Formatting Cross Reference from Linked FrameMaker Document (RH11/FM12)

New Here ,
Jan 26, 2016

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I am using TCS 5 (RoboHelp 11 / FrameMaker 12). FrameMaker is unstructured. I am a new RH user, still getting my feet wet.

I have RoboHelp linked to a FrameMaker book. The book contains internal cross-references (to other topics that are part of the RH project) and external cross-references (to topics in other FM books that are not part of the RH project). I mapped the FM cross-reference formats to RH styles to remove page and chapter numbers.

After I generate the help (.CHM or HTML5), the internal cross-references work and they are formatted correctly. But the external cross-references, which are broken links, exhibit these characteristics:

  • They do not appear in the mapped style; the chapter and page numbers still appear.
  • They appear as text that is formatted to resemble a hyperlink (<a><span class="FM_HypertextColor">Chapter 16, Demographic Forms</span></a>&#160;in <span class="FM_Italic">Master Forms Guide</span>.

(Note: Before I generate the help, RH recognizes the external x-refs as broken links. They do not appear under Broken Links in the RH project, but when I open a topic and press CTRL + hover the mouse pointer over them, they display the broken link finger icon).

I'm trying to figure out how to get RH to 1) format the broken links correctly (remove chapter and page #), and 2) display them as plain text instead of HypertextColor.

Suggestions or voice of experience from anyone? Thanks!

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Formatting Cross Reference from Linked FrameMaker Document (RH11/FM12)

New Here ,
Jan 26, 2016

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I am using TCS 5 (RoboHelp 11 / FrameMaker 12). FrameMaker is unstructured. I am a new RH user, still getting my feet wet.

I have RoboHelp linked to a FrameMaker book. The book contains internal cross-references (to other topics that are part of the RH project) and external cross-references (to topics in other FM books that are not part of the RH project). I mapped the FM cross-reference formats to RH styles to remove page and chapter numbers.

After I generate the help (.CHM or HTML5), the internal cross-references work and they are formatted correctly. But the external cross-references, which are broken links, exhibit these characteristics:

  • They do not appear in the mapped style; the chapter and page numbers still appear.
  • They appear as text that is formatted to resemble a hyperlink (<a><span class="FM_HypertextColor">Chapter 16, Demographic Forms</span></a>&#160;in <span class="FM_Italic">Master Forms Guide</span>.

(Note: Before I generate the help, RH recognizes the external x-refs as broken links. They do not appear under Broken Links in the RH project, but when I open a topic and press CTRL + hover the mouse pointer over them, they display the broken link finger icon).

I'm trying to figure out how to get RH to 1) format the broken links correctly (remove chapter and page #), and 2) display them as plain text instead of HypertextColor.

Suggestions or voice of experience from anyone? Thanks!

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FrameMaker integration

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Jan 26, 2016 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 26, 2016

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How are the external references done in FM? Are you using the hyperlink paragraph tag to link to them or a cross-reference tag? You might have some control over how they are coming across depending on that.

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Jan 26, 2016 0
New Here ,
Jan 27, 2016

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They are cross references in FM formatted as (for example):

  • <Hypertext Color><$paranum[Chap No, Chap No cont., Appendix Head, chap.num, chap.num continued, appendix head]>, <$paratext><Default ¶ Font>
  • <Hypertext Color><$paratext><Default ¶ Font> on page <Hypertext Color><$pagenum><Default ¶ Font>

In RH Conversion Settings, the two examples above appear in FM Style Preview as:

  • <$paranum[Chap No, Chap No cont., Appendix Head, chap.num, chap.num continued, appendix head]>, Para Text
  • Para Text on page 1

Both are being converted to RH style Para Text (<$paratext>).

The cross-references formats are applied consistently in FM. The ones that are internal to the linked FM book in the RH project convert correctly in both the RH topic and the generated help; the external ones do not.

Here's an internal cross-reference converted in RH from the FM chapter number format:

Here's an external link using the same FM format that did not convert in RH:

Here's an internal cross-reference converted in RH from the FM page number format:

Here's an external link using the same FM format that did not convert in RH (pixelated intentionally):

Thanks, Jeff.

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Jan 27, 2016 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 27, 2016

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Send a shot of your Conversion Settings

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Jan 27, 2016 0
New Here ,
Jan 27, 2016

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I hope I assumed correctly that these are the Conversion Settings you want to see.

Conversion settings for chapter number cross reference:

Conversion settings for page number cross reference:

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Jan 27, 2016 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 28, 2016

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Nope, I was more interested in the left side of the screen & what’s below the images you’ve posted. Just put focus on the element in the left pane and snap the whole screen; repeat for the other element that’s working.

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Jan 28, 2016 0
New Here ,
Jan 28, 2016

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Hi Jeff,

Both elements format correctly when the cross-reference is internal to the linked FM book. Both elements fail to format correctly when the cross-reference is external to the book. Here are the full screen captures.

Thanks,

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Jan 28, 2016 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 28, 2016

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Hmmm – what do you mean when you say “external to the book” – what are you cross-referencing to?

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Jan 28, 2016 0
New Here ,
Jan 28, 2016

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I'm cross-referencing to a page in another FM book. When I use FM to publish a collection of books in PDF format, users can click the cross-references to jump from book to book. Help isn't aggregated into a similar collection; help is generated for each FM book individually. So when I generate help, cross-references to another FM book need to be text only (which they are). However, I want RH to format those references without chapter and page, and I want them not to be hypertext-colored. Those are the issues where I'm stumped.

Our discussion in this thread has been primarily about the conversion settings. RH recognizes the cross-references, but for the "broken" ones, it ignores my chapter and page conversion settings. If there's not a workaround, I'll have to accept that as a bug or by design.

We haven't discussed if there's a way to tell RH not to display broken links in hypertext color. Do you have any ideas about that?

Thanks.

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Jan 28, 2016 0
LEGEND ,
Jan 30, 2016

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Would a book of books be a help? You then link/import the book of books as opposed to individual books.

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Jan 30, 2016 0
New Here ,
Feb 12, 2016

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Thanks, William, for your suggestion. I still need to generate each book as its own help file, and I don't think I can do that if I link them all into one big project. But I ran a quick test just to see if it would work. I was surprised to see that it didn't. The cross references to other FM books did not map to the correct format.

It was a quick test, and I may have done something wrong. When I have time to work on this again, I'll revisit the idea to see if I can figure out why that didn't work.

Thanks again.

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Feb 12, 2016 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2016

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The master book of books concept works fine - provided you keep your total length of path + filename to the references under about 35 characters. I discovered that the hard way when I found that some xrefs worked & others didn't all within the same document. When I shortened the paths, it fixed the busted xrefs over in RH.

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Feb 13, 2016 0