32 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2008 12:04 PM by yenelli

    Problems with Word Import

    LeoFirebrand
      I work for a company that uses Microsoft Word as the primary tool for developing documentation. We then import the docs into RH5 creating topics by heading levels.

      I downloaded the RH7 30 day trial and I noticed when I imported the docs it would not split by heading styles. Instead it just lumped evything together based on my heading 1 style with the sublevels linked to the heading1 topics. I could not find a way to unlink the topics so that I can reorganize and reuse content. Also when I clicked on a topic it appeared as just one long topic.

      Not sure if this is a limitation of the trial, but any support would be welcome, since my company is trying to decide if we will upgrade.

      Also on a side note, i was curious what peoples experience where with converting styles on import with RH7. RH5 had this feature but it had many issues with crashing and not being able to convert some style elements from word.
        • 1. Re: Problems with Word Import
          RoboColum(n) Level 5
          Hi LeoFirebrand and welcome to the RH forums.

          First off, the trial is a fully working version with no limitiations. As far as maintaining the numbered headings, this can't be done if you are maintaining the source in RH. Each time you add a topic in the middle of a book, you'd have to update all the page titles and topic properties.

          You may want to check out this link for help with importing word docs and how to map your Word styles to RH's styles. I'd strongly advise you to tidy up styles in your Word Docs before you import them.
          • 2. Re: Problems with Word Import
            LeoFirebrand Level 1
            Thanks for the links to the style information, some good stuff there.

            As far as my headings issues, i may need to clarify a bit more. It's something that is working with RH5 that I am having problems with in RH7. Basically in RH5 I would say import word doc, then it would ask what heading styles to create topics by. I would check Headings 1-4 and import. It would then create new topics for each heading level in my doc and create books stacking them by levels. so heading 2s would be stacked in a topic for the Heading 1 it links to.

            with RH7 i did the same process but when it imports it only created topics based on the highest heading level and when I view the topic it has pages worth of content including multiple headings. it does not appear to be working....or it works differently than it used to.
            • 3. Re: Problems with Word Import
              F-Techie
              I'm facing the same problem. So if anyone has a solution please advice..
              • 4. Re: Problems with Word Import
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                It is important that your heading styles are those defined by Microsoft as the Heading 1, 2 etc. If you have created styles such as Heading 1 My Version, they are not seen as headings and will fail.

                Look in Word's style organiser and see what headings are listed.

                • 5. Re: Problems with Word Import
                  F-Techie Level 1
                  Thank you for your help.

                  I'm facing another problem.

                  After importing the word document using robohelp, i found out that the images do not appear throughout the pages. Please note that it worked fine for another project.. i just don't know where did i go wrong in this one!

                  So can anyone help me out here!
                  • 6. Re: Problems with Word Import
                    F-Techie Level 1
                    Thank you for your help.

                    I'm facing another problem.

                    After importing the word document using robohelp, i found out that the images do not appear throughout the pages. Please note that it worked fine for another project.. i just don't know where did i go wrong in this one!

                    So can anyone help me out here!
                    • 7. Re: Problems with Word Import
                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                      If you look at the project in Windows Explorer you will see the images in a sub-folder to the topic. Go to Project Manager in RH and create exactly the same folder. I think you will find the images then start appearing in it.


                      • 8. Re: Problems with Word Import
                        F-Techie Level 1
                        I'm sorry but i don't understand. Can you please explain more!

                        I really appreciate your help!
                        • 9. Re: Problems with Word Import
                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                          Compare the folders in Windows Explorer with the folders in RH's Project Manager. I think you will find there is a folder you will see in Windows Explorer that does not appear in PM.

                          That folder will have the images.

                          Check that first.


                          • 10. Re: Problems with Word Import
                            F-Techie Level 1
                            Where do I view this "folder in Windows Explorer " ?
                            • 11. Re: Problems with Word Import
                              F-Techie Level 1
                              I'm new to all this Robohelp stuff so bear with me please.
                              • 12. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                Wherever your project is located on your PC. When you open RH you should be able to see where your project is located.

                                Speak to one of your developers, I think they will follow what I am getting at.


                                • 13. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                  F-Techie Level 1
                                  both folders exist.. same name same everything! What do i check next?
                                  • 14. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                    When you look at the folder in Project Manager, is it showing the images below?

                                    Are you seeing red crosses in the topics where the images should be?

                                    If not, what do you see?



                                    • 15. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                      F-Techie Level 1
                                      Only a folder name Images. No subsidiaries. thats what i see in the project manager.
                                      and no there are no red plusses in the topics where the images should be.

