10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 13, 2009 10:43 PM by Amebr

    RHX5 - Load top level book expanded

    richard_ipm

      Still using good old RoboHelp X5. I have a webhelp project with a number of top level books containing sub-books, topics and sub-topics. When help is launched I would like one of the top level books to be loaded expanded to the first sub-level, with all other books kept collapsed.

       

      Does anyone know if this can be done?

       

      Thanks

       

      Richard.

        • 1. Re: RHX5 - Load top level book expanded
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Hi Richard

           

          Should be possible. Just configure a topic inside the book as your default topic. Then ensure the speed optimization setting is for Local PC.

           

          Cheers... Rick

           

           

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          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: RHX5 - Load top level book expanded
            richard_ipm Level 1

            Hi Rick

             

            Thanks for your response. Unfortunately my 'default topic' isn't one that is in the book I want auto-expanded. I have a special launch default topic which wouldn't make sense to be listed in this book.

             

            Is there any way of getting round this that you know of? Out of interest do you know if this is improved/easier in later versions of RoboHelp?

             

            Thanks

             

            Richard.

            • 3. Re: RHX5 - Load top level book expanded
              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Hi again

              richard_ipm wrote:

               

              Thanks for your response. Unfortunately my 'default topic' isn't one that is in the book I want auto-expanded. I have a special launch default topic which wouldn't make sense to be listed in this book.

              Too bad. That's the only way I can think of to coax the book open.

              richard_ipm wrote:

               

              Is there any way of getting round this that you know of?

              Not really

              richard_ipm wrote:


              Out of interest do you know if this is improved/easier in later versions of RoboHelp?

              No, nothing changes related to that. I can't really fathom why a change would need to occur.

               

              The bottom line is that you may have a single topic nominated as the default topic. The default topic is simply the first topic one sees when the help opens. If you have TOC synchronizing set up, and that default topic is inside a book, naturally the book should open and reveal its list of topics.

               

              If you want to suggest that RoboHelp be configured to operate differently, please consider submitting a Wish Form to ask for it. Links are everywhere. Forum landing pages and in my sig.

               

              Cheers... Rick

               

               

              Helpful and Handy Links

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              Begin learning RoboHelp HTML 7 or 8 within the day - $24.95!

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              • 4. Re: RHX5 - Load top level book expanded
                richard_ipm Level 1

                Rick, thanks for pointing me to the wish list link, I have submitted the request to Adobe.

                 

                It doesn't matter you can't fathom out why a change would need to occur.

                • 5. Re: RHX5 - Load top level book expanded
                  MergeThis Level 4

                  Snippy replies are unnecessary.

                   

                  I suspect that Rick "can't fathom out why a change would need to occur" because of the synchronizing/highlighting issue: if you opened a default topic and opened another book, what would be highlighted in the TOC, and how would your users figure out what's going on?

                   

                  You could work in a redirect meta tag in the default topic, with a delay, that would then open the other topic in the other book (thereby expanding the book, of course).

                   

                  Add this as a new second line in the <meta> area of the <head> section of the default topic, and adjust the "0" value, in milliseconds, to the amount of time that will transpire before the user is redirected to the next topic (6000, 7000, enough time to read whatever is on the first topic?):

                   

                  <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL=MyNextTopic.htm" />

                   

                  Or, you could simply add a link in the first topic to the second topic, and explain to users why they should go to that topic before doing anything else.

                   

                   

                  Good luck,

                  Leon

                  • 6. Re: RHX5 - Load top level book expanded
                    richard_ipm Level 1

                    Ok let me be clearer in what I am trying to do. Within my webhelp my default topic is a launch page containing all sorts of advice about what's in the help file and the services our company offers. This topic isn't in the TOC as it is a landing page only, and hooked up to a 'home' button in the webhelp toolbar.

                     

                    The TOC structure for my webhelp has books with sub-books and sub-topics, as per the attached image. The 'Get help with...' section contains the main product help content so I want to have this book expanded so users can easily find these areas of help from the TOC. (However I don't want these books at the top level).

