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Normally you see this message if you are running the file you are trying to compile. For example, if you compile a file and afterwards click the button to view it. Then switch back to RoboHelp and attempt to compile again without first closing the file you were viewing.
Normally when I encounter this message, I immediately begin to press Alt+Tab to cycle through my running applications. I then see a blue up pointing arrow. This indicates the running file that needs to be closed. I then switch to it and close it.
Assuming this isn't the case for you, is it possible that the file you are running is stored on a network and you are trying to compile to this location? I ask because you mention "you and a co-worker" are seeing the same message. This also indicates a potentially very serious issue. That would be that you are both working on a file that is stored on a network drive. RoboHelp does not like network drives. you should be working locally off your C drive.
I understand about the message appearing after compiling a file and having the view window opened when trying to compile the file again. I think that has happened to me before and I explained this to my co-worker/trainee.
That was not the problem this time. Although we do not have RoboHelp running on the network we do have compiled versions of the manuals on the network so I was able to conclude that someone with access to the compiled version of the manual had that opened instead of the shortcut.
Thank you so much for your help! I hope you have a wonderful day!