4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 23, 2006 1:23 AM by

    Suggestions for printing within HTML Help

      We have a "book" in the TOC that has four topics beneath it. Each of the four topics have several embedded drop-downs that the user needs to drill into to get to the information. Once in the last drop-down that has the information, there are several pop-ups that contain more information. Currently, to be able to print all the information in the drop-downs, the user would need to expand all the drop-downs and click the Print button - for each topic separately. To print the information in the pop-ups, they would need to click the hyperlink to view the pop-up and then right-click in the pop-up and select Print, which would print only the text in that pop-up.

      What we are looking for is an easy way for the user to print all the information in all the drop-downs and pop-ups. Ideally, they'd be able to do this for all four topics at one time. We'd like to do this without generating Printed Documentation through RoboHelp. I'm not sure we'll be able to achieve this, but thought we'd ask around for ideas.
        • 1. Re: Suggestions for printing within HTML Help
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
          You can have a Show All button that will expand all dropdowns in a topic and you can have a Print button that will incorporate that. See the Show Hide topics on my site. What you cannot do is have them print the popups as well. The only difference betweeen the popup topics and other topics is not in the topics themselves but in the way they are called, you have decreed in the link that the topic is to appear as a popup rather than have the user switched to that topic.

          Even if you used RH's Printed Documentation, you could not do that. It would include the dropdown text but not the popups, at least not in line with the text.

          • 2. Suggestions for printing within HTML Help
            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
            Ignore - Nice to see the duplicate post bug is still with us.

            • 3. Re: Suggestions for printing within HTML Help
              RoboWizard Level 4
              Hanging in there like a bad head cold!

              Hey, hopefully my esteemed colleague Peter won't mind my tossing out an option here. I know you said that you don't want to create Printed Docs via RoboHelp, but the thought does occur to me (don't faint, Peter! - Peter is well aware of my avoidance of anything print related. What can I say? I like trees!)

              What if you created a simple Word document or .PDF of just that topic information as you would want to see it in a printed format? Then simply provide a link to the file. Then users would have the ability to satisfy that print urge, while you maintain the ability to control how it looks.

              Just a thought... Rick
              • 4. Suggestions for printing within HTML Help
                If I could add to my colleagues suggestions:

                You could do this with a javascript function, that can be written in a separate file and referenced from your topic:
                <script language="JavaScript1.2" type="text/javascript" src="PrintAll.js">

                In this file, you need to construct a javscript function as follows (you may want some development help with this, depending on your ability with javascript)

                1. The first problem is catching when they print the book. This assumes they right click it in the TOC and select print multiple topics. You can detect this, as described by Rob Cavicchio, becuase the URL will start "~hh".

                2. Now we have the work todo to display the hidden areas, this can be achieved as described by Peter.

                3. Finally, we have the popup topics, provided you can get the location of the topic from the link then use the following AJAX technology to open the file into memory and pull out the required text:
                //Load .hcc file into xmlhttp
                var xml = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
                xml.Open( "GET", "ms-its:HELP.chm::POPUPTOPIC.htm", false );
                t = xml.responseText

                This process will be alot easier if your content is strict XHTML. For me this is one of the reasons I am using Flare until RoboHelp solves its non-strict content issues.

                Hope that helps.