5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 9, 2009 6:10 AM by Kari_55

    External files

      I use the trial version of Robohelp 8. I have made WebHelp which includes a link to an external file, e.g. MS Excel. The external files must be distributed in the WebHelp folder. How should I proceed in case if some changes are made to external files and the users can see the updated files?
        • 1. Re: External files
          RoboWizard Level 4

          Hi Kari


          Can you please clarify that a tad?


          Is the Excel file located in a place where someone else will be updating

          it and you want no further interaction with it. Only for the user to see

          the updates?


          I ask because there are basically two ways to approach this. The method

          I offer depends on how you foresee things operating.


          Cheers... Rick

          • 2. Re: External files
            Level 1

            Hi Rick


            You have understood me right but I will try to clarify a bit. The Help application we are planning includes hyperlinks to External files (e.g. MS Excel). The contents of these files is updated by other people every now and then but the name and the path on the server remains the same. We would like WebHelp to read the updated file without regenerating, replacing and owerwriting it in a project subfolder (!SSL!/WepHelp) every time when the update has been made. This works in WinHelp (CHM files), which I have made with Robohelp earlier. I hope I was able to describe our problem.


            Thanks and best regards,



            • 3. Re: External files
              Mark Pud Level 1

              Hi Kari,


              It should work just fine, I use links to external files in my project and when they are updated, since the link goes to the remote location, the updated file is atomatically loaded.


              When you create the link to the file, make sure you don't select the "copy this file into the project" option. (see my screenshot, select No)


              Thanks, Mark

              • 4. Re: External files
                RoboWizard Level 4

                Hi Kari


                One way to achieve this is by using what I refer to as a "DocFetch" topic. Please allow me to explain.


                Basically what you do is create a "redirect" topic. This is a topic with code inside the HTML that redirects to a different location. What I did was to create a topic with nothing more than an animated image and a message that the user should "Please wait while your document is being loaded".


                The benefit of this is twofold.


                1. Opening documents on the server takes an inordinate amount of time as opposed to opening another HTML page. So before developing this approach I would frequently see reports of "broken help" from the users. The problem was, the help wasn't broken and they were simply expecting a faster load of the document. This method provided the instant feedback that something was happening and the reports stopped arriving in my In-Box.
                2. The document is left in place and you don't have to futz about with copies in your project and all.


                How to set up a redirect

                1. Create a topic that contains nothing more than the information and imagery you wish the user to temporarily see as the real document loads up.
                2. Change the view to HTML view.
                  In this view you will see a bunch of tags that begin with these words: <meta.
                3. Insert a new meta tag in the list somewhere. Exactly where isn't important. Just that it's in the list.

                  <meta http-equiv=refresh content="2;URL=CommonPathToDocument.XLS">


                Hopefully this helps... Rick



                • 5. Re: External files
                  Level 1

                  Hi Rick!


                  Thanks a lot for your advice...it works!