8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 22, 2009 12:39 PM by cvgs

    Can a RH project be reused from one project release to the next?

    cvgs Level 1

      What is the best practice here?

       

      I'm using RoboHelp 7 and FM 8 in TCS1. I'm working in an XP environment. I add my FM books by reference to my RH project.

       

      It's a real pain to have to map all my styles, and set the autonumbering and pagination settings.  Would it make sense to just re-use the project again?  Could I just zip up the Help project at the end of the release?

       

      What would happen if in an earlier release I had 10 chapters in the book, but then in the next release I deleted a chapter?  Would all of the topics in the deleted chapter be deleted from the RH project?

       

      Maybe there is a way to save my settings and import them into a new project?

       

      I would appreciate feedback.

        • 1. Re: Can a RH project be reused from one project release to the next?
          Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I know in the TCS 2's RH8 you can save some settings in a settings.isf file for re-use on other projects, but I'm not sure what you're trying to achieve. The whole point of linking FM to RH in the TCS is to do the mappings once & then just update the RH project whenever the FM books/docs change. The settings stay the same each time you update.

           

          The structure of my FM project isn't allowing me to link, but I can import - then I have to do the settings over & over again because each time it's a "new" project.

          • 2. Re: Can a RH project be reused from one project release to the next?
            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

            Once a version of your software has been released, you can carry on using the project for the next release. Before you do that though, I recommend you copy the source project so that if ever you have to recreate or amend the output for that version, you can use that copy. The updated project will contain changes you do not want.

             

            I don't work with FM but I would have thought all you need to do is make a copy of the FM document as well.

             

            I would test this with some simple reversible changes before you go too far.

             


            See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Can a RH project be reused from one project release to the next?
              cvgs Level 1

              I continued to look through the postings on the forum and found that it is possible to save most of those pesky FrameMaker-RoboHelp style mappings.  You just click Edit on the Style Settings tab of the FrameMaker Document Settings dialog box. On the FrameMaker-RoboHelp Style Mappings dialog box, click Save as.... The Save as dialog box opens, and you can navigate to the location where you want to save the file.  Choose .xml as the file type.  Click OK. Then in the next release, just import the .xml file.  This is done on theFrameMaker-RoboHelp Style Mappings dialog box.  You still have to designate pagination settings and the autonumbering, but the hard work is done. Jeff, this should help you.

               

              Jeff, I'm curious.  You say that you can't link your FM project.  Are you adding the files by reference?

              • 4. Re: Can a RH project be reused from one project release to the next?
                cvgs Level 1

                Peter, as usual, you have been very helpful. If you'll read my reply to Jeff on this same thread, you'll see that I have found a solution to my problem.  I think that solution is easy enough that I will just create new help projects for each release instead of reusing the same project.

                 

                Thanks again.

                • 5. Re: Can a RH project be reused from one project release to the next?
                  Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  No, I can't get RH to accept and play nice with my FM "book of books" structure when I try and link the files (that's the file add by reference you're referring to, I think). In FM I have a master.book that consists of about 60 or so "sub-books", each of which have 5 .fm files inside them.

                   

                  When I tried pulling the master.book into RH by linking, the import would sometimes work, but if you tried to save the project, it would crash RH. And if that didn't crash it, doing a Force Update or Update All sure would. Adobe Support got all the details, but couldn't figure out what caused it or how to fix it.

                   

                  Importing it still hassles you (when you click on the Edit button in the FM to RH dialog, it starts reading in all the FM books & files; then it starts throwing messages like "xxxx.book is not a valid FM book" for every book in the master.book, but clicking Ok makes it ignore the warning and proceed), but it will end up importing the FM files and properly turn them into the topics according to the settings I specify. Support doesn't know what's happening in this scenario either ;>)

                   

                  The only settings.isf file I've managed to save is at the beginning of creating a new project - that's when I can use File > Project Settings > Edit FM settings. When doing the actual import, there's no place to have the project remember all the paragraph pagination or character exclusions, so I end up setting it up from scratch each time. The only thing that it can remember is the Other Settings > Context Sensitive Help Marker field and my own custom fmstyles.css. Better than nothing!

                  • 6. Re: Can a RH project be reused from one project release to the next?
                    cvgs Level 1

                    So instead of a book of chapters you have a book of books?  I didn't know you could do that.  Why would you want to do that?

                     

                    By any chance are you using structured FM?  We are and we had some problems with it until we realized that in the conversion process from ditamap to FM book, FM threw in some extra tags that had to be eliminated.  Once they were eliminated, many of our problems went away.

                     

                    Have you tried clicking Save As after you have mapped your style settings and saving it as an .xml.  I've tested it several times and it works like a charm.  Then you only have to do the pagination and autonumbering settings.

                    • 7. Re: Can a RH project be reused from one project release to the next?
                      Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      It's all in unstructured FM. It gave it a better shape because our software is highly modular & it was easier to reflect that with the book of books concept. It also allows for the creation of a top-level ToC and Index that pulls from all the sub-books contents. It's also easier to just grab 1 master.book instead of pulling in 60+ module books ;>)

                       

                      I'm not sure where you're referring to when you say "click Save As after mapping"; I don't see where you can do that - all I've ever seen is the Export Settings button on the File > Project Settings > main tab.

                      • 8. Re: Can a RH project be reused from one project release to the next?
                        cvgs Level 1

                        Jeff,

                         

                        I just re-read this thread and it seems that we are on different versions of RH.  I'm on RH7 in Tech Comm Suite 1 and you are on RH8 in TCS2.  So that's why you have an export project settings and I don't.

                         

                        Even with all of the bugs, RH is still a great product.  I just wish we could upgrade every time they have a new release.

                         

                        Have a good day!