7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 30, 2007 8:58 AM by robowriter

    Need help with broken links

      Since I can't display RoboHelp's help, I'll ask the Forum. Here's my story:

      I had inadvertently created two of the same topic in two different places. Other topics contained links to one of these topics, but it was possible that the links were split between the two. So, I deleted the topic, and, when prompted, told RoboHelp NOT to get rid of the links, because I wanted to use the Broken Links feature to find and correct the links.

      Sure enough, I got my broken link. But, when I try to resolve it by displaying Topic References, it just says "No References." Then I tried Show Topic Links, and a topic displays, but I don't know what to do with it. Granted, the Broken Link option has always been a problem for me. I'm sure if I could display the online help, I could clear it up, but that doesn't work, either (posted another topic in the General forum on that one!).

      Can anyone help?


        • 1. Re: Need help with broken links
          RoboColum(n) Level 5
          Hi Carol.
          First off to solve you not seeing the help. In the Tools | Options menu item dialog have you got the "Use Offline Help" option selected? This will use RHs own .CHM file rather than trying to use the web based version. Hopefully this will enable you to see the help.
          The easiest way I find to mend broken links is to use the folder in the project tab. If you double click on the broken link there you'll get a dialog showing where the link is. Click on "Edit" to open that topic and change the link to the correct topic.
          • 2. Re: Need help with broken links
            robowriter Level 1
            Thanks for the quick response, Colm. Unfortunately, there's nothing to edit. I had two of the same topic. I deleted one in RoboHelp, leaving the other one. I thought maybe I could use restore to point to the topic I left behind, but the software just sort of sat there and didn't link to it. I even tried re-creating the duplicate topic and then re-deleting it, but I just ended up back where I started. I think I'm just going to have to live with the stupid broken link staring at me, because there really is no broken link. I've seen RoboHelp do this before. Nothing's broken, but it says it is.

            The help system works fine, but I'm just one of those people who hates even one broken link sticking around on the Project tab. For the record, I always have to have my checkbook balanced to the penny, too. Guess I'll just have to learn to get over it.

            Again, thanks.

            • 3. Re: Need help with broken links
              RoboColum(n) Level 5
              Hi Carol. Don't worry about checking your bank statements. I'm the same. If you are saying RH thinks there's a broken link when there isn't this normally indicates a change that has been made outside of RH. Could this be the case? Anyway you have links that work to the remaining topic right? Have you done a find through all the project's files for the filename of the broken link? My bet is that there is still some legacy mention of it somewhere (e.g. the projects HHp file).
              • 4. Re: Need help with broken links
                robowriter Level 1
                Nice try, Colum, but I'm a long-term user who would NEVER make a change outside of RoboHelp. And, yes, all links do point to the correct topic--I checked each and every one of them.The find idea might be a fun idea, though. I'll give it a try, first chance I get. Thanks, again!

                • 5. Re: Need help with broken links
                  RoboColum(n) Level 5
                  I'm glad to hear it Carol. Let us know if you find the file somewhere once you've had a chance to look.
                  • 6. Re: Need help with broken links
                    Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                    Hi all

                    Okay, hoping no jet lag remnants for Peter and all to tease me about.

                    I don't believe I've seen anything related to what I'm about to offer, so here goes.

                    Carol, have any of these topics been imported from elsewhere? Maybe Word? My reason for asking is because I've seen it happen more than once where you bring something in and a broken link results. Try as you might, you cannot seem to find the link! So here's how I approach it. I'm copying and pasting from an article I wrote a while back.

                    How they can occur

                    1. The destination HTML page can have its name changed, perhaps external to RoboHelp via Windows Explorer. For instance, lets say you have a topic labeled "My Topic.htm". For some reason or other, you choose to rename it as "My_Topic.htm" using Windows Explorer. RoboHelp would declare any link to this topic as being broken, because the link is looking for "My Topic.htm".

