Help topics are not displaying when using Windows 8/IE 10

Explorer ,
Jan 04, 2013 Jan 04, 2013

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I have a WebHelp system created in RoboHelp 7. When opening that Help from our application using Windows 8 with Internet Explorer 10 and allowing blocked content, the Help topics do not display in the right pane when clicking a topic from the Contents in the left pane. Below are the steps:

1. Open the Help system from the Help menu within the application.

2. The Allow Blocked Content displays and I allow it.

3. The Help opens and if I click a topic from the TOC in the left pane, the topic doesn't display in the right pane.

A workaround we found was to widen the left pane and the topic then displays. Also, if you don't allow blocked content, this issue doesn't happen. However, I need to allow blocked content in order for PDFs within the Help to open properly and also because the Search doesn't display without allowing blocked content.

We also tested this with a Help system that was created using Robohelp 9 and have the same issue. I'm wondering if RoboHelp 10 would solve this problem.

Does anyone know if IE 10 requires Help systems to be created in RoboHelp 10 to work properly, at least when allowing blocked content?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 07, 2013 Jan 07, 2013

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Neither Rh7 or Rh9 were built for Windows 8 / IE10.

I think you will need to download the Rh10 trial to a non production machine to get the answer you seek.


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

@petergrainge

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Explorer ,
Jan 08, 2013 Jan 08, 2013

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Thanks, Peter. I downloaded the RH 10 trial to another computer and upgraded and generated the RH 9 Help system using RH 10. The problem was partially resolved. Now when I initially click a topic in the left pane, it does display in the right pane. However, when I click the Contents, Index or Search in the top menu, the original problem occurs. The selected topic is highlighted in the left pane, but the right screen displays blank. Dragging and widening the pane displays the topic again. Do you know if this could be an IE 10 issue or possibly a RH 10 issue? Or do you know of any RH setting that could possibly resolve this? Thanks again for your help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 08, 2013 Jan 08, 2013

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Try it with one of the sample projects. Click Open on the RoboHelp Starter page and then click Samples in the ribbon on the left. Those projects work fine with Windows7 / IE9.

Post back the result. If they suffer the same problem, then it will need to be investigated by Adobe.


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

@petergrainge

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Explorer ,
Jan 08, 2013 Jan 08, 2013

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I generated the Global Site Consult sample WebHelp project in RH 10 and it works fine on Win 8/IE 10. Maybe the issue is something we are using in our Help systems that works fine on earlier Windows and IE versions but not with Win 8/IE 10. Do you know of any setting or option that might be causing the issue I described. Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 09, 2013 Jan 09, 2013

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It seems to be time for the old divide and conquer approach.

Zip up the project so you have a copy that cannot accidentally be opened and worked on. That gives you a copy that you can safely revert to later if needed. Save the zip file somewhere safe.

Then create another copy of the project so that you have two copies that can be worked on.

Open Copy 1 and delete half the topics. Ignore any broken links reported. Generate the help from that copy.

Open Copy 2 and delete the other half of the topics. Generate the help from that copy.

It should be the case that one copy is now OK and one still has the problem.

Trash the good copy and then create a second copy of the copy with the problem.

Repeat the process until you have located whatever is causing the problem.

The process takes less time than you might think.


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

@petergrainge

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Explorer ,
Jan 09, 2013 Jan 09, 2013

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Hi Peter,

I separated the Help systems and deleted the topics as you suggested. Neither of the newly generated Help systems work.

The same issue is still there. I experimented with a couple of other things and may be getting closer to a solution. When I generate the Help system without using a skin, the problem is solved and all the topics display appropriately when clicking the Contents, Index or Search tabs in the navigation pane. However, I'm not sure what could be wrong in the skin since this skin worked fine in earlier versions of Windows and IE using RH 7 or RH 9. I also would like to keep using a skin. And, the sample project uses a skin and it works.

Do you know of anything that could be causing a problem with using a skin that is not compatible with Windows 8/IE 10? I had been using my own Previous and Next buttons, and I tried generating without those in the navigation pane and that didn't work either. Only seemed to work when I didn't use the skin. Thanks for your help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 09, 2013 Jan 09, 2013

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Have you tried with a different skin?

Open Employee Care and export the Beautiful Vista skin. Then import it into your project.

If your project then works, we will then know it is your specific skin that is causing the issue rather than skins generally.


