5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 30, 2010 11:07 AM by kmaddox1

    adding links between two SSL outputs from the same project?

    kmaddox1 Level 1

      I suspect this question has a simple answer, but I want to confirm my approach before I get too far along. I am entering hyperlinks between projects in a merged help system and want to know if there are issues with linking to files in the Generated folder instead of to files in the Source folder.


      Specifically, I followed Peter Grainge's very helpful instructions to create a merged help system with one parent and 12 children. Up until now, all the cross-project links have been between files in the Source folder, and they work great.


      Now, I have generated two different WebHelp systems from one of my child projects (that is, the X User's Guide and the Z User's Guide). Since both projects use the same source files, I'm not sure how to format links between the two systems. What I'm seeing is that if I link from an "X" topic to a "Z" topic in the Source folder, the "Z" topics appear with the X conditional build tag applied, which is not what I want. It does work if I create links that go directly to files in the Generated folder for the Z User's Guide, but I'm not sure if there are issues in setting up the links that way. Before I commit myself to taking this approach, are there any gotchas for creating cross project links that go to the generated files? Or is there a better way to achieve my goal?


        • 1. Re: adding links between two SSL outputs from the same project?
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Hi Kathy


          I suspect our dear friend Peter is about to retire for the evening seeing as how it's now 10:16 PM where he lives. So here's my own take on things unless he's awake and pops in.


          Any time you create links in RoboHelp, the RoboHelp editor attempts to create them in a "relative" manner. When links are created this way, things just work when you begin copying all the files from your development PC to the server. So assuming you are working as I believe Peter recommends, you have all sibling projects at the same level. For the sake of argument and sheer simplicity, I'll make the assumption you are linking between topics at the project root level. In this case, the link would need to traverse up one folder level, then drop into the sibling folder and link to the desired topic:


          Master Container

          >> Child 1

          >>>> Topic 1.htm

          >> Child 2

          >>>> Topic 1.htm


          ../ takes us up a folder level into Master Container. Child 2 is the new folder and Topic 1 is the topic. So our link looks like this:


          ../Child 2/Topic 1.htm


          Now if you link to the topic in the output, you are probably going to create a link that looks like this in the end:


          !SSL!/WebHelp/MergedProjects/Child 2/Topic 1.htm


          That will likely fail miserably in the end.


          I'm pretty sure Peter will agree that linking within source is the way to fly. Personally, I think you are seeing a red herring with the CBT things going on.


          Cheers... Rick


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          • 2. Re: adding links between two SSL outputs from the same project?
            kmaddox1 Level 1

            Hi Rick,


            You are exactly right in how the two different links are appearing in the HTML. I was hoping there wouldn't be problems linking to topics in the generated output. I wouldn't ordinarily do that, but I'm not sure how to get around the CBT things I'm seeing when I create links between topics in the Source folder. My issue may be completely attributable to operator error/misunderstanding since I'm just coming up to speed with conditional build tags and variables. Here's what's happening:


            I'm using one set of source files to generate two WebHelp systems (ABC User's Guide and the XYZ User's Guide). Both guides share most of the same files, and I've been able to control the few minor differences with my ABC and XYZ conditional build tags and user variables. So far, so good. The problem arises when I try to create links between the two help systems. For example, in my "Application Basics" topic (same file used for both outputs), I want to create two links:


            • A link that ABC users can click to access the XYZ User's Guide.
            • A link that XYZ users can click to access the ABC User's Guide


            While I have no problem showing and hiding the links themselves when I generate the two help systems, it appears that the ABC conditional build tag is still being applied when the XYZ topic is displayed and vice versa. That is, users are not actually going to the other help system.


            The only way I've figured out how to make this work is to link directly to the appropriate topic in the Generated output. But perhaps I'm missing something obvious?

            • 3. Re: adding links between two SSL outputs from the same project?
              Amebr Level 4

              Just to clarify your setup.



              Parent project

              ---Child 1

              ---Child 2

              ---Child 3

              ---Child 4




              Parent project


              ------Child 1

              ------Child 2

              ------Child 3a

              ------Child 3b

              ------Child 4


              Is this correct?


              If so, it might be possible to handcraft the relative links.


              The link between Child 3a and Child 3b should look something like this - working from the output location, but maintaining the general relativity ():


              ../Child 3b/myfile.htm


              (I think it translates as 'up to mergedhelp', 'down to child 3b'. But you'll have to play around a little bit depending on your folder structure.)


              I think it will show up as a broken link, or result in an annoying warning, but it should work. Or RH will "fix" it for you. I'm sure Peter will jump in with further information at some point.



              • 4. Re: adding links between two SSL outputs from the same project?
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                Do you really only want to createTWO links?


                If it is just a case of allowing an ABC user to access the XYZ guide, you could either create a link that opens the other project or you could create a PDF of it and add that to the ABC guide.


                If you want to create multiple links to specific topics, then does it matter that the user is aware they are accessing the other guide?

                • If it does, then I would create links that open the other project in a new window and go to the topic. That will be fun!
                • If not, then I would use build tags so the topic is in the build of ABC.


                See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips



                • 5. Re: adding links between two SSL outputs from the same project?
                  kmaddox1 Level 1

                  Thanks so much, Amber!


                  After a bit of trial (and an embarrassing amount of error ), I finally figured out how to link from the XYZ User's Guide to the ABC User's Guide. When inserting the hyperlink from the XYZ topic in the Source, I clicked File and simply browsed to the ABC start page in the Generated Output. Then, I manually modified the absolute path that RH inserted to this relative path:




                  The gist of your instructions was right on--it just took me a while to realize that I needed to navigate up one more level since the referring XYZ topic is in a subfolder, not at the root of the project.