5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 16, 2007 10:12 PM by Peter Grainge

    Relative links

      Our corporate intranet is being moved from a Microsoft web server to an Oracle Portal environment, and the folder structure has changed due to a redesign. My team maintains 43 RoboHelp (ver. 5) help systems and we're charged with the task of changing 1600+ links that were previously Absolute links (http) to Relative links within the Oracle file structure.

      After testing we discovered that the relative path has to be different if the link is coming directly from a TOC page or book, than a topic - very strange, but we overcame the challenge. However, a more serious challenge is now facing us. After converting 4 help systems, I realized that those relative links (to folders all outside of the help system) do not show up on the External Links report!

      This is a serious issue since we use the External Link report every time there is a change in file structure (which has happened twice this year - we have no control over what the intranet team decides to do).

      Does anyone have an idea what we can do about this? We're scheduled for a RoboHelp 6 upgrade next month, will that behave any differently with these relative links?

      What used to be http://infonet/Library/HelpProcedures/ABCHelp/index.htm
      Is now /portal/page/portal/HelpFiles/ABCHelp/index.htm
      And in the case of a TOC link, we have to enter /portal/HelpFiles/ABCHelp/index.htm (dropping the extra portal/page) otherwise the link doesn't work.

      Another issue is that those external links no longer display in the TOC with the globe, they now look like all the other topics.

      Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated!

        • 1. Re: Relative links
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
          Hi Teresa

          One thought that occurs is to use a redirect page where you need that external link. Since the redirect would be part of the project, it wouldn't really need any maintenance other than first establishing where the redirect would take the user. And if you placed them all in the same folder location, you could easily maintain that list you desire of the external links.

          Just a thought... Rick
          • 2. Re: Relative links
            THessler Level 1
            Thanks Rick,

            We can't set redirects from the old intranet pages to the new ones because IT is taking the old environment down.

            If what you're suggesting is creating a links page or pages in the help system that contain the absolute links and topic names linking to them, that is a possibility. However, it would be very time consuming as we currently have more than 1600 links external to our 43 help systems.

            I was hoping that RoboHelp 6 might provide a way to overcome this issue - does anyone out there have experience with RoboHelp 6 using relative links that are outside the RoboHelp Server 6 environment?

            • 3. Re: Relative links
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
              Relative links should work from the topics but your point was you want them to be absolute links because of the way you work. I am not able to test at the moment.

              What I didn't follow was why the relative link from a TOC entry should be any different from a relative link from a topic in the root of your project. Something does not seem right there. A relative link is a relative link no matter what it is in.

              • 4. Re: Relative links
                THessler Level 1
                Hi Peter,

                Thanks for your response. The issue is that we had been using absolute links because the files we linked to were housed on a different intranet server than the published webhelp. Now they are all going to live within the same Oracle Portal file structure - and we could continue using absolute links if we wanted to, however, IT isn't ready to do a one-time transition from the old intranet to the new one so they are using "intranet" and "newintranet" server addresses right now. Therefore, we decided to use relative links so when they change the server name to regular "intranet" we won't have to change all those absolute links again.

                The big problem here is that RoboHelp 5 does not recognize those relative links as being EXTERNAL, and therefore we can't run a valid external links report.

                Why the TOC relative links don't work the same as topic relative links is a complete mystery to everyone - we just played with it until we got it to work. When I entered a path using forward slashes in the TOC, RoboHelp changed them to back slashes (all by itself)! And then they didn't work. I removed a few directory levels from the path and then it worked. Maybe it has something to do with the location of the RoboHelp TOC file in relation to the topic files and the external files?

                It doesn't matter at this point, we need to deal with the lack of external link report data before we proceed with the 39 help systems we haven't yet converted to "newintranet".

                Thanks in advance for any solutions you might be able to provide!
                • 5. Re: Relative links
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                  I just created a test project and in a folder that was one level down from a folder containing an HTML file.

                  Thus c:\test\test.htm and c:\test\rh_project\test.xpj

                  I created a link in a topic that was in the root of the project so the path was ../test.htm

                  Generated and it worked fine.

                  Then I added a page to the TOC and used the same relative link. Generated and the page appeared in the TOC. I got a Page Cannot be Displayed but I am pretty sure that is because I am working locally and the target is not on a server.

                  One thing I found in setting this up was


                  works. If you enter it as


                  it does not work.

                  Enter it as


                  and it works because RoboHelp strips out ../../ leaving the correct relative link.

                  If your target files have spaces, you could have a problem that I cannot test without access to a server. Try putting the quotes around just the file name if that is an issue. Might fool it.

                  Not sure if the next bit is good news or bad news.

                  The link to the external topic does not show in the External Links report but it does show in Broken Links. Trouble is that will mask links that really are broken. You will need to use something else such as Xenu. There's a link on my site.

                  Let us know how you get on with that. I recommend setting up a test project as it is so much easier to see what is going on without all the clutter of a real project.