12 Replies Latest reply on Apr 3, 2009 11:13 AM by Peter Grainge

    Merging Projects in RoboHelp 8

      I've never merged projects before so this is probably user error, but when I follow the steps from the Adobe help system for merging projects in RoboHelp 8, generate the project, and then view it my merged project is not present. This is what I did:

      (1) Created a generic project (documentation that we reuse in all help systems)
      (2) Created the client project (documentation that's specific to this client's help system)
      (3) From the Client Project in the TOC pod, I clicked the New Merged Project icon
      (4) This is a WebHelp Pro project so I selected the FlashHelp/WebHelp/Adobe AIR tab
      (5) I browsed for the generic project (located in a seperate folder)
      (6) I clicked OK
      (7) The generic project name showed up in the TOC
      (8) I generated the project like normal
      (9) I clicked View Results and the only stuff that's there is just the stuff from the client project. Nothing from the generic project is available.

      Everything that I read says that merged project doesn't show up until the project is published. I guess with the way we do work I don't understand the difference between generating and publishing. What happens is that I generate the project, zip the WebHelp Pro folder, email it to a developer or put it in a shared drive depending on the client and then the developer attached the files to the system. To call the correct screen, I have to include a HTM for every single screen (wfm) in the application. The application calls the screen name with the same HTM name which displays a screen help page for that particular screen and then the user can use the navigation (TOC or search or links) to find the help topics they're looking for. I doubt this is the "best" way to do this, but I'm working with developers on a 12 hour time difference and this is how they requested the files. Point being -- there is no "publishing" step according to my understanding of publishing. I know there is a server somewhere because the actually application we build is on a server, but I don't know the technical aspects about how my HTM files I create get onto that server and display online.

      Can anyone help me?
        • 1. Re: Merging Projects in RoboHelp 8
          Steph.Deshler Level 1
          I forgot to mention that I did generate the generic project before attempting to insert the merge project in the TOC of the client project. I also added the xjp file as the merged project and not the chm (or whatever you add when it's not a webhelp project).
          • 2. Re: Merging Projects in RoboHelp 8
            RoboWizard Level 4
            Welcome to our community, Steph

            With WebHelp Pro, merging typically occurs on the server. The steps you followed probably apply more to generic WebHelp and FlashHelp than they do with the "Pro" outputs.

            So the question at this point is to refine things and ask if you are certain you need the Pro output type. If not, the steps are correct.

            You can glean lots of information about generic merging of WebHelp from fellow Adobe Community Expert Peter Grainge's site.

            Click here to visit Peter's site.

            Cheers and happy merging... Rick
            • 3. Re: Merging Projects in RoboHelp 8
              Steph.Deshler Level 1
              Thanks Rick.

              I did look at his website before starting this discussion and didn't immediately see anything about RoboHelp 8. I didn't know if there was something specifically different about RoboHelp 8.

              What's the difference between WebHelp and WebHelp Pro? From the developers stand point, they don't care what output type I use as long as I keep the folder names WebHelp Pro so that they don't have to change any coding.
              • 4. Re: Merging Projects in RoboHelp 8
                Steph.Deshler Level 1
                Also, when I change the output type from WebHelp Pro to any other kind of output type I get the following message: The folder or file name is invlid. Please enter a valid output folder or file name.

                I don't get this message when generating WebHelp Pro. Any ideas?
                • 5. Re: Merging Projects in RoboHelp 8
                  Steph.Deshler Level 1
                  Well, I fixed the file name error.

                  I tried what Rick suggested and doing the outputs as something else (WebHelp and FlashHelp) and the same problem still occurs. In the files that are generated there is a folder for Merged Projects, but when I view the files there is no project there.

                  I just don't know what I'm doing wrong. It feels like it shouldn't be that difficult to merge projects.
                  • 6. Re: Merging Projects in RoboHelp 8
                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                    Although the RH8 dialogs are a bit different from those in RH7, the principles are the same and you should be able to follow them from my article.

                    Download the demo and work with that.

                    • 7. Re: Merging Projects in RoboHelp 8
                      Steph.Deshler Level 1
                      I went through all of the steps in Peter's article and I'm still having the same problem. I also tried every different type of output her (webhelp, webhelp pro, flashhelp, flashhelp pro, etc.) and the problem still exists. Basically, I'm following all the steps, but the merged project is not getting generated into the parent project. RoboHelp does create the merged projects folder, but the foler is empty when I open it. When I downloaded the sample project from Peter's website, his merged projects folder had the generated files from the child project.
                      • 8. Re: Merging Projects in RoboHelp 8
                        Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                        Hi there

                        I think you will find you need to do one of two things here.

                        1. Manually copy the WebHelp output folder from the subs into the Merged Projects folder.
                        2. Configure the WebHelp Generation dialogs so the subs simply generate to the Merged Projects folder.

                        It won't happen automatically. You must intervene.

                        Cheers... Rick
                        • 9. Re: Merging Projects in RoboHelp 8
                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                          I was just about to suggest Rick's point 2. I am guessing that when you generate the parent, you are expecting all the children to be generated as well. You have to generate each of them.

                          • 10. Re: Merging Projects in RoboHelp 8
                            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                            Step 7 of the instructions.

                            • 11. Re: Merging Projects in RoboHelp 8
                              Steph.Deshler Level 1
                              Actually, I had generated all the child project previously, but what I did wrong is that I didn't create a folder for the child. It looks like in the table of contents, you actually have to include a separate folder for the mergedProject to go into. I just called it the same thing that I called the child project. For example "Global Features." You can't just have the mergedProject go into the table of contents without it being in a folder (normally). That said, I did find a way to get it in there before I found this solution. I did all the steps that Peter Grainge had suggested, then I copied and pasted the !SSL folder from where the child project was saved into the mergedProject folder of the parent project. That's basically what RoboHelp does anyway, but doing it manually allows for you not to have to create a folder in the table of contents -- just provides a different navigation to the same thing.
                              • 12. Re: Merging Projects in RoboHelp 8
                                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                                In the parent TOC you create a reference to each child project.

                                When you generate the parent, that process creates a sub folder for each child. You do not do that manually and if you need to, something is wrong.

                                After generating the parent, you generate each child to the child folder that RH created.