Robohelp 2020 - Stuck At Indexing references

New Here ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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So I have read through replies here and tried some things (mostly new small TOC) to no avail. I am attempting to generate Microsoft HTML Help and it sits at Indexing references for 30+ minutes. I am at a loss and of course under a deadline to get this Help system compiled for a major release. I am exporting to the following Output Path...C:\_Help_Output.

 

FYI...I have also attempted to output to Responsive HTML5 and it too gets stuck but when I finally give up and shutdown Robohelp the HTML5 Help appears to be generated and navigable.

FYI #2...I had the same problem in 2019.14 and hoped moving to 2020 might fix it by some miracle but alas...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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There was a fix for one of the issues behind sticking at Indexing References. Since then I have looked at a couple of projects and the issue has been a topic with some code RoboHelp doesn't like.

 

In the last one it was a topic that I think had been pasted in from Word that referred to styles that weren't in the CSS.

 

The only way I think you are going to find the cause is this. You create a new TOC and open it in the Authoring area. Don't worry about creating books, just drag topics or folders from the Contents panel. Try say 10/20% of your topics. Then see if that will generate.

  • If it doesn't start deleting sections from that TOC and generate until it does.
  • If it does generate, add more until it doesn't.

 

When you can pinpoint a topic, we can look at it.

 

I have to ask, if you had this problem in 2019, how did you generate anything?

 

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 ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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I have been maintaing this particular Help system since the Macromedia days, I have generated this Help in almost every Version of Robohelp since X5 and was able to generate it in Version 2019 New UI but an earlier Build than 14, not sure which build though. I just created a new TOC with a single topic and it appears to be stuck on it, although I will give it some more time.

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New Here ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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I picked a simple topic so I could post the code for you to have a look. It doesn't appear to have any invalid CSS/Style references.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
  <meta name="topic-status" content="Complete" />
  <meta name="topic-priority" content="0" />
  <meta name="topic-time-estimate" content="0" />
  <meta name="topic-comment" content="" />
  <meta name="topic-id" content="The Splash Screen" />
  <meta name="generator" content="Adobe RoboHelp 2020" />
  <title>The Opening Screen</title>
  <link rel="StyleSheet" href="../assets/css/default.css" type="text/css" />
</head>
<body>
  <p><span data-condition="Others:Print"> <?rh-placeholder type="breadcrumbs" 
 ph-align="2" sep-char="&gt;" home="Top" usetopicformat="1" ph-style="font-family:Arial;font-size:12pt;font-weight: normal;font-style: normal;text-decoration: none;" ?></span></p>
  <h1>The Opening Screen</h1>
  <p>When you initially open CABINET VISION, the opening screen is the first window that you will see. Pictured below is the typical opening screen for CABINET VISION.</p>
  <p style="color: #0000ff; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: underline; ">Click on the options in the image below for more help</p>
  <p style="color: #0000ff; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: underline; "><img src="../assets/images/image1480.png" usemap="#imagemap1" /><map name="imagemap1"><area alt="" coords="1041, 700, 1121, 722" href="../Introduction/Getting_Started/Understanding_the_Solid_Window.htm#StatusbarMenu" shape="rect" title=""/><area alt="" coords="2, 700, 283, 718" href="../Introduction/Getting_Started/Understanding_the_Solid_Window.htm#Statusbar" shape="rect" title=""/><area alt="" coords="1074, 31, 1117, 55" href="../Introduction/Getting_Started/Understanding_the_Solid_Window.htm#StyleSelection" shape="rect" title=""/><area alt="" coords="1041, 3, 1143, 24" href="../Introduction/Getting_Started/Understanding_the_Solid_Window.htm#MinMaxClose" shape="rect" title=""/><area alt="" coords="421, 5, 522, 23" href="../Introduction/Getting_Started/Understanding_the_Solid_Window.htm#Titlebar" shape="rect" title=""/><area alt="" coords="97, 26, 165, 48" href="Ribbonbar/Main_Tab/SL_Main_Tab.htm" shape="rect" title=""/><area alt="" coords="2, 47, 958, 129" href="Ribbonbar/Main_Tab/SL_Main_Tab.htm" shape="rect" title=""/><area alt="" coords="47, 26, 98, 49" href="Ribbonbar/Main_Tab/SL_Main_Tab.htm" shape="rect" title=""/><area alt="" coords="-3, 29, 52, 51" href="../Introduction/File_Menu/The_CV_Button.htm" shape="rect" title=""/><area alt="" coords="3, 2, 89, 25" href="../Introduction/Quick_Access_Toolbar.htm" shape="rect" title=""/></map></p>
  <p style="font-weight: normal; color: Transparent; text-decoration: none; "> </p>
  <p style="font-weight: normal; color: Transparent; text-decoration: none; "> </p>
  <p style="font-weight: normal; color: Transparent; text-decoration: none; "> </p>
</body>
</html>

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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Try just three or four more topics on their own to prove it is sticking with any topic. Then post back.

