What's covered?

This topic is for those small bits of information that don't warrant a topic by themselves but are lifesavers when you need them! I expect most will come from the RoboHelp Forums and the Credit column will tell you who posted it.

About Snippets

The number of snippets had grown to the point where it was difficult to easily find items relevant to a problem. I have now split the snippets into the following categories.






AIR Help

Content Creation


RoboHelp HTML - Features and Use








Navigation Pane

RoboHelp for Word






Importing from Word

Printed Documentation

Source Control

If you have found a RoboHelp forum post with an old Snippet number, click here to find the new number.









See Passwords
See JavaHelp
See 10/10
See Print Issues
See Print Issues
See Print Issues
See Opening Projects

1 - AIR Help





04 Aug 2011 Praful Jain

Firefox does not display customised Air browser based skin when viewed from a server.

Open the Browser based help output folder and open the main.hf file in the that folder using Notepad or any text editor.

Locate the string theme="Themes\

Change this to theme="Themes/

Save and publish it to your server.

29 Mar 2009 Adobe

AIR Help not displaying correct styles?

One person reported that their browser based AIR help was fine but in the locally installed version they were not seeing the correct styles. I checked it out on my machine and it was fine. I was able to ascertain though that this problem had been seen and there is a solution.

Switch on the option "Convert RoboHelp edited topics to HTML" in Tools > Options.

Back to top

2 - Browsers





14 Feb 2014 Adobe

IE10 and 11 Problems with RoboHelp 10 and 11.

If you experience the problems below, click here to download the fix from Adobe's site.


RoboHelp Version Affected

When Mark of the Web is turned on in WebHelp, the WebHelp TOC and Merged Help appear blank in IE11. 10 and 11
WebHelp TOC does not appear and search does not work in Google Chrome browser on the Apple MAC OS when viewed locally. 10 and 11
Topic titles containing a single quotation mark/apostrophe are preceded by an escape character in the index popup menu
For example: Customer's displays as Customer\'s in index pop-up.
10 and 11
WebHelp Index popups do not appear in IE11 10
The WebHelp output keeps flickering/refreshing when opened on a Chrome browser (cannot be viewed on a Google Chrome browser) 10
19 Dec 2010

Brendan Ellis and Tulika Garg

Tim Green and EC Software.

Can't open WebHelp from a local drive using Chrome?

UPDATE 09 Jan 2012
Solution 2 added providing a safer solution.

Solution 1

Brendan Ellis posted a solution on the RoboHelp forums that I have modified a little. Subsequently an easier solution has been produced by the guys at EC Software, perhaps better known to you as the producers of Help and Manual. See Solution 2 below.

The problem is that Chrome has a strict security policy for html pages viewed locally (from disk and not from a web server) because of which iframes in RoboHelp output fail to load. If you publish the same output to any web server and view it in Chrome from there, it will work just fine for you.

To enable local viewing of your output, you will have to disable this extra security check in Chrome. You can do that by launching Chrome.exe with "--allow-file-access-from-files" option.

  1. Create a copy of your Chrome shortcut on the desktop and rename it to RH Chrome Local (or some such indicator).
  2. Right-click the new Chrome icon and choose Properties
  3. Add the "--allow-file-access-from-files" text to the end of the path displaying in Target. Make sure you leave a space between the original string and the tag you are adding to the end of it.
  4. Click OK to save.
  5. If you have any Chrome instances open, close them.
  6. To open a local copy of the WebHelp
    Use this new shortcut to open Chrome and then press Ctrl + Open and browse to the start page
    Open Chrome with the new shortcut, then right click the start page, click Open With > Google Chrome. Because Chrome is already open, it will use that instance.

This method need only and should only be used when opening local webhelp that you have created or trust.

You can find more details about this security issue in Chrome at this link.

My path is as below, you may need to surround the path and exe with quotes as in the second example.

C:\Users\<insert user name>\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe --allow-file-access-from-files

“C:\Users\<insert user name>\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” --allow-file-access-from-files

UPDATE 25 Jan 2010 - A further post from Tim Green.

Solution 2

Click here to go to Help and Manual's HM2GO server page. There you can download a lightweight server that allows your default browser to open webhelp locally. It can be be used with any browser to avoid the problems that can be encountered when running webhelp from a local drive / DVD drive.

  • Webhelp can be run locally using Chrome.
  • In some circumstances, PDF files will not open from locally installed help.

This lightweight server ensures your help will open and work as if it were installed on a normal web server and thus overcome those problems.

Download the executable file and install HM2GO on your PC. (You do not need to install HM2GO on user PCs). Full instructions are given on Help and Manual's site but here's the short version.

To run webhelp locally on your machine

Run HM2GO.exe and it will open your default browser with a page whose address is Substitute :welcome with the absolute path to your help. If your default browser is Chrome, you will find the help opens properly and functions.

To run webhelp locally on another machine

Create a folder with whatever name you want, say Demo.

Copy HM2GO.exe into that folder and create a batch file named say start.bat.

Following instructions on Help and Manual's site, I entered the following in the batch file.

@echo off
start /B HM2GO.EXE /P:8810 /T:0 /PRJ:./WebHelp/index.htm

Then I copied the help to be run into a folder off Demo called WebHelp.

When I run the batch file, my default browser opens and displays the help.

To run webhelp from a DVD

You can either burn the files from the previous section to a CD/DVD or you can substitute the start.bat file with an autorun.inf file

open=HM2GO.EXE /P:8810 /T:0 /PRJ:./webhelp/index.htm

In Windows 7 the AutoPlay dialog will open and show your icon and the HM2GO.exe file. Click that to start the help.

See also Snippet 75. I haven't tried merging the two but it should be possible.

