You can create a blank topic, with this added inside the HEAD section:
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL=path/file_name.htm" />
The blank topic can be linked to from another topic, TOC, etc. The content="0 indicates a zero display in launching the target file.
If you'd prefer to add a "Loading the file you requested" type of text instead, just change that zero to a manageable number in milliseconds to allow users to comfortably read your sparkling prose.
The redirect code worked like a charm.
I assume the "dummy" topic and the "target" topic have to be in the same folder (i.e., there was no virtual path designation ../..).
That is not a problem.
Now I have to deploy it in the app to see if it works there (which I am pretty sure it will).
What this solution has basically done is allowed me to combine 35 topics into one for actual content that provides a jumping off point.
I still have to create the 35 topics but they are hidden from TOC, turned Search off for these and they have no index entries.
THANK YOU SO MUCH
(I did remember seeing some information on redirect in the Merged Projects collateral I found from the Adobe Developer Center but did not equate it to my current issue).
This forum and the community of people here really rock !!!
Thanks again --
Michael F Weart
I have added a wrinkle to this redirect paradigm...
(1) We have a MicroStrategy based web application
(2) We have implemented an Excel plug-in that installs on the client's hard drive and it includes a local CHM help file
(3) I created a separate help project for the Excel Plug-In content and merged it into the webhelp for web application
(4) I created a CHM help project with one topic that redirects to the webhelp
(5) In my initial testing, I redirected from the CHM to a topic in the "parent" help project using the full URL (webserver, help folder, help topic)
(6) That worked fine - it opened the WebHelp browser frameset within a CHM window (I was shocked that worked)
(7) Now, I need to redirect to a topic in the "child" help project but still open the complete application help table of contents
NOTE: I was able to set up a hard coded absolute hyperlink to the primary topic in my "child" help and that worked except only the TOC for the "child" help was displayed. I need to open the entire combined help TOC and display the first topic from the "child" help.
My webhelp has other redirects to support hard coded help topics in the application that I needed to maintain but redirect to my own custom topics (makes it easier for the web developers to implement as all the customizations are within my help). For those, I recreated the hard coded MicroStrategy topics (e.g., Saving_a_document.htm) and redirected to my own topic (e.g., Save_Options.htm) and the redirect code was as follows in the Saving_a_document.htm topic file:
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL=Save_Options.htm" />
But, in the redirects I have currently set up, both topics were all in the same folder.
In this new case, the topic for redirect is in a merged help "child" subfolder within the "parent" WebHelp folder.
(actually the "child" topic is two folders down - inside mergedProjects/ExcelPlugIn subfolders)
AND the topic that is redirecting is in a standalone CHM help file - so I am not starting in my help to begin with.
In my testing, I have successfully:
(1) redirected to a topic in the "parent" help using an absolute path and the entire merged TOC is presented but not the topic I need to display.
(2) rediredted to the primary topic in the "child: help uisng an absolute path and the topic opens with only the "child" TOC.
I am not sure if or how a relative path would work for this implementation.
My other option is to scrap the merged help and put it all in one help project and use an absolute path in the redirect.
I continue to research, but any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Michael F Weart
My developers are telling me that they cannot customize the "Help" link from the Windows-based Excel Plug-In GUI to my webhelp.
They are telling me that they HAVE to open a CHM file (I questioned this several times).
A lot of our clients do not have the ability to install, so they have to have their IT guys install the plug-in. Once installed, they cannot easily download any replacement CHM files. So, in effect, I have ONE SHOT to get all content into the help (in a two week period of time) and get it RIGHT. We wanted the ability to be able to push new help to the clients in an easy way (i.e., deploying the help in one location on a web server rather than individually on each client's hard drive in a CHM file).
So, I started playing with the ability to redirect from the CHM file out to the WebHelp on my web application server.
I created a CHM help with one topic, the window for this CHM help does not display any navigation options.
When I redirect from the CHM file (on my local hard drive) to the WebHelp on the web server, it "looks" like the WebHelp with all navigation options FROM THE WEBHELP.
The one monkey wrench I had was being able to open a "child" topic from the merged help with the entire TOC from parent/child merge.
Upon further research, found the answer to be as follows:
(1) Merge projects for WebHelp - folder structure as follows:
WebHelp (parent outputs to this folder)
----ExcelPlugIn (child outputs to this folder)
(2) The link from the CHM file has to have the absolute reference to the parent folder and "start" page (which is vector.htm)
(3) To link to the topic in the merged child project, I have to provide the file path as follows:
absolute path to the "start" page of the parent and then absolute path from the parent to the specific child topic
So, it looks like this in the CHM file (absolute path in example below has been edited for privacy):
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL=http://99.99.999.99/Analytics/WebHelp/vector.htm#mergedProjects/ExcelPlugIn/CoreLogic_Plug In_Overview.htm" />
I have tested this and it works.
From what I could find on the internet on relative paths, it only goes up the folder structure not down (?) and if you want to go down, you must specify the folders by name (?). That sounded odd to me, but it was probably more my neophyte status on path specifications than anything else.
Below is a screenshot of the HTML Help Viewer window displaying the WebHelp.
So it sounds like you are sorted then.
With a relative link you have to go up to a folder level from which you can then go down to the required folder.
Say you have a folder called Parent and it has two sub folders, Folder 1 and Folder 2 which both have many sub folders. To get from a folder below Folder 1 to a folder below Folder 2 you have to come back to Parent and then spell out the downward path.
If you are Folder 1 and it has a sub-folder called A, you don't need to go up. You use ./ followed by the downward path (note the single dot rather than the double dot that mean go up).
You probably could open the webhelp in a browser window but it would leave the CHM open and the user would have to close both. I'm thinking what you have is easier if it is working as required.
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips