9 Replies Latest reply on May 18, 2009 1:06 AM by LCAndrew

    Text formatting, errant/missing spaces, misleading preview and streamlined editing.

    LCAndrew

      Hello,

       

      I've read up a bit on this forum and at http://www.grainge.org/. I'm still very new to Robohelp (I've only been using it for about 2 months).

       

      I'm currently using Robohelp 7.03.001 and editing a help file created in earlier versions (Robohelp 5 and older - the project started in 1993/4).

       

      I understand that Robohelp will sometimes add-in extraneous bits of code, which will affect the format of the text, and that this problem is exacerbated by altering the text format multiple times. To fix this problem I've either retyped the offending text or tried to edit the html code (removing unnecessary tags).

       

      So far I've been using the preview function to check for formatting errors. But I've gotten to the stage where I need to show the project to someone else and therefore generated the pages. The generated pages, however, contain mistakes that didn't previously show up in the preview function.

       

      I've had some success going back into the html and digging out the problematic code by checking the generated page. But this is very cumbersome, is there a better way?

       

      Specific Questions:

       

      1) The incidence of Robohelp-caused formatting problems seems to be lower in the original project files. Could part of the problem be that I'm editing pages created using older versions of Robohelp and that just by opening the pages in Robohelp 7, the code is being altered? And if so are there automated converters or a better way of editing than just by eye.

       

      2) I'm having problems locating dropdown and expanding text in the html. I try to look up the ID numbers but this doesn't always yield results. Any hints and tips?

       

      3) Generating the pages to check for individual formatting errors is very time consuming. Is there a way I can generate just one page?

       

      Many thanks in advance.

       

      Andrew

        • 1. Re: Text formatting, errant/missing spaces, misleading preview and streamlined editing.
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

          1] The conversion is automated each time you upgrade from one version to another. If there are problems after that, then it is a case of cleaning up by eye. That said, I have not encountered problems in a project that goes way back. Maybe your topics include Word imports? They can give some pretty awful HTML. Import one or two of these topics into a new project and generate. Problem still there?

           

          2] You should find them near the top of your code.

           

          3] Only in the Print layout. See if that encounters the same issues.

           

          See if the problem topics contain these meta tags.

           

          <meta name=Originator content=ImportDoc>

          <meta name=OriginalFile content="filename.doc">

           

          If they do, delete them and see if that changes things.

           

           


          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Text formatting, errant/missing spaces, misleading preview and streamlined editing.
            LCAndrew Level 1

            Hi Peter,

             

            Thanks for your response.

             

            1] The topics I have been editing don't contain any word imports.

             

            2] Thanks =).

             

            3] I don't seem to have a print preview function. Do you mean something else?

             

            I'll try the importing idea tomorrow.

             

            Andrew

            • 3. Re: Text formatting, errant/missing spaces, misleading preview and streamlined editing.
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

              I was indicating generating a printed document is the only layout that lets you include specify exactly what you want to print without the use of build tags.

               


              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

              • 4. Re: Text formatting, errant/missing spaces, misleading preview and streamlined editing.
                RoboWizard Level 4

                Hi all

                 

                Hopefully you won't mind my wading in a bit late on this. I'm currently on the road and things are sketchy.

                 

                Andrew, I've encountered the odd spacing on many occasions. I can tell you why it happens. At least from what I've observed.

                 

                When you are making edits in the RoboHelp HTML editor, you sometimes choose to indent a paragraph by dragging the little widget in the ruler.

                 

                tmp1.png

                 

                When you do this and examine the HTML, you will see the beginning of the paragraph looks like this:

                 

                <p style="margin-left: 36px;">Apparentlly...

                 

                Note that "margin-left". That's the issue. Or at least the beginning.

