13 Replies Latest reply on Oct 2, 2010 8:30 PM by TWBDM

    Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects

    TWBDM

      We are going from Robohelp HTML x5.0.2 to Robohelp HTML 8.0.2.208, so there is obviously a huge learning curve that we are working through.  We generate to WebHelp and merge 15 projects into a published master.  Our users view the output on our intranet using Internet Explorer 7.

       

      We loved the autonumber format feature in version 8 (particularly the additional bullet styles available and no longer needing to manually renumber steps when something was inserted or deleted), but have run into a problem.

       

      The autonumber items work fine in the projects and when generated and published into the merged master, but when we need to add a link from a topic in one project to a topic in another project it changes the bullets and numbering.

       

      Example: 

      • We have a topic in Project A that references a topic in Project B (both projects are part of the merged master).
      • We insert a link in the Project A topic to the topic in Project B (using Insert Hyperlink - Link To - File).  Everything in both A and B look fine at this point.
      • We preview the topic Project A by clicking on "View Selected Item" (eyeglasses) and then click on the link we inserted to validate it works.  This causes the topic in project B to now have stutter-text for bullets and numbers (i.e., what used to say "1. Step" now says "1. 1. Step").  As more links are added to that topic, it adds more bullets and numbers to the linked topic:

      1.     1.     1.     Procedure

       

                           Bullet

       

       

      o       o       o       Bullet2

       

       

      §        §        §        Bullet3

       

       

                           Bullet4

       

       

      This does not happen when adding links to topics that are in the same project, only when linking to topics that are in another project.

       

      All of our topics are created directly in RoboHelp; we do not import files from Word, FrameMaker, etc.  Each of our projects has the same style sheet (we created 1 CSS file and copied it into each project so that they were all identical).

       

      All of our version 8 projects were created from scratch in version 8, and we have been importing our version 5 topics one by one (and deleting the version 5 styles assigned to them), then applying the applicable version 8 style to each line.  We have attempted creating brand new topics in version 8 to make sure no old legacy version 5 code imported from an old project was causing the issue, and it still happens.  We have tried manually cleaning up the HTML code for the topic and it happens again once a cross-project link is added back to that topic.  We also tried the "Convert RoboHelp edited topics to HTML" to try to get around the XHTML restrictions and it still happened to everything that was an autonumber format, so it appears the issue is something with that one of these.  We created styles for each autonumber format we wanted to use (using the options available for Paragraph styles in the Robohelp Style editor), this is a sample of one of them:

       

      p.Bullet {

                      list-style: rh-list;

                      x-list-class: rl-p-Bullet;

                      x-list-level: 1;

      }

      rh-list.rl-p-Bullet {

                      x-level-count: 1;

                      x-lvl-1-format: "<x>";

                      x-lvl-1-type: disc;

      }

       

      While it would be really great to have the additional features of the autonumber format, it may not be a viable option for us since it is only available on the paragraph level and Robohelp 8 does not appear to play well with bullets and numbers in anything other than the list level.  I'm thinking I may need to abandon our current style sheet that uses autonumbering and start over with a new style sheet using only the limited bullets and numbering available on the list level (or possibly go old-school and just use the bullet and number toolbar buttons to add formatting to normal text).  We are about 8,000 topics into our conversion of 40,000.  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

          That is an impressive trick and right now I cannot begin to imagine what is causing this!

           

          Autonumbering does use the code for lists but linking to another topic and getting multiple bullets is bizarre.

           

          There is an item in Using RoboHelp 8 on my site that covers lists but I don't think anything there would cover this. Are you able to set up a small merge with just a few topics in each project (say two or three projects in the merge) that shows this? If you can, send it as instructed on the contact page on my site. Please include a link to this thread.

           

          The only other test you might want to try first is instead of importing from X5, upgrade that project and then import. Does that make any difference?

