10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 6, 2016 6:52 AM by Captiv8r

    Using Image Folder One Level Above Project Folder

    CharlotteOHare Level 1

      Hello all,

       

      I've inherited the Robohelp HTML projects from a tech writer who has moved on and is unavailable to help me.

       

      The online help for my projects is translated in as many as 20 languages but the images are not translated. Under the current process I zip the source files and submit them to the various translators, and receive back their translates in zip files. I submit, for example, the 20 zip files to the dev teams, and their forced to include 20 web help folders in their builds, and this makes for a lot of processing time, especially for a webhelp that has several hundred topics and an equal amount of images.

       

      I took the smallest of the webhelps (Connect) and placed all images in an Image folder in the following source file structure:

      English

           !SSL!

                Webhelp

                Images

      Images

       

      This can result in the following sample structure to zip in one folder to send to the dev team:

      English Webhelp

      Spanish Webhelp

      French Webhelp

      Images

       

      Connect worked fine. I updated the file references in the topic files, and compiled everything just fine.

       

      I tried this process on the Image source files. Unfortunately I encountered a serious problem. I moved all images to a folder at the same level as the project folder and in the HTML files, I changed the image reference in the HTML code, as I had done with Connect. Unfortunately, in Image, Robohelp saves the image in the project root folder.

       

      I've checked the help and the online boards, but I cannot find any discussions on this problem. Can anyone explain to me what settings can make Robohelp use the images in the folder I determine?

       

      Regards,

      Charlotte

        • 1. Re: Using Image Folder One Level Above Project Folder
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Hi Charlotte

           

          I understand the need in your own case, but the issue is that from the RoboHelp perspective, the "project" is "the universe" as far as RoboHelp goes.

           

          As you have seen first hand, you *CAN* substitute a path to images that is outside the project. When you do this, you will likely encounter a dialog advising that the link to the image is outside the project path and will not be shown. (drawing from memory here)

           

          There may be a check box that allows preventing the dialog from appearing again. And if you are working this way, you should likely enable it by placing a check mark there. That way it won't bug you when you open the project.

           

          I might think you would encounter the following side effect. With the path outside of the RoboHelp project, the images may not appear in the editor. That could be confusing as you work.

           

          Just rambling a bit here, but I'm wondering if the answer might be to structure your projects so that each of them has only two folders at the root. The Images folder and the main content folder. The images folder would always be the same. But for each project all the topics would correctly point to the same Images folder. I'd have to experiment with that to see if it would actually work.

           

          Anyhoo, those are my thoughts. Perhaps others will offer better ideas... Rick

          • 2. Re: Using Image Folder One Level Above Project Folder
            CharlotteOHare Level 1

            Hi Rick,

            I don't get any error messages, RoboHelp simply overwrites the image source path when I go from the HTML tab to the Design tab and saves the image in the Project folder.

             

            I've found that if I manually edit the image source path using Notepad++, then Robohelp doesn't overwrite the path and save the image in the Project folder.

             

            However, if I change the image source path and then import the image into a project, then Robohelp does change the image source path and save the image in the Project folder. So I need to import the images and then manually edit the image source path. There may be some other "however" cases, so I need to be on the alert constantly.

             

            Doing this means 66 MB less of files for developers to parse. That's a big improvement!

            • 3. Re: Using Image Folder One Level Above Project Folder
              CharlotteOHare Level 1

              I also forgot to mention that when I have the Images in a folder outside the Project folder, that I need to save this Image folder in the !SSL! folder, so that when I generate the WebHelp and preview it, I can see the images.

               

              The software will install the Images folder by default, and then a language-specific ZIP file that will unzip when a user opens the help for the first time. Sometimes more than language-specific ZIP needs to be available, for example if the deployment is for French, English, and Spanish users.

              • 4. Re: Using Image Folder One Level Above Project Folder
                CharlotteOHare Level 1

                So my clever manual edits of image paths in the Image project are overwritten every time I update and save the topic. :-(

                 

                I really need to know why the Connect project files retain the image path changes, and any other projects do not.

                 

                Help!

                • 5. Re: Using Image Folder One Level Above Project Folder
                  Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Unfortunately, other questions here.

                   

                  You say the Connect project is fine. Which, I'm assuming, means you open it using RoboHelp and each image is correctly referenced and that sails on through the generation process.

                   

                  Have you opened any topics with images in the RoboHelp editor and made any changes? If so, do the image paths remain as you configured them?

                   

                  Have you opened a topic in the Connect project using Windows Notepad and compared it side by side with a topic from the Image project where things seem broken? If not, you may want to explore that as it may provide clues.

                   

                  Lastly, I'd likely also want to explore the project structure of the Connect project and compare it to the structure of the Image project. That may also provide clues.

                   

                  Cheers... Rick

                  • 6. Re: Using Image Folder One Level Above Project Folder
                    Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Hello again

                     

                    I've been having an offline discussion with one of my fellow RoboHelp Gurus about this situation. His understanding of the situation seems to be different that what mine is. So I'm going to toss out the stuff as I know it and see if we can clarify. If he is correct in his understanding, the solution to your issue could be simple. Only clarification will tell for sure.

                     

                    Here goes.

                     

                    I think one of us is misunderstanding the situation here.

                    If I'm reading you correctly, I believe that you are thinking the issue is happening with the translation agency at the time it is working with the projects. If that's true, indeed the Resource Manager would seem to be the way to fly.

