18 Replies Latest reply on Aug 16, 2011 7:23 PM by Alberti

    Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?

    Alberti Level 1

      Today I deleted an unwanted *.css file from my RH9 project with the result that 300 images files were suddenly deleted. Subsequently, I reimported the source Word files to create a new image folder. The result of this, even though I cleared the selection boxes on the "Do you want to over-write" prompt, was that RH9 proceded to overwrite the topics anyway. So I have now lost 20 reformatted topics.

       

      Why these things happened is not my main concern right now, though clearly it indicates that RH has some serious issues in file handling. (It has happened before).

       

      Before RH9 deleted and over-wrote all my topic files, I generated webhelp output, and I want to know if I can recreate those topics to my project somehow using the latest Webhelp output files.

        • 1. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Hi there

           

          Indeed you are able to re-use WebHelp output as source, but you will need to scrub them of code as described at the link below.

           

          Click here to view

           

          Cheers.... Rick

           

           

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          • 2. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
            Alberti Level 1

            Hi Rick! Thank you for the prompt response. If I scrub code then I presume that means I lose all pop-ups, Drop-downs, image maps, etc?

             

            Michael West | Business Improvement | Aurecon

            • 3. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

              How did you delete the CSS file? I cannot think of any way whereby it would affect topics.

               


              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

               

              @petergrainge

              • 4. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                Amebr Level 4

                Rick's website specifically states that DHTML effects (drop-downs and expanding text etc) will have to be recreated, simply because it's much easier than trying to hack code. This may also include popups, but I *think* image maps should be okay as that uses standard HTML. But I'm not 100% certain of this.

                • 5. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                  Alberti Level 1

                  Hi Peter. I deleted using the right-click Delete command in the Proj Mgr.

                   

                  There certainly seems to be something buggy in the way RH9 handles its pointers within those "virtual" folders. As we have discussed before, when I import Word files into a project, RH creates an unwanted (by me) *.css file and also a folder with the name _files. Sometimes this folder contains images as I can see by expanding the folder in Proj Mgr. Other times, it appears to contain nothing, but if I delete it, or delete an unwanted *.css, suddenly images are blown away.

                   

                  If I ever get my real work done, I am pretty certain I can create a script for reproducing this issue and send it in.

                   

                   

                  Michael West | Business Improvement | Aurecon

                  • 6. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                    Alberti Level 1

                    Thanks, good people, for such prompt and helpful responses.

                    • 7. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                      Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Hi Michael

                       

                      I think what you are seeing is typical behavior when you have a linked Word document. And therein lies a bit of an issue. Certainly RoboHelp allows you to link a Word document, but Word and HTML are a bit like mixing oil and water. Word creates things you intend to print. HTML is intended for screen display. Mixing the two results in a bit of a kludge.

                       

                      So first, let's try and understand how RoboHelp deals with Word this way. When you link a Word document, you will get a real honest to goodness file folder that is named identically to the document. In the RoboHelp project manager, the icon doesn't look like a folder. It looks like a Word logo with some arrows superimposed that will indicate the status.

                       

                      Inside this folder should be your topics that were created based on the Word document.

                       

                      I know you said you didn't want the CSS, but the process of bringing Word in will *ALWAYS* create a .CSS file. You may as well learn to simply accept it. The thing is, you don't have to use it. Just ignore it is there. You are free to associate a single CSS of your choice with your files either before or during the generation/compilation process.

                       

                      The folder with the name matching the document and ending in _files is normally created when you convert Word to HTML. That's normally where Word will store and reference any images that were found in the document. That's a common Microsoft Word behavior. If you wish to confirm this, just close everything and open Word only. Create a document with some images then choose to save the Word document as HTML and look at what you end up with.

                       

                      It's surprising to me that simply deleting a .CSS would blow any images away. Perhaps your Word document was created in a manner where the images are somehow referenced using CSS?

                       

                      Cheers... Rick

                       

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                      • 8. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                        Alberti Level 1

                        It was never my practice to link to Word documents. I use the Import command.

                         

                        But your suggestion that there may be something dodgy about the Word source documents could be correct. These are Word documents exported from an application that has not in general earned my trust or high regard. Sometimes they import without problems, sometimes they behave like a ticking time bomb.

                         

                        I understand that I don't need to use the .CSS created by the import. What alarms me is that deleting them can have totally bizarre results. In future I will just let them be, as much as I dislike having a lot of rubbish lying around.

                         

                        Cheers,

                        MW

                        • 9. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                          Early on you said you delete the CSS by right clicking it in the Project Manager. If a CSS is not linked to a topic, it does not show in Project Manager so something is not ringing right. Even with a CSS that is linked though, you should be able to delete it.