           


          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

           

          @petergrainge

          • 2. Re: Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects
            TWBDM Level 1

            I'd love to send you the test projects I set up, but unfortunately my company has blocked that ability.  I created brand new blank projects in Robohelp 8 using the default style sheet with an autonumber bullet and numbered step added and nothing else.  I thought this bare-minimum approach would be the best way to make sure it wasn't something we had set up incorrectly that on our end.  I used the default First Topics in each project and added numbered and bullet texts using the style sheet to Project 1 and then added a link to that topic in Project 2.  I didn't even generate the projects and I still had the issue when I previewed the Project 2 topic and clicked the link.

             

            I've attached a copy of the info on the topic in Project 1 and the code behind the scenes for it below:

            First Topic

            1.     1.     1.     Procedure

            o       o       o       Bullet

            o       o       o       Bullet

            2.     2.     2.     Procedure

             

            Code before link in Project 2:

            <?rh-list_start level="1" an="1" class="rl-p-Procedure" ?><p class="Procedure">Procedure</p><?rh-list_end ?>

            <?rh-list_start level="1" an="1" class="rl-p-Bullet" ?><p class="Bullet">Bullet</p><?rh-list_end ?>

            <?rh-list_start level="1" an="1" class="rl-p-Bullet" ?><p class="Bullet">Bullet</p><?rh-list_end ?>

            <?rh-list_start level="1" an="1" class="rl-p-Procedure" ?><p class="Procedure">Procedure</p><?rh-list_end ?>

            </body>

            </html>

             

            Code after link in Project 2 was added and clicked:

            <?rh-list_start level="1" an="1" class="rl-p-Procedure" ?><p class="Procedure">1.<span

            style="font: 6.0pt 'Times New Roman';">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span>Procedure</p><?rh-list_end ?>

            <?rh-list_start level="1" an="1" class="rl-p-Bullet" ?><p class="Bullet"><span

            style="font-family: 'Courier New';">o</span><span style="font: 6.0pt 'Times New Roman';">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span>Bullet</p><?rh-list_end ?>

            <?rh-list_start level="1" an="1" class="rl-p-Bullet" ?><p class="Bullet"><span

            style="font-family: 'Courier New';">o</span><span style="font: 6.0pt 'Times New Roman';">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span>Bullet</p><?rh-list_end ?>

            <?rh-list_start level="1" an="1" class="rl-p-Procedure" ?><p class="Procedure">2.<span

            style="font: 6.0pt 'Times New Roman';">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span>Procedure

             

            Code after link in Project 2 clicked a second time:

            <?rh-list_start level="1" an="1" class="rl-p-Procedure" ?><p class="Procedure">1.<span

            style="font: 6.0pt 'Times New Roman';">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span>1.<span

            style="font: 6.0pt 'Times New Roman';">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span>Procedure</p><?rh-list_end ?>

            <?rh-list_start level="1" an="1" class="rl-p-Bullet" ?><p class="Bullet"><span

            style="font-family: 'Courier New';">o</span><span style="font: 6.0pt 'Times New Roman';">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span><span

            style="font-family: 'Courier New';">o</span><span style="font: 6.0pt 'Times New Roman';">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span>Bullet</p><?rh-list_end ?>

            <?rh-list_start level="1" an="1" class="rl-p-Bullet" ?><p class="Bullet"><span

            style="font-family: 'Courier New';">o</span><span style="font: 6.0pt 'Times New Roman';">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span><span

            style="font-family: 'Courier New';">o</span><span style="font: 6.0pt 'Times New Roman';">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span>Bullet</p><?rh-list_end ?>

            <?rh-list_start level="1" an="1" class="rl-p-Procedure" ?><p class="Procedure">2.<span

            style="font: 6.0pt 'Times New Roman';">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span>2.<span

            style="font: 6.0pt 'Times New Roman';">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span>Procedure

             

            Logically there is no reason that clicking on a link that is outside of the project should be able to recode the topic being displayed, but it is.

            • 3. Re: Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

              Have you tried uploading to CuteSendIt?

               

              Can you not upload it from outside the office?

               

              There is no way a link can affect the target topic so there has to be something very odd here and only seeing the projects will do it.