                                      Let me explain the situation :

                                      I am importing a word document so i can turn it into HTML pages. everythings going like it should be except for the images. Kindly note that I did the same steps for a previous project and it worked fine. This document in specific is giving me a hard time! could the problem be in the word document itself?

                                      • 16. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                        Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                        Please send me some screenshots via my site. Include a link to this thread.

                                        1] A topic marked to show where the images should be.

                                        2] Project Manager showing the folder with the topic. Click any + signs for the folder

                                        3] Windows Explorer showing the same folder.

                                        It would help to see the source document as well. Zip it all up.

                                        • 17. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                          F-Techie Level 1
                                          Thank you very much for your assisstance.
                                          You've been a great help!

                                          But i need an advice. The product i'm creating the webhelp for, has various modules (applications). the company i work for sometimes sells the entire product and sometimes only parts of it. Can i create the webhelp for the entire product and delete the parts i don't want to display from the table of contents?

                                          Will this affect the database? too much load? How about the security?

                                          Or should i just keep creating seperate webhelps for each application!

                                          Thank you in advance..
                                          • 18. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                            You have two options.

                                            1] Merged webhelp.

                                            You create a merged setup, described on my site, and supply each customer with the parent and the required child projects.

                                            2] Build Expressions

                                            You create one project with multiple outputs that provide the different output combinations that you require. You don't delete stuff, you exclude it from the output.

                                            I think the general view is that performance of RH prior to RH7 when working on projects tailed off a bit after around 5000 topics in a project. I don't think RH7 will be different in that respect but no data to support that view.

                                            For the end user there is no database so the method of production is not relevant. Neither would security be affected, not sure what concerns you there.



                                            • 19. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                              LeoFirebrand Level 1
                                              I know you have moved on to the issues with graphics but if you are still having problems with headings. I have found another solution, since for me I was using word default heading 1,2,3 with just modifications for our styleguide so that was not the problem. another thing I have noticed that may be your as well is listed below:

                                              THE PROBLEM: The problem seems to be unique with RH7 since i did not have this issue in RH5, but the root seems to be with the way word handles styles. For things like paragraph styles you can click on on a paragraph(not highlight) and apply the style. This works in word but this causes problems with Robo Help. so if you apply a paragraph style w/o highlighting then apply a character empahsis style on a word...you would notice in RH5 that the paragraph would be highlighted from that word on. Somehow in RH7 this issue now also causes problems with creating topics and not just with in topic formatting.

                                              THE SOLUTION: This solution is time consuming, but you will have to go back and reapply your styles to your document. The best way to do this is to select a group of text you will format such as a body paragraph or a heading and CLEAR FORMATING. Sometimes you will not be able to clear format...if this happens you probably do not have the entire paragraph highlighted (this is a likely culprit of the problem). When re-applying the styles make sure to apply styles in the following order to prevent issues.
                                              1. Apply Body or Paragraph styles.
                                              2. Apply numbering or bulletings styles.
                                              3. Apply character Emphasis Styles.
                                              Remember you must clear the formatting before you re-apply or the issue will not resolve.Since this can be time consuming I suggest trying this on a few heading first starting from the top of the document just to make sure this works for you.
                                              • 20. Problems with Word Import
                                                Wrigbone
                                                Leo and others,
                                                This problem has frustrated me beyond belief. I have been having the same issue with importing word docs. I was so happy to see Leo's post here thinking he had found the culprit. The document I'm trying to import was created by a 3rd party years ago. It seems to be formatted very well yet RoboCrap doesn't want to split on the custom headings. It chooses things like TOC, inlinetext, etc. I am about to just reformat the entire doc and import which seems to be the only solution. I am tinkering with your idea right now Leo but have not had the same luck you had. I may not be doing it correctly. Could you spell out the process of clearing the heading format then re-applying a little more?

                                                Thanks in advance!
                                                • 21. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                                  MergeThis Level 4
                                                  Oh, how cute! Wrigbone has learned to create funny names for software products!

                                                  Since you're probably too busy writing bumper stickers, I've done your research for you so that you can clean up the filth in your obviously muddled Word files.

                                                  =========
                                                  To clear the formatting, in Word:

                                                  1. Select Format > Styles and Formatting.
                                                  2. Select the content.
                                                  3. In the Pick formatting to apply pane, select the top option "Clear Formatting."

