RoboHelp HTML (RH9)
I am using RoboHelp 9.0 to create online Help for our company's flagship software application. The project files are composed in English, and then the components, including topics, toc, glossary, etc. are translated into 21 languages. These languages compile without error, creating the appropirate Contents, Search and Favorites tabs.
The problem I'm having is that the Search function does not work tor the Asian Pacific languages; e.g., Chinese (both traditional and simplified), Korean, Japanese, and Thai. The "No topics found" error message displays, instead of the Search results list. See example below.
Can anyone help? I'm guessing there's a simple solution to this problem, but I'm not finding it in any of the forums or elsewhere online.
Does it work if you just type one character? (no solution, just kind of wondering out loud)
If the character is non-Chinese/Korean/Thai, the system will search for and find all instances of that character. If the character is double-byte; for example, if I copy a character from the content and paste it into the search box, it will not find the character.
Sorry, I have no other ideas. I thought I'd seen something about double-byte only working for single characters not multiple, but obviously that's not the case.
Edit: I did some more searching and found a couple of references to search not working correctly for double-byte languages. None for RH9 though. One post suggested contacting support about the problem, or perhaps lodge a bug with Adobe.
Could you confirm what web browser (and version) you are using when you encountered this error.
Bill will be in bed right now so I am adding some information.
First I think Bill is using RoboHelp 8 and I have asked him to confirm that. More importantly though his post does not mention that he is creating CHMs.
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips
RoboHelp 9, Peter.
All pour machines are using IE 9.0
I'm reasonably sure that all are using IE9.0.X. That's also what I have on my PC at work, and the results are the same--no ability to search in chinese, thai, and other double-byte languages.
Thanks for picking up the challenge, and thank you Peter for supporting the cause!
Well, since its a CHM issue, the web browser wouldn't really matter. Or are you saying that its not working for you even in web help? I had verified at my end and things seem to be fine in Web Help.
To clarify, your post of December 13, 2011 asked what browser and version was being used. I answered with IE9.0.X. We are creating CHM files (HTML Help), not Web Help.
Whether the problem is browser-related or not should not matter... I agree with your statement. I am creating CHMs with four tabs: Contents, Search, Favorites, and Glossary. The problem is that Search does not work AT ALL with HTML Help. I have tried IE, Firefox/Mozilla, and Chrome; none work. If you browse to any random page, copy Chinese (both traditional and simplified), Korean, Japanese, or Thai text into the Clipboard, paste that text into the Search window, and then click List Topics, NOTHING happens.
We are a global company based in Japan. This means that I have to compile for Japan using Microsoft Help Workshop. The other languages I am crippling by removing the Search tab.
While we're on the subject, the Glossary tab does not work either, unless you install a speciall DLL on every system during the application software install. This is a problem for us, too.
Thanks for your help Mohit!
Maybe it's time to move off obsolete technology? CHMs came out in 1997 and the MS Help Workshop has been discontinued....just saying ;>)
@Jeff - While CHM is admittedly a bit long in the tooth, I'm not sure I'd say it's "obsolete technology".
After all, its predecessor WinHelp is actually still alive and kicking even in the latest incarnation of Windows!
Then again, I do have a certain fondness for CHM files.
Helpful and Handy Links
WinHelp alive & kicking in Win7? You have to download a viewer from MS to even see WinHelp files - it's not even included with Windows since Vista according to MS.
LOL, yep, you fell for the Microsoft hype. Hook, Line and Sinker.
Here's the deal. WinHelp exists in two flavors. 16 Bit and 32 Bit. 16 Bit WinHelp continues to function just fine in Vista and Windows 7 with no additional download. If you try to run a 32 Bit WinHelp, you then must download the WinHelp Viewer for 32 bit.
Helpful and Handy Links
Great discussion, but still no help. Once again, I am using HTML help!!! WinHelp Viewer, 16- or 32-bit is NO HELP. (pardun the pun)
Sorry Bill, we did devolve a bit there.