                     

                    It's not a huge issue if this can't be done, I just wanted to post here to see if a solution is available. People using forums do appreciate regular members who can offer sound advice. I'm sorry to say though Rick's posting came across as rather sarcastic to me so whether that was the intention or not that's the impression I got. I know Rick has been on these forums a long time and no doubt helped many many people so i'm pretty sure he is a good guy

                    • 7. Re: RHX5 - Load top level book expanded
                      MergeThis Level 4

                      OK, now I'm even more confused, as will be your users, probably.

                       

                      What's "How to use this help system"?

                      • Is it the default topic that you say is not in the TOC (but is)?
                      • Is it a topic that you landed on from a link in the "Home" topic?
                      • Why is it at the root, whereas "Home" is two levels down?

                       

                      You might want to rethink the layout of your TOC. That is, how can your users decide whether their questions will be answered in "Setup," "Tutorials," "Get help with," "Frequently asked questions," "New features," "Additional software modules," etc.?

                       

                      Personally, I'd have "New features" at the top, and "Support," "API," and "Coming soon" at the bottom. Then, I'd have "Setup" and "Tutorials" below the "Get help with..." I would then put "How to use this help system" as the first page under "Get help with..." and make it the default topic, folding in whatever is in "Home."

                       


                      Good luck,
                      Leon
                      (another good guy)

                      • 8. Re: RHX5 - Load top level book expanded
                        richard_ipm Level 1

                        Hi Leon

                         

                        "How to use this help system" isn't the default topic I referred to - appreciate it looks that way though!

                         

                        All the content under 'Get help with...' is traditional help file content, based around our software product. The book and sub-topic structure within this follows the same menu structure as our product.

                         

                        So effectively 'Get help with...' has all the help content, and is why I want this top level book expanded when help is loaded.

                         

                        All the other top level books contain other content that isn't neccesarily software help. I don't really want to expose the help much further but in summary we are using RoboHelp to create a support community/portal rather than a strict 'help file'.

                         

                        I've kind of accepted I can't do what I want. Thanks for yours and Rick's input though - keep the good work going

                        • 9. Re: RHX5 - Load top level book expanded
                          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Hi again all

                           

                          @Richard - Yeah, we all try to be good guys here. Particularly the RoboHelp forums seem to be extra nice, likely because we are all involved in creating help for others. But this doesn't mean we don't disagree from time to time.

                           

                          Okay, in thinking about your situation, I may have come up with a way to accomplish what you want. It does involve using a Redirect as Leon indicated in his first reply to you.

                           

                          I'm thinking you would essentially have two different topics that share identical information. Configure one as the default page, and configure it with a redirect that occurs to display the topic you really intend to show the users first. You would also need to use a bit of JavaScripting to prevent the redirect from firing each time the page was loaded. Basically, the script would store a variable in memory or in a cookie, then subsequent attempts to display the page would perform a check. The first time the page was loaded, it would sync to the TOC and expand the book, then redirect to the desired topic. The second and further attempts would then first check the cookie, see the page has already been opened once, then just display the content and not redirect.

                           

                          Sounds a bit on the tricky and convoluted side, but if you are determined you can probably make it happen.

                           

                          Cheers... Rick

                           

                           

                          Helpful and Handy Links

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                          Begin learning RoboHelp HTML 7 or 8 within the day - $24.95!

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                          • 10. Re: RHX5 - Load top level book expanded
                            Amebr Level 4

                            It might be worth filling in the wish form, as you can get this behaviour for chm files but not webhelp as far as I can see - might be possible if you are a javascript guru and feel like playing with the whthost.js, which looks like TOC controls.

                             

                            In chm files, if you link the default topic to a book, have Auto-synchronise TOC turned on, and have Single Click to Open Books turned on, then the folder that the topic is linked to will open automatically.

                             

                            If you wanted to try that with a chm, the Auto-synchronise TOC setting is in the window definition, while Single Click to Open Books is in the single source layout definition- click Advanced, then activate the TOC Styles tab.

                             

                            Amebr

                             

                            P.S. Poking around in Peter Grainge's snippets for something else entirely, I came upon a link to this page which might help:

                            http://www.grainge.org/pages/authoring/merging_webhelp/merging_method_x3_rh6.htm#step_8

                             

                            In addition, a couple of versions of the whthost.js seem to live in Program Files directories, so one of those might make the change permanent for all projects if you're willing to mess with them.