6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 22, 2009 2:36 PM by hv_dan

    Updating Frame files in RH WebHelp


      I'm using FrameMaker 8 and RH 7.

      When I add Frame files by reference in the Project Manager, I cannot update the frame files. Well, I can update the Frame files in FrameMaker, but when I make changes to the Frame (source) file and try to update the Frame files in Project Manager, it doesn't update. So far, my only recourse has been to completely re-import the files, which takes time, as I'm working with large projects.


      I've tried adding Frame files with the ".fm" and ".mif" extensions, but they're both the same. What am I doing wrong??

        • 1. Re: Updating Frame files in RH WebHelp
          Tom.H Level 1

          (as a side note, this topic is more appropriate for the FrameMaker Integration forum, but here's a response anyway):


          There isn't enough information for me to solve this problem, so here are some questions and comments that might get us to a solution (assuming that you haven't already figured it out):


          1.What method are you using to import the files?  You should select Project Files (right-click) > Add FrameMaker File > Add by Reference.
          (NOT File > Import > FrameMaker Document.)


          2. Assuming they're getting imported correctly, have you made any changes to the imported topics within RoboHelp?  If so, you effectively break the link to the source file.  You can only make changes one-way, from Frame to RoboHelp.  If you make so much as one formatting change, they're no longer linked and have to be reimported.


          3. Assuming that you haven't made any changes to the files, do you notice the changes to the icon for the FrameMaker files in the Project Files directory? Should go from (unmodified) unmodified.jpg to modified.jpg, which lets you know that it knows that the source FrameMaker file has been modified.  If you don't see this, maybe you are not editing the file that's actually linked in to RoboHelp (this solution is reaching a bit, but it is possible).


          Please address these questions then let me know if you



          As a side note, I learned a lot about using this method, and ultimately abandoned it because it turned out to be almost perfect, but at the same time flawed beyond repair.  I found some simpler ways to do what I needed to do, and have been meaning to get into touch with Adobe to describe some very simple ways I think they could have really improved the capability.  I do note that TC suite #2 has some much needed improvement, but I haven't had a chance to try it out.





          • 2. Re: Updating Frame files in RH WebHelp
            hv_dan Level 1



            Yes, I add the files using "Add by Reference".


            And whenever I make changes to the source (Frame) file, I do notice the icon

            change like you said.


            As for making changes to the imported topic, I'm not quite sure what you

            refer to. I apply a style sheet -- one of RH's that I modified (by adding a

            few styles to match my Frame styles).


            I used to copy the source files into RH, but now that I'm using context

            sensitive help, it's a real pain to have to re-map the IDs every time I

            delete and re-import a file. I don't have any of that set up right now, but

            that's what I'll be doing soon.


            I've spent most of the day experimenting. I created a smaller project and am

            using just two files. I can Add by Reference, make changes, click Update,

            and it updates. But that's by not applying any style sheet at all. I keep

            the auto-generated one that RH puts in. Whenever I apply a style sheet,

            though, either the one I modified (in RH) or one of RH's default style sheet

            like fmstyles.css, then it won't update.


            So are you saying that by applying a style sheet, then it won't work?


            Also, when I Add by Reference, I have the "Use Underscores in File Name" (or

            something like that), as I've heard that spaces in the file name can cause

            RH to not generate properly. However, that puts underscores in the topic

            name. When I take out the underscores, as I'd rather not have underscores

            showing up in the final product, then the Update doesn't work.


            Kinda feels like taking one step forward and three back.



            • 3. Re: Updating Frame files in RH WebHelp
              Tom.H Level 1



              If I understand you correctly, you're breaking the link when you apply the style sheet.  If you do anything to an imported frame topic after you import it (other than what you can do with the importing options), the file is changed on the RoboHelp end and cannot then be updated without a reimport.  Instead of applying a new style sheet, you can modify the style sheet that it creates and uses when you import. To do that, you have to do a little trick where you create a dummy topic to hold the frame style sheet in the project.  Sadly, I forget the whole procedure, which is not documented or intuitive, but the evangelist RJ (forgot his last name) describes it in one of his webinars.  When I'm back at my work PC tomorrow I'll try to find a few minutes to figure it out again and post another message.


              Like I mentioned before, it's a wonderful tool, but it just falls short in a few ways that make it very hard to actually use effectively.



              • 4. Re: Updating Frame files in RH WebHelp
                hv_dan Level 1

                Thanks, Tom.


                If you can find that procedure, that'd be great.


                Thanks for your help,


                • 5. Re: Updating Frame files in RH WebHelp
                  Tom.H Level 1



                  I just wrote you a response and wasn't logged in, so it got erased rather than posted... doh!


                  Basically you need to create a dummy topic and assign the "fmstyles.css" style sheet to it.  Then you can make your style changes to the fmstyles.css stylesheet and they will be applied to all files imported from FrameMaker.  Making changes this way prevents your link from being broken.


                  Watch the following webinar "Adobe Technical Communication Suite Training: Part 3" by RJ Jacquez between 56 mins and 1h 04 mins to see how he does it step-by-step.  He also gives more explanation about it. You may also find some additional useful information about the whole process if you have not yet seen it.




                  I hope that helps.  If not, let me know.





                  • 6. Re: Updating Frame files in RH WebHelp
                    hv_dan Level 1



                    That was it!  Thanks for the help.  It sure helps when you don't have to

                    always be re-importing files, but can do it once and then Update!