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Style integrity when upgrading from RoboHelp Classic to RoboHelp 2020

Participant ,
Jul 26, 2022 Jul 26, 2022

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We have a massive Online Help project that we maintain in RoboHelp Classic. We've been wanting to upgrade to RoboHelp 2020 for a few years, but we tried at various times and the upgrade would always fail. Now trying again with the latest update, the upgrade seems to complete successfully, but then some of the styles in the project seem to be corrupt. Bulleted and numbered lists seem to be the most obvious areas where the styling is off, with bullets and numbers either not being present or way out of alignment. Here is an example of a numered list in RoboHelp Classic and the same list in RoboHelp 2020:

RoboHelp Classic:RHClassic Bulleted List.PNG

RoboHelp 2020:

RH20 Bulleted List.PNG

 

Looking the the html for a single item, we have the following:

RoboHelp Classic:

<?rh-list_start level="1" class="ML_List" style="list-style: rh-list; list-style: rh-list;" ?><p class="List_Number">Perform the following to create a new <?rh-glo_start class="glossterm"?>Adjustment<?rh-glo_end ?> Details Display View:</p><?rh-list_end ?>

 

RoboHelp 2020:

<p class="ML_List">Perform the following to create a new <a class="glossterm" data-glossterm="Adjustment">Adjustment</a> Details Display View:</p>

 

In RoboHelp Classic, we have defined a muilti-level list style called ML_List:

ML_List Classic.PNG

 

In RoboHelp 2020, ML_List is under "Other styles" and doesn't seem to be recognized as a list style. It seems like the conversion is corrupting the styles, either in the CSS file, the HTML, or both. Is there a way to avoid this? Our styles work well in RoboHelp Classic, but converting the project seems to break a lot of stuff.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 26, 2022 Jul 26, 2022

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I don't use multilevel lists, but I made a very quick test project in RH2017 and upgraded direct to RH2020 and the list style appeared for me as p.ML_List which was set up with Autonumber turned on and configured.

 

Perhaps you could try setting up the p.ML_List style manually and see if that fixes it? I think it sets up similarly to the multilevel numbering in Classic, so if you're comfortable with that you shouldn't have any issues.

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Participant ,
Jul 27, 2022 Jul 27, 2022

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I didn't think to look under Paragraph styles as I assumed it would show up under List Styles, and then I saw similar entries under "Other Styles". I should back up a little and say that the CSS file was initially corrupt after the conversion and couldn't be opened in the editor, so I made some edits until I got it to validate enough to open in the editor. After reupgrading the file and making more selective edits to the CSS file, the numbering shows up now, though the paragraph styling is gone and needs to be redone. This might not be so bad. I'll have to spend more time looking at it to see how everything looks. There seems to be some in-line styling in the HTML that is rendering differently than it did in the Classic version, so I guess that's another battle to fight.

 

I'll tinker with it some more and see if it's salvagable with minimal redefining of styles. Thanks.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 27, 2022 Jul 27, 2022

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Let us know if @Amebr's fix works as the alternative is a lot more work. Effectively starting over.

 

The root problem is that 2020 is CSS3 and HTML5 compliant whereas Classic was not.

________________________________________________________

My site www.grainge.org includes many free Authoring and RoboHelp resources that may be of help.

 

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Participant ,
Jul 28, 2022 Jul 28, 2022

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I've noticed that some list styles do not continue numbering where they did before. I know I can manually set the number value, but that would be a lot to maintain in the project. Is there anything that can be done to ensure that list numbers of the same type don't restart at the same level? Example:

 

List restart.PNG

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Community Expert ,
Jul 28, 2022 Jul 28, 2022

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The "Note" bit is breaking it I suspect - use soft returns after b. and then after the Note and I bet you'll get c. appearing.

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Participant ,
Jul 28, 2022 Jul 28, 2022

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Can you elaborate on what you mean by using soft returns? This is the HTML for that bit:

  <p class="ML_List">The <span>Log On</span> window displays.</p>
  <p class="ML_List">When you want to log on to <span data-keyref="AAorSecurityforCommon">Alliant Administration</span> using the Windows Authentication method, perform the following:</p>
  <p class="ML_List" data-list-level="2">Select the Windows Authentication <a class="glossterm" data-glossterm="radio button">radio button</a>.</p>
  <p class="ML_List" data-list-level="2">Select the Alliant <a class="glossterm" data-glossterm="User">User</a> who you want to log on as from the drop-down list box.</p>
  <p class="Notes_3">
    <font style="font-weight: bold;">Note:</font><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family=&#39;Times: New Roman;">  </span>When you are not set up to access <span data-keyref="AAorSecurityforCommon">Alliant Administration</span> as more than one Alliant User, this drop-down list box defaults to your available Alliant User.  When you are set up to access <span data-keyref="AAorSecurityforCommon">Alliant Administration</span> as more than one Alliant User, this drop-down list box defaults to the name of the last User selected from this drop-down list box on this workstation.
  </p>
  <p class="ML_List" data-list-level="2">Click <font color="#800080" style="font-weight: bold;">OK</font>.</p>