With all options, when you have finished using HM2GO, you need to close the server. There will be an icon in the system tray, right click and choose Exit.

Many thanks to Tim Green and his colleagues at EC Software for sharing this utility and making it free to use, including commercially.


17 Feb 2005 Rick Stone and Susan Neal

IE and the Information Bar.

If webhelp is installed onto a local machine rather than accessed via a server, then the Internet Explorer security settings may prevent the help from being accessed.

In short, either the user must allow the content each time the webhelp is accessed or they must lower their security settings, which needless to say Microsoft do not recommend. (In IE, Tools | Options | Advanced | Security | Tick "Allow active content to run in files on My Computer".)

This is only an issue with locally installed help, not server based help. It is understood from feedback that terminal servers and Citrix may treat webhelp as if it were installed locally.

Back to top

3 - CHMs





24 Jan 2016 Eager Beager

Window caption displays as HTML Help, not the defined caption.

For localized versions of HTML Help windows, unless your version of Windows is in the same target language, the title  will be "HTML Help".

18 Aug 2013 Bill Bloomberg and Tami Settergren

Searching in Asian Pacific (double-byte) languages / Garbage in TOC and Index.

My thanks to Bill Bloomberg for writing this up.

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. Figuring out which of the three is not intuitive. Here are the steps:

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Region and Language icon.
  3. On the tabs listed below, do the following:
  • Format - click on the Format down-arrow and select a language. In this example, let's choose "Chinese (Traditional, Taiwan)".
  • Location - click on the Current location down-arrow and select "China".
  • Keyboards and Languages - don’t change anything here, unless you actually have a Chinese keyboard and enjoy trying to decipher Chinese characters on screen. This tab changes the language of many of the items displayed on your screen and in Windows Explorer, and expects that you will be entering data on a Chinese keyboard, which I assume is slightly different from an English one.
  • Administrative - click the Current system locale down-arrow and select "Chinese (Traditional, Taiwan)" again.
  1. When prompted, restart your computer.

You are now ready to compile your Chinese CHM files. When complete, open the CHM and test the Search function to ensure that everything works properly.

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.


See the full thread at

See for information about the TOC and Index showing garbage characters.

30 Dec 2012 Rick Stone

Glossary not shown and / or browse sequence bar not appearing.

From time to time there are forum posts about these problems even though the CHM works fine on the author's PC after compiling and clicking View Result. If the author opens the file directly or if a user opens it, then the Glossary or Browse Sequence(s) may not work.

The reason is that both of these RoboHelp specific features require a file named HHActiveX.DLL to be copied to and registered on the user's PC. When your CHM is installed, your developers need to copy and register the correct version of the DLL according to whether the user has a 32 or 64 bit system. The DLL contains the code that enables the glossary and browse sequence function.

When RoboHelp is installed, it automatically registers the 32 bit DLL on your machine and uses that so that your CHM works correctly when you click View Result, even on 64 bit systems. If you open the CHM directly on a 64 bit system, the Glossary and Browse Sequence(s) will not work unless you manually register the 64 bit version of HHActiveX.DLL that ships with RoboHelp 9 and above.

The 32 bit version can be found at C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe RoboHelp 10\Redist.

The 64 bit version can be found at C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe RoboHelp 10\Redist\x64.

There are various ways to register the DLL manually.

One way is to press the Windows key and the letter R, then enter "cmd" without the quotes and click OK. Then type cd: C:\Windows\System32 and press Enter. Next type regsvr32.exe followed by a space and then the path to the DLL followed by the filename. For example

regsvr32 path/hhactivex.dll

The above is correct for both 32 bit and 64 bit systems provided the correct version (32 or 64 bit) version of the DLL is in the folder.

I suggest you liaise with your developers.


If the glossary and / or browse sequence bar do not appear when you click View Result on your machine, check the properties of the window you selected when compiling. Make sure these features are enabled. It is important that the window was created when the CHM layout was marked as the default layout. Otherwise those properties will not be shown.

17 May 2011 Peter Grainge and Karen Graf

Absolute path problem with merged CHMs.

If you are having a problem caused by the name of the CHMs in the Merge Files section of the HHP file being preceded by an absolute path, see Item 13 in Using RoboHelp 9.

23 Apr 2011 Peter Grainge

Cannot open the file at mk:@MSITStore...

Trying to open a CHM and getting this message is something that seems to crop up regularly rather than frequently.

Usually the answer is to run MJ's diagnostics and it will find some DLL not registered and fixing that fixes the problem. There is more information in both of these threads.

Thread One

Thread Two

However one person posted that the problem only occured with one CHM and, of course, an unregistered DLL will, in most cases, affect all CHMs. Digging deeper into the second link I found another cause of this message that would only affect specific CHMs.

"I finally found out that the error was caused because the name of the directory containing the .chm files had non-English characters. After changing the directory's name to simple English - everything works."

That is probably the first thing to check out if you have this problem.

30 Mar 2010 David Spreadbury and Rob Chandler

Microsoft HTML Workshop Version Number.

From time to time we see questions about whether the current version is 1.3 or 1.4.

The answer to this confusion is on Microsoft's site. The following extract explains the situation. See the full article.

Important  Please note that the latest version of the HTML Help technology is 1.4, as is the SDK. The latest version of the HTML Help Workshop download is 1.3. As of June 2009 there is no HTML Help Workshop 1.4.

As Rob Chandler explains on the HATT forum in this thread:

All they are saying is ... don't worry that the Workshop internal version number is 1.3 while the HH Runtime is 1.4.

02 Aug 2008 Pete Lees and Leon Descoteaux

Duplicated results when searching a CHM.

In a since removed thread, Pete Lees pointed to Helpware's article explaining how this can be caused by links to topics outside the project. The text of the thread can be read in this text file and it contains useful information.

