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Hi Leora and welcome to our community
I'd strongly recommend moving your project back OFF the network and always working locally. You are seeing the tip of the iceberg with the missing images. Just poke around this forum a bit and you will find all sorts of posts where all manner of issues appear while working on a network.
Here's how you can add new images to your topic without using the Select Image dialog: You can simplay drag and drop images from Windows Explorer/My Computer onto an open topic in RoboHelp. This has always worked for me. Dragging and dropping simultaneously inserts them in your open topic AND adds them to your project's baggage file, so that you can access them later.
I personally have had no bad experiences moving entire projects back and forth from our network to my desktop. All my baggage files and images all translate cleanly, when I move back and forth, but it looks like your list of images may have been wiped somehow. Maybe you were using absolute links to a folder on your PC? At any rate, you can always drag and drop the images to place them in your topic/baggage file. And depending on the number of images you have, you may also want to explore manually editing the rhbag.apj file to restore them to the baggage file.
Did you mean it adds the images to the Images "folder" in Project Manager which RH does do rather than to Baggage files which it does not appear to do?
Also can you clarify the network / local bit. Storing stuff on a network is OK although generally it's quicker to zip it before moving it. Rick's point was more about working on the project while it is on the network. That's a dfferent issue.
Sorry, I did mean the Images folder in project manager.
As for the network piece, here's my current set-up. Myself and another RH author maintain 2 RoboHelp projects of about 800 topics each. The live project files are on the network and we both access them over the LAN (albeit not at the same time).
Frequently, I copy the live project to my desktop to create a "test file" and work on individual topics there. When the topics are ready, I copy and paste them or input them back into the live project on the LAN.
Knock on wood... we have had no major problems with this approach. (Maybe because our projects aren't as large as some users?) The response time over the network is very good. This has made me wonder why you and Rick caution against it so much, since we've had next to no problems. And since the network is backed up every night, we don't need to do manual backups (except of the test projects on our desktops).
The only issues I encounter are the following, which don't appear related to my projects being on a LAN, since they happen with my local projects as well:
- Adding a file to the baggage file doesn't work, except by the
following methods: importing a topic imports all the baggage files
or images it uses, manually editing rhbag.apj or dragging/dropping
- Imported topics are added with the filename in all lower-case. Since RH won't let you change only the letter-casing, I have to change it to an intermediate filename before changing it back to the intended filename.
- Adding a file to the baggage file doesn't work, except by the following methods: importing a topic imports all the baggage files or images it uses, manually editing rhbag.apj or dragging/dropping an image.
Well, there are always exceptions to any rule. Even rules of thumb.
Indeed we have seen others report that they work off a LAN with aplomb and have never had an issue. Actually, these are the toughest to help. They report with a problem. We discover files are on a network and suggest moving locally. They then report back with "well it's worked fine for (insert desired time frame here)". And of course, all we can come back with is the fact that they are posting with an issue they can't resolve. Maybe they have just been lucky this far and are finally seeing weird results manifest.
The main issue here is that RoboHelp HTML uses a Microsoft Access database format for some of the project storage. And these typically have "issues" when used on a LAN. In the corporate job I left back in 2004, all Access databases were banned from being placed on the network. This was a mandate issued by the LAN Administration folks. They must have had some inkling that it's not a good thing to have them there.
Hi Rick and everyone
Thanks! I moved it back to my local computer and its working as before. This is not an ideal situation because we want to have it on a network permanently so multiple staffers can work on the help as needed. Any recommendations?
How do companies with multiple technical writers work on a big Help project? This has to be a common situation, I would surmise...
Thanks - leora
Actually, no, it's not that common. At most sites, writers tend to be assigned to specific functional areas, for two main reasons: 1) they can become more knowledgeable about the subject matter; and 2) the subject matter experts are always dealing with the same documentation contacts.
In our environment, we have six writers assigned to their share of 42 projects, which are generated and published into a merged Webhelp project.
Of course, there's always source control, which can lock other users out of a topic if it's checked out by another, but that requires buy-in and support from your IT folks.