I'm currently working for a client in developing and improving their documentation. The project requires an authoring tool that allows you to format documents, organize graphics, and generate HTML5 output. The client wants the final draft as a responsive HTML5 page.
I started working on that project using Adobe FrameMaker 2017 a few days ago. I formatted some of the documents and inserted lots of diagrams.
As part of the project, I need to link all the diagram parts to external documents (Word, Excel, etc.). The client wants the external documents to open in a new window after clicking the link instead of just downloading them. In my experience, if you click the link to a PPT, Word, etc. it will automatically be downloaded. I tried using Hotspot to add multiple links to the diagram, but it didn't give me an option to link to external documents. I may be wrong, but I think hotspot only worked for links within the source document or within a page of a website. To test the other links, I've generated a responsive HTML5 page.
While reviewing the HTML5 page, I noticed that some of the links are not working (especially the diagram links). I checked my FM files again and tested the links, and found out that all the links are working properly. Therefore I conclude that this problem arises every time I generate the HTML 5.
Here are my questions:
If a linked Document (Word, Excel, PDF etc.) opens in a new browser window or gets downloaded, depends on the platform, browser, browser versions, plugins, and installed applications the end-user of your online help is using. E.g. if it's a PDF, it might open in the browser itself, if the browser has a PDF viewer (like Chrome) or a PDF plugin. Same for other formats. It get's even more tricky, when your end-user is viewing the help on a mobile device with e.g. iOS or Android.
In a nutshell, you have limited possibilities to control this, as you usually will not have control over the end-users environment.
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@mark - Your dead links may be running into an issue with the total path length (& name) of the source FM doc - I ran into that when doing FM to RH importing - some cross refs would be links & some would be dead - it all depended on how long the total path+file name was. Once I shortened things down, they started behaving.