                                                  This reverts the content to the Normal style.
                                                  =========

                                                  =========
                                                  To see the styles in a more user-friendly view than the Styles and Formatting pane on the right, in Word:

                                                  1. Switch to normal view if you are in a different view.
                                                  2. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the View tab.
                                                  3. In the Style area width box under Outline and Normal options, enter a measurement for the Style area width, for example, 1.2"

                                                  Microsoft Word displays the paragraph style name in the style area to the left of your document.
                                                  =========

                                                  You can also make full use of the Format Painter (the toolbar button to the right of the Copy and Paste buttons).

                                                  Now, will there be anything else?


                                                  Good luck,
                                                  Leon

                                                  • 22. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                                    Wrigbone Level 1
                                                    Ya know I was just about to rip into you LEON but since you took the time to cut and paste a few tidbits from the Microsoft help files, and I'm trying to be kinder and gentler in my old age, I will refrain. My grandma know how to select text, clear, and apply formatting in Word. Nobody in this forum is looking for entry level BS. If we are here it means we have tried the usual stuff.

                                                    Leo posted something a short time ago that's seems to be getting at the heart of this issue because older versions of RoboCRAP didn't have this problem. Somehow it does not recognize certain elements as headers even though they seem to be formatted correctly. I have tried to select the headings, clear the format,and re-apply but so far I have not had success unless I use the default headings. I think it is because I'm not doing it in order or maybe I have to do the whole document (all the elements). I'll keep trying and will post what I find for anyone else that should end up coming here looking for help. If anyone has followed Leo's advice below with success and has any more to add please do. The following is what Leo posted and the direction I'm trying to follow...

                                                    THE PROBLEM: The problem seems to be unique with RH7 since i did not have this issue in RH5, but the root seems to be with the way word handles styles. For things like paragraph styles you can click on on a paragraph(not highlight) and apply the style. This works in word but this causes problems with Robo Help. so if you apply a paragraph style w/o highlighting then apply a character empahsis style on a word...you would notice in RH5 that the paragraph would be highlighted from that word on. Somehow in RH7 this issue now also causes problems with creating topics and not just with in topic formatting.

                                                    THE SOLUTION: This solution is time consuming, but you will have to go back and reapply your styles to your document. The best way to do this is to select a group of text you will format such as a body paragraph or a heading and CLEAR FORMATING. Sometimes you will not be able to clear format...if this happens you probably do not have the entire paragraph highlighted (this is a likely culprit of the problem). When re-applying the styles make sure to apply styles in the following order to prevent issues.
                                                    1. Apply Body or Paragraph styles.
                                                    2. Apply numbering or bulletings styles.
                                                    3. Apply character Emphasis Styles.
                                                    Remember you must clear the formatting before you re-apply or the issue will not resolve.Since this can be time consuming I suggest trying this on a few heading first starting from the top of the document just to make sure this works for you.
                                                    • 23. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                                      lmarden Level 2
                                                      Come on, Wrig. You'll probably end up hearing nothing but crickets if you ask for assistance as you have.

                                                      We are all in the same boat, plugging away using RH in all its flavors, with all its challenges. No software is perfect. Not a single one is distributed without flaws - everyone and their grandma knows that too. But needlessly insulting the tool that many of us have invested years in to produce whatever it is we produce isn't going to win you friends and gain you assistance.

                                                      Which, as you know, isn't paired with an invoice. How many communities can you go to to get the extremely competent level of assistance you get here, without spending a dime? Hmm?

                                                      You are new to the forum, or you would have already seen that many of our colleagues do need the basic level of instruction that Leon took the time to offer.

                                                      So please, have a sense of humor, and appreciate the support you receive.

                                                      Peacefully, L.
                                                      • 24. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                                        Wrigbone Level 1
                                                        If I'm curt with you, it's because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast, and I need you two guys to act fast if you want to get out of this. So pretty please, with sugar on top – help me with ROBOHELP!
                                                        • 25. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                                          MergeThis Level 4
                                                          In your initial post, your last sentence was "Could you spell out the process of clearing the heading format then re-applying a little more?" (I think I provided the MS method for this.)

                                                          Yet, in your next post, you say "My grandma know[sic] how to select text, clear, and apply formatting in Word."

                                                          And your most recent one "I think fast, I talk fast, and I need you two guys to act fast if you want to get out of this." Indeed!

                                                          Try to keep in mind, that there are now three major versions of RH in use, dueling browsers interpreting HTML and XML very differently at random times, conversions being made from Word, FrameMaker, WinHelp, etc., and a community of users that range from absolute neophytes to 20-year users, with hundreds of types in between, including software developers and other non-writers. As a matter of fact, it sometimes takes even experienced users a dozen back-and-forth replies before we can determine exactly how we can speak the right user-speak for each user that comes to us with a problem (e.g., What do you mean by the index? and other such questions).