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

@petergrainge

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Explorer ,
Jan 10, 2013 Jan 10, 2013

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I tried using the Beautiful Vista skin, but it is a Flash skin and I was unable to select it for a RH 10 WebHelp project. Instead I used the Whirls skin. I was able to generate with this and the Help works fine on an XP SP 3 machine. However, I have the same issue with my Help using this skin as I did with my own skin on a Windows 8/IE 10 machine.

I have also discovered when I tried previewing either skin (my own or the RH skin) in RH 10, I sporadically (not every time) would get the following error message that said "A runtime error has occurred. Do you wish to Debug? Line 2097 Error: Syntax error." When I selected Yes to debug it, nothing happened. This may be irrelvant but thought I'd mention.

In summary, it appears there could be some issue with using skins on a Win 8/IE 10 machine at least when blocked content is allowed. I know in earlier IE versions when you allowed blocked content (from scripts or Active X controls), the skin would work fine. If you didn't allow blocked content, then the Help automatically used a nav pane not from the skin (the default nav pane). Perhaps IE 10 is handling the blocked content differently and that's why my skin is not working when blocked content is allowed and why the topics are not displaying in the right pane when selecting topics in the left pane after clicking one of the navigation buttons in the skin. Thanks again for your help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 10, 2013 Jan 10, 2013

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I will look more at your reply in the morning but Beautiful Vista is a WebHelp skin in the samples.

Please use the Blue reply button at the top to help me help you. The black Reply link nests replies and they sort out of order.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 11, 2013 Jan 11, 2013

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Sorry, I got my RoboHelp versions wrong. Beautiful Vista Web was in Rh7. Using Whirls achieved the same objective, testing a known quantity.

Are you creating the help on a Windows 8 machine?

Does the problem with the generated help occur on a Windows 8 machine if it is opened direct by double clicking the start page? Sometimes we see problems that only occur with help opened from an application.


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

@petergrainge

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Explorer ,
Jan 11, 2013 Jan 11, 2013

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I am creating the RH 10 Help on a Windows XP SP 3 machine and only testing it on a Win8/IE 10 machine. And, yes, the problem occurs also when opening it directly by double-clicking the start page outside of the application.

One thing I just discovered is that the issue only seems to be with our Desktop application. I have another Help system that I opened on Win8/IE 10 from our Web application and it works fine. I don't have the same issue or get the message about the active X and allowing blocked content. And I don't use the Mark of the Web in the Help system with the problem because if I use it then our PDFs will not open. So I can't try adding that to see if that helps.

But aside from how it works correctly from our Web application and not our Desktop application, that still doesn't explain why the RH 10 sample Help doesn't have this issue on a Win 8/IE 10 machine when I try opening both of them the same way by double-clicking the start page. Unless there is some specific setting that is different perhaps when generating the Help. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 11, 2013 Jan 11, 2013

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Scientifically we have not ruled out something in the topics as it could be something in just two of them and the two halves you created could both have had one rogue topic in. However, I am not inclined to think along those lines any more for now.

Part of me is saying the runtime error should not be ignored but another part points out that would likely affect all projects. It would do no harm though to reinstall RoboHelp to see if that stops the error and makes any difference.

Would you be willing to share the generated output so that I can test it on Windows 8 and IE10 and see if I get the same issues. If I do, I can play with the browser settings. If I do not, then we can compare settings.

Sorry this is slow but we are in uncharted waters.


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

@petergrainge

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Explorer ,
Jan 11, 2013 Jan 11, 2013

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I'm willing to send you a zipped up copy of a small Help system that experiences the issue when you open it using the start page when allowing blocked content.

Please let me know if I should e-mail this zipped file to you or if there is some other location where I should upload the file. Thanks for your help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 11, 2013 Jan 11, 2013

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See the Contact page on my site for info re sending files.

Please use the Blue reply button at the top to help me help you. The black Reply link nests replies and they sort out of order.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 15, 2013 Jan 15, 2013

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Cathy

I generated from the project you sent me using a Windows 8 machine and without making any changes. The output is running just fine in IE. I can open the project click around the TOC and links in topics, then go to the Index that responds as it should. I can also use Search and returning to the TOC everything still works just fine.

This points to something going wrong when you generate. In Rh9 I would have asked if you were generating to a local drive but I don't think that can be the issue. I had your project on an external USB drive attached to my main machine. The test was done on a laptop mapped via the network to my PC and then the external drive. That's nicely convoluted and likely to break anything that is going to break.

I will send you the output I created later so that you can see if it runs on your setup.