In another thread, Leon Descoteaux (MergeThis) suggested corruption in the single source layout and creating a new one fixed the problem.

16 Feb 2006 Peter Grainge

Print woes when printing all topics in a book in CHM help.

Two problems typically arise.

The style sheet definitions are lost.

To avoid that problem you need a copy of the stylesheet in each folder. Make sure your topics point to the style sheet in the same folder as the topic and they will then print correctly when the user selects "Print all topics in book", even though the topics may be coming from different folders.

Download this RoboHelp project if you want to prove it works.

Table borders do not print correctly.

A fairly common problem is that table borders do not print correctly when printing a topic from a CHM file. In fact the problem only arises when you select the option to print all topics in a book, rather than just the displayed topic. The problem is that the Microsoft help viewer cannot deal with the way RoboHelp writes the code for tables. Why it can deal with it from a single topic and not multiple topics, I cannot tell you. The appearance of styles generally can get messed up when printing all topics in a book but that can be resolved. Unfortunately the method does not fix table borders.

The only thing that I found that worked was to create the topics in Dreamweaver or some other editor. However, that works only so long as the topic is not opened in the RoboHelp editor. As soon as it is, the problem is back, even if you do not touch the table.


25 Jun 2005

Peter Grainge

What happens if a CHM file is linked to a web page?

I cannot really tell you what you will see as that will depend on the browser you are using, the version of that browser and the patches that have been installed. Typically you will be given the opportunity to Open the file or Save it. In reality, if you select Open, the file still has to download but it is then opened from a temporary directory. Some browsers will force you to save the file first.

In IE8, you will be offered the option of opening the file or saving it. Firefox used to force you to save the file but testing it in Firefox 3.5.3 it just opens a page of garbage on the server I use.

Click here to find out.

Either way, it is time consuming and the Security Warning message that will be displayed if you elect to open the help can be intimidating for some users.

Unless you can contemplate making registry changes that compromise security, a chm file is now effectively limited to being run from the user's hard disk. For anything else you need webhelp.

Back to top

4 - Content Creation





03 May 2013 Peter Grainge

Smart Paste from Word loses images.

If you paste in content from Word using RoboHelp 9 or above, you can paste text, tables and images. A poster on the RoboHelp forums reported the images were not coming in. I tested and got the same result with their document and mixed results with other documents until I found the obscure but easily fixed problem.

In Word, open the document and go File > Options > Advanced > Web Options.

You will see an option Rely on VML for displaying graphics in browsers.

Deselect that and save.

Copy and paste again and the images will be included.

I believe the setting is per document.

18 Mar 2013 Peter Grainge

Problems with one list following another.

If you have say a numbered list item followed by say a bulleted list, you may find the closing tag for the first list appears after the second list.

This is a bug but there is a workaround.

Create a paragraph style called Spacer or suchlike. Set the font to be 1pt and no top or bottom margin. After the first list, insert a line using that style, then create the second list. With just 1pt between the lists, the space line will not be noticeable.

10 Feb 2013 Piyush Bhatnagar

XLSX spreadsheet files opening as zip files.

Two people posted this problem using WebHelp Pro. Piyush posted this soluton.


This is an issue with MIME-Mapping for new file formats such as docx, xlsx, pptx etc. You can add the following lines in web.xml file (which is present in <install location for Tomcat>\conf)

<mime-type>application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetm l.sheet</mime-type>

Restart tomcat and now the baggage file should open as an .xlsx file.

09 Feb 2013 Peter Grainge

Creating page breaks.

RoboHelp 9 introduced the ability to create page breaks that work when topics are printed from the online help and survive the trip to printed documentation. Generally the feature works fine but if the style following the page break is different from the style preceding it, a blank line is inserted in whatever is printed.

This alternative method avoids that problem and will work in any version of RoboHelp.

Open your CSS file and add this line.

.break {page-break-before: always;}

The first instance of the word "break" (in red) is the name of this style and can be changed to anything else you prefer but stick to alpha characters and avoid spaces.

When you want to insert a page break, go to the beginning of the line that is to be on the next page. Select "break" from the style dropdown. In the design editor you will see the page break symbol on the line above.

16 May 2012 John Daigle, Willam van Weelden and Peter Grainge

Non-scrolling region.

Authors who have produced WinHelp will remember the non-scrolling region, an area at the top of the screen that remained visible as the user scrolled down the topic. From time to time people have asked for a method of achieving the same with WebHelp.

The CSS style below will give you what you want and the lines are commented to help you understand what each part does.

H1 {
font-weight: bold;
font-size: 18pt;
/* sets height of scrolling region */
line-height: 30pt;
/* fixes the region to the position set by the following lines */
position: fixed;
/* sets position of top of scroll region relative to container */
top: 0pt;
/* sets position of left of scroll region relative to container */
left: 0pt;
/* sets position of right of scroll region relative to container */
right: 0pt;
/* sets all four margins */
margin: 0pt;
/* padding top right bottom left */
padding: 10pt 0pt 10pt 10pt;
/* prevent body text being seen behind non-scrolling region */
background: white;
/* adds a visible line at the bottom of the non-scrolling region */
border-bottom: 1px solid #000000;

With that alone your topic will look fine in Design View but in a browser the first few lines of text will be hidden behind the non-scrolling region. You can add some blank lines to compensate but it's probably easier to add

padding-top: 50pt;

to the body tag.

You will see too much white space at the top of the topic in Design View but it will be OK in the browser.

Change the measurements to suit your requirements.

Note: This method does not work in CHMs.

20 May 2010 Peter Grainge

Make CSS list styles work when you upgrade from RoboHelp 7 or below to RoboHelp 8 or above.

See Lists.

18 May 2010 Peter Grainge

Aligning Lists.

Getting different lists to align neatly in a topic is a frequent source of woe.

Click here to see how the different selectors (tags) affect the display of your lists. You can view that regardless of which version of RoboHelp you are using.

Then download this zip file. If you have RoboHelp 8 or above, you can open the project and play with the different CSS files to see how changing the property values affect the lists. If you have an earlier version, you can use the CSS files and create similar topics.

Note that the last item in some lists will not display correctly in IE8. This appears to be the way RoboHelp writes the HTML. The Default 5 topic displays correctly so the styles can be coaxed into working.

14 Jun 2009 Leon Descoteaux

Return to top.

When you view topics or web pages, you may see the author has included a Return to Top link at many points in the page. Leon came up with a better solution, one link that is always at the bottom of the page!

With slight amendments and some of my comments, this is what he posted.

Leon's Post

We found that too many links became overwhelming. We decided to only provide a Return to Top at the bottom of each scrollable topic. I worked up a scrolling (floating) link. (Note the "z-index: 1;" setting in the .css file; that causes the link to always be layered over anything else on the page.)

It looks like this:

This is the code to be used within each topic and within your (MyProject).css file:

At the top of each topic (I have it just under the H1 heading)

<p class="top"><a class="topic" title="Return to Top" href="#">↑ Top</a></p>

In your .css style sheet file (place the after the default p & LI.p settings, and the A.topic's after the default A settings) {
     position: fixed;
     background-color: #f5f5dc;
     padding: 2px;
     right: 12px;
     bottom: 5px;
     z-index: 1;

PG: I did not include the link definitions in my CSS and it worked fine. That may have been because I already had appropriate definitions. See what works for you.

A.topic:visited {
     color: #4169e1;
     font-size: 80%;
     font-weight: normal;
     text-decoration: none;
     font-color: 000080;
     padding: 15;
A.topic:hover {
     color: #4169e1;
     font-size: 80%;
     font-weight: normal;
     text-decoration: none;

Simply customize my settings to suit your organization's style and formatting needs (fonts, location, padding, border, etc.).

12 Apr 2008 Akshay Madan

Entering symbols / unicode characters.

Sometimes you want to enter characters such as © or something more obscure such as or that are not in RoboHelp's symbols. Here's the easy way that accesses all the characters available on your PC, including unicode, provided you have some unicode fonts! Look for Arial Unicode MS.

Go to Start | Run and type in charmap. Locate what you want, click Select and click Copy, then paste it in.

Select the Advanced view and then Group By "Unicode SubRange". An additional dialog appears making it easier to find what you need.

30 Nov 2007 Colum McAndrew

Want a formatted multi-line text field.

Colum McAndrew posted this useful information to enable multi-line text fields to be formatted.

First off, generate a single cell table and format the text (code snippet ) as required.

Next create a form containing a button and a multi-line text field.

In the <Head> section paste:

<script LANGUAGE=JavaScript
type="text/javascript">function copy2Clipboard(element)
{; // Only works for text boxes.
textRange = document.selection.createRange();

Change the button properties to
Control Type = Plain Button
Button Caption = Copy to Clipboard
Control Identifier – Delete the default value to leave a blank field

Also add onclick="copy2Clipboard(namehere)" to the end of your <input type=submit value=Button> statement so that it reads
<input type=submit value=Button onclick="copy2Clipboard(namehere)">

Change the multi-line text field properties to
Control Identifier = namehere (where namehere is the value you specified above)
Initial text = Paste the code snippet to be copied to the PC clipboard.

Also add style="height: 1px; width: 0px;" to the end of the multi-line text area code.

Note: If the above style statement is set to style="height: 0px; width: 0px;"> a bug generates acres of blank space between the end of the multi-line text box and any other following content.

19 Oct 2007 Sheela Ayyagari

How to link to a specific cell in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Sheela worked out this method.

  1. Name the cell(s) you want to refer to in the Excel sheet. Insert | Name | Define.
  2. Create a link to the file (normal procedure in RoboHelp)
  3. Go to the TrueCode tab and insert # and the name you gave as a suffix to the link. (It doesn't work if you attempt to do this in the hyperlink dialog.)
  4. Save the topic as usual and check the link in Preview mode.

Sheela advises that RoboHelp will prompt to import the spreadsheet and that has to be done if the link is to work.

28 Nov 2006 Peter Grainge

Cut and paste from Word loses the formatting.

UPDATE 30 Jun 2011
RoboHelp 9 introduced the ability to paste formatted content from Office files and websites. See the RoboHelp Tour for more information.

This is a common complaint but it is one not restricted to RoboHelp. There are many HTML editors that lose the formatting when you paste something from Word or other applications

If you have Dreamweaver then you can paste into that and then lift the code from there and paste it into RoboHelp's HTML view (not Design view).

Be careful with tables though as RoboHelp's WYSIWYG editor writes the tables in a different way in the source files to most editors.

10 Jul 2006 Andy R

Create table from text in HTML.

HTML editors do not have the ability to convert text to a table in the same way as Microsoft Word. Andy R came up with a neat solution though.


You can use a program such as Textpad (or any text editor) to perform a search and replace of the tab (or other delimiter) character with </td><td>

Search and replace the line break character "/n" with "</td></tr>/n<tr><td>"

Then all you need to do is wrap the table with <table> tags and a little cleaning up.

31 Jan 2006 Peter Grainge

Styles not appearing as defined in the style sheet.

This problem sometimes crops up on the RoboHelp forum. It is covered in this topic and now includes a useful workaround advised by Dan Deming.


02 Aug 2005

Peter Grainge

Changing the colour of hotspots.

