4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 16, 2009 7:32 AM by Peter Grainge

    Can our support guys link to a topic in our chm?

    Nicky58
      Hi,

      We have a hire rental application for which I have recently published a Help file (a chm), developed using RoboHelp Office and RoboHelp for HTML Help X4.1.

      We have a support team who take calls from customers and try and find answers to their queries. Now that we have a Help file we want to encourage customers to start using it. We obviously issue the chn with the application but we also have a copy of the chm on the Downloads section on our website and customers can access this.

      To start getting customers used to using the Help file, my bosses were wondering if there was a method by which our support guys, when emailing a customer back with an answer to a query, could include a link to a particular topic in the Help file which answers (or helps to answer) the customer’s query – in the same way as, when viewing a website you can copy the link in to an email so that the user can click on the link to open a browser and view the website.

      It’s a nice idea, but I can’t see any way to do it. I know that when working on a help project in RoboHelp I can list the htm files in another project and create a link to one of those topics. I just wondered if anyone had had the same problem and had found some sort of solution, some sort of workaround, anything to help really.

      Cheers guys,

      Nicky
        • 1. Re: Can our support guys link to a topic in our chm?
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
          There's a method for webhelp on my site, see Snippet 38. I doubt it will work in a CHM but maybe your developers can adapt the code.

          • 2. Re: Can our support guys link to a topic in our chm?
            Pete Lees Level 2
            Hi, Nicky,

            If you browse to a topic in the help file, right-click the topic pane and then click Properties on the context menu, the Address field in the resulting dialog box provides the path to the topic file in this form:

            mk:@MSITStore: path_to\TheHelpFile.chm::/TheTopicFile.htm

            For example:

            mk:@MSITStore:C:\WINDOWS\Help\iexplore.chm::/iegetsrt.htm

            If you copy and paste this path into an email and make it a hyperlink, you can theoretically allow your users to open the topic by clicking the link. However, there are at least two problems with this:

            1) You have to specify the absolute path to the help file (drive letter and all), so you need to be confident that it is installed in the same location on your user's computer as on your own.

            2) Clicking the link causes Outlook to display a security notice (not sure about other email clients). If the user chooses to proceed, the topic is opened in the Web browser rather than the HTML Help window.

            So, all in all, I'd say that the drawbacks of using this technique outweigh the benefits. Do you have the option to publish a WebHelp version of the help system on your company's Web site, which the Support team can link to?

            Pete
            • 3. Re: Can our support guys link to a topic in our chm?
              Nicky58 Level 1
              Yes Pete, I can (and just have) produced a WebHelp verion of the Help system. We can copy the files it produces to our website, Your idea of copying the location of a topic into an email to create a link to the topic works a treat.

              Thanks Guys, Nicky
              • 4. Can our support guys link to a topic in our chm?
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                Pete's method of getting that link is for a CHM. For webhelp, if you look at Snippet 38 as per my earlier post, you will put some javascript into each page and when clicked, the user's email program will open a new email with the link already in it.