4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 28, 2009 5:17 AM by MergeThis

    broken links for long/highly nested topics?

    kmaddox1 Level 1
      I'm using RH7 and Webhelp and have been having a problem with RH reporting broken links that are not actually "broken" (they work just fine in the generated help). The problem appears to be related to using a nested directory structure and attempting to create hyperlinks between files that reside in different sub-subfolders.

      That is, RH sometimes reports these types of links to be broken, even though they work in real time:

      Main directory > Subfolder A > Subsubfolder A > File A

      Main directory >Subfolder B > Subsubfolder B > File B, containing a hyperlink to File A

      Here's what's been happening:

      1. When I click Broken Links in Project Manager, I see the broken link icon with a space character next to it (no text). Clicking the icon shows a list of 10 or so topics.
      2. When I navigate to an affected topic, it turns out that all of the links work fine.
      3. If I remove the links in the topic one at a time (resaving after each deletion), I can eventually figure out which links RH considers to be broken (the file is no longer listed under Broken Links). Unfortunately, as soon as I re-create these links, the file is listed again.
      4. In HTML view, I notice that the aref statements for the broken links are quite lengthy (e.g., <a href="../../../Back_Office_Administration/Setting_Up_Locations/Understanding_Locations.ht m">Understanding
      Locations</a>) and that they wrap to more than one line. They also make extensive use of ../../ to refer to different folders.

      The only way I've figured out how to resolve this problem is to move the topic I'm referring to up a few levels in the file structure (ie. out of the subsubfolder and into a main directory). But I'm wondering if the real root of the problem is the complexity of my folder system or the length of my file names? I'm willing to live with the problem for this help system, but would like to avoid it in future systems. Any advice/insights would be appreciated.

        • 1. Re: broken links for long/highly nested topics?
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

          The very fact that when you move the topics up a few levels strongly would make you think that the problem is the length of the path name, either in itself or because it causes text wrap.

          However, the example you quote in [4] is not that long and I know I have some that are longer.

          I wonder if is time make a copy and then trash the CPD file?

          See my site - Opening Projects.

          If that does not help, still leave the back alone and in the working copy try shortening some paths. RH does the rebuilding of the links so you just have to rename the folders.

          • 2. Re: broken links for long/highly nested topics?
            HKabaker Level 2
            Kathy, a thought--

            Did you create all these folder, subfolders, subsubfolders entirely within the RoboHelp project manager, (rather than in Windows directories) and move the topics only in RH explorer?

            If so, I'd go with Peter's suggestion. Your links might be breaking a field-length limit in MS Access.

            Another observation is that folder names in RH do not have to be the same as their TOC entries. For example, Back Office Administration in the TOC can refer to a folder named BackAdmin.


            • 3. Re: broken links for long/highly nested topics?

              I know this topic is old news but after searching and searching I found that the problem you experienced was the same one I was having.  I decided to rename, by shortening,  the topic that I was having problems with and wha-la the broken link finally disappeared.  I believe, as you do, that it might have something to do with linking to a topic at another level which might be creating a lengthy path name creating the broken link. I tried moving the topic up a level and that did not solve my problem but renaming did. Just thought I'd share this information for anyone else running across this problem.

              • 4. Re: broken links for long/highly nested topics?
                MergeThis Level 4

                In addition, the path that was presented in step 4:


                <a href="../../../Back_Office_Administration/Setting_Up_Locations/Understanding_Locations.ht m">Understanding


                could certainly be shortened to:


                <a href="../Setting_Up_Locations/Understanding_Locations.htm">Understanding Locations</a>



                Good luck,