How to change the colour of the dropdown and expanding text hotspots, as well as the text itself, is explained in this downloadable project.

Use Winzip's extract tool to retain the structure and then go to the !SSL! folder and open the two chm files you will find. These show the same topic but with different colours because of differences in the style sheet..

The RoboHelp project is supplied so that you can experiment with your own changes.

Ignore the topic on hyperlinks.


01 Jun 2005

RH Forum Post


RoboHelp allows you to add a tooltip over images by filling in the Screen Tip field in the insert images dialog. Perhaps you want to add a tooltip somewhere else, maybe over a paragraph? Hold your mouse over this paragraph. It's as simple as the html below.

<P><acronym title="Your tooltip">Your paragraph of text.</acronym></p>

Update 28 Mar 2012 - acronym is not supported in HTML 5. Try abbr instead.

If you want something more sophisticated, Leon Descoteaux recommended Walter Zorn's really neat solution.


07 May 2005 Leon Descoteaux

Links not displaying as defined in your style sheet?

Many authors have experienced problems getting their links to appear as defined in their style sheet. Thanks to Leon Descoteaux for posting this useful snippet.

Make sure that the links are arranged in the following order inside your style sheet, including any link classes you might be using, such as plain and fancy:









Also look for any embedded hyperlink styles. They can get written into topics created when you import a Word document. See Importing Using RoboHelp for more information about this point, even if you are using an earlier version.


22 Mar 2005 Matt Zim

How to skip numbering.

Word has a skip numbering feature which used to be part of RoboHelp but somewhere along the line it was helpfully removed! For some users, creating an unnumbered (or unbulleted) list paragraph can be as simple as inserting a line break using Shift + Enter. However, your style sheet definitions may result in the different spacing between paragraphs created using that method and paragraphs with a number or bullet applied. See below and note that while the number is skipped, the spacing is wrong. A second line would also be wrong.


  1. First item.
    Another paragraph part of first item.

  2. Line created using Enter.


Matt Zim found a neat way around that. He applies the number or bullet to the first paragraph and then lets RoboHelp apply numbering or bullets to every paragraph until he has finished editing.

Thus he would create his list as


  1. First item.

  2. Another paragraph part of first item.

  3. Second item.


In true code those three lines will appear as

<li><p>First item.</p></li>

<li><p>Another paragraph part of first item.</p></li>

<li><p>Second item.</p></li>

Note how each paragraph is surrounded by <li> tags. Matt simply removes the <li> tags from the paragraphs he does not want numbered. The indentation remains correct and the numbering adjusts itself. I have removed those tags in the example and this is what you get. Perfect.


  1. First item.

  2. Another paragraph part of first item.

  3. Second item.


02 Mar 2005 Peter Grainge

The Colour Palette.

Whenever you create a new project, you just get the standard colours when you click Format | Colors.

Ever since RoboHelp X5 and above the colours are defined in the file rhcolor.apj. Once you have the colours you want in one project, you can copy that file to other projects.

You might want to keep variants like rhcolor01.apj, rhcolor02.apj etc. Just rename the one you want and copy it into a project.

You can also edit the file. Open it in a text editor and create a new section. It will be obvious what you need to do.


06 Nov 2004 Rick Stone

Edit your files such as CSS and JS direct from RoboHelp using Notepad or your preferred text editor.

  1. Click Tools | Options | Tool Locations tab

  2. Click an existing extension, this will populate the Program for Editing and Program for Viewing fields with the application for that file type.

  3. In the field below the listed extensions, type over the whatever is shown with the file type to be added, precede it with a full stop / period (for example .CSS).

  4. Click the Add button.

  5. Leave the Program for Editing and Program for Viewing fields unchanged if they are displaying the required editor for the new file type, otherwise navigate to the editor / viewer to be used.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Add the file to be edited to baggage.

  8. Right click the file in the baggage folder and choose Edit from the context menu or double click the file. The file will open in the required application.


02 Nov 2004 Me

Save time creating links.

You can drag a help topic from RoboHelp Project Manager (RoboHelp Explorer in earlier versions) to the topic that is going to reference it.

Drag the topic from Project Manager and release the mouse button where you want the topic to be referenced. The link will created using the Topic Title.

If you don't want to use the topic title, type in the text you want and highlight it. Now drag the topic to the text you typed. When the mouse is over is over the text it will be highlighted in red. Release the mouse button and that text will now be a hyperlink.

The link created either way will open the topic in a new page. You can double click the link though to change the properties to make it a popup.

Back to top

5 - Email





15 May 2009 Steph Van de Velde

Copy topic title and URL to the clipboard.

Snippet 3 in this section enables you to add a text link or graphic to a topic that will generate an email with a link to the topic. The script relies on the text link or graphic being in the topic but Steph wanted a toolbar button.

He has kindly shared this script. It does not create an email but it does copy the topic title and URL to the clipboard.

Note that not all browsers allow JavaScript to copy data to the clipboard. This method will not work in Chrome and possibly not in Firefox.

You create a new toolbar button in the skin editor using the JavaScript action. Select the Inline JavaScript option and click the Edit icon. The function script is below.

function CopyURL()
var myHerf=parent.frames[1].bsscright.location;
var title=parent.frames[1].bsscright.document.title;
var tempCurLink=title + "\n" + myHerf;
var ok=window.clipboardData.setData('Text',tempCurLink);
alert("Press Ctrl + V to Paste the link in your email");

The above script will not work if you are using the Dynamic User-Centric Content (Content Categories) feature introduced in RoboHelp 9. See instead the javascript file on Willam van Weelden's site at It is a later version of the script on my Twisties/Show Hide page so if you are using that, just replace the existing file and follow the extra steps set out on Willam's site.


