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I need to download HTML Help project files from a slow server through a slow network connection.
Unfortunately, the directory on the server contains every discarded working file, every source file, etc., etc. -- dozens if not hundreds of unnecessary files.
There used to be a way to package just the working project files for a help project -- but waas it maybe ForeHelp that provided such a handy feature?
Anyway, I need to do this now with RoboHelp 11 so I can download just the files needed for my project.
How do I do this?
Hopefully you've got a folder with the RH project name on it - just zip the folder up & haul it down to your local c:\ drive and unpack it. All links between topics are preserved that way. Then you can start chasing down broken links to other files left behind on the server.
I have a huge folder containing many, many subfolders. I don't see one with the exact project name. Are you saying that there should be such a subfolder, presumably generated by rh?
Not knowing the folder structure, I would search for .xpj files (RH project files) - they'll be in the root folder of a project. Where you find them may give you a better idea of what's called what.
Location of .xpj file is not the issue, unfortunately. I am trying to figure out which files are actually in use in the project. For example, someone who worked on this project did not bother to name the image files, so they are simply numbered. There are about 800 of them, but only about half are used in the project.
Aaaahh, I have gotten most of my answer. You can generate reports listing used and unused files. I guess you can then manually go through all your folders and remove the unused files .... one by one by one.
I am certain there was a help tool that let you package up the project tidily, so you could store your working files. Maybe it was ForeHelp? I'm kind of surprised that RoboHelp doesn't provide this function. Unless it does and I haven't discovered it yet and no one has yet come up with it in this thread ...
Thanks for your help.
There is only one way I'm aware of that RoboHelp "neatly packages files". And that is to compile a CHM file.
Hmmm, and in thinking about this, I'm wondering if you might clean things up by taking the following actions.
Compile a CHM file. DE-Compile it to a different folder. Then you could just delete all the images in the project and copy the images found inside the CHM file. The same technique could also be used for the HTML topic pages. Delete all of them in the project folder using Windows Explorer, then copy them from the decompiled CHM file.
I suppose someone really good with scripting such as Willam van Weelden might be able to create some script one could run to package up a project. Hopefully he will chime in here and advise.
I confess, I don't know how to decompile a .chm file. How do you do that?
I am somewhat confused by this question. How did we get from downloading a bunch of files to decompiling a CHM? CHM is an output and it's not an easy package as it requires cleanup if you want to turn that into a source project.
From what I've seen in this thread, I would probably just zip up everything to begin with and get a local copy. And take it from there on.
If you want to clean up a project, RoboHelp has reports, but they are incomplete and may require a lot of manual work. I do have a few scripts that can help cleaning up:
Thank you, Willam.
Your free tools sound like the most useful things yet.
I'm puzzled by something you wrote. As you know, my goal has been to avoid making the huge download by identifying and downloading only the files needed for my project. You wrote: "From what I've seen in this thread, I would probably just zip up everything to begin with and get a local copy. And take it from there on."
Just so I understand you, did you mean that you would give up on the hope of identifying the useful files on the server, and make the lengthy download after all? So you saw no way to do it on the server, in other words.
Since I wasn't getting any tidy, clear-cut solutions, that is ultimately what I did. But of course it didn't solve the problem.
Willam, here is my thought process on this. As far as images go, a CHM file should only contain images actually used, no? And images inside a CHM file should be no different than images inside a project, right? So if one had a swarm of images in my project location and roughly half of them were unused, my thought was that one could create the CHM, decompile to a different folder, blitz all the images in the source project, (or most likely move them to a folder named Justin) then copy the images from the CHM to the project location to solve that particular issue.
Sure, not as fancy as a script. But if you don't have six months to learn how to work with the scripting and become proficient, better than nothing, eh?
As for the HTML topics, my same thought pattern would apply to them too. Mostly things would be intact. The only issue I might fathom would be things like Master Pages, Snippets and Conditional Build Tags.
The CHM could solve the images, but that leaves you with all the other files as well: topics, snippets, control files, etc. And as soon as you create a CHM, a lot of RH information gets transformed: topics contain scripts, CSH is changed, etc. You could get the original files from the server, but you'll have to make a list. But perhaps I'm misunderstanding.
If you can log in on the server, you can probably create a zip file there and download it. A single zip will be much faster than a lot of smaller files.
You can also get all the files before you go home and let your computer run overnight. That way, you won't have to wait.