Hi All - I just realized in my Responsive HTML5 output that my TOC isn't behaving the way I anticipated.
I am using Robohelp 2017, with the Indigo Layout.
My Issue: I have a single topic page (e.g. "Getting Started") that is placed in multiple books within my TOC. Navigation from my Indigo homepage always defaults the TOC on the right of my topic page view to display the first iteration of the topic. Using the TOC structure below, if I were to navigate to 'Book 2' from the Indigo homepage and then select the 'Getting Started' topic, the topic page opens correctly, but the TOC on the right shows the structure as being under 'Book 1'. It always defaults to the first iteration and I don't know why?
Is there a work around for this? My TOC and topics are organized by role at my organization and then as the user drills down it becomes more specific. Several topic pages are shared by multiple roles, thus my decision to place a single shared topic in multiple locations. I'm not sure what to do. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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I suspect the only way to get around this is to create "dummy" topics that insert the contents of the Getting Started topic as a snippet. Then your TOC pointers will always cycle back to the correct location within each book.
Thank you Jeff. I hadn't thought of using snippets. Do you have any recommendations for quickly looking up how many topics are re-used throughout the TOC? I have a lot of topics that are used in multiple books and I'd have to go through one by one to determine the overall impact. Any suggestions to save time to remedy my TOC navigation issue would be appreciated.
Sorry, not really - this is more of a design tip for when you're creating a new project. In one of my company's products, the developers call a common program object to act in slightly different ways, so I had to use snippets with some conditioning in them to reflect the slight differences while still maintaining the common bits. In your case it sounds like you were using the exact same "Getting Started" topic in repeated spots, so changing it into a snippet and creating dummy topics to act as placeholders for the snippet content shouldn't take very long.
In this assessment phase, the TOC report would likely come in handy.
Tools tab > TOC > TOC
Another method to accomplish this that is very similar to using the Snippets is to create topics (I hate calling them dummy topics) That have inline frames that present the desired topic. It's the same concept as what Jeff stated, but instead of using a snippet, you just configure the inline frame in each of these additional topics so it points to the desired topic.
@Rick - how about "placeholder" topics? ;>)
Thanks Jeff and Rick for the replies. The generated report will give me a good starting point. I had used the "Getting Started" topic as an example. Sadly I have 100+ topics that are shared, and over 1000 topic pages currently in this project. I only recently took over ownership and have been making improvements to the project. It will take time to identify all the areas where a topic is placed more than once. At least I can divide the organization by top level book using the report for organizational sake.
One of the sometimes overlooked features of RoboHelp that may help you with this task is the easy way to Duplicate a topic. So you create and configure the first one. Then you right-click it and choose Duplicate from the context menu.
@Jeff - Yeah, that would sound better to my ear than "Dummy". LOL
And likely better than "Topic to assist in multiple TOC placement topic" (ICK!)
I completely forgot the duplicate topic feature existed. If I use this method though, making any edits to the original will have to be applied 1 by 1 manually to the duplicated topics correct? The "link" so to speak is broken because it generates a new html file?
Actually, no. Sorry, it took me some time to create my diagram I'll present below:
The beauty of duplication is that everything will be intact. The only difference will be the name of the "container" topic. Whether you use a snippet or the inline frame to achieve it, any changes to the "content" topic will automagically appear in the others without making any edits to them.
Likely the Snippet approach is best, because RoboHelp should manage any linking issues if you move the container topics around to different folders. If you go the inline frame route, I'm not sure if RoboHelp will handle that properly. But it may.
Perhaps the best thing you might do is just to try it and play with it, then observe the results.
Probably the best bet. Going to make a copy of my project and do some testing. I'm most worried about identifying all the topic pages I'll have to fix. The report is helpful and will just take time to sift through. But note to self, going forward as the new owner of the project, be wary of placing a single topic in multiple books! Thank you both again, really appreciate it.
@Rick - Ah, duplicating the topic with the inline frame! I was thinking you were talking about cloning the "Getting Started" topic & sticking that into the various places where it needed to appear - that would be heretical ;>)
LOL, not to mention cruel and unusual!