2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 26, 2011 6:29 AM by namedujour

    RH9 TOC Links to PDF files are quirky

    namedujour Level 1

      I have a project that consists of TOC book links to PDF files. In RH6 I always just manually popped them into the \!SSL!\WebHelp folder and linked to them from TOC books because importing them into the project took days. Or 20 minutes at least. Some of these files were 300 pages, so I manually loaded the smaller files too, to maintain procedural consistency. Either way, manually loading them is fastest so it just makes sense.


      I'm doing this in RH9, and it works just fine in the live project. The problem is in Robohelp. No sooner do I close the project and reopen it, but all the books have question marks with crosses through them as if they have broken links. They do not.  The links are STILL fine, and when I compile the project they open, just as they should. In RH6 this wasn't remotely an issue.


      Is this a bug? I went back and redid the links twice before realizing it wasn't me, it was Robohelp. So whenever I open a project that has a TOC book link to an outside file, like a .pdf, or .ppt, or xls or whatever, is this going to happen? I lose visual clues for the broken links because they ALL appear to be broken?

        • 1. Re: RH9 TOC Links to PDF files are quirky
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Hi Maureen


          I used to encounter this all the time with RoboHelp X5. And it coaxed me into developing what I feel is an interesting and more reliable approach.


          Have you noticed that even on a fast intranet it seems to take an inordinate amount of time to open a PDF? I mean, with most of your topics, the user clicks and nearly instantly something happens. The topic generally loads right up in the topic pane. But a PDF, Word document or other file seems to take eons to load. Well, comparatively.


          So I developed this thing I referred to as a "docfetch". Basically, I created regular RoboHelp topics. Linked those topics to the books pages or whatever. Then configured those topics to redirect to the PDF, Word document or other.


          The expected benefit was that because I was now actually linking to topics in the project, those funky mysteriously broken links in the TOC disappeared. The unexpected side benefit was that users then saw an immediate response to clicking the link. I configured each of these topics to present some verbiage to the effect that they should please wait as the document was being opened. This put a stop to users reporting that things were "broken" as they then saw an immediate response.


          The code you need will be placed in the HTML of the topic. Just insert it somewhere in the Head area.


          <meta HTTP-EQUIV=refresh CONTENT="3;URL=File_Name.pdf">


          Of course you will want to adjust it to suit your own needs. For example, the line above is configured for a 3 second delay. You may want a shorter (or longer) delay. And you would adjust File_Name.pdf to reflect the path and file name of the PDF (or other file) you are linking to.


          Hope this helps... Rick



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          • 2. Re: RH9 TOC Links to PDF files are quirky
            namedujour Level 1

            It works PERFECTLY!!!! Thank you so much!