PDF Output Failed. How to debug? (Robohelp 2020)

Explorer ,
Feb 10, 2021

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Hello all! I find it impossible to build my current project to PDF and I'd like some tips on how to debug the issue... I jave JAVA installed, and building the RoboHelp sample project to PDF works fine. However my current project does not work fine, and I'm not sure why not. Note that I have created a unique ToC for it, as a "book" and with front-matter, so from what I've read it should build fine... I have checked the output log generated by RoboHelp for any information too, but it is zero help (screenshot below anyway, just in case):

Mark_Noc_0-1612944647728.png

This document was originally designed as web only, so was started with the Frameless output, and then later PDF/CHM were requested... CHM and web build fine. 

 

My only recourse seems to be to make a copy of the project and start removing pages to find out which one (or ones) are causing the issue, but that seems like a rather painful and laborious task, so I'm hoping someone here can give me pointers on potential causes, as well as tips on debugging.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2021

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The first thing to try is generate the About RoboHelp sample project. If that generates OK we know the issue is with your project.

 

Create a copy of your project to try the following.

 

1] Go to the Topic List Report and select all topics. Right click and select Properties and deselect your CSS. Apply the default.css. If you have been using that, grab a copy from a new project and copy that in with a different name. Apply that CSS. That will rule out a CSS issue.

 

2] Then it is a divide and conquer approach but it is easier in the new UI. Create two copies of the TOC and delete different halves. Do either then generate?

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

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Mark_Noc AUTHOR
Explorer ,
Feb 10, 2021

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Hello Peter! Thanks for the reply... Okay, so the CSS isn't the issue as I get the problem whether I'm using the default CSS (copied from a blank project, as I'd edited the default CSS of this project), or not. 

 

As for the duplicate ToC suggestion, that sounds like a good plan, actually! Binary partioning to find the error... I'll go through that process now and see how I get on. Seems an obvious way to approach things, and I can't believe it didn't occur to me! Thanks!

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Mark_Noc AUTHOR
Explorer ,
Feb 11, 2021

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So, to update... The current ToC has 6 "Chapters" with multiple sub-chapters within. I removed the first 3 and the last 3 and tried to build both. The one that has the first 3 chapters builds to PDF, the one with the last 3 gets stuck on "Transforming Into PDF pages", which is an improvement over the "Just won't build" of before. However, I can't narrow it down any further... I've tried building with different configrations of chapters from the last half of the document, and no matter what, if anything from the last three chapters is included the build process gets stuck on "Transforming Into PDF Pages". I've even left builds running overnight to see if it was just a question of time and after 14 hours, they still haven't built and are still "transforming"... So I'm back to square one of trying to find a way to properly debug PDF ouput or get suggestions on what could be causing this stall when transforming pages... 😞

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2021

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I recently dealt with a similar issue and when the second half failed, I had to remove a few topics at a time. Eventually I found removing just one topic allowed the PDF to build. The worst bit is there was no obvious reason but the person concerned rebuilt that topic and it was fine.

 

There is no quick way, sorry.

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

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Mark_Noc AUTHOR
Explorer ,
Feb 11, 2021

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Okay, thanks Peter. I'll just bite the bullet and get on with it then! I'll update the topic if I find anything concrete that's causing the issue...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2021

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I removed say ten topics at a time until it generated, it took several hours. Then I knew the problem was the last ten so I put everything else back in to confirm it then generated. After that it was one topic at a time until I found the rogue topic.

________________________________________________________
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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