                                                          We enjoy helping users fix their problems, except when they come in bomb-throwing. Throwing C*** around is not appreciated. Take the time to actually read our suggestions, instead of blowing us off and insisting that we haven't helped at all.

                                                          Good luck (and I really, really mean that!),
                                                          Leon


                                                          • 26. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                                            Wrigbone Level 1
                                                            I have had some luck with this issue and thanks for your concern Leon. With a lot of trial and error I isolated the import problem to "Outline Numbering". When I go in and strip out the document list, wholla, RoboHELP recognizes all the headings. I tried to remove the TAB character after the number in those numbered lists and pretty much every other option but found no way to import the docs with the numbering in place.

                                                            If anyone knows a way around this I would much appreciate the advice. In the event that there is no way around the problem I hope someone else will find this post before banging away at all the possible import issues if their doc is formatted with outline numbering.

                                                            I apologize for offending anyone here with my derogatory comments about Robohelp. This is what happens when you get frustrated with a pretty decent product with spotty help files and the atrocious foreign based tech-support of Adobe.
                                                            • 27. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                                              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                                              It would be way too easy to ask why your granny didn't teach you that HTML does not support outline numbering. Point taken?

                                                              There is no neat solution I know of but I don't use outline numbering so I haven't dug into it enough to find a kludge, apart from manually entering the numbers which is a real pain.

                                                              The only idea I have is maybe using RoboHelp for Word. I haven't tried it but maybe when generating the help, RH substitutes the correct numbers hard coded as it were. RH for Word is not so well supported on these forums so you won't get the same level of assistance.

                                                              A couple of thoughts.

                                                              First, HTML 5 specs are being developed and I believe they may include outline numbering, but that's way off.

                                                              Second, I gave a presentation recently and made the point that whilst I understand why outline numbering is used, it gets in the way of readability. The Word templates being shown had left aligned headings and indented body text. Even the guys who love numbering had to admit it got in the way of the eye picking up on the headings to help them find what they wanted on second read. So maybe take another look and decide whether you really want that numbering, especially in an online environment.

                                                              The help files are being worked on for the next version but that doesn't help right now. Did someone point out the offline help is better than the online help?

                                                              • 28. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                                                MergeThis Level 4
                                                                Ah, Wrigbone, you're still not getting the point.

                                                                MS Word .doc files are binary thingies loaded down with macros, hidden xml, and other filth.

                                                                HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) files are flat files (straight text) whose tagged content gets interpreted by modern browsers.

                                                                Some of what complicates the whole Word conversion effort:

                                                                * Many Word files have had styles created and applied in random fashion, usually by multiple users.

                                                                * If RH doesn't have an identically named style to match a style it encounters in the Word file being converted, it creates one on the spot and tries the best it can to replicate its formatting. This can apply to all elements: headings, lists, etc.

                                                                As to the outline numbering: that's a print conceit only, and has been superceded by hyperlinks in the online world. End of discussion.

                                                                The good news is that Word allows you to change and rename styles very easily. For example, RH recognizes the style "Heading 1." Therefore, in Word you would select Edit > Replace > More. In the Replace tab, place your cursor in the Find what box and click Format > Style. In the Find what style box, select the "MyRedHeading1" (or whatever the custom styles are named) and click OK. Repeat these steps in the Replace with box and select "Heading 1" as the replacement style. Unfortunately, you'll probably still have to do some manual style changes if any of those custom headings were edited after the style was applied (an altogether likely possibility).

                                                                Another issue to contend with is Word's AutoFormat option, which gives RH the heebie-jeebies, specifically things like smart quotes, hyphens with dash, etc. Again, there's good news. In Word, first turn off all the checkboxes in Tools > AutoCorrect Options > Autoformat As You Type. Then use the Edit > Replace > More option and type each of the characters (double quotes, hyphens, etc.) in both the Find what box and the Replace with box.

                                                                And, you're right: none of this is explicitly stated in the "spotty help files," nor might you have obtained it from "the atrocious foreign based tech-support of Adobe." But then again, we users here in the forum love dispensing "entry level BS," even though it probably won't help you.


