have to defer to others. I have seen MergeThis advise that you should not check in the following file types, CPD, LDB, HHP and PSS. I'm not sure about the XPJ but think it likely you would not check that in.

              • 4. Hyperlinks to PDFs...
                mcp_TechAuthor Level 1
                Hi Peter
                Thanks for your prompt reply. What do you mean by not checking in the files you detail? Are you telling me that it is advised not to check into VSS these files at all as there might be some issues with doing that? Sorry for asking but I am a bit 'thick' today...

                I have created a small test project in RH HTML with only one topic and one hyperlink. I made the hyperlink to one of my PDFs and it did not work when I clicked on it on the compiled Help File. I then renamed my PDF file (my PDF files have long names of the type 'OG-NRH-W3 - instruction name.PDF') to something short like file.PDF and it works! I am going to check all the files in VSS, check them out and make sure the hyperlink still works.

                Do you think it can be due to the long file names? If it is, would do we explain that it worked once, before I checked everything in VSS and not after, unless as you said, checking in some files can lead to problems...
                • 5. Re: Hyperlinks to PDFs...
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                  My understanding is that you should not check those files in but I don't use source safe so I am no authority on that.

                  Long file names are not good and neither are spaces. Try again avoiding both.

                  • 6. Re: Hyperlinks to PDFs...
                    mcp_TechAuthor Level 1
                    Hi Peter,
                    I started it all again by opening my RH for Word project in RH HTML, shortening the PDFs names and going through all the links. It now works.
                    I am not checking anything into VSS before I save the whole project somewhere else.
                    • 7. Re: Hyperlinks to PDFs...
                      MergeThis Level 4
                      The issue with those files (CPD, LDB, HHP and PSS) is that they are local-machine-specific and/or used within the Access-database framework that RH uses. It becomes more of an issue after Writer B checks out the project and checks it back with edits, then Writer A checks out the project again. I don't think there's an issue with the XPJ/HPJ project file, though.

                      Another issue that is exarcerbated with source control products is the confusion that abounds when newbies assume that source files are interchangeable with output files. Output files should never be a part of a source control environment, and should never be imported into the source project! Nor is this a VSS-specific issue; all source control products must be used carefully.

                      The other thing nagging at me as I form this reply: you're not working the project over a network, are you? And yes, a "shared drive" IS shared over a network.

                      Good luck,
                      • 8. Re: Hyperlinks to PDFs...
                        mcp_TechAuthor Level 1
                        Hi Leon
                        Sorry, I had not seen your reply. Thanks for the explanations about Source Control (I consider myself as a newbie...) and no, I am not working on a project on the network. I am working locally on my PC and checking in and out the source files to and out of VSS (on the network) but I work on my project and compile Help Files locally. I found some posts refering to a 'limit' in the link length that could explain why some of my PDFs links work and others do not. I am going to investigate this. Again sorry for not having come back to you earlier and thanked you for your help.
                        • 9. Re: Hyperlinks to PDFs...
                          MergeThis, you asked if she was working on a shared network. I'm having a similar problem, and I am working on a shared network. I added some topics, compiled the project just fine, and then zipped it and placed it on a shared drive. Another writer I work with copied the zipped project to her local, unzipped it, imported my new topics into her project, zipped her project, and put it on the shared drive - that was to be the "master project" for us to start with going forward. When I extracted the zip file from the shared drive to my local, I can't see any of my new files in the project, although I can see them in the project folders in Microsoft Explorer. The other writer can work with the project just fine.
                          When I zipped the latest project (the one in which my files aren't visible), I got an access denied error on the CPD and LBD files.
                          Any ideas?
                          • 10. Re: Hyperlinks to PDFs...
                            MergeThis Level 4
                            You're probably not replacing some of the project- and machine-specific files when you're copying back and forth. That is, try extracting the contents into a different location on your machine to get whatever changes were made to the hhk, hhc, cpd, etc.

                            Good luck,
                            • 11. Re: Hyperlinks to PDFs...
                              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                              Hi Leon

                              Note that Denise has another thread on this issue as well. It is located at this link

                              Cheers... Rick