3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 29, 2009 6:49 AM by Pete Lees

    External Popups and Broken Hyperlinks


      I'm using HTML Help as my layout for RoboHelp HTML.  What I used to have in the .HLP seems to be better, more robust than what I now have in my CHM.  I was expecting/hoping the opposite to happen.  I've dug through Peter's site, the HelpWare site, RoboWizard's site and a few other links from members on various subjects - all extremely helpful compared to the RH documentation so I'm already basically concluding that what I'm about to ask just isn't possible but I figured I should ask just in case I'm wrong


      A few questions:

      1.     Is there some sort of workaround or hack to be able to create popups to external topics?  BSSCPopup correctly opens local topics in a popup but opens external topics in the same frame, not in a popup as local topics are.  Go ahead, I know someone will ask me why I don't just physically put everything in one project so that my popups will work - I asked, I can't.  I have my 'master' CHM and 'slave' CHM (created from two different .HLP projects) and my slave has links back to the master so it all should open within the same frame.  I have the remote CHM merged in my local TOC and vice-versa.

      2.     Related to question 1, in WebHelp (eventually we're converting to it) are those kinds of popups possible?

      3.     How do I find broken hyperlinks within RH?  Broken Links and BugHunter apparently are only concerned with context-sensitive linking (since both report nothing broken) but we have hundreds of external topic hrefs that we know are broken because the paths aren't right after everything was converted from .HLP.  There were subdirectories created during conversion in the remote CHM project so any remote topic links are broken because the different subdirectories are missing in the paths within the links in my linking CHM.  Example href="myfile.CHM::/mytopic.htm" should be href="myfile.CHM::/mysubdir/mytopic.htm" in order to work even just as regular link.  Short of running a script to check every link in every .htm file to programmatically determine the missing subdirectory and replace the href link, is there anything that RH can do to fix what it broke during conversion?

      4.     Related to question 3, if I were to populate my alias file with the list of all of the hundreds of correct paths, corresponding to all of the values in my header file, is there any way to use an a href to link to an external CHM using the alias constant instead of the htm filename?

        • 1. Re: External Popups and Broken Hyperlinks
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Hi there


          I know my profile indicates my name is Captiv8r, but I'm known as RoboWizard too.

          Unfortuntely there is no way for RoboHelp HTML to be aware of a broken link to something external, such as another .CHM file. Dem's de breaks, I suppose. Not sure of any way past that. Likely this will be a mission of check, double-check and triple-check after you compile.

          In thinking about your situation, it seems you might be able to use something that may help with both situations.

          I'm referring to something called a "Redirect" topic here. If you have explored this new fad that's catching on (it's called the WWW or World Wide Web) for more than perhaps 10 minutes, you will likely have encountered one of these beasties. Usually you click a link and BAM! You see a page that offers information similar to below:

          We're sorry. The page you are linking to has been moved. In 30 seconds you will be automatically moved to our wonderful NEW page. Please update your bookmarks.


          Click here if you weren't sent there automatically.


          So how does one go about creating such a page?

          I'm so happy you asked! (You, um, DID, ask, didn't you? I'm sure you did. )

          You edit the HTML code of the page in question. Insert a new meta tag mixed into the tags that are already in the topic. It looks like this:


          <meta HTTP-EQUIV=refresh CONTENT="0;URL=CHMFileName.CHM::Path/Topic.HTM">


          The problem here is, when dealing with multiple CHM files, you will encounter the behavior you are reporting. The link will likely always want to open in the same Topic pane.


          Will opening in a new window be sufficient? You might be able to pull that off. You might even be able to use some JavaScript to script the size and other attributes of the new window.


          Sorry, don't have any really good answers here. Probably more questions than answers.


          Cheers... Rick



          Helpful and Handy Links

          • 2. Re: External Popups and Broken Hyperlinks
            MaritimeGirl Level 1

            I did read the Redirect Topic instructions last night but again, it's in a secondary window, not a popup like it was in the .HLP.  For a split second, I thought I could use that until I rememberd that the problem with that would be that the secondary window would then have to change the topic in the launching window and close itself.  Messy.  The person who will be maintaining the content is not a technical person.  That's why the popups were great - no worry about targets.  Even a local topic in a secondary window wasn't going to be feasible from an ongoing maintenance standpoint due to the HTML editing required for each one.


            If I didn't have to link back to the launching window, I'd still have to tweak what you're suggesting to make the redirect topic more flexible, passing in the target as a parameter and making it dynamic since I wouldn't be creating a stub for each of the hundreds of remote topics.  I saw an example of that method somewhere last night too (it's in my list of bookmarks, I'm certain) but as it stands right now I think the popup requirement has gone away - same frame is being allowed.

            • 3. Re: External Popups and Broken Hyperlinks
              Pete Lees Level 2

              Hi, MaritimeGirl,


              There's a free tool called CHM Link Checker with which you can check the links from one help file to another. You can download this tool from here:




              In addition, FAR (which is shareware) can check all the links in a help file.




              Have you considered using the KeyHelp ActiveX control for popups? I think this must be one of the few ways to create feature-rich HTML popups whose content is stored externally.