Issue with Reverse-Engineered Robohelp File

New Here ,
Jan 12, 2021

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Hi,

Our team recently re-created a RoboHelp project using reverse engineering. We imported the output files into a new project, generated and shared the WebHelp for release. For that release, our team didn't have much time to rebuild the Help. What I mean to say is with very limited time, we could only do the following:

1. Applied master pages to few of the topics, the rest of the topics didn't have any master pages selected. Although, this was not required because we were importing the output files that already had the defined master page for each topic with breadcrumb, feedback and print features, as well as the relevant style. The appearance of each topic remained intact.

2.Nonetheless, we recreated the master pages to the extent that was possible so that we could apply back to the topics when we had the time. Initially, the master pages only had placeholder text and the relevant styles applied. We still needed to add back the breadcrumb placeholder, print and feedback buttons.

3. In the topics that we imported, there were red square boxes . The red square boxes were the print and feedback buttons on each topic as well as the breadcrumbs. We didnt remove them (although it was mentioned in the article on reverse engineering that these scripts need to be removed)due to the time constraint as well as the items referred to in point 2 were still pending to be created. We were able to generate without any problem.

 Post that release, we have been able to reapply the master pages. This time, the master pages  had not only the styles applied on the placeholder text, but also the breadcrumb placeholder, print, and feedback buttons.

We also removed the red square boxes from all the topics, so that we wouldn't  get duplicate print and feedback buttons appearing in the same topic. We did a small check with few of the topics to see if this approach was good before going ahead and doing it for all the topics. The WebHelp output came out fine.

However, now at the end of this big task, I have encountered some issue. My other team mates are not facing these issues. Whenever, I generate this version of the file, I get inconsistent results:

1. There are no errors mentioned in the output view. Template is applied. But when I view the WebHelp, I see formatting removed from all the topics, as if no master pages have been applied to them. Images are missing. Icons are missing.

2. I see line after line of errors mentioned in the output view. All the errors begin with "template error:cannot resolve macro" and ending with whtopic.js, indexBtntext, book, page, remotepage, to name a few. When this happens, the outcome is as mentioned in previous point. However, after reinstalling the software today, I still saw these errors in the output view, but when I viewed the WebHelp, there were no formatting issue. All images and icons appeared fine.

I would also add that I was able to generate this version of the file properly twice before reinstalling the software, but there have been several misses. Others are not facing any template error issue.

I even tried generating the version that was sent out in the earlier release, thinking that maybe this has to do with the master pages getting reapplied and clashing with the imported topics, pulled in when building the Help. Here too, I faced the same issue. Sometimes, the file gets generated properly. Sometimes, it doesnt.

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Issue with Reverse-Engineered Robohelp File

New Here ,
Jan 12, 2021

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Hi,

Our team recently re-created a RoboHelp project using reverse engineering. We imported the output files into a new project, generated and shared the WebHelp for release. For that release, our team didn't have much time to rebuild the Help. What I mean to say is with very limited time, we could only do the following:

1. Applied master pages to few of the topics, the rest of the topics didn't have any master pages selected. Although, this was not required because we were importing the output files that already had the defined master page for each topic with breadcrumb, feedback and print features, as well as the relevant style. The appearance of each topic remained intact.

2.Nonetheless, we recreated the master pages to the extent that was possible so that we could apply back to the topics when we had the time. Initially, the master pages only had placeholder text and the relevant styles applied. We still needed to add back the breadcrumb placeholder, print and feedback buttons.

3. In the topics that we imported, there were red square boxes . The red square boxes were the print and feedback buttons on each topic as well as the breadcrumbs. We didnt remove them (although it was mentioned in the article on reverse engineering that these scripts need to be removed)due to the time constraint as well as the items referred to in point 2 were still pending to be created. We were able to generate without any problem.

 Post that release, we have been able to reapply the master pages. This time, the master pages  had not only the styles applied on the placeholder text, but also the breadcrumb placeholder, print, and feedback buttons.

We also removed the red square boxes from all the topics, so that we wouldn't  get duplicate print and feedback buttons appearing in the same topic. We did a small check with few of the topics to see if this approach was good before going ahead and doing it for all the topics. The WebHelp output came out fine.

However, now at the end of this big task, I have encountered some issue. My other team mates are not facing these issues. Whenever, I generate this version of the file, I get inconsistent results:

1. There are no errors mentioned in the output view. Template is applied. But when I view the WebHelp, I see formatting removed from all the topics, as if no master pages have been applied to them. Images are missing. Icons are missing.

2. I see line after line of errors mentioned in the output view. All the errors begin with "template error:cannot resolve macro" and ending with whtopic.js, indexBtntext, book, page, remotepage, to name a few. When this happens, the outcome is as mentioned in previous point. However, after reinstalling the software today, I still saw these errors in the output view, but when I viewed the WebHelp, there were no formatting issue. All images and icons appeared fine.

I would also add that I was able to generate this version of the file properly twice before reinstalling the software, but there have been several misses. Others are not facing any template error issue.