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

@petergrainge

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Explorer ,
Jan 15, 2013 Jan 15, 2013

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Hi Peter,

I gave your output that worked for you to our tester who has the Win8/IE 10 machine, and she gets the same issue that she's been having all along. The topics don't display in the right pane after clicking one of the navigation buttons.

I also realized your output uses the RoboHelp skin, Whirls. When I had zipped up the project for you yesterday, I never changed that setting back to our skin which is the Default. Given you said yesterday you saw the problem with the output I sent to you over the weekend that I generated with our skin, do you think you could try generating again, but this time changing the Skin Selection, "Whirls" to "Default" on the WebHelp Settings Navigation page.

If your output is still OK, then maybe it's something machine related and the fact I'm generating on a WinXP SP 3 machine or else some IE 10 setting of yours that may be different than ours. If your output shows any problems with navigating, then I"m wondering if it could be something with the skin we are using or else how RH 10 uses that skin during generation. Thanks for your help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 15, 2013 Jan 15, 2013

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Yes I can regenerate but not until tomorrow. The machine is at work.

Am I right in thinking the default in the project has been edited at some point, it is not as supplied by Adobe?


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

@petergrainge

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Explorer ,
Jan 15, 2013 Jan 15, 2013

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Yes, Peter. You are correct. The default was edited, but never given a new name. This is a skin that we customized with specific buttons, colors and some graphics.

But the interesting thing is when I open parts of a skin in the WebHelp Skin Editor I still sometimes get that runtime error I mentioned earlier, too. And, I can't get the error to go away unless I Ctrl-Alt-Delete out of RH 10 and start it again. Which makes me believe that something is just not right with skins in RH 10. But this error does not happen every time and I haven't been able to figure out the flow to reproduce it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 16, 2013 Jan 16, 2013

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Just what is your problem?

I have generated with the default skin you sent me and that layout is working just fine as well! No fault found.

I will send you the output I created to see how it fares on your machine.

Let me know how you get on and do come back if there's anything else you need to know.


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

@petergrainge

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Explorer ,
Jan 16, 2013 Jan 16, 2013

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Hi Peter,

Our tester still has the problem on her Win8/IE 10 machine (with Active Content checked) as she did previously. I was hoping that maybe it had something to do with generating on a Win8 machine vs. an XP machine, but that's not the case.

The same problem still exists. When she clicks a button in the navigation pane (Contents, Index or Search), then clicks a topic name in the left pane, the topic does not display in the right pane. The first workaround she found was widening the left pane to populate the topic. However, today she discovered that if you maximize the window, it also displays the topic. She also found out that if you open the Help and the window is already maximized, the topics also work correctly from the start. Are you opening to a maximized screen?

And, as I mentioned previously, if we don't use a skin, then the topics display appropriately in the right pane when selecting them in the left pane. However, we want to use our skin.

The only thing I can think is this is something very specific to Win8/IE 10 browser and how the windows/skins are being used. At this point we do have two workarounds (although neither are very intuitive), but I will continue to investigate this as time permits. If you know of anything else that might be causing this issue, please let me know. I do appreciate all of the help you've given me in sorting through this issue. Thanks.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 16, 2013 Jan 16, 2013

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Hi there

Hopefully Peter won't mind my making a small observation here. The actions you described are simply causing the window to perform a bit of a refresh. And it appears to me that the act of refreshing is causing the topic to suddenly be presented. My own guess here is that the topic content is, in fact, there but for some reason is not appearing. I suppose one way to confirm or deny that would be to just click in the "blank" topic area, then press Ctrl+A to see if you get a selection. Or click and drag the mouse as if dragging across text.

Cheers... Rick

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Explorer ,
Jan 16, 2013 Jan 16, 2013

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Hi Rick,

I had our tester try both options you suggest and neither work. One thing she did find out was after the window is maximized, it can be reduced and then continues to work even though it's no longer maximized. Thanks for your help. I appreciate your input.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 16, 2013 Jan 16, 2013

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The time difference means that again I cannot test until tomorrow. I was testing with a maximised window so maybe that is why I am getting different results.

Meantime please try Rick's suggestion. Whilst it will not be a solution for end users, it will help me refer this to Adobe if we cannot resolve it.


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

@petergrainge

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Explorer ,
Jan 16, 2013 Jan 16, 2013

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Hi Peter,

As you saw, we did try Rick's suggestion, but it did not work. Do you have Firefox installed on your Win8/IE 10 computer? If you do get this same issue when you open the Help when it's not maximized, I'm just wondering if Firefox produces the same issue. We haven't been able to test that, but I'm not even sure Firefox works on Win8. Thanks.

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