Thanks.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 28, 2022 Jul 28, 2022

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I'm not Jeff, but he means use Shift+Enter to insert <br /> tags before the notes, rather than Enter to start a new paragraph. But that would mean editing every topic, just like resetting the numbering and you would lose any specific formatting because you couldn't use your note style (like the hanging indent)

 

The best I can suggest is if you have a regular expression expert there, they might be able to write one to detect a note paragraph and insert the correct numbering restart code in the following paragraph.

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Participant ,
Aug 01, 2022 Aug 01, 2022

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This seems like a really big step backwards from RoboHelp Classic. I'm not sure that we can even use RoboHelp 2020 if any new style is going to break up numbered lists.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 01, 2022 Aug 01, 2022

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New styles are not the problem. Multilevel list styles created in the new UI will work just fine. See RH2020 Lists and Autonumbering (grainge.org). It's getting your old lists to work that is the issue.

 

You say "massive" but that's relative. More than 14,000 topics? (The biggest I had to deal with)

 

More to the point though, how extensively are lists used?

 

What I had to do for someone was remove all list styling from every one of their topics, then apply new list styles. There may be better ways but their lists were also complex. Level 1, 2, 3 and so on would not have the same bullets/numbers and indents at different levels.

 

There is going to come a day when Classic versions will likely not run on future operating systems. Whilst that may many years down the line, I would expect it to happen one day. Might as well bite the bullet now.

________________________________________________________

My site www.grainge.org includes many free Authoring and RoboHelp resources that may be of help.

 

Help others by clicking Correct Answer or Like if helpful. Found your answer elsewhere? Share it here.

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Participant ,
Aug 01, 2022 Aug 01, 2022

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Yes. I'm sure you're right. We will need to upgrade at some point. It's been hanging over our heads for the last few years.

 

I think I might have found a fix. I noticed that the first level works but the second level resets after new styles. Doing a diff on the styles in the CCS file, I see this:

numbering fix.PNG

If I edit the second level to mirror the first (change "item2" to be "p\.ml_list2"), it seems to work. Can someone with better CSS understanding tell me if this is a reasonable approach?

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Community Expert ,
Aug 01, 2022 Aug 01, 2022

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I'm not the one to answer on the validity of the CSS change but in your shoes, if it is working I would settle for that for now.

 

Then later maybe create some list styles in RoboHelp so that they are written the way RoboHelp would do it. After that, whenever you work on a topic change the lists from your style to the RoboHelp style so the topics get updated over time.

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My site www.grainge.org includes many free Authoring and RoboHelp resources that may be of help.

 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 01, 2022 Aug 01, 2022

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I think making that change will break your lists. There's pretty complex css around making a regular paragraph look like a list. (In my test project, it looked fine in RH but every lower alpha displayed as a) in the output).

 

From what I could see in my test project, your non-numbered paragraphs need to include the data-list-level: x code to ensure the numbering continues correctly. This would be applied correctly when writing the steps and applying the correct 'list continue' paragraph style (which you'd need to define with the correct margin-left, indent, etc for each level of your list ).

 

As a side note, the numbering you're used to working with is based on a workaround for extremely basic web formatting options from 15+ years ago. What you're transferring to is kind of a workaround to convert the workaround to something resembling modern css and html. 🙂 

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Participant ,
Aug 02, 2022 Aug 02, 2022

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Well... I tried creating a new multi-level list style in RoboHelp 2020 and applying the style to lists in a few topics and I kept running into the Application Error window. It doesn't say what is causing the error, but this pretty much kills our efforts to upgrade. It was already a very painful process and now the application keeps crashing.

 

Application Error.PNG

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Community Expert ,
Aug 02, 2022 Aug 02, 2022

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Create a a new project then close it. Import the default CSS into your project and try creating the style there. 

 

Can you post an image or a description of how many levels you need and what they should look like?

________________________________________________________
My site www.grainge.org includes many free Authoring and RoboHelp resources that may be of help.

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