7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 4, 2008 10:09 AM by amymoldev

    Initial HTML Help (.chm) window size much too large

    amymoldev
      Wondering if anyone knows how to fix this -- my .chm opens initially in a window that takes up my entire screen (happens when opened as a stand-alone .chm and when accessed from the application with which the .chm is shipped). The initial window size is much too large, forcing me (and the end users) to shrink the window manually (I have to shrink it even just to see the Add button on the Favorites tab). I've checked all the Window settings in the Project Set-up pod ... the window sizes are much smaller than what the .chm displays initially and I don't see any options that I've selected or not selected that would affect anything (I've tried a few things as you can imagine).

      Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
      Thanks,
      Amy
        • 1. Re: Initial HTML Help (.chm) window size much too large
          Pete Lees Level 2
          Hi, Amy, and welcome,

          It sounds like you may have inadvertently selected the Maximize setting for your window definition. The setting that you want to uncheck is (or at least it was in older versions of RoboHelp) accessed via Window Properties > Advanced Properties button > Styles tab.

          Pete
          • 2. Re: Initial HTML Help (.chm) window size much too large
            amymoldev Level 1
            Hi Pete,

            Thanks for your email. The maximize setting for all windows is unselected. Still a mystery.

            Thanks again,
            Amy
            • 3. Re: Initial HTML Help (.chm) window size much too large
              Pete Lees Level 2
              Hi, Amy,

              Are you opening the .chm file from its associated application or from Windows Explorer? If the former, what does the help file look like when opened from Windows Explorer?

              What happens if you browse to the following hidden folder, temporarily rename the hh.dat file that it contains, and then reopen the help file?

              C:\Documents and Settings\%YourUserName%\Application Data\Microsoft\HTML Help

              Pete
              • 4. Re: Initial HTML Help (.chm) window size much too large
                amymoldev Level 1
                Hi Pete,

                That works!! I noticed that when I renamed the hh.dat file, a new one was created automatically when I opened the .chm file. I tested this on two machines -- my laptop on which I run RoboHelp and my desktop on which I run the application that the .chm is shipped with (and from within the application, the initial help window is now the size I specified in RoboHelp, so you are on to something).

                What does this mean for the end user, though? Would it be true that no matter where this .chm file "lives," unless you rename the hh.dat file, the window will be too large? Or if I recompile in RoboHelp, will the recompiled .chm know that it should use the "new" hh.dat file? We are planning to ship this .chm in two weeks so I have a little bit of time to plan/figure it out. Any thoughts on that would be appreciated.

                Thanks so much!

                Amy
                • 5. Re: Initial HTML Help (.chm) window size much too large
                  Pete Lees Level 2
                  Hi, Amy,

                  I think that, whether intentionally or not, you've configured your help window so that Windows remembers any changes that the user makes to its size and position. So, if they close the help window while it is maximized, it will be maximized when they next open it.

                  The function of the hh.dat file is to save user-specific information on each help file that the user has opened, including:

                  * The most recent size and position of each help window.
                  * The most recently used tab in the navigation pane.
                  * Any topics that the user has added to the Favorites tab.
                  * Any search terms that the user previously submitted on the Search tab.

                  Renaming the hh.dat file causes Windows to discard all these settings and display the help files exactly as RoboHelp has generated them.

                  If you always want your help file to open at a specified size and position, you need to do two things:

                  1) Uncheck the option to save the user-defined position after first use.

                  2) Explicitly set the required dimensions and position of the help window instead of just electing to use the default settings.

                  There's a bug in the HTML Help viewer (or maybe it's in the compiler) where, if you just elect to use the default size and position for the window, any changes that a user makes are remembered and recalled when the window is next opened — even if you chose to turn off "Save user-defined position...".

                  Pete
                  • 6. Re: Initial HTML Help (.chm) window size much too large
                    RoboWizard Level 4
                    Hi Amy

                    Hopefully Pete will forgive me if he mentioned this and I simply didn't see it.

                    The HH.DAT file is universal to all .CHM files on your system. So if you have Favorites in a few different .CHM files, or had other .CHM files where you actually wanted to store the size and placement, blowing away the HH.DAT effectively kills all those stored settings for all .CHM files.

                    If you were to instruct users to delete this file, you should be aware that you are affecting ALL the .CHM files on the system. While it certainly "fixed" your issue, it had ramifications you were probably unaware of or hadn't considered.

                    Cheers... Rick
                    • 7. Re: Initial HTML Help (.chm) window size much too large
                      amymoldev Level 1
                      Hi Pete and Rick,

                      I have some good info to work with thanks to your posts. I was not aware of the hh.dat file or its purpose.

                      Thanks very much,
                      Amy