6 Replies Latest reply on Feb 4, 2010 6:58 AM by IainCliffe

    RoboHTML Questions (bullets, TOC, inherited styles).

    IainCliffe Level 1

      Hello All,


      I'm working through whats involved in the 'set-up phase' before porting all our application help to HTMLHelp with RoboHelp8. I've got quite far down the road now with styles and master pages but have a few questions:


      1) How do I set my own bullet style (BulletBlue) to be the default bullet style ? i.e. When I click on the bullet icon I always get the basic black bullets and it's going to be incredibly annoying to have to format the lists every time.


      2) In WinHelp I used a 'keep with next' style to force the main topic header to stay at the top of the page and not disappear when scrolling. Can I do something similar with HTMLHelp ?


      3) I want to change the TOC book/page images from purple to navy blue. No problem creating an BMP image strip if that is what is needed but there is a worrying line in the documentation that states something like 'you must compile the help file into the installed location otherwise it may not work'. Surely this is not true ... customers install software wherever they want to - I can't force them to install in a particular directory. Does anyone have experience or guidance on this or - dare I hope - a blue image strip ??


      4) It seems that RoboHelp insists on copying the stylesheets and images used in the styles into the project directory. I hate clutter in there and would much prefer to have a CSS directory (not least as I will re-using the styles across multiple help files). Is there any way to point the styles towards another directory so that any changes are updated in that directory and not locally in the project folder ?


      5) Inside Robohelp my lovely clean stylesheet is polluted with a host of 'inherited' styles which I don't want to use and don't want to see in the style pod. Can I remove them or hide them from view during general working ? My main concern is that multiple people will be working on the projects and I want to enforce discipline with styles where I can.


      6) Is there any way to keyboard shortcut to styles ? I see that I can use CTRL+ALT+1/2/3 for headings and CTRL+SHIFT+N for normal but I'd really like a map for 'tip', 'warning', heading 4, etc. ? This is more of an efficiency issue and is compounded by all the inherited styles in the selectors (see Q5).


      Many thanks in advance for any help or advise you can offer.


        • 1. Re: RoboHTML Questions (bullets, TOC, inherited styles).
          Willam van Weelden Adobe Community Professional & MVP



          A short anwser to some of your questions:


          1) In your style sheet, set a style for UL (in an external editor). This will then be the standard style for all bulleted lists. Extra styles, can overwrite this styling, so you can use multiple list styles. Note: RH WYSIWYG doesn't (always) display this correctly.


          2) You can and for modern browsers, this is a breeze. However, because of MS crappiness, it involves scripting. See http://www.howtocreate.co.uk/fixedPosition.html.


          4) Well, I'd say to keep the CSS in your local folders. If you want the CSS in your CHM, it has to be in the output. Else you'll have to use an external link to the CSS and you'll need to publish the CSS separately. Personally, I use VSS: I have one file in source control that is shared over multiple projects.


          5) Remove what you don't need. Just note, Robo needs H1-H5 and will add them when those headings are not present. Also, RH will add styles for dropdown hyperlinks when you add a dropdown.


          6) Not that I know of. You could use a third party macro program to do it for you.






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          • 2. Re: RoboHTML Questions (bullets, TOC, inherited styles).
            Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            3) I think you're getting confused about where you as the .chm creator are CREATING the help vs. where your client will INSTALL the help. When you create the help file, your Single Source Layout dictates where the help is created. How you pick it up and distribute to your clients is up to you - just remember that because of MS's security changes, .chm's don't work very easily on network drives without some tweaking of the workstation settings. Most people keep them local on their C:\ drive someplace.

            • 3. Re: RoboHTML Questions (bullets, TOC, inherited styles).
              IainCliffe Level 1

              Thanks for your replies  :


              1) This is exactly what have I done but it's not working. If I click on the bullet button in the application I get a 'standard' bullet and the underlying html reads :


              <ul type="disc">
                  <li>yada yada...</li>


              This is nothing to do with me or my stylesheet. I have OL & UL stylised the way I want them. The only way I can apply my bulleted style to bullets is to do it manually (e.g. Format -List - Bullets and Numbering - Custom).  What I'd like is to click on the bullet icon when I want bullets and to get my pre-defined bullet styles...Only my stylesheet is in play - excepting the possibility of RH using one it's not telling me about or showing me.



              3) In the help (HTML Help Settings - TOC Styles) it states :


              ' Note: Generate the HTML Help output to the same path as where the .CHM file will be installed on end users' systems, so that the link to the custom image is preserved. If the .CHM file is moved, end users will see an error message when they open the .CHM file. For example, if the .CHM file will be installed to C:\HelpSystem on users' systems, generate the output to that folder from the single source layout.'


              This sounds very much like the images are not carried in the CHM format and I need to either enforce an installation directory for users (not an option) or am unable to change the TOC book/page images ??


              5) I've been trying to remove or hide the inherited styles both from the style pod and from the CSS interface. They are not in my stylesheet so I'm not sure where they are being inherited from or whether I can hide them.

              • 4. Re: RoboHTML Questions (bullets, TOC, inherited styles).
                Willam van Weelden Adobe Community Professional & MVP



                The inline styling is a pain...

                As I see it, there are two options:

                1. Remove the inline styling in HTML mode. I always do this, since it's the most secure and the styling will directly take the style from your stylesheet.

                2. Overwrite the inline style in your CSS. Find the style you want to use, and add !important behind it, like this:


                UL {

                     font-size: 12pt;

                     list-style-type: square !important;



                The pain with 2 is that it overwrites all styling, also manually defined lists, unless you use another style with the !important statement. Also, afaik, RH only uses the CSS you set for a topic.






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                • 5. Re: RoboHTML Questions ( TOC icons & position:fixed).
                  IainCliffe Level 1

                  Thanks - that does solve the bullet issue which was causing headaches.


                  I'm not having any joy making my Heading 1 style fixed at the top. This is a solid bar of blue (background colour) with white text (topic title) and the idea is that it is locked at the top as you scroll so that the topic title is always visible. I understand that position:fixed is the correct css implementation of this but it isn't working for me...


                  Does anyone have experience or feedback on changing the TOC iconography (I'm after blue books/pages) ? I'm concerned about the warning in the help - see post above - but this seems so strange a requirement that I think it must be wrong ?




                  • 6. Re: RoboHTML Questions ( TOC icons & position:fixed).
                    IainCliffe Level 1

                    Found the answer to the custom image strip question and it is indeed hats off to MS engineering...


                    <-- SNIP--

                    Using a custom Icon Strip

                    You can also use external icon files although Microsoft (in their infinite wisdom) did not provide a way to compile the external icon strip right into the help file and use it. Instead you have to link the external strip externally.

                    As it turns out this is a lousy mechanism because you need to know a fully qualified path to the icon file and the CHM engine provides no easy way to know what directory the CHM file lives in.

                    The only way I've found to do this is to reference the icon file externally in the Windows directory or a directory relative to it because there is a %systemroot% environment variable that can be used to specify the path to the icon file.


                    <-- END Snip --


                    This is too much of a thunk for me so I'll live with the standard ones.


                    Only remaining question is whether (how to) set a fixed title at the top of the page ? It should I think be a mix of position:fixed and z-index:1 but that's having no effect for me.


                    Any help most welcome.