                    I could be misunderstanding here, but as I understand it, the issue has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact a translation agency is involved. That part was anecdotal and simply to advise that they have several projects in different languages, but all the images are the same in the different project copies.

                     

                    As such, they perhaps have a folder structure that looks like this after all the help is generated and placed on the server:

                    tmp1.jpg

                     

                    Since all the images are the same, they want to add a "common" folder named Images so there is only a single copy of any given image.

                     

                    tmp2.jpg

                     

                    So assuming they could set things up like this, perhaps they would have 500 images inside the images folder. But if they can't, they have five copies of 500 images each. Because all the same images exist in the English output. Another copy of the 500 images in the Chinese copy. And so on. So they would end up distributing 2,500 images instead of only the 500 that are needed. Because each copy of the project has the very same images.

                    Of course, this would mean that all images would only exist in this folder that RoboHelp knows nothing about because it isn't part of the project. They then need to have links that point to this folder outside the project. Oddly, one project seems to allow it to happen, but other projects keep insisting on adjusting the path so it points inside the project.

                     

                    I recall in older versions of RoboHelp that you could explicitly point to images that were outside the project and when you did, RoboHelp squawked at you and posted a message dialog advising that there were images used outside the project and as such would not be presented in the Project Manager. I tried to coax that situation in my 2015 Release but for some reason was unable to. I'm not sure if something changed with this release or what. And older versions are on my old laptop so can't test at the moment.

                     

                    So the question is, is it the Translation Agency you are concerned with when you send projects out? Or is it the final outputs you are concerned with so you manage fewer copies?

                     

                    Cheers... Rick

                    • 7. Re: Using Image Folder One Level Above Project Folder
                      CharlotteOHare Level 1

                      Hi Rick,

                       

                      FYI, I'm using Robohelp 10

                       

                      Have you opened any topics with images in the RoboHelp editor and made any changes? If so, do the image paths remain as you configured them?


                        I tried to edit HTM image paths within Robohelp, either manually navigating to the images in the Image Properties in the Design tab, and manually in the HTML tab. When I save the topic, the path is automatically redone to be a local path and the image saved locally.

                        If I edit the HTML in Notepad++, Robohelp keeps it, until I change anything in the HTM file and then it redoes the path and saves an image locally.

                        Mind you, if I create an Image folder within the project folder, and change all the paths in any of those methods, the image path is respected and maintained.

                      It's not practical to manually re-edit the path in Notepad each time I need to update the HTM file.

                      Have you opened a topic in the Connect project using Windows Notepad and compared it side by side with a topic from the Image project where things seem broken? If not, you may want to explore that as it may provide clues.

                      I've done this many times, but find no difference. Even if I reuse-the Connect map with other topics, the bad behavior occurs. So it must be something in the HTM files?

                       

                       

                      Lastly, I'd likely also want to explore the project structure of the Connect project and compare it to the structure of the Image project. That may also provide clues.

                      I've not had any luck with this. I could not find any differences in the Project Settings.

                      If I'm reading you correctly, I believe that you are thinking the issue is happening with the translation agency at the time it is working with the projects.

                        I don't know what a translation agency is. I'm saying that there must be a way to get Robohelp to accept image paths that lead outside the project folder, because Robohelps allows it with Connect.

                        I need to find a way for this to happen consistently in all projects, because some of them use a large amount of images, and when you multiply this by 12-20 languages, this causes lots of problems. The nature of the software I document means that I need these images. I cut and clip as best I can, but sometimes the detail is extremely important.

                        The translators, who are scattered around the world, and I can't talk directly to them, use Robohelp for their work. I send a ZIP file with the English source files, which they unzip to work with. They return to me a ZIP with their source files, a CHM file, and a WebHelp output.

                      If I can get Robohelp to recognize the path I want, then I'd have an Image folder at the same level as the Project file, and a matching Image folder in the !SSL!/Webhelp level, so that when they generate their webhelp, they can preview their generated files.

                        The software installer would install by default an Image folder, and then when the user opens the web help for the first time, the webhelp would be installed, and be able to find the Images thanks to the relative image path.

                      • 8. Re: Using Image Folder One Level Above Project Folder
                        Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        @Charlotte – a translation agency is a business that does all your translations for you – you seem to have independent contractors working for you doing your translations.

                        • 9. Re: Using Image Folder One Level Above Project Folder
                          CharlotteOHare Level 1

                          Since I could not get Robohelp to reference an image folder outside the project folder, I turned to a workaround.

                          I consolidated all of the images into one folder at the project level called Images. I've a folder at the same level called HTM, and all of the HTM topic files are in it.

                          I did a relative path that is standard to all of the image source paths, so there is the following consistent string:

                          src="../Images/

                          which can be edited by an automated script  in the output WebHelp files to:

                          src="../../Images/

                          A developer created a script that says in the folder, change this script in all its subfolders. I tested it and it worked like a dream.

                          So when the translators deliver to me their translated WebHelp, I run the script on it. I have one master zip file that contains all of the WebHelps and an Image folder that is the correct structure. The devs can then unZIP the file in the correct location.

                          • 10. Re: Using Image Folder One Level Above Project Folder
                            Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Ahhh good ole post generation modifications!

                             

                            Likely your best approach in this case.

                             

                            Glad you got it sorted... Rick