30 Replies Latest reply on Sep 10, 2008 9:39 AM by Peter Grainge

    Localizing Robohelp 7 Project

    KAMcintyre
      Greetings,

      I recently created a Robohelp 7 webhelp project. The source files were sent out to be localized in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese and Korean.
      I know how to change the user interface to another language but how do I create localized versions of the project. Do I somehow import the topics for each language into the same project....or do you just dump the translated files into the a copied directory structure where each language stands alone. If anyone has done this I certainly would appreciate help on how to do this and what the best approach is...if indeed there is more than one way to proceed. Thanks ahead of time.
        • 1. Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
          Ben Minson Level 2
          I create a version of the project for each language (the standalone projects you mentioned).

          You could do it in one project with conditional build tags if you do the following:

          1. Add the content for each language to the original English topic.
          2. Have a conditional tag and corresponding single source layout for each language.
          3. Apply the conditional tag for a language to its content in each topic.
          4. Set each language's single source layout to exclude every other language tag.

          One of the limitations of doing it this way, though, is that you can still set only one language setting at a time in File > Project Settings. Technically, you could change the project language (and change the project title to the appropriate language) before generating the output for that language, but that could get tedious very quickly. This is one of the reasons I don't do it this way; another reason is that I already have conditional tags for roles, so complicating that with language tags would turn a single project into a monster.

          I import the English version of each topic into my translated projects. Then I submit my English HTML topics to our translation group, and when they send them back in each language, I drop them into the project using Windows Explorer. That's just the process I've fallen into, though it would probably be easier to just import the translated topics into the appropriate project.

          Trying to import each translated topic into the same project and keeping them as separate topics could make TOCs and indexes difficult to manage.

          At the end of the day, no matter which approach you take, you will still end up with one set of output files for each language that should be kept in separate directories. Which approach to the source files you take mostly affects your management of the files.

          Hope this novel helps

          Ben
          • 2. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
            KAMcintyre Level 1
            Hi Ben.
            Thanks so much for your input. I agree that keeping translations separate seems easier to manage...I don't what to have a logistical nightmare.

            I sent the English version source files out for translation but didn't create separate separate language projects first. This means each translator will send back the original project source files with translated files.

            When they come back how do I proceed? Sorry if these questions are elementary. Because I didn't create separate projects first I assume I would have to open my English project and change the project language setting to Spanish, for example. Do I then copy the project source files to another directory and drop in or replace the files)? I guess I would do this for each language. This sounds similar to what you did but backwards. Does anthing else need to be done?

            This means I would have the same project source files (with same names) for each language but stored in a different directory with each set of output files.

            Do I need to rename anything? Where do I do this? Am I missing anything else? Do you have to recompile each? Did you run into any other problems?

            Hope I am somewhat clear here?

            Thanks so much for your input. It certainly will make my life easier.

            Kathy
            • 3. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
              Ben Minson Level 2
              Kathy,

              Sorry for the delayed response--I took a long weekend around a holiday here.

              What you can do while you're waiting for your translated files to come back is to use Windows Explorer to copy your English project files and make a copy in a new directory for each additional language. Looks like 7 copies in your situation. If you like, in RH, go to File > Rename Project for each project and change the name to indicate which language it is, for example "projectname_es" for the Spanish version. Or you can just name the folder that contains the files according to the language of the project it contains--whatever will help you keep the different projects straight.

              Note on renaming: RH changes the name of some of the source files, including the glossary and index, if you rename the project. This means that if you rename your localized projects, for each project you'll need to either (1) import the translated index and glossary; or (2) in Windows Explorer, rename the translated index and glossary files to match whatever RH changed the file names to, and then drop them into the source files over the top of what's there.

              Next, in each copy of the project, in File > Project Settings, select the language for that project. Because everything is still in English, RH will show all the words as misspelled words with the red underlining.

              When you get the translated files back, you can either import the topic files and replace the ones that are there, or just use Windows Explorer to drop them in over the top of the English files.

              quote:

              This means I would have the same project source files (with same names) for each language but stored in a different directory with each set of output files.
              Correct, except see the above info about renaming.

              quote:

              Do you have to recompile each?
              If I understand your question, you do have to generate the WebHelp output from each localized version. Generate the outputs to different folders. So for each language, you have a directory for source files and another directory for the output files. Any time you make a change to any project, the output would have to be generated again to include the change, just like the English version.

              With your WebHelp skin, I think you'll want to set it to include the text next to the toolbar buttons (contents, index, etc.), unless you create and use button images with the correct translations for each language.

              I hope I answered everything satisfactorily--let me know if there's anything unclear.

              --Ben
              • 4. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                KAMcintyre Level 1
                Hi Ben, Thanks for the info...you are very helpful. I have a few more questions. By the way, I didn't rename anything just put each project in a different location.

                I received the Italian project back. So I changed the language in the English project to Italian and gave the entire folder to engineering. They dropped all the translated files into to the soure project folder.

                I opened the Italian project, upgraded (initially created in RH6), and compiled with no problem....however, the TOC, index and glossary are still in English. How do I handle this. The TOC and index are custom, I did not initially autocreate the TOC based on the Project folder setup, nor did I autocreate the Index.

