9 Replies Latest reply on Jun 9, 2009 11:19 AM by SpencerBentley

    Merged CHM - Global search does not work

    TechComm2

      We have created a merged HTML Help project using RH7. The output is in CHM format. When I use the search tab in the merged CHM file (parent CHM file), only the parent CHM file topics are searched. The child CHM file topics are not searched. The search results are only from the parent CHM file.

      However, when I open any of the child projects separately, I can use the search tab to find a word and get the matching results. But these results never get listed while I am searching from the global merged CHM file.

      Should one of the files in RH project be manually tweaked? I considered deleting the CPD files but that did not help. The global XPJ file seems okay when I opened with Notepad. It listed the right paths for child CHM files. The HHP file is something that I tried to edit but it does not help much - The HHP showed absolute paths, so renamed it to relative paths. But when I regenerate the CHM files, the HHP was re-created with absolute paths and there’s no way I can control it. (although I am not sure if that’s the real problem).

       

      The TOC seems to be okay though- I can see all the items of global and child CHM TOCs listed and navigate without problem.

        • 1. Re: Merged CHM - Global search does not work
          Amebr-ke0mH4 Level 2

          We have this issue here. What we do is generate the help. Open the hhp file and delete the hard-coded path. Then re-generate the help. We do this every time we generate a final release of the master project. I have to resubmit a bug report for it as the last time I mentioned it was either the final days of ehelp or early macromedia and may have been lost in the kerfuffle.

           

          Are you using source control, out of interest? I have a theory it is only a problem with source controlled projects, but haven't gotten around to testing that theory.

          • 2. Re: Merged CHM - Global search does not work
            NL_Derek-GsBV5a Level 1

            Amebr,

             

            I can tell you that it's not a source control issue. We are a small shop and don't use SC, and we have the same problem with merging. I have never got it to be 100% good, but editing XPJ and HHP and CPD (can be edited using Microsoft Access) is usually reliable.

             

            What always works (up till now) is to generate the project, edit the HHP file, and generate again. If you have not changed any topics, RoboHelp will assume that the HHP file is good and leave it alone. To generate the CHM RoboHelp calls the microsoft help compiler, and this uses the values in the HHP file. Unfortunately command-line compile (rhcl command) always regenerates the HHP file so this is hard to automate.

             

            Just my 0.02.

             

            --- Derek

            • 3. Re: Merged CHM - Global search does not work
              TechComm2 Level 1

              Thanks for the information Derek. Will keep you posted.

               

              Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2009 01:06:46 -0600

              From: forums@adobe.com

              To: duffyda56@hotmail.com

              Subject: Merged CHM - Global search does not work

               

              Amebr,

               

              I can tell you that it's not a source control issue. We are a small shop and don't use SC, and we have the same problem with merging. I have never got it to be 100% good, but editing XPJ and HHP and CPD (can be edited using Microsoft Access) is usually reliable.

               

              What always works (up till now) is to generate the project, edit the HHP file, and generate again. If you have not changed any topics, RoboHelp will assume that the HHP file is good and leave it alone. To generate the CHM RoboHelp calls the microsoft help compiler, and this uses the values in the HHP file. Unfortunately command-line compile (rhcl command) always regenerates the HHP file so this is hard to automate.

               

              Just my 0.02.

               

              --- Derek

              >

              • 4. Re: Merged CHM - Global search does not work
                Amebr-ke0mH4 Level 2

                Thanks Derek. How did you manage to edit the cpd file? Whenever I try to open it, I get warnings about Access versions. I can open it to view, but not change anything.

                • 5. Re: Merged CHM - Global search does not work
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                  The CPD is merely a cache of what is in a bunch of XML files in the source project. Deleting the CPD has long been the solution to many problems and in RH8, Adobe have built in the facility to delete it whenever a project is opened, simply to save having to go into Windows Explorer to do that.

                   

                  There should be no need to edit the file, just trash it and let RH rebuild it.

                   


                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                  • 6. Re: Merged CHM - Global search does not work
                    NL_Derek-GsBV5a Level 1

                    Amebr (btw is that you name or a mipsrint?), editing the CPD is just using Access; open it, ignore all the blood-curdling warnings, double-click on MergedCompiledFileList, make your changes and close. The database will automatically be updated. Usual warnings apply of course, make a backup and check your results.

                     

                    Peter, you are no doubt right as usual, but RoboHelp can be very persistent in changing relative paths into absolute ones. I don't remember the details, but I'm pretty sure I tried the `obvious' route of editing XPJ and HHP, then deleting CPD, and it didn't work.

                     

                    One case where I have found no alternative to editing CPD is when RH won't allow you to delete a baggage file. You have to open the CPD and change the UserCreated flag in BaggageFileList. I never found where RH stores the value of that flag, but deleting the CPD does not help.

                     

                    --- Derek

                    • 7. Re: Merged CHM - Global search does not work
                      Tech Writer KC Level 1

                      Brief Response:

                       

                      Is there any chance of corruption with your parent file? We had a similar issue with our help file, where we could not search on text or index values outside of the parent file. I suspect ours might have been a corruption-related issue, and our solution was to create a new parent project from scratch.

                       

                      More Detailed Response:

                       

                      Originally, I followed similar advice as given above about editing the HHP file. This didn't really help, as RH kept re-writing over the changes with the same erroneous paths we'd just deleted.

                       

                      At the same time, I had begun encountering corruption issues (or other "kinks") originating from a really bad crash that apparently resulted in all the original project files being lost (when I started here, all our project files were "recovered" files that the previous writer had created by unpacking the surviving CHMs).

                       

                      I began to wonder if somehow the search issue wasn't a corruption issue (the bad links matched the back-up location where the recovered help projects had originally been placed), and it eventually just seemed easier to create a new parent project rather than continue hacking with the HHP files.

                       

                      In addition, I also moved the topics that were originally put into the parent project into their own separate child projects, based on advice given here that the parent project should contain few or no topics (ours only contains things like the title page and "About" topic). I don't recall the reasoning, or if it was necessarily related to this issue, but I think it had something to do with how RH acts if there are changes in the parent project itself rather than just in the child projects.

                       

                      Not sure if any of that helps, but it did turn out to be the solution that worked for us, as our text searching now seems able to "see" the content in the child projects without issue.

                      • 8. Re: Merged CHM - Global search does not work
                        Amebr-ke0mH4 Level 2

                        @Derek - deliberate mistype.

                         

                        I found that removing the paths in the xpj doesn't fix the hard-coded path issue, but does get rid of paths to different locations, and non-existent children.

                         

                        @tech writer kc

                         

                        Thanks for your feedback. I'll keep it in mind for our next major release - it'll be a big job.

                        • 9. Re: Merged CHM - Global search does not work
                          SpencerBentley

                          Hi,

                           

                          I am using RoboHelp HTML X5.0.2, and I had the same issue with global searching.  I fixed the problem by deleting the links to all merged CHM files from the master project's TOC.  Then deleting the CHM file for each of those merged projects from the master project's folder.  Finally, I merged the projects back into the master project from the TOC of the master project (which is the typical procedure for X5.0.2; I'm not sure if this is the same for other versions), which copies the CHM files back into the master project's folder.  Now global searching works again.  I just wanted to share that with everyone, and I hope it works for others.

                           

                          Spencer