                                                                Good luck,
                                                                Leon
                                                                • 29. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                                                  Wrigbone Level 1
                                                                  Preciate the pointers fellas. Yes I do understand the limitations when converting to HTML however my point, and I believe the point of the others who started this discussion, is that the older versions of RoboHelp did this job just fine. I assume the old version just ignored the number, picked up the heading, then hard coded the number in HTML. This version of RoboHelp will not "see" the headings when importing if there is numbering preceding them. FYI MegreThis, it doesn't matter if you use the standard Microsoft Heading 1 or My Custom Heading it will not pick it up on import. As soon as you strip out the numbering, bam, My Custom Heading 1 2 3 etc are all available.

                                                                  I agree Peter, and I would love to do away with the numbering, but we are dealing with bureaucrats here and they want to refer to a section and sound important when they do if you get my drift. So it looks like I'm stuck with old school editing on this one. Thanks again for the input. Hope this helps someone in the future.
                                                                  • 30. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                                                    mcspt Level 1
                                                                    Hi all,
                                                                    I've experienced the same problem about splitting topics according to the desired stiles (Heading1 and Heading2).

                                                                    RoboHelp 5 worked fine.
                                                                    Now I'm using the trial version of RoboHelp 7.

                                                                    I wonder if this is a problem just of trial version.
                                                                    I hope the commercial version don't have the same problem.
                                                                    Someone have news about this.
                                                                    • 31. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                                                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                                                      There are no functionality differences between the trial and full versions.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Problems with Word Import
                                                                        yenelli Level 1
                                                                        Question about syncing styles between Word and RH HTML 7. I'm using a corporate Help template from RH HTML 5.02, which has both a .htt and a .css.

                                                                        I created a companion template in Word 2007 (same style names for Headings, Procs, etc.). The printed Word format has Hdr/Ftr, TOC, Title Page stuff.

                                                                        I understood that, when importing a Word .docx, RH creates books for Heading 1s and Topic headings are Heading 2. That is why both Word and RH templates use the same paragraph style names (though the format in Word/print differs from that in RH/online).

                                                                        I imported my Word file into a new RH HTML 7 project. The TOC has the expected books/topics/subtopics. I imported the .css and the .htt from the RH 5 template project. I selected all 160 topics in the Topic List pod and applied the corporate .htt template (Topic Properties > General) AND (to be certain), the corporate .css stylesheet (Topic Properties . Appearance).

                                                                        This project doesn't have the same characteristics as the base/master from RH 5 that uses those same format files. I even imported the same skin. I get the banner, but not the styles.

                                                                        All the topic headings in the RH 7 project (were transformed to) are Heading 1 styles, even though they were Heading 2s in Word. (this breaks with my tribal knowledge of how RH imports Books/Topics from a Word doc). The heading colors (navy blue, royal blue, etc.) have taken on their own definitions--dunno where from, tho.

                                                                        Since I'm OCD about creating and using one style for each type of paragraph (procedurehead, syntax, procnum, procnonum, note, bullist) in Word or in RH, Peter Grainger's suggestion to "clean up" styles before importing shouldn't apply.

                                                                        RH instructions omit any detail about what to specifiy in the Conversion Options and Split On Style. I took a couple of swipes at the SOS--OK, split on Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3. So I get Books for Heading 1, separate topics for Heading 2 and Heading 3, but the "topic titles" have become Heading 1 in name but not in format. In fact, the format doesn't match anything I've specified in Word or RH. I thought by "attaching" the .htt and the .css to each topic (select all topics, , I'd have the look and feel I specified in my corporate RH(5) template. The banner imported, the navigation pane and icons imported. What happened to the styles?

                                                                        Here's the missing link that someone may need to explain (explicitly in Help somewhere). When I open the .htt template (sample topic) that I imported from RH 5, the topic title shows as Document > Heading 2 > in the Design view. The HTML view labels this paragraph as h2:

                                                                        <!doctype HTML public "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Frameset//EN">
                                                                        <html><head>
                                                                        <meta http-equiv=content-type content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
                                                                        <meta name=generator content="Adobe RoboHelp - www.adobe.com">
                                                                        <meta name=generator-major-version content=0.1>
                                                                        <meta name=generator-minor-version content=1>
                                                                        <meta name=filetype content=RoboHelp>
                                                                        <meta name=filetype-version content=1>
                                                                        <meta name=page-count content=1>
                                                                        <meta name=layout-height content=1927>
                                                                        <meta name=layout-width content=732>
                                                                        <title>JavaCode</title>

                                                                        <link rel=StyleSheet href=mytemplate.css>
                                                                        </head>
                                                                        <body>
                                                                        <h2>NameOfPackage: NameOfMethod</h2>