25 Sep 2005

Roger Nilsson, Sean McGurr and Willam van Weelden

Email this topic.

Click here to find out how to create an email with a link to a topic.


20 Jun 2004 Sheila Connelly

Create email.

To create an email with the To, cc, bcc, subject and body completed, paste the text below into the True Code view.

<p><a href=";
&amp;subject=Hello There
&amp;body=Type your message here.
">Mail To Example</a></p>

Delete any line you don't want. For example if you do not want the body pre-completed, delete the line

&amp;body=Type your message here.

I have added line breaks to make it easier to understand the content. After pasting the html into RH and deleting any unwanted lines, place the cursor at the end of each line and press the delete key once. The only spaces should be the one between "a" and "href" at the beginning and any that appear in the subject or body fields.

Click this link to see it work - Mail To Example

Back to top

6 - Importing from Word





24 Jan 2014 fm1476

RoboHelp freezes when importing.

fm1476's first thought was that there was a hidden dialog. However, it proved to be that there were pending changes to the document. Once they were accepted, the document imported without further problems.

15 Feb 2010 Adobe

Images in a Word document missing on import into RoboHelp.

Over quite a long period there have been reports that when a Word document with images is imported, the images are missing in RoboHelp. The problem was that it was only an issue for some people. I got hold of a document where this happened every time for several users and sent it to Adobe.

They advised that MS Word has a document specific setting Rely on VML for displaying graphics in browsers which is not selected by default but in the test document it was selected.

If you clear that option and save the document, the images will import.

You can find the Rely on VML for displaying graphics in browsers setting here:

Word 2007
Office Button>Word Options->Advanced->Web Options…->Browsers->

Word 2003
Tools>Options>General Tab>Web Options

There is also a setting Allow PNG as a graphic format. That option will prevent any PNGs in your Word document from being converted to JPGs and imported. The PNGs will show in Project Manager but will have a cross to indicate they are missing. RoboHelp will not import any PNGs in your Word document as PNGs.
Your options are to make sure this option is not ticked and allow RoboHelp to import the images as JPGs OR to force the PNGs to show as missing by selecting this option and then manually adding them in the correct folder in Windows Explorer. (You can extract the images from the Word document by saving it as a web page whereon Word will save all the images to a sub-folder.)

Steve Cohen found that by changing his Word documents as above, the import worked fine but then the images did not appear in WebHelp. The Word document had spaces in the filename and when he replaced those with underscores, all was well.

Save in DOCX format

More recently Katie Hanson reported that one of her tech guys suggested saving the document in DOCX format and then her problems went away.

UPDATE 29 Jan 2012. From Version 9.0.2 RoboHelp will import PNGs.

01 Dec 2007 Peter Grainge

Images not showing in Project Manager.

Sometimes when you import a topic, RoboHelp reports that the topic, all images and other associated files have been imported but you cannot see the images in Project Manager. A check via Windows Explorer shows they are there but not according to Project Manager. This is easily fixed. In Project Manager, create the folder using the name given in Windows Explorer. Not only will the folder be created, suddenly all the images will appear.

If some images are showing and others are missing, try renaming the folder. On changing from Images to Images1 for example, you will likely find all the images suddenly appear. Then you can rename again from Images1 back to Images. This tends to occur more when a folder only has images.

Back to top

7 - Miscellaneous





25 Jan 2016 Peter Grainge

Using RoboHelp with 64 bit versions of Word.

In RoboHelp 2015 at least, the 64 bit version of Word is officially supported. However Microsoft warn that for compatibility with other apps, not just RoboHelp, it is best to use the 32 bit version of Word.

There are two pages on Microsoft's site that cover this issue.

Click here to see what Microsoft say about the 64 bit version. Note the first heading is "32 bit version is recommended for most users".

Click here to see Microsoft's page on choosing the 32 bit or 64 bit version of Office. Note the section "Limitations of the 64 bit version of Office".

25 Jan 2016 Peter Grainge

PNG images in Word converted to JPGs in RoboHelp.

Carolyn Hogan found that when she imported a Word 2010 document into RoboHelp 10, some PNGs got converted to JPGs of poor quality. This occurred with images that had been reduced in Word to less than 100% and to images in tables even though they were still set to 100%.

After some testing I established it is Word that is converting these images, not RoboHelp. Save the Word document using the Web Filtered option and you will see that the images have already been converted.

The solution is to reset the images to 100% in Word and then import. There is a Word macro on my site that will do that for you. Click here. I suggest you run the script on a copy of the document so that the original can be kep unchanged.

25 Jan 2016 Willam van Weelden

Deleted images still showing in File Explorer.

When you delete an image from a topic, RoboHelp does not delete the image from disk. When you have been working on the same project for a long time, there is a good chance that your RoboHelp project folders contain many unused images that show in File Explorer but not in Project Manager. This can be confusing. But how do you know which images are still used and which images can safely be removed?

Click here for a free script that will delete them from File Explorer as well.

25 Jan 2016 Willam van Weelden

Batch import files that have gone walkabout.

Sometimes people post to the forum that they have opened a project and there are red Xs against a lot of topics and all in different folders. They are still there in File Explorer and importing them one by one is a pain. No more thanks to Willam. Click here for a free script that will restore them into Project Manager.

25 Jan 2016 Adobe

Search all words not displaying results.

A RoboHelp 10 user reported that search worked just fine until Show Results That Include All Words was selected. Adobe responded that the search included words that were in the Stop List. The Stop List is there so that you can exclude specific words so it was doing its job. Either users must be trained to not use common words (not practical) or you must remove from the Stop List the words that cause problems in your help.

24 Jan 2016 Peter Grainge

Paste from Word without the formatting.