               


              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

               

              @petergrainge

              • 4. Re: Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects
                TWBDM Level 1

                Sorry.  I can't send it from outside the office because the files reside on the network here, and all file sharing sites are blocked.  Do you have a different FTP site I could try uploading to or could I email it as an attachment to you?  The test projects are pretty small so the zip file is is only 1,484 kb.

                • 5. Re: Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                  Hold on! "All the files reside on the network"

                   

                  RoboHelp projects must be run from a local drive, end of story.

                   

                  See Snippet 100 on my site. Move the project and tidy things up. Then see if you still get problems.

                   


                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                   

                  @petergrainge

                  • 6. Re: Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects
                    TWBDM Level 1

                    I know, but that's not an option here.    We don't even have access to a local drive that is not on the network, and have been working with Robohelp on the network (and all it's quirks, crashes, and downtime) for over 5 years.

                    • 7. Re: Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects
                      RoboColum(n) Level 5

                      That may well be true but the barrel with the bullet in is one step closer to your temple if you continue down this road. At the heart of every RoboHelp project is an MS Access database in the form of a CPD file. These are notorious for causing issues when accessed on a network drive that magically disappear when moved to a local drive. It's your choice.


                        The RoboColum(n)   @robocolumn   Colum McAndrew
                      • 8. Re: Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects
                        TWBDM Level 1

                        I wish it were my choice, but this is the IT environment we work in and the software "solution" provided to us for our online documentation.  We have 3 Robohelp authors who all need access to the same projects (although obviously not at the same time), so having the files on a hard drive isn't really viable because it would seriously limit our ability to support the constant revisions needed.  Source Control also doesn't appear to be the solution either, because in order for all of us to have access to checkout files to work on our local drive (if we had one), the original files would have to be on the network and would then already be tainted by whatever it is in the network that gives Robohelp grief.

                         

                        We just have to deal with the extra "features" in RoboHelp and do our best to make it work.

                        • 9. Re: Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects
                          RoboColum(n) Level 5

                          The network drive problem only comes into play if your RH project is open when the source is located on a network drive. You can safely have the files located (i.e. backed up) on a network drive. Therefore a source control database can be used and would support a multi-author environment. The source would be checked out from the shared database to a local drive for the author to change. When they are finished, they are checked back in to the source control database. This way the RH project is only opened on a local drive.


                            The RoboColum(n)   @robocolumn   Colum McAndrew
                          • 10. Re: Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects
                            TWBDM Level 1

                            Actually, this particular problem is not caused by our network environment.  Adobe support was able to recreate the issue on their end in a non-network environment.

                             

                            What they found is that this issue will happen with Autonumber formats if when linking between projects in WebHelp you link directly to the topic files in the other project.  In order to avoid it, you need to link directly to the version of the file that is in the SSL file for that other project.

                             

                            Unfortunately, when the SSL file lives in a merged project and not in the individual projects themselves, the new links to the SSL output no longer work once the merged project is published.

                             

                            Oh well, just another feature that we will work around.  Time for a new style sheet without the autonumber formats and reapplying that to all our files.  Then onward with our normal issues of slowness and crashing due to our network environment.

                            • 11. Re: Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects
                              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                              I would very much appreciate it if you would contact me offline (see Contact page on my site) and let me have the incident number. Even on a single project that would surely result in broken links and I would like to take this up elsewhere in Adobe.

                               


                              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                               

                              @petergrainge

                              • 12. Re: Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects
                                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                                I would like to know how they recreated it too. I just set up a merge with autonumbering and lists in the topics. Here's what I get.

                                autonumbeing.jpg

                                I would share the project with you but how?

                                 

                                Main point though is that all the topics in this merge have these images and lists and they all work as they should.

                                 


                                See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                 

                                @petergrainge

                                • 13. Re: Autonumber formats change after topics are linked across projects
                                  TWBDM Level 1

                                  I downloaded the trial version of Robohelp at home, created new test projects and experienced the same issue, and sent through CuteSendIt so you can look at them.