                 

                Suppose you press Enter and continue with a new sentence. The next paragraph will also contain that code. But perhaps later you decide the sentence is a fragment and you wish to just combine it with the previous paragraph. Here is where the trouble begins. I typically position the cursor at the end of the first paragraph, then tap Delete to pull the sentence up and combine it with the first paragraph. And all looks just dandy in the editor. But if you preview, you get an undesired gap that occurs between the end of the paragraph and the sentence that was added later.

                tmp2.png

                To fix this, select part of the word before the gap and part of the word that follows. Then change the view so you see the HTML code. What you normally see is something like this:

                 

                tmp3.png

                Remove the text that looks like this:

                 

                <span style="margin-left: 36px;">

                 

                Note the actual number value may be different. That's no issue. The issue is the span tag. Further note that there is an additional matching tag that closes the span, There is no need to futz about with deleting that one. When you return to the Design view RoboHelp will catch that and clean up the code for you.

                 

                As to why you may not always see it in the preview, I've seen that happen too. It's been my experience that when this happens the line is breaking at the unwanted gap. So you don't notice it. Usually you can coax it to show by just resizng the preview window slightly so the text reflows.

                 

                Hopefully this helps shed some light on the mystery.

                 

                Cheers... Rick

                 

                 

                • 5. Re: Text formatting, errant/missing spaces, misleading preview and streamlined editing.
                  LCAndrew Level 1

                  Hi Rick,

                   

                  Thanks for wading in with some more ideas. I've already read about that though in the forum and I've been able to fix those spacing issues.

                   

                  One specific problem I'm haivn gat the moment is the vertical spacing of bullets in drop down text (see attached picture).

                   

                  In the picture I've copied and pasted the table from the drop down into the normal page so that you can see how I intended the spacing to be (The copied table is the bottom one). For some reason once I put the table into the dropdown it changes.

                   

                  The other spacing problems I've been having are mainly related to the differences between the preview and the generate html. This is a real pain when trying to keep things lined-up nicely and I have a mix of transparent tables, text-indents, expanding text, dropdown text and normal text.

                   

                  Hope you guys can shed some light on this.

                   

                  Thanks,

                   

                  Andrew

                  • 6. Re: Text formatting, errant/missing spaces, misleading preview and streamlined editing.
                    LCAndrew Level 1

                    Ok I seem to have worked out a bit of the problem or at least from where the problems seems to stem.

                     

                    The CSS that I'm using is called egg.css but Robohelp creates an egg.ns.css file when I generate the project. The topics seem to use this new style sheet and it produces at least some of these alignment errors.

                    • 7. Re: Text formatting, errant/missing spaces, misleading preview and streamlined editing.
                      LCAndrew Level 1

                      Having identified the key problem atm being the ns.css, I found from the forum that my work around of manually editing the ns.css file is the thing to do.

                       

                      All I did when I discovered the problem was copying the contents of the css file into the ns.css file using notepad, which seemed to fix the problem. Are there any potential problems with me doing this simple fix?

                      • 8. Re: Text formatting, errant/missing spaces, misleading preview and streamlined editing.
                        Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                        The .ns CSS is one that RoboHelp creates for browsers other than IE. When a topic is viewed, it sniffs the browser and uses yourstyles.css in IE and yourstyles_ns.css in other browsers. It does that to make the two look much the same. See the Browsers page on my site.

                         

                        By copying those styles into yourstyles.css, you have sort of put things into reverse. Ultimately if you have control over the browsers your users use and everything looks OK, then you should be OK. If you don't have that control, maybe you need to fix the problem some other way. Difficult to say.

                         

                        In RoboHelp 8 this is not an issue because with the new code, only one CSS is required for all browsers.

                         


                        See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                        • 9. Re: Text formatting, errant/missing spaces, misleading preview and streamlined editing.
                          LCAndrew Level 1

                          Hi Peter,

                           

                          Thanks for taking the time to follow up on this. Although the ns.css is meant to be used for non-IE browsers, it seems that my computer is also using it for IE. I guess I have to publish this somewhere and check on another computer...

                           

                          With few other options available I was going to ask users to use IE only.

                           

                          Many thanks,

                           

                          Andrew