Question here. Are you testing by compiling and opening on an operating system where the language is actually used?
Here's my thought. CHMs adapt to whatever the operating system is. I note that in your initial screen shot, the CHM file is showing "HTML Help" as well as the dialogs showing English text. I'm thinking perhaps you need to actually compile the CHM and test it on an operating system that would also present these dialogs in that language. Otherwise, there will likely be problems because of differences in character sets and the like.
If you wish to rule out RoboHelp as a potential issue, you can try compiling by just using the HTML Help Workshop (HHW) from Microsoft. But my guess is that you will see the same results there. After all, RoboHelp has to use the HHW to compile CHMs too.
Helpful and Handy Links
Good point, and an excellent question. Yes, we have individual machines in QA with each of 21 languages installed. I have personally tested the Help files in all of the AP languages, and Search consistently returns nothing, unless you search for English terms that routinely avoid translation, Examples include: LAN, DVD, and Blu-ray.
As for compiling on machines with the target language set up... No, I have only one copy of RoboHelp, and it's installed on an "English" machine. However, in the HTML Help Options dialog, I set the Language to the target before compiling the HTML Help CHM file. Hard to tell what effect this drop-down selection has (if any).
Does this help?
First off, what you are describing sounds more like an issue with the format itself. So I'm doubtful RoboHelp will be able to influence things either way.
I think before I would concede defeat, I'd try copying down the HTML Help Workshop (HHW) and installing on a target machine. Copy your project to CD or another transfer medium (flash drive, external drive, SD card, etc) and try compiling the project on one of the target machines. Then test.
HHW may be downloaded free of charge from Microsoft.
You won't need RoboHelp to compile on one of the other machines.
You might also consider posting this issue over on the HATT list at:
There are far more users there that may have other insights.
Helpful and Handy Links
@Jeff-- Stuff it. Not helpful. My job is to make it work. I can't always take the easy way out of difficult situations like this one.
@Captiv8r-- Thanks Rick. It's not as though I have a voice in selecting the tool that my company uses globally to deliver Online Help.We have older equipment out there and we have to maintain compatibility with those older units. We also have writers/developers all over the world who are standardized on CHM for help files.
Knock yourself out - best of luck!
The CHM viewer actually uses bits of Microsoft Internet Explorer as the display mechnaism. So questioning the browser may indeed be related.
There is no way around using the HHActiveX.dll. That's something unique to RoboHelp created CHM files and is simply required in order to make the Glossary tab function. No other authoring tool offers this functionality. The DLL is what modifies the CHM viewer window.
If you decide this isn't worth the extra effort of installing and registering the DLL on all computers, you may wish to investigate using the Glossary Hotspot Wizard. This will populate your topics with expanding hotspots that reveal the glossary definitions.
Helpful and Handy Links
Rick, Thanks for the answer on the Glossary DLL. Peter Grainge already provided this information in another discussion thread.
Anything on Search for double-byte languages? This is the problem this thread started with... still hoping for a solution. This is a common problem that many global companies face. It deserves a solution for our Asian-Pacific customers.
Here's an article on the problem with the chm compiler:
See if making the suggested changes help with your RH compile. Or follow Rick's suggestion of trying a compile with HHW on a Japanese computer.
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The simple solution
Compiling HTML Help files for Asian Pacific (AP) languages, including Japanese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), and Thai requires that you change the Location and Locale settings on your computer to match the target language. The Control Panel’s Region and Language dialog has everything you need to change your computer’s native language. It can be deceiving, however, because you must change the settings on three of the tabs, but NOT the fourth. And figuring out WHICH of the three is not intuitive. Here are the steps:
That’s all there is to it. I have tested this solution only on Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Home Edition, but it works just fine with both operating systems. The procedure shown above works equally well for Japanese, Thai , and Simplified Chinese.
IMPORTANT - For all other languages, none of this is necessary. Keep your language and locale set to your native language (English) and your should be able to compile in all non-AP languages.