                           

                          Can you create a new project project, import a document and get this  behaviour? If you can, please send me the document. See the Contact Page  on my site for instructions.

                           


                          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                           

                          @petergrainge

                          • 10. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                            Alberti Level 1

                            I believe in that particular case I deleted it before I had linked the .HTM files to the standard CSS, so they would have been linked to the one I deleted.

                             

                            I will see if I can re-create this scenario in a new project and share the results with you.

                             

                            Thanks,

                            M

                            • 11. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                              I just deleted an inuse CSS and it did not trash the topics.

                               

                              Let us know how you get on.

                               


                              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                               

                              @petergrainge

                              • 12. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                                Alberti Level 1

                                Will do. I know this is not a "normal" occurrence; it must have something to do with the way the Word files are output from this other application, which shall remain nameless, prior to importing them into RH9.

                                • 13. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                                  Alberti Level 1

                                  Bizarre stuff.

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  1.       I import (into RH9)  a Word document (which was output from an application I very much suspect of some sort of skullduggery).

                                   

                                  2.       RH9 duly creates a folder of *.HTM documents (because I selected the "paginate on Heading 1" option before running the import), and puts the images in a *_files folder.

                                   

                                  3.       On close inspection, I find that one of the *.HTM files created by the import appears to contain nothing but the table of contents from the imported Word doc. I do not want this table of contents, so I delete it.

                                   

                                  4.       The instant I do that, all images (some 300 +) disappear from all topics.

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  I don't hold RoboHelp responsible entirely, because surely there is something horribly wrong with that source file, but still  it would be nice to have an "undo" button on the RH9 topic delete function.

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  All I can do next is reimport, of course, and let RH9 put everything back where it is supposed to go. Unfortunately, the "do not over-write" has no effect whatever (has anyone reported that?) during the import, so any work  I did  between the original import and the deletion of the killer *.HTM is lost. I can import from the last build, yes, but have to redo all dropdowns, image maps, etc, which is pretty much like starting over at the beginning.

                                  • 14. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                    2.       RH9 duly creates a folder of *.HTM documents (because I selected the "paginate on Heading 1" option before running the import), and puts the images in a *_files folder.

                                     

                                    Rick has already explained that the folder is the way Word works when it converts a file to HTML. RoboHelp has to take what it is given.

                                     

                                    I don't hold RoboHelp responsible entirely, because surely there is something horribly wrong with that source file, but still  it would be nice to have an "undo" button on the RH9 topic delete function.

                                     

                                    Neither do I at this point as you already acknowledge doubts about the program creating the Word document and I have not been able to delete any topics simply because they were associated with a CSS file.

                                     

                                    Please try importing some other document to prove this to yourself.

                                     

                                    I always advise importing into a new project and when everything is as you want, import the topics into your main project. That way there is an easy get out if things don't work.

                                     


                                    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                     

                                    @petergrainge

                                    • 15. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                                      Alberti Level 1

                                      I have tried to communicate that I am not complaining about a single, reproducible behaviour. Instead, I am mystified by what seems to be a constellation of unexpected, inconsistent, damaging results when I place these particular Word files into RH9.

                                       

                                      In this case the images disappeared from ALL topics when I deleted a single *.htm file. Nothing to do with *.css this time.

                                       

                                      I have no issues with RH creating folders on import, though I would prefer having the option to globally force a standard *.css on all imported topics. And again, an Undo on the topic delete action would be nice.

                                       

                                      But in general I am not blaming these problems on RH, nor am I complaining; just putting what I have observed up here in the hopes that somebody might recognise the pattern and come up with an explanation.

                                      • 16. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                                        Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        Personally, I like to blame sunspots for causing odd behaviors...

                                        • 17. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                          Your post seemed much the same as when this happened with the CSS file. My reaction was "why cover that ground again rather than report what happened when you tried what I had suggested?"

                                           

                                          I've offered to try importing one of these documents for you to see if I can repeat what is going on and maybe find the cause and that offer remains open.

                                           

                                          I have not experienced this or seen it reported in fifteen years of using RoboHelp so there's no experience to call on, all I can do is try to find out what is going on but I cannot do that with any documents I have.

                                           


                                          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                           

                                          @petergrainge

                                          • 18. Re: Rebuild source files from Webhelp output?
                                            Alberti Level 1

                                            Appreciate the help, as always. I doubt I'll  spend any more time analysing this problem, having lost about 3 days repairing the damage. We are getting rid of the application that produced the dodgy source files and have completed transferring the content into RH9. Everyone is happy with the new RH9 output and they think I'm a hero. I'm happy now too, though I will be submitting some enhancement requests to Adobe.

                                             

                                             

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