I even tried generating the version that was sent out in the earlier release, thinking that maybe this has to do with the master pages getting reapplied and clashing with the imported topics, pulled in when building the Help. Here too, I faced the same issue. Sometimes, the file gets generated properly. Sometimes, it doesnt.

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Jan 12, 2021 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2021

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Hmm, so you didn't follow Rick's instructions outlined here - https://www.grainge.org/pages/authoring/reverse_engineering/RecoverFromOutput.pdf - to clean out all the output cruft in the project & you still were able to generate WebHelp? I'm surprised it worked. What version of RH are you doing this all in? And you say that you have an issue, but others don't? What do you mean by that? You get errors when looking at the WebHelp output & they don't? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2021

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I would also add that I was able to generate this version of the file properly twice before reinstalling the software.

 

Did you apply the updates and are you all on the same version?

 

Which version of RoboHelp?

________________________________________________________
See www.grainge.org for free Authoring and RoboHelp Information

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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New Here ,
Jan 12, 2021

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All of us are using RoboHelp Classic 2019, version 14.0.14.002.

Yes, we were able to generate the WebHelp with all the red square boxes still intact in all of the topics. Since, we didn't have the time to clean up as well as create and apply master pages properly. But now we have removed them and reapplied the master pages with styles applied on placeholder text; breadcrumbs, print and feedback buttons defined.  

Yes, I am the only one who is facing all these issues at this moment and the others don't. The issues are the different output results I am receiving as mentioned in my post.

Only one other writer experienced the "template error macro cannot be resolved issue" in one instance of  file generation. She hasn't encountered this issue after that. 

Also, now I see a separate robohelp project folder getting automatically created when i try to generate the robohelp project  I am using at that moment. For instance, if I am generating Robohelp project folder_12th Jan, I see a RoboHelp project folder_11th Jan appearing. In this 11th Jan folder, there is only the Language sub folder and no other sub folders or any other files. But the WebHelp output appears fine.

I am at a lost as to what could be causing so much havoc. I have also checked for system updates, whether that may be disrupting the software from working properly. All of us have system updates recently installed but only I am facing these issues, and that too, most of the time. 

As I had mentioned in another post, system updates may cause Robohelp to generate 0 kb topics within folders. This usually get resolved as the system gets updated over time. This is also happening with all of us at present. But I am most worried about the formatting disappearing and template error messages appearing in the output view.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2021

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  1. You haven't confirmed whether source control is involved. If it is, then I suggest you trash your local copy and take a full copy afresh after one of the other authors has done a full check in.
  2. You mention a project folder with just a language folder. Are the others seeing this? If not then that too points to you not having exactly the same files.
  3. The 0kb issue. I remember that and would like to look at how that ended up. Please add a link.
  4. Whose instructions did you follow to rebuild the project?
  5. It looks like you may have skipped some instructions. I am not saying that is the problem as your colleagues are working OK. Nonetheless if the instructions weren't followed, who knows whether or not that is relevant.
  6. Can IT loan you another machine with just RoboHelp and basics on it to see if you have the same problems there? Maybe first give you an additional User Profile to see if that helps. Don't let them trash the old one yet as you will lose all sorts of program preferences. It's just a test of whether your profile is corrupt and behind the issue. IT will follow the logic of that.

________________________________________________________
See www.grainge.org for free Authoring and RoboHelp Information

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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New Here ,
Jan 13, 2021

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1. No, we dont follow source control mechanism. We simply keep a backup of our files in OneDrive.

2. The others are not seeing any extra folder appearing automatically outside of the project they are generating. They are actually generating my version on their laptops. This is how we are checking everyday. So basically, all 3 us are getting different outcomes; the other 2 are not facing any of the issue that I am experiencing. However, like I mentioned, despite seeing this extra folder out of the project I am generating and also seeing template error in the output view, the WebHelp appears fine. No issues with formatting, template, links and icons.

Also, one of the writers told me that she used to see this additional folder appearing for the other RoboHelp projects in the past. But the problem doesnt occur anymore. It got resolved on its own - must be some system issue.

3. Post the last update made to the forum, the 0 kb issue got resolved for me as well. I didnt have to create another profile, as mentioned by Peter. It resolved on its own. But the issue has resurfaced for all of us again after months of peace. Pasting link to the post for reference: https://community.adobe.com/t5/robohelp/webhelps-generated-on-laptops-using-robohelp-2017/m-p/115886...

4 & 5 Referred to the RecoverFromOutput.pdf. Although, like i said previously, due to time constraint, our team really couldnt do all that was mentioned and also I am kind of at a loss as to what needed to be removed. Whatever I understood and came out correctly through trial and error, our team proceeded to do, at that point of time, to the best of our abilities. We had to deliver the Webhelp for a release. At present, we have removed all the red square boxes and applied the master pages. So my question is what we would have experienced in those months while rebuilding the RoboHelp file, are we encountering them now? 

6. I am afraid this is difficult. It is not within the scope of the software installation team. I tried asking if there was another team who could look at this issue related to software behaviour caused by system updates. Except for RoboHelp issue, my laptop works fine. Hence, I am not sure whether I can raise a system issue complaint.

 

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