6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 2, 2011 2:12 PM by kab107

    Inability to Access Topics in Design Editor

    kab107

      Hello-

      Our company has a group of 4 Technical Writers who use RoboHelp 8 to develop and mantain Help files for our Operations Dept. The project files we work with are all stored locally on our hard drives and uploaded to a shared area on our network since we need to access the same files at different times.

       

      One of our Technical Writers experienced an issue the other day when she couldn't access any of the topics in the Design Editor for any of the Help files. She could open the project, but when she clicked on any of the topics from the Table of Contents or Topic list, she was unable to see anything in the Design Editor.

       

      Through some research, we were able to determine that a potential fix might be to select Tools....Options....Associations tab and then change the radio button from "Auto-Select Editor" to "Use Default Editor."  It seems to have worked as she can now edit topics in the Design Editor.

       

      However, we have the following questions/concerns:

       

      1.) What is the difference between the two selections?

       

      2.) Can we all share the same files without any issues (e.g. loss of data, formatting, styles, etc.) if we all don't have the same option selected?

       

      3.) Should we have done something else to fix the initial problem?

       

      Any help you can provide is appreciated.

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Inability to Access Topics in Design Editor
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Welcome to our community

           

          However, we have the following questions/concerns:

          1.) What is the difference between the two selections?

           

          When you double-click a topic to make edits, the option to Auto-select will cause RoboHelp to examine the topic code searching for a meta tag indicating what editor was used to create the content. If it sees Microsoft Word, RoboHelp will try and open Microsoft Word to allow you to make edits. If it doesn't find a tag, generally Windows Notepad will open.

           

          If the option to "use default editor" is selected, the topic will open in RoboHelp's editor.

          2.) Can we all share the same files without any issues (e.g. loss of data, formatting, styles, etc.) if we all don't have the same option selected?

           

          The option is agnostic to file data. You should be fine.

          3.) Should we have done something else to fix the initial problem?

           

          Of course the question remains as to why things failed. But they do seem to be working now. So as long as things are working, I wouldn't sweat it.

          However, your explanation rings alarms. I need to ask exactly what the process is for "sharing" the files? It doesn't sound like Source Control is in use. So how do you manage to keep from clobbering one another's work? And I'm assuming when you say the files are stored locally that it means you are simply opening the local copies to make edits, right? If not, you are walking in very dangerous territory.

           

          Cheers... Rick

           

          Helpful and Handy Links

          RoboHelp Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form

          Begin learning RoboHelp HTML 7, 8 or 9 within the day!

          Adobe Certified RoboHelp HTML Training

          SorcerStone Blog

          RoboHelp eBooks

          • 2. Re: Inability to Access Topics in Design Editor
            kab107 Level 1

            Rick,

            Thanks for your quick reply.  Unfortunately, we do not have Source Control in use at present. Didn't quite get the needed IT support to manage this and not quite sure how to do this on our own. We simply make all of the necessary edits to the files on our hard drives and upload and download from the network as needed. Cumbersome I know - but it works for us....for now at least

            • 3. Re: Inability to Access Topics in Design Editor
              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Hello again

               

              Sooo, I've asked before and I'll ask again.

               

              What is the process you are following? It may be cumbersome yet work just fine as long as you are taking safeguards.I ask because I may have some suggestions to offer that will help.

               

              Cheers.... Rick

               

               

              Helpful and Handy Links

              RoboHelp Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form

              Begin learning RoboHelp HTML 7, 8 or 9 within the day!

              Adobe Certified RoboHelp HTML Training

              SorcerStone Blog

              RoboHelp eBooks

              • 4. Re: Inability to Access Topics in Design Editor
                kab107 Level 1

                Rick-

                Our basic process is as follows:  If I need to complete edits in "File A" and my co-worker completed edits in there yesterday, I would take a copy of all of the files from our shared area on the network and copy these to my hard drive. I would then complete the necessary edits in the file (using the newly copied files on my hard drive), generate the project, and copy the project files to the shared area on the network so the most recent copy is out there if another Tech Writer needs to access that project.

                 

                For our end users - we generate WebHelp and those files are stored in a location on our Intranet, which is updated multiple times throughout the day.

                 

                Hope this answers your "process" question.

                 

                Thanks!

                • 5. Re: Inability to Access Topics in Design Editor
                  Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Hi Karen

                   

                  Okay, thanks!

                   

                  Here's the deal. Let's say Karen, Bob and Andrea are sharing the project. Bob decides to make updates. Bob copies the files from the network to his PC and begins making edits. But during that time, Andrea decides she needs to make an update. She doesn't know Bob has control of the project and is making changes. So she makes her changes. But before she is finished, Bob finishes and copies his changes back. After, Andrea copies HER changes back. When Andrea is finished, her files totally blew away what Bob changed because when she copied the project it was in the same configuration as it was when Bob first copied it.

                   

                  So my query was to see if you had any mechanisms in place to prevent such a scenario. Typically one would perhaps have the content inside a folder and would maybe rename the folder from say... "Project" to "Project-In Use". By renaming, it provides a clue that it's not a good idea to copy. Then after you make edits and copy back, you "release" by renaming from "Project-In Use" back to "Project".

                   

                  In addition to this safeguard, I would also encourage tight communication. Before Bob makes edits, Bob sends an E-Mail to Karen and Andrea saying he is making edits. That's another safeguard to alert the other team members to leave things alone. After the edits are complete, Bob sends an "all clear" that alerts Karen and Andrea that they are safe to edit if desired.

                   

                  Anyhoo, perhaps you are already doing this. If so, terrific! But if not, it warrants consideration in order to save some pretty major headaches, hair pulling and gnashing of teeth down the road.

                   

                  Cheers... Rick

                   

                  Helpful and Handy Links

                  RoboHelp Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form

                  Begin learning RoboHelp HTML 7, 8 or 9 within the day!

                  Adobe Certified RoboHelp HTML Training

                  SorcerStone Blog

                  RoboHelp eBooks

                  • 6. Re: Inability to Access Topics in Design Editor
                    kab107 Level 1

                    Rick,

                    Thanks for the recommended safeguards. Fortunately, we are all in close proximity to one another and we always determine what file each Tech Writer needs to work in before we copy anything down from the network