                I am kind of at a loss here and there are seven languages. I can rename the toc books and topics based on info in the PrintDocLayout folder but am sure there must be an easier solution. What am I missing????

                Thanks ahead of time
                • 5. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                  Ben Minson Level 2
                  For the TOC, you could copy the title text from each topic back into the TOC entries. Depending on the size of your TOC, that's probably quicker than giving the HHC file to the translators and waiting for them to return it.

                  The GLO (glossary file) is set up like this for each term and definition:

                  NAME=term
                  Definition.

                  So the translators need to leave the "NAME=" part alone but translate the rest.

                  As far as the index (HHK file) goes, the terms definitely have to be translated. If I remember correctly, the topic references in the index should automatically work and will show up in Italian as long as the topic title in the Properties dialog for each topic is in Italian.

                  --Ben
                  • 6. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                    KAMcintyre Level 1
                    HI Ben,

                    How do you open the HHK, HHC and GLO files; they are not html. If I try to open it asks what program I want to open them with....so I don't think they could either.

                    By the way I started to copy the text of the topic titles into the toc entries to save time.
                    • 7. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                      KAMcintyre Level 1
                      HI Ben,

                      How do you open the HHK, HHC and GLO files; they are not html. If I try to open it asks what program I want to open them with....so I don't think they could either.

                      By the way I started to copy the text of the topic titles into the toc entries to save time.
                      • 8. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                        KAMcintyre Level 1
                        Sorry I assume you mean the HHC, HHK, and GLO files in the project source folder.
                        • 9. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                          RoboColum(n) Level 5
                          Just open them in Notepad via Windows Explorer. Take a copy first and make sure your project is closed before you do so.
                          • 10. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                            Ben Minson Level 2
                            Yes, you'll want to work with the source files. The content of those files gets written to other files when you generate your output. As Colum said, I have set Notepad as the program to always open those file types with.
                            • 11. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                              KAMcintyre Level 1
                              Sorry I should have tried that first. After you sent the message I opened them in Notepad. I looked and the translators did not work on these files.

                              So I guess that means if I send the hhk, hhc and glo files to the translators, all should be okay. When I compile the project, the toc, index, and glossary should appear in the corresponding language, correct ? The toc topics do come up correctly for the corresponding english toc entry.

                              Thank you so much Ben. I feel very fortunate that you were able to help me and save me time.

                              Kathy

                              • 12. Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                Ben Minson Level 2
                                You may want to check with the translators first to make sure that they'll pull the right text out of the TOC and index files because they're inside tags. For example, in the HHC file, you have lines that look like this:

                                <param name="Name" value="System Overview">
                                <param name="Local" value="System_Overview.htm">

                                The HHK file contains similar pairs:

                                <param name="Name" value="Emergency Contact">
                                <param name="Local" value="Emergency_Contact_Information.htm">

                                In these examples, "System Overview" and "Emergency Contact" are the text you want translated. Make sure that the translators can pick out the right text (if they translate "Name" into "Nombre," for example, I'm sure the TOC or index will break.)

                                If you're setting up the localized TOCs yourself by copying and pasting, don't send the HHC file to the translators.

                                Because of RH7's language support, things should turn out all right. For the Chinese and Korean to show up correctly in RH on your computer, you may have to do some tweaking with Windows. If you search the forums for "language pack" over the last year or 18 months, you'll see a few different threads that should help you with that. There are also some threads about making Asian languages appear correctly in CHM output, if that's what you're dealing with.

                                Glad to help.
                                • 13. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                  KAMcintyre Level 1
                                  Okay. I get if. I did notice the tags. If I explain it like you did do and provide an example do you think that would be a problem? I don't want to do the toc for each language if I don't have to although we will see....

                                  Typically, though they would have to translate these files correct? The only other way would be to send the list of words and then copy them into the file.

                                  AT the very least I will send the hhk and glo files.
                                  We are doing Chinese and Korean. I sure don't want to have to mess with toc on that one..

                                  Thanks for all your time Ben.
                                  • 14. Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                    Ben Minson Level 2
                                    quote:

                                    Typically, though they would have to translate these files correct? The only other way would be to send the list of words and then copy them into the file.
                                    Right, and that could get tedious. If your TOC is long, then it would definitely take less work for you to just submit it to the translators and have them do it.

                                    Whether the tags are a problem is up to the translators. Our in-house translation group has a system with filters that they can set up to pull strings out of different kinds of files. We were able to get the text we needed out of the files we're discussing. It just took a little extra work on the translation group's part before they started translating.

                                    Good luck, and post back if you run into any problems.
                                    • 15. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                      KAMcintyre Level 1
                                      Hi Ben,

                                      I received the .hhk, .hhc, and .glo translated files back for French, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and German. They compile fine. However, the special characters for these languages are not showing up correctly. The text in the topics that was originally translated are fine. It's just the toc, index, and glossary. I expected to get these files back and all would be fine...but guess not. Any help on why this is happening?

                                      Also, I compile the Korean and it shows all boxes. Do you know what I should do hear?

