Using RoboHelp 2017



What's covered?

This topic describes issues and some of the bugs encountered with RoboHelp 2017. It will be a mix of things that I have found, things that others have found and links to useful bits of information to help you on your way.

The more people who report a bug or request a feature, the more likely it is to be actioned. So if you see a bug below that you have encountered, please follow this link.

The rows with a darker background indicate bugs that have been fixed in a patch. It does not follow the other items are bugs that have not been fixed. Some will be "how to" items.







12 Jan 2018


TOC issues with Chrome browser.

Forum users posted that WebHelp was working correctly in the main browsers but in Chrome the TOC books would not open. This followed a Chrome update and was thought to be an issue for Google to fix. Adobe then advised me that Chrome 63.0.3239.132 (Official Build) (64-bit) seemed to be OK so I tested that in a project I had and all seemed OK. However, forum users found otherwise when they tested their projects. I then tested another project and found I had some projects that worked and some that did not. Eventually I found the difference was that projects created in RoboHelp 2017 were working again after the above Chrome update but projects created in an earlier version did not, even though they had been updated.

I took this back to Adobe and they came up with a fix for RoboHelp 2017 that also works for RoboHelp 2015. By identifying the change made by Adobe, it was found that the same change in the same file also works for RoboHelp 10 and 11.The change is detailed below.

It is anticipated that Adobe will be issuing this fix direct in early February for RoboHelp 2015 and 2017 users, either via a tech note or a patch. RoboHelp 10 and 11 are out of support.

  1. Open the following folder <install dir>\RoboHTML\WebHelp5Ext\template_stock
  2. Create a backup copy for the following file whthost.js
  3. Copy the original to a folder outside of Program Files.
  4. Open the file whthost.js in a text editor with line numbering such as Notepad++.
  5. In line 872 (RoboHelp 2015 and 2017) or line 868 (RoboHelp 10 and 11) change the following line from
    sText = sText.replace("\n", "");
    sText = sText.replace(/\n/g, "");
  6. Save the edited file and copy it back to <install dir>\RoboHTML\WebHelp5Ext\template_stock overwriting the original

Please note I only tested in RoboHelp 2017 but forum users have posted success with other versions. Provided you make the backup as instructed, it can be reversed.


12 Jan 2018


Responsive Help issues with Internet Explorer.

Forum users posted that responsive layouts were either failing to load or the search failed to complete. Willam van Weelden posted Tracker Bug 960 with a fix that he had created and that worked for those visiting the forum.

Another user posted that in merged responsive projects, topics were not synchronising with the TOC when viewed in Internet Explorer.

Adobe have provided me with files that fix these issuesand it is anticipated that they will be issuing this fix direct late February / early March. Meantime they can be downloaded in this zip file.

Willam's fix changed both loadprojdata.js (line 251) loadparentdata.js (line 103). The Adobe fix only changed loadprojdata.js and it is advised that if you have applied Willam's fix that you revert to Adobe's original loadparentdata.js as well. For simplicity, a copy of that is included in the zip file.


25 Nov 2017


Mobile Apps not generating.

Look for two possibilities.

If you have not changed the HTML5 layout to those supplied with Update 2, you will see a message stating that usersettings.js could not be update. Choose one of the layouts from the Gallery after Update 2 has been applied. If you have previously used an earlier version and are not ready to delete it, give the new layout a different name.

You also need to delete the Mobile App output that shipped with RoboHelp and then right click in the Output pod and select New Layout. Select Mobile App to set up the revised version that ships with Update 2.


07 Nov 2017

Peter Grainge

Update 2 released.

Click here to see what's included.

For those of you who didn't like the CSH calls changed in RoboHelp 2015 Update 4, you will be pleased to learn the help will now open with the TOC etc.

If you have not already applied Update 1, you only need to install Update 2, Update 1 is included.


07 Nov 2017

Peter Grainge

Click here to show message in full context.

Why do you sometimes see this message in an HTML5 output? It can occur when the help is not opened via the start page.

What does it mean? It simply means that if you click on it, you will see the same topic but with the full TOC, index and so on.

To change it to your preferred text, go to the Project ribbon and click Project Settings > General tab > Advanced > Labels. Scroll down to the Responsive Help section. Edit the ShowTopicInContext text.


07 Nov 2017

Peter Grainge

Generate folder not cleared with HTML5 outputs.

When you generate WebHelp, RoboHelp first deletes everything in the folder. This is a deliberate policy so that there is nothing left in the folder that could taint how the content works. Sometimes though you want a link to something that for whatever reason you cannot include in the project. For those situations, the Publish process can be used. You simply publish to the location you have set for publishing, RoboHelp will not delete addtional files in this process.