When you import from Word the HTML usually includes stuff only Microsoft apps need, typically MSO Normal. The oft quoted solution to avoid that is to paste into a text editor and then into RoboHelp. Along the way the inline styling is lost. It is possible however to paste straight into Word and then quickly remove all the inline styling.

Paste straight into RoboHelp and then select what you have pasted. Then locate Clear Formatting and it removes all inline styling.

In RoboHelp 2015 see the Edit > Character. There is an icon with the letter A and a red X.

In RoboHelp 11 see Format > Clear Formatting.

24 Jan 2016 Rick Stone

RoboHelp locks up / You cannot see a dialog that you tried to open.

You start a process and RoboHelp appears to lock up failing to respond to any keystrokes or mouse actions. Sometimes a dialog goes off screen so you cannot see it is requiring an input. This can happen when you have been using two monitors and then change to one.

Try pressing the Windows key plus the left arrow key a couple of times.

26 Apr 2014 Adobe

Search fails if first letter is formatted.

In one forum post it was reported that users searching failed to find a word if the first letter was formatted as bold. The reason was found to be the search does not work across the span tag. Adobe are now aware of this and pending a fix the workaround is to use a search keyword.

If the search term is say Rabbit, in any topic that contains the word Rabbit, you create a search keyword "Rabbit". Whilst the search will fail for the word in the text, it will succeed with the search keyword. Better still though, just don't format specific characters.

24 Oct 2012 Peter Grainge

Which help format should I use?

On the RoboHelp forums we regularly see users not quite sure which help format they should use. Hopefully this snippet will help.

The first consideration is where the developers are going to install the help. Will it be on a server, on the user's desktop PC, or on a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet?

Let's look at the output options available in RoboHelp.

Output Type

Server or Local?


HTML5 (From RoboHelp 10 onwards)

You generate an output specific to each device type.

This output introduced in RoboHelp 10 allows you to generate various outputs that can sit on a server, on a desktop PC or on devices such as smartphones, Android Tablets and iPads.

See the RoboHelp Tour for more information about this output.


Intended to be server based.

Can be installed locally but may encounter some issues such as links to PDFs failing in some browsers. Set Mark of Web option if this output is to be installed locally and viewed using IE.

Some developers do not like this format for local use because of the number of files created.

WebHelp Pro

Can only be server based. Requires the installation of RoboHelp Server on each server from which the help can be accessed.

If your customers require the help on their server, they will require a licence.

Often users think this is simply a better version of WebHelp and publish to servers that do not have RoboHelp Server installed. It will not work properly without RoboHelp Server.

Microsoft HTML Help (CHMs)

Now effectively only for local installation. See CHMs on a Server for the full story.

This was beginning to look like a doomed format with little visual appeal. Microsoft have not updated the essential compiler that all Help Authoring Tools have to use for over ten years.

Fortunately in RoboHelp 10 Adobe have allowed WebHelp skins to be applied thereby giving this format a new lease of life.

See the RoboHelp Tour for more information about that.

Desktop AIR Help

Local only.

This new format was introduced with RoboHelp 7 and is described in my various AIR pages.

It can be linked to Browser Based AIR Help to provide airplane help. When an internet connection is available, the browser based AIR help will be presented, when there is no connection, the Desktop AIR Help will be presented.

Supports user comments although that requires some setup to provide a repository for comments.

21/02/17 This format has not been updated for several versions of RoboHelp. See the AIR pages.

Browser Based AIR Help

Server only.

This is not a 100% equivalent of Desktop AIR help, there are feature differences described in the AIR pages.

Browser Based AIR Help requires Flash so it cannot be viewed from mobile devices.

Unlike Desktop AIR Help, comments are not supported.

21/02/17 This format has not been updated for several versions of RoboHelp. See the AIR pages.


Server only.

FlashHelp is effectively WebHelp with an Adobe Flash front end that some find more, well, flashy.

Not as customisable as WebHelp and judging by forum questions is not too popular now.

FlashHelp requires Flash so it cannot be viewed from mobile devices.

In RoboHelp 2017, this output can no longer be added.

FlashHelp Pro

Server only.

Requires the installation of RoboHelp Server on each server from which the help can be accessed.

If your customers require the help on their server, they will require a licence.

See the comments about WebHelp Pro. They apply here.

WinHelp Local only.

If you are still considering using this output, perhaps it's time for a career change.

It is very dated and can only be generated using RoboHelp for Word and RoboHelp for Word

On Vista and Windows 7 onwards, users must download the viewer (unless you generate 16 bit WinHelp). You cannot distribute the viewer.

JavaHelp and Oracle Help


Most other Help Authoring Tools no longer support these formats that have not been developed themselves for many years.

See my JavaHelp page.

05 Aug 2012 Peter Grainge

Thinking about DITA?

Are you wondering whether DITA is right for you organisation? If you are, then start with this link, it provides some questions and answers that will help you decide.

Click here.

21 Mar 2011 Tulika Goel

Airplane help.

Airplane help is help that will give the user web-based help when there is a connection and local help when there isn't. See Tulika Goel's blog for information on how to configure airplane help.

06 Mar 2011 Pete Lees

Include string only when printing.

If you want some content to only be included when a user prints a topic, try this.

Add the following to your CSS. It creates a class called copyright and tells it not to display on screen but to display when printed. As written below, the print will be in the same style as Normal but you can change that to suit.

@media screen


p.copyright {display:none;}


@media print


p.copyright {display:block;}


Then write your content and apply the copyright class. It will look something like this.

<p class="copyright">Copyright <?rh-symbol_start name="Copyright" ?>©<?rh-symbol_end ?> 2011 My Company Name</p>

This was written for someone who wanted a copyright notice to appear in print, hence the class name. You can change it to whatever you want.

