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Hmmm, your post makes me think you are maybe using RoboHelp incorrectly. Here's why.
You should be able to compile or generate your projects with impunity. It should make no difference whether a user is using the help or not. So this makes me think you might have your project stored in a very undesirable location. The network or LAN. If you are curious about this, try reading something available by clicking here.
If you are using RoboHelp correctly, you have all the files on your local C drive. Depending on the output you create from RoboHelp, your end user is either connecting to a server and launching WebHelp or FlashHelp, or they have a compiled .CHM file they are viewing on their local C drive.
Because the process of generating or compiling output should be occurring only on your PC, it should never have an effect on any of your end users.
I wonder if Lon is referring to *publishing* the help while a user is viewing it? If so, then I think it should be seamless as even if you change the topic they are viewing, they have already downloaded it. Perhaps if that topic had a link in the old version with a target that is no longer in the new version, there would be a glitch. However, chances of that?
I think Rick is probably right on here. However, there may be another possibility.
Are you compiling a .chm file? If so, are your source files local but your destination over the network. While one doesn't want to work on a project over the network, there is nothing wrong with compiling to a network destination. Except, in your case, that Windows won't allow this while the file is open. If that is the case, you only need to change the compiled file name and path in your project and make it local. You will then have the added duty of uploading the compiled file whenever the coast is clear.