17 Replies Latest reply on Jul 27, 2006 1:51 PM by Peter Grainge

    External Link through Contents

    jar92380
      As you can tell I am extremely new to this and was unable to locate it in the Book. But is there a way to link to a external file? I know how to do it from within a page, but I can not figure out how to do it through the contents section without causing the red x to appear over the file name

      James
        • 1. Re: External Link through Contents
          Level 2
          James,

          When you say "external file" do you mean a topic from another .chm file or opening another file type like a .pdf document or a Word file?

          I'm a bit out of date on RoboHelp, so your version might not work like this but if you right click on the TOC entry with the red X and select "Properties" it will allow you to select the proper link. From "Destination" select "Remote Topic" and connect to your external topic.

          John
          • 2. Re: External Link through Contents
            jar92380 Level 1
            well actually im not going to the a .chm file its going to be html. The file is located in a top level folder and the file is another HTML file.
            • 3. Re: External Link through Contents
              Level 2
              James,

              Ahh, this is much trickier. Not only will RoboHelp draw a red X through your entry, the compiler will erase it. I haven't figured out how to trick the TOC. When I tried to do something like this so the users could have their own custom page - an external HTML file - I ended up creating a holder topic (accessible from the TOC) that contained a link to the external page.

              Perhaps this can be called automatically. I'll try a few things.

              John
              • 4. Re: External Link through Contents
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                HTML help is usually taken to mean a CHM file. I think you mean you are creating webhelp?

                If you are it seems to be straightforward from a test I just tried.

                In the TOC click the New Page icon.

                Click Link to and select Web Address.

                Delete the default http:// and enter the path from where the webhelp will reside to where the target file will be. You can either enter the relative path or the full path with the server name but not using a drive letter. If that is not going to be the same for all your users, then you have a problem.

                Remember to use forward slashes.

                I just tried it locally and it works fine. The topic will show with a red cross in the project but the TOC will work in the output. It will have a different icon to other pages.

                Hope that helps.

                • 5. Re: External Link through Contents
                  Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                  Tsk tsk tsk!

                  Nobody even mentioned the venerable redirect topic!

                  Cheers all... Rick
                  • 6. Re: External Link through Contents
                    jar92380 Level 1
                    actually I tried what Peter had recommended and the TOC is not picking up the page. Any more suggestions
                    • 7. Re: External Link through Contents
                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                      What do you mean by "the TOC is not picking up the page"?

                      Are you saying the page does not appear in the TOC?

                      Are you saying it appears but clicking it does not take you to the required page?

                      I suspect you mean the latter. First create a new project and generate the output to your hard disk. In that output create a TOC entry in the way I described so the link is perhaps c:\test.htm. That will prove to you the idea works. After that it is more likely the path was not correct in your main project.

                      The alternative is to include a blank topic in your project and point to that in your TOC. In the blank topic include a redirect (how is in Rick's Tips and Tricks) to the external topic you want. However, the path to go in the redirect will be the same as the path I am describing to you so if you cannot get that to work, I am not sure that will get you any further forward.

                      Nonetheless try those things in a simple one topic project where you can more easlly see and test things.

                      Come back if you still cannot get it to work.

                      • 8. Re: External Link through Contents
                        Level 2
                        Rick,

                        I was alluding to the "venerable redirect topic" when I said perhaps it could be done automatically. Unfortunately, I haven't yet got redirection to work with an external html file. And I was waiting to hear if this was indeed webhelp as Peter guessed. I assumed it wasn't because of the reference to "external" files. Nothing is external to the web is it?

                        When I try to use an external file name for the redirection from my TOC topic, my compiled file content area shows a flickering hourglass icon but no content loads.

                        John
                        • 9. External Link through Contents
                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                          John

                          Are you perhaps testing the redirect on your hard disk? If so try the line

                          <meta HTTP-EQUIV=refresh CONTENT="0;URL=file://c:\test.htm">

                          where test.htm is the name of the target.

                          On a webserver you would not need the word file and you would just have the relative or absolute path. However that will not work on a hard disk.

                          I have created a small demo project showing both a redirect and a TOC entry working the way I originally suggested. If you or anyone else wants that, just email me offline.

                          UPDATE: Re "Nothing is external to the web is it?" It is external in the sense it is not part of the RH project, that's all.

                          • 10. Re: External Link through Contents
                            Level 2
                            Peter,

                            I am actually waiting to see if James was generating WebHelp. "WebHelp" is sort of a dirty word around here and consequently I know absolutely nothing about it. It sounded to me like he was trying to link to an external HTML file from a CHM file.

                            In that case, there is a problem with the path not being known. I'm assuming this will be installed on an end user's system. Here we would normally use Microsoft's parser function but I haven't been able to get that to work directly from the TOC, in a redirect META tag, or in a Related Topics object, fired from <BODY ONLOAD=.

                            Though now I'm not sure this is even what James wants to do.

                            John
                            • 11. Re: External Link through Contents
                              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                              Hi John

                              As James said he had tried what I had suggested and in the post making that suggestion I had referred to webhelp, my thinking is that James is working with webhelp. But it would be a courtesy if he posted back now that there has been a response to his request for other suggestions.

                              You could well be right in which case I would respond that CHMs are a dirty word around here! :-)

                              • 12. Re: External Link through Contents
                                jar92380 Level 1
                                Sorry for not replying earlier guys. I am trying to do this through Webhelp. Okay let see if I can clarify what I am trying to do. There is a seperate html file outside of the webhelp. I am wondering if I can direct link a TOC topic to the external html file. The only reason I do not want to put the html into the page itself is, the html file is the index for a mini standalone website. Is this making sense or am I just confusing myself?
                                • 13. Re: External Link through Contents
                                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                  What you trying to do makes sense and either of the methods that have been outlined will do the job for you.

                                  As I have indicated, I have prepared a demo project showing both methods. eMail me if you cannot get things working from what has been posted here.

                                  Click my username to email.

                                  • 14. Re: External Link through Contents
                                    jar92380 Level 1
                                    okay here is another question. There are three different files with the same name and extension. there is index.htm, index_csh.htm, and index_rhc.htm
                                    Does it matter which one is used?
                                    • 15. Re: External Link through Contents
                                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                      The filenames start the same to be correct. If you are asking the question I think you are asking, index.htm is your start page. RH needs the others but you don't point to them.

                                      • 16. Re: External Link through Contents
                                        jar92380 Level 1
                                        just verifing. Before deployment it is okay to delete those files. Also do I need this files for deployment whgdata, whdata, whxdata?
                                        • 17. Re: External Link through Contents
                                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                          Absolutely fine unless you are a bit pickie and want it to work! Don't delete anything from the output, it is all there for a reason.