                    2. The destination HTML page could have begun life in a different location. Then was later referenced by a topic using an absolute address. In this case, c:\SomeFolder\SomeTopic.htm. Then the topic is subsequently copied to your project and deleted from the original location.

                    3. The folder containing the destination HTML page(s) could have been renamed. In this case, particularly if the folder is renamed outside of Robohelp HTML, all topics inside will appear as broken links to any topic referencing them. Although, I have seen it happen where even using RoboHelp HTML to rename the folder, some things aren't totally updated as a result.

                    How to correct them

                    Probably the easiest way is to examine the Broken Links folder.

                    1. Double click a link that is listed. A dialog should display listing the topic(s) RoboHelp thinks the broken link is in.

                    2. Select the topic, then click the Edit button. This should open the topic containing the broken link.

                    3. Verify any and all links in the topic. Personally, I like to hover each link, then compare what appears in the tooltip popup to what is displaying in the Broken Links folder. Once you see a similar link, double click it to edit.

                    The ghost links

                    One of the most frustrating items to track down is what I like to call the "ghost link". Here is what I mean by "ghost link". You open the topic RoboHelp HTML is indicating has a broken link. However, try as you might, you either don't see a link in the WYSIWYG editor, or you don't see *THE* link being reported as broken. To make matters worse, you can often display the TrueCode and still fail to see it! I'm not exactly sure what is up with these, but I usually see them when I import a topic that was created using either Microsoft Word or Microsoft FrontPage. The RoboHelp editor is simply doing its best to display what it finds. I figure something in these topics is coded in a manner RoboHelp doesn't understand. So RoboHelp can't show me the link code.

                    How to correct the ghost links

                    1. Leave RoboHelp HTML open and locate the suspect topic using Windows Explorer.

                    If you have opened the topic from the broken links list, you may not know which folder it's in (assuming you have structured your project using folders). An easy way to locate the folder is to right click the topic in the RoboHelp HTML editor, then select Properties from the context menu. A quick look at the Status tab should easily reveal the folder. Look at the second line listed. It begins with "Location:".

                    2. Edit the topic using Windows Notepad.

                    3. Press the F3 key to invoke the Find dialog.

                    4. Enter the following character string into the search dialog: <a href= and click the Find Next button.

                    For those of you unfamiliar with HTML coding, the <a href= indicates the beginning of a hyperlink.

                    5. You will need to delete everything from <a href= to the closing </a> tag. This will kill the hyperlink. Be certain that the link you are working with is the suspect. This is confirmed by comparing the .htm file being specified in the code with the .htm file RoboHelp is reporting a problem with.

                    6. Close Notepad, save the file, then return to RoboHelp HTML. Assuming you found the only instance of the errant link, the list of broken links should have automatically updated itself so it no longer indicates this link as broken.

                    Hope this helps some... Rick
                    • 7. Re: Need help with broken links
                      robowriter Level 1
                      Well, Rick, I thank you for making such an incredible effort to get to the bottom of this issue. I sure wish I could say that the answer was there, but I'm afraid not. What's so weird about this is that the broken link actually says there are "No references." To my mind, "No references" means that nothing's broken.

                      The topic was never created, edited, or deleted outside of RoboHelp. Although the client who supplied the text has a tendency to create html pages from MS-Word, they did not do it this time. They sent me a .mht file, and I copied the text in from a browser window. It came in as plain text, and then I applied .css styles within RoboHelp. It's really a very nothing little topic--a few titles, a few paragraphs--that's all. I checked the true code to make sure nothing horrible came in. And then I deleted it because it turned out I already had the topic somewhere else. I checked every link to that second copy to make sure they all were pointing to the correct topic, and they were.

                      PLEASE don't spend any more time on this. I have to learn to live with this tiny glitch in my help system. It's not hurting anything, and I really don't have OCD, so I'm sure I can deal. Maybe it'll disappear when I upgrade to 6.0!

                      Thank you all so much for making the effort. I really appreciate it, and I absolutely adore these forums.