That works well in WebHelp but for some reason the generate folder does not delete everything. That may suit you but I still recommend using the Publish process. First Adobe could change things and second it would require more testing of what gets left before I would rely on not losing extra files.


07 Nov 2017

Peter Grainge

Merged HTML5 help issues.

The standard set by WebHelp is that any child can work standalone as well as part of a merge. The logic is that the author hands over the complete merge to the developers and they can install the parent and any combination of children or install a child project standalone.

Merged HTML5 help works in a different way and it is necessary for the author to create different merges as required or to generate standalone versions. I have flagged this with Adobe and requested they consider making merged HTML5 help work the same way as merged WebHelp.

As a result of the different way merged HTML5 help works, you will encounter the following issues:-

- The search fails if any child is deleted from the generated merge. All projects must be installed.

- Child projects cannot be copied from the merge output to run standalone. If removed, the search fails. Also thumbnails fail.

- Home" does not appear in breadcrumbs for a merge. Bizarrely if you add breadcrumbs to a master page in a merge, then Home does appear. To remove the standard breadcrumbs, you could set the colour to be the same as the background so that they are not seen. However, hovering over that area would still cause the cursor to display a hand. The better solution is to find the breadcrumb section in the topic.slp and remove it.

- These issues are included in Tracker RH-1130 on Adobe's bug reporting system.

Additionally there is a bug not related to this change in the way HTML5 help works whereby if the merge is viewed in IE11, the TOC does not merge when the user navigates around the help using topic hyperlinks, the TOC, the search, the index or the breadcrumbs. This is a separate issue and Adobe are aware of it.


07 Nov 2017

Peter Grainge

Pasted PNGs get converted to GIF files.

Apply Update 2 to so that the pasted image remains as a PNG.


07 Nov 2017

Peter Grainge

Thumbnail distortion.

In the first release if a thumbnail was clicked, the full size image had too large a border and if it was wider than the screen, it was very distorted. These issues have been fixed in the updates. Apply Update 2 and both issues should be fixed.


29 Oct 2017


Ocean HTML5 layout removed.

This layout has been removed in Update 2 because of technical issues.


09 May 2017


Cannot add new FlashHelp outputs.

Existing FlashHelp SSLs can still be used in RoboHelp 2017 but new layouts cannot be added. This option has been removed.


04 May 17


Update 1 released.

Click here to see what's included.

The sample projects have been updated in Program Files but they do not automatically get updated in the copy you access from RoboHelp. Copy the projects in C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe RoboHelp 2017\RoboHTML\Samples and save them in My RoboHelp Projects in your Documents folder. Rename the earlier versions if you want to keep them for some reason.

Update 22 September 2017 - Unfortunately there is still an issue with the Employee Care sample In the Responsive Layout you need to the Conditional Build Expression under Content to Exclude from all filter options.


27 Mar 17


Dropdown text off screen in Ocean layout.

If a dropdown hotspot is near the bottom of the screen when clicked, the page does not move up to display all the content of the dropdown. No known workaround.


18 Feb 17

Peter Grainge

Open RoboHelp 2017 projects in RoboHelp 2015.

RoboHelp 2017 projects can be opened in RoboHelp 2015 and worked on. There is just one area to be careful with, HTML5 outputs.

If you need to work on the same project in both versions

The new Indigo and Ocean layouts can only be added in RoboHelp 2017 and the safest option is to only edit and generate them in that version. If such a project is later opened in RoboHelp 2015, whilst you can generate the output, it will not work correctly. Changes could be made in the RoboHelp 2015 editor but again not all would take.

With other HTML5 layouts, it depends on the version of RoboHelp in which you added the layout.

  • If it was added in RoboHelp 2015, you can generate from RoboHelp 2015 or 2017.
  • If it was added in RoboHelp 2017, it's the same as for the Indigo and Ocean layouts, don't work on the layouts or generate them in RoboHelp 2015.

If you accidentally generate from RoboHelp 2015, open the project again in RoboHelp 2017 and generate from there.

In short

  • If you select an HTML5 layout in a RoboHelp 2017 output, you must generate from RoboHelp
  • If you need to work using both versions, the best advice to avoid releasing an incorrectly functioning output is not to do anything with the layout in RoboHelp 2015.

To permanently work in RoboHelp 2015 on a project created in RoboHelp 2017

You can only edit and generate HTML5 layouts that were created in RoboHelp 2015. If your project contains any layouts created in RoboHelp 2017, you must delete them (or at least not use them) and add new layouts in RoboHelp 2015. That will mean you will not be able to select the Indigo and Ocean layouts.


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Topic Revisions


Changes to this page

03 Feb 2017

New topic.

New items will not be listed here as they are apparent from the date.