12 Replies Latest reply on Aug 29, 2007 9:02 AM by Linux Rules

    Controlling popup window size

      Is there a way to influence the size of popup windows? I am developing help that will be displayed in a narrow panel, and popups get to be ridiculously narrow. It seems that the autosizing algorithm prioritizes tall over wide, so that a pupup topic that fits in the help display without scrollbars doesn't use as much width as it could. The width is extended as a last resort if the amount of text would otherwise demand a scrollbar. I would like the popups to be only a little narrower than the main window regardless of the text amount.
        • 1. Re: Controlling popup window size
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
          Double click one of your popup links in RH's editor and you will see the autosize has been selected by default. There is a custom size option that sounds just like what you want.

          • 2. Re: Controlling popup window size
            frma Level 1
            Thanks Peter. It would be almost what I want (being very picky, I would lilke to set the width and allow autosizing on the height, but that seems to be too much to ask), except that for a number of arcane reasons I am working in Robohelp for Word and generating WebHelp as primary source. There doesn't seem to be an equivalent option in Robohelp for Word, and at this stage in the project converting to Robohelp for HTML is not an option.

            I would love to see before I retire :) a version of Robohelp that combines the authoring power of the Word environment with the output control of the HTML variant. It is one of my major gripes with this product that the SSL approach lets you create nominally the same output formats from Word and HTML environments, but nowhere can you find clear documentation of the limitations of each environment. Trial and error is often the only way to find out whether a particular feature is supported in a given environment.
            • 3. Re: Controlling popup window size
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
              If you want to produce that list, I'll be happy to put it on my website. :-)

              • 4. Re: Controlling popup window size
                frma Level 1
                I have found a solution to my own question. Include a help graphic consisting of a thin horizontal white rectangle in the popup topic. The popup window will not shrink to narrower than the graphic.
                So if I want a popup window to have a minimum width of 280 pixels, I use a graphic that is 280 pixels wide and 1 or 2 pixels high. The graphic is invisible in the output window except that it adds a couple of pixels to the minimum height. All autosizing functionality is retained except for the forced minimum width.
                Now that's what I call a workaround!
                • 5. Re: Controlling popup window size
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                  Nice piece of site engineering.

                  • 6. Controlling popup window size
                    Try making the rectangle with no fill / colour as users with browser settings where the page background is not white will see an unexplained white box. Not a big issue but some one is bound to get hung up on it.

                    Saying this as some one with an off white default page setting.
                    • 7. Re: Controlling popup window size
                      HKabaker Level 2
                      I'm resurrecting this thread to add a wrinkle.

                      Firefox and Netscape can't use the DHTML auto-sizing popup code. They display them at about 300 x 165 pixels, with scrollbars if needed, regardless of content. You can't resize a popup window in any browser.

                      On the other hand, Firefox and Netscape display custom sized popups as specified in RH. They add scrollbars only if necessary. In this regard, they behave the same as IE does with custom sized windows.

                      So it looks like I need to custom size each popup, which I don't mind too much.

                      Alternatively, I would like to alter the default dimensions. I could live with, say, 500 x 300 px for Firefox and Netscape, and keep the auto-size in IE.

                      I can't find the code with the default dimensions. I've changed numbers in several locations, but to no effect on popups.

                      Does anyone know where non-IE browsers get these values? Or are they built into the browsers themselves? The two browsers are showing the same default size, so I'm thinking they get it somewhere in RH output files.

                      And where might I be able to make popups resizable? The code in ehlpdhtm.js seems to specifiy resizable=yes, but the popup window corner is inactive.


                      • 8. Re: Controlling popup window size
                        Linux Rules Level 2
                        Hello Harvey -

                        Re: FF/Mozilla/Netscape popups...that's why I changed "popups" to DHTML drop-downs.

                        Anyway, regarding your question about files, for RHX5, take a look in the RoboHelp application parent directory, RoboHelp HTML subdirectory and look into these files:


                        Not sure if I got them all or if all of those listed are actually needed...but poke inside and see all the stuff in there! (I think the SSVRMANAGER.DLL file write all of the info for the sample skin.)

                        • 9. Re: Controlling popup window size
                          HKabaker Level 2

                          Thanks. A bit of elaboration:

                          I make extensive use of popups to display screen shots in a separate window so the user can browse help and go from topic to topic without necessarily navigating in the parent application at the same time. I also make the guide available in our DocWeb library as a standalone guide, so the user can read it with the parent application closed.

                          Sometimes the popup window contains a fair amount of text in a subtopic that the user may need to read only once and never summon again. He or she has the option of ignoring that popup link on returning to the topic. It's the same principle as a Glossary definition. The link is there, but once you read it, why bother if you can remember it from last time?

                          I haven't used dropdowns much, but as I recall they appear in the topic pane and push text down until they are dismissed. Useful, yes, but they wouldn't accomplish my purpose for popups.

                          I looked through ehlpdhtm.js, which primarily serves IE. It figures out the autosize dimensions on the fly, and performs the dhtml effect on text, such as flying in and out, but Firefox/Mozilla/NS don't use dhtml effects.

                          I can't find a place in ehlpdhtm.js where (if it's in this file) the default popup window is sized (it's about 300 px wide by 150 px high).

                          BSSCDHTM.JS doesn't appear in WebHelp output. Much of it is similar to the other js file. I have no idea how it's used. The RH help topic on output files mentions ehlpdhtm.js, but there is no reference to bsscdhtm.js.

                          Is it possible that ehlp... replaced bssc.. and bssc... never was removed from the RH code? Or is bssc... perhaps used in generating html help?

                          If it's in some dll file, I can't fiddle with it, unless you can tell me how to edit and save a dll file without destroying its dll file type. DHTMLFX.DLL has a lot of code that looks similar to the two .js files, but I can't find the default size. That's why I thought perhaps the non-ie browsers have a built-in default when the html code doesn't specify a custom size.

                          I'm content with the workaround, using custom sizes for all popup windows, unless a real developer (of which I am not one) can help figure this out.

                          Thanks again.


                          • 10. Re: Controlling popup window size
                            Linux Rules Level 2
                            Hello Harvey -

                            A work-around would be to open a new instance of FF/Moz/NS when the "popup" link is clicked. This is user selectable (new tab or new window) within the Gecko browsers. (I use the new tabs approach in my browsers.)

                            • 11. Re: Controlling popup window size
                              HKabaker Level 2
                              Hey, not a bad idea!

                              I overlooked this because tabs are relatively new for me, and I seldom use tabbed browsing.

                              Do you accomplish this in the RH popup dialog, or in the browser setting? If most users of those browsers go with tabs, they're probably familiar with the new window/new tab option.


                              • 12. Re: Controlling popup window size
                                Linux Rules Level 2
                                Hello Harvey -

                                I love using tabs. In FF the user setting is from Tools>Options>Tabs - New pages should be opened in: A new window or A new tab (radio button). In Seamonkey (the lasted Mozilla browser) it is in Edit>Preferences>Navigator>Tabbed Browsing - Link open behavior (three choices radio buttons).

                                In RH I create a new HTML page and insert a hyperlink from the "parent page" with options set to Display in frame: New Window.

                                I have a small generated sample project I could send you...just unzip and open the index.htm file in FF/Moz/NS and take a look at how three methods display. PM me with an email address and I'll reply with an attached file.