 

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 ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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I did double check one of my other help systems and it generates fine.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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My expectation is they will all fail and the problem is elsewhere.

 

If that's the case, create a new project just for test purposes. Import one of the topics that failed in your project and your CSS. Generate that.

 

If that too fails, unlink your CSS and link the default.css from new project and try again. 

 

In the event your original project is using default.css before you import rename default.css in your new project default_new.css so that you can make the switch.

 

Post back where you get to with that.

 

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 ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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OK but that doesn't tell us why this one doesn't.

 

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 ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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Yeah just proves to me that Robohelp can successfully generate a CHM on my computer.

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New Here ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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Tried 3 other topics individually and they all failed.

I created a new Project, renamed the default.css to default_new.css. Imported one of the topics that failed and it generated fine using my default.css.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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I'm not saying it can't. The issue is why not in this project? What I am hoping to do is establish what it is about this project that is giving you grief.

 

If you try what I have suggested I am hoping that at some point your topic generates. When we know which step changed things, we should hopefully get somewhere. A possible cause is something in the CSS so finding that with a clean CSS works, if it does, will help prove that.

 

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 ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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Sorry was just posting other things I tried. I'll try to stay on topic with you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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So your topic with your original CSS is generating OK in the new project, correct?

 

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 ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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Yes.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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OK so we now know it is not the topics or the CSS. It could be the TOC or it could be the Preset.

 

Try creating a new preset first and not a duplicate.

 

Any master pages involved?

 

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 ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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A New (not a duplicate) Preset was one of the first things I tried before posting up here.

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New Here ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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No Master Pages.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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So we have ruled out:-

  • Topic code as the same code generates in a new project.
  • CSS as the same CSS works in a new project.
  • Master page applying a different CSS as there is no master page.
  • A corrupt preset.

 

Running out of ideas. Can you share the project? If you can, then see the Contact page on my site and send the project as instructed there. Do make sure you include a link to this thread and please do not email the project direct.

 

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 ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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I have sent it over to you. Thanks for the help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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Everything I have tried so far has failed but I can look some more tomorrow. Meantime there is one more thing you could try.

 

Use File Explorer to duplicate your working project. In the duplicate and still in File Explorer delete everything in the Contents folder and then copy across the same folder from the rogue project.

 

Open the duplicate and create a new preset. Does it then generate?

 

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 ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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I thought you might be onto something but that did not work.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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OK. Let's see what some more poking around tomorrow finds.

 

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 ,
Jul 21, 2020 Jul 21, 2020

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This is a troublesome project but after a couple of hours I have some idea of where the problems are.

 

Follow these steps.

 

  1. Create a brand new project. Do not be tempted to reuse an existing project.
  2. Rename the default.css file to default01.css or something so that no default.css is found in the next steps.
  3. In the Contents panel right click and select Import Folder.
  4. Navigate to your main project and import only the Introduction folders.
  5. In the TOC drag that folder to the TOC.
  6. Set up the responsive preset and use your usual default topic.
  7. Generate and it should work. 
  8. Repeat steps 4 to 7 for each folder.
    Do not import more than one folder at a time.
    Do not import the Part Level folder.
    Generate after each import.
  9. You should find you can still generate. The styles will be wrong and there will be no images but it will generate.
  10. Create a copy of the project as it is now and zip it. You will likely need to come back to this stage of the rebuild.

 

Now at this point no topic has a CSS applied as they are pointing to default.css and in Step 2 we made sure that doesn't exist.

 

What I have tried is then:-

  1. Adding the Part Level folder. Project no longer generates.
  2. Adding back default.css and your other CSS files. Project no longer generates.
  3. Ading back the images in the assets folder. Project no longer generates.

 

Now it might be that adding those things back in a different order will establish which one is the problem. It could of course be any one, any two or all three. The important thing is without those it generated in a new project.

 

Whilst you said responsive did generate notwithstanding the message, I got to that point but found search did not work. Maybe other things too.

 

I will look some more when I can but hopefully that will help get you back a working project.

 

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 ,
Jul 21, 2020 Jul 21, 2020

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Thanks so much for all your help so far. I'll give this a try and see what I come up with.

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