                                      I am kind of panicking as we have a deadline.
                                      • 16. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                        Ben Minson Level 2
                                        For the Korean problem, go to this page and see item 10.

                                        With the European languages, are the special characters corrupted in the WebHelp output? If this is the case, I'd first check the .hhk, .hhc, and .glo files you got back using a text editor. See if the characters are corrupted there. You may need to change the font of the editor to Arial Unicode MS or other Unicode typeface.

                                        If things are okay there, go into the output folders and look for the whxdata folder. Open some of the files there in a text editor and see how they look--are the characters corrupted there?

                                        Post back with results, and we'll go from there.
                                        • 17. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                          Ben Minson Level 2
                                          By the way, changing your text editor font shouldn't affect the output--it will just allow you to see whether the characters are really corrupted or not.
                                          • 18. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                            KAMcintyre Level 1
                                            Thanks Ben,
                                            It is the compiled output, where the special characters are wrong. The
                                            The hhc, hhk and glo files are fine. It is just the output. I am looking at some files in the whxdata folder and they seem to be okay. Are there specific files I should be looking at?

                                            Thanks for all your help. I need it.
                                            • 19. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                              KAMcintyre Level 1
                                              Hi Ben,
                                              I looked at some of the output files in the whxdata folder and some do look like they are not using the correct characters. For example:
                                              whgdata0.xml, whidata0.xml, whidx.xml, whtdata1.xml ....I'm sure there are more. What next?

                                              Also, as far as the Korean, I did open the source files, selected the topic and changes to Arial Unicode MS; the characters showed up in topic. I then followed the other steps in the control panel but don't have a cd. I guess I need to get from our IT department.
                                              • 20. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                                Ben Minson Level 2
                                                The output files that contain the actual content of the TOC, index, and glossary are the whtdata...xml, whidata...xml, and whgdata...xml files.

                                                What font are you using in your WebHelp skin? I would try Arial--that at least should display roman special characters. If you're already using Arial, try switching to Arial Unicode MS.

                                                To edit your skin font, switch to Project Set-up in the Project Manager pod, double-click the skin name, and click the Font button in the dialog. (I'm sorry if I don't have quite as many answers for WebHelp--most of my prior localization experience is using FlashHelp output.)
                                                • 21. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                                  KAMcintyre Level 1
                                                  It's me again. I need to clarify something.
                                                  I said the .hhk, .hhc, and glo files look okay and they do. However, when I open the project before I compile, the special characters do not look okay...same when I compile. Just wanted to clarify that. I might have led you astray.

                                                  The translated topic text is okay. It's just the toc, index and glossary where the special characters are wrong.
                                                  • 22. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                                    Ben Minson Level 2
                                                    Kathy,

                                                    I'm willing to take a look at one of the problem projects if there aren't any privacy or security problems with that. Contact me via this page if it is feasible. This sounds like there may be something in your computer settings that's missing, but the only way to tell is if we test it on a comparable machine. Are you using Windows XP SP2?
                                                    • 23. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                                      KAMcintyre Level 1
                                                      Hi Ben,

                                                      Well the HHC, HHK and GLO problem is solved. A line needed to be removed at the top of the HHC and HHK files. They were all saved with UTF-8 signature.

                                                      As far as the Korean, the output files look okay. It is the topic(source files) within Robohelp where the characters look like little boxes. Do I need to care about this if the output looks okay? These are all separate projects.

                                                      I guess I would need to follow the directions in the link you provided to item 10 to enable the view of the characters in Asian languages. Is that correct?

                                                      Thanks again Ben.
                                                      • 24. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                                        Ben Minson Level 2
                                                        Correct, and you're welcome.
                                                        • 25. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                                          KAMcintyre Level 1
                                                          Hi Ben,

                                                          I have another issue but only with the Chinese help file. The search function does not work correctly in the Chinese help file; does not find the correct topic. Any clues on this. We have a deadline Friday. It works in the other languages (Portuguese, French, English, Spanish, Italian, and Korean).

                                                          Appreciate your help. kathy
                                                          • 26. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                                            Ben Minson Level 2
                                                            What are the symptoms? Are any results coming up at all, or just the Chinese equivalent of the "No topics found" message? Or is something else altogether happening?

                                                            • 27. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                                              KAMcintyre Level 1
                                                              Hi Ben,

                                                              The Chinese equivalent of "No topics found" message is coming up for everything. All other languages are okay, in fact it works well.

                                                              Your help is greatly appreciated.
                                                              • 28. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                                                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                                                Hope Ben won't mind me popping in just to check you have applied both patches to RH7.

                                                                • 29. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                                                  Ben Minson Level 2
                                                                  Kathy, I found this thread on the Chinese problem in RH7 WebHelp. I hope it helps; Peter's verdict was to report the bug and possibly integrate ZoomSearch. I believe his site, http://www.grainge.org, explains how to integrate the two, and he has said it is a low-cost and simple solution for better searching in RH outputs.
                                                                  • 30. Re: Localizing Robohelp 7 Project
                                                                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                                                    The ZoomSearch page needs an update for RH7 I discovered today. Seems in RH7 the two JS files that get imported should not be deleted. Leave them in and it all works.