11 Replies Latest reply on Jul 21, 2009 5:34 AM by Chris-anna

    Searching on a merged CHM

    Chris-anna Level 1

      I have to make use of merged CHMs in my main project.  It got too big and kept crashing - both RH and my system.


      I *thought* that when a user searched on the CHM, any included external CHMs were also included in the search function.  THis was not the case when a co-worker was using our Help file.  I verified that the external CHM and HHC were in the same location as the primary.  As a workaround, he simply opened that other CHM and searched it separately.


      Pls advise.

        • 1. Re: Searching on a merged CHM
          Pete Lees Level 2

          Hi, Chris-anna,


          It sounds like the search works OK on your development machine but not when the Help files are transferred to other machines. In that case, it may be that you have inadvertently specified the absolute paths to the secondary Help files in the project settings for your primary file — which means that when the Help files are deployed on a machine where the paths don't match those on your development machine, the indexes and full-text search data don't merge properly.


          This thread may help:





          • 2. Re: Searching on a merged CHM
            Chris-anna Level 1

            This sounds reasonable, thank you.  I"ll give this a shot on Monday!

            • 3. Re: Searching on a merged CHM
              NL_Derek-GsBV5a Level 1

              Hi Chris-anna,


              Since the reference was my post, and the link I included has not survived the new forum software, I'll fill in a bit.


              Open the HHP file (MyProjectName.hhp) with Notepad; at the end you will find a section [MERGE FILES]. This should contain the names of other CHMs to be included in searches. The entries should look like:



              But if they look like:



              ... then you will have search problems. What has happened is that the directory structure of your development machine has been included in the HHP and then in the CHM. The merge data are also in the XPJ file (editable with Notepad) and the CPD database (editable with Access, but that might be risky -- if you see that it is wrong it's safer to just delete it and let RH rebuild it), but nobody seems to know the exact relationship between the three. It is certain that the HHP is the `last stop' on the journey to the CHM.


              Our workaround was to generate the CHM, close RH, edit the HHP, restart RH and generate the CHM. Because nothing has changed in the project, RH does not rebuild the HHP.


              We never found a full solution, so if you make progress please post.


              Best of luck,


              --- Derek

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Searching on a merged CHM
                Chris-anna Level 1

                The local file paths are definitely part of my HHP.  I also found outdated calls, which I've deleted.  I'll test this and respond appropriately, but tell me... when you say you never found "a full solution", does this mean I must edit my HHP file every time I generate the CHM?  Or, perhaps this edit is only necessary if I incorporate a new merged CHM?

                • 5. Re: Searching on a merged CHM
                  NL_Derek-GsBV5a Level 1

                  Alas and alack, Chris-anna, I check the HHP each time. Sometimes I have to edit it, sometimes not. I think it depends on the wind direction combined with the phase of the moon (;-).


                  If you (or anyone else) can find a solid solution, I (and no doubt others) will be eternally grateful. I should mention that I have not worked on that project since upgrading to RH8; it is possible that the situation has changed, but I do not have time to check it.


                  --- Derek

                  • 6. Re: Searching on a merged CHM
                    Chris-anna Level 1

                    Yeah, I'm discovering the same.  And agree on the cause.  So far, no luck, but I'm still plodding thru the workaround. I havne't planned to upgrade to v8 since it seems to only 'pretty up' RH and not address what I think are real problems.  I'm sorry to hear I'm not the only one frustrated with some basic development issues (or lack).  Thanks again. I'll update this once I've achieved success.

                    • 7. Re: Searching on a merged CHM
                      Chris-anna Level 1

                      Finally...Success!!  This IS a good solution. Like you say, it would be nice to find a long-lasting solution.  I'll work on this, too, and post something if it becomes applicable.  Thank you, again, for your advice.

                      • 8. Re: Searching on a merged CHM
                        Chris-anna Level 1

                        I may have found a lasting workaround.  Enter both the local filepath call and the individual file call.  For ex, from my primary project's HHP file:


                        [MERGE FILES]
                        F:\Help Projects\VCS Help\MedCurrent\ReleaseNotes.chm
                        F:\Help Projects\VCS Help\MedCurrent\FabHelp.chm
                        F:\Help Projects\VCS Help\MedCurrent\Event.chm


                        This way, the fact that the HHP always re-introduces the filepath call is moot.  The *right* calls aren't overwritten anymore bc directory path wasn't removed.  I've rebuilt and rechecked (on a different computer, dissimilar directory structure) 3x, and it's worked each time.

                        • 9. Re: Searching on a merged CHM
                          Amebr-ke0mH4 Level 2

                          This sounds good! I suspect it won't survive deletion of the .cpd file, but it could save a bit of time and manual labour for projects that are generally worked on by one person.


                          We're going to try it out and see how it goes.



                          • 10. Re: Searching on a merged CHM
                            Amebr-ke0mH4 Level 2

                            Nuts. I had hopes, but unfortunately it doesn't work.


                            As soon as you make changes that RH thinks requires the hhp file to be rebuilt (e.g. changing the TOC), the manually added files are removed.

                            • 11. Re: Searching on a merged CHM
                              Chris-anna Level 1

                              Ah, you are right.  Removing the CPD and having to rebuild it each time does eliminate the non-filepath CHM entries in the HHP file.


                              While I don't store the CPD in my SourceSafe directly, I also don't automatically delete it. I delete it only when it get corrupt.