10 Jan 2010 Ankur Jain

Why doesn't RoboHelp appear in the recently used list in the Start menu?

Blame Microsoft! Certain strings are not allowed in the recently used list and one of them is Help! There was an article on Microsoft's site with all the detail but this has been removed.

D Reed found this useful blog explaining the problem in detail.

The simplest solution is to go to All Programs on the start menu and rename RoboHelp to say Adobe RHnn, anything that does not include "help" in the string. Then the Pin To options appear.

Update - This no longer appears to be an issue in Windows 10 at least.

09 Dec 2009 Rick Stone and Amebr

Information types.

From time to time people ask about Information Types. In this thread, Rick Stone explains they are only for CHMs and the pitfalls of using them and Amebr explains the steps.

Download a PDF of the thread as at 9 December 2009.

14 Oct 2009 Peter Grainge

Storing projects on a network drive.

Update 23 Nov 2012. RoboHelp 10 and above support projects being worked on from a network drive. See the RoboHelp Tour > Rh10 New Features for more information.

If you are using RoboHelp 9 or below, one of the most regular causes of problems seen in RoboHelp forums was where authors had placed their project on a network drive. In the absence of source control, RoboHelp 9 and below projects must be stored on the local hard drive.

The reason is quite simple. Underpinning any project is a CPD file. It is in fact a Microsoft Access database and they simply do not work well across many networks. They then corrupt and cause problems. Changes in RoboHelp 10 mean this should no longer be an issue.

Whenever one of the forum supporters posts this advice, someone will usually chip in that their project has been running beautifully on a network for years. Yes that can happen. The point is that on some networks things will run OK but there are too many that don't and things can change. A change in the network setup can affect how a network based project works so what works today, may not work next week. We have seen someone argue this point and then come back later with a problem, guess what fixed it.

If you want to risk it, that's your choice but do make sure your backups are good. Even a loss of one day's work can reduce you to tears. I liken it to playing Russian Roulette. You can survive a long time if you are lucky but when you lose...

The most frequent reason people give for working on a network is their IT department stipulate that all work must be network based for backup purposes. Unfortunately nobody told RoboHelp that so IT can have all the policies they like, it will not change this situation. Of course they are right to ensure you have backups and you need to agree something with them.

What we do is run an automated backup program each night before IT's backup routines kick in. It zips up our projects and prefixes the filename with the date in YYMMDD format ( and saves that to a network drive that we clean up every so often as IT will have backed up that file. We use the low cost SyncBack program from

The other solution is to introduce source control. The project is then on a network and files get checked out and transferred locally while you work on them. Of course, if you don't check the files back in at the end of the day, then the updates will not be backed up so there is still a weakness in the system.

Ultimately, if IT will not be flexible, you may have to enlist the support of line management. Better still, use it as an argument for an upgrade.

07 Aug 2009 Adobe

When does the HHP file get updated?

Sometimes it is necessary to open a project from the HHP file. It is important that the file is up to date if you have to resort to this method, so what updates it?

  • When any SSL is generated.
  • When the properties of the Microsoft HTML Help SSL are changed.
  • If the Microsoft HTML Help Window settings are changed.

You can right click a layout and change its properties without generating. This does not update the HHP, except in the case of Microsoft HTML Help which does update.

04 Aug 2009 Peter Grainge

Is there a limit to the size of a Word doc file.

Yes and no. There is a limit of 32 mb of text but the file size can be bigger because of graphics etc.

Here's the low down.;en-us;211489

Amusingly I found my way to this link from a thread where someone stated they had a file of 202 mb and on asking the limit they were told 32 mb. However, as the link will explain, that is possible, albeit apparently perverse.

01 Mar 2009 Peter Grainge

What is the difference between Related Topics and See Also.

With Related Topics when you insert the button you are presented with a list of topics in the project and you link those to the button.

With See Also you select a Keyword when you insert the button. Those keywords are ones that you have entered as you create topics. You don't have to stop and figure out which topics get displayed. RH displays all the topics where you have entered the keyword in the properties. So every time you create a topic about Pop Music you enter the keyword Pop, every time you create a topic about Classical Music you enter the keyword Classical. When you add a See Also, you select Classical and all the topics with that keyword will display when the user clicks the See Also button.

23 Jun 2008 Unknown

New to authoring?

I saw this link while browsing and made a note of the site below but not of where I found the link. So my thanks to whoever found the site, whoever you are!

OK. Sometimes the problem is not learning the tool but learning the job. That's where this link might help you. I don't agree with all the detail but nonetheless there is some good information. Approach what you read this way, as you read the pages, don't treat them as gospel but as food for thought. There's certainly more information about your new environment here than anywhere else I have found.

Click here. to go to Wikiversity. Enoy the course!

01 Dec 2007 Peter Grainge

Internet Explorer list of HTML editors / RoboHelp's Multi-file Find and Replace Tool.

Techscribe found that RoboHelp's Multi-file Find and Replace Tool always opened topics in Word, even though that was not in his list of HTML editors in RoboHelp. The reason is quite simple. The tool uses whatever is set as Internet Explorer's HTML editor. Fixing that is easy, unless of course the IE dropdown does not include the editor you want to use. To fix that, visit You need to download a small program. I cannot vouch for that but it did no harm on my PC, yours may be different.

31 Oct 2007 Rick Stone

.book folders.

A few RoboHelp users have encountered a dialog advising them that a .book folder has been created. I haven't seen this one but RoboWizard has and here's a thread with an answer.

Date Posted:

10/30/2007 11:05:13 PM

Posted By: FMnRH (Junior Member)


After removing the "_" in between words in the Topic Title field of the Topic Properties dialog box, a "Notice" pop-up window appears stating the following:

Note that the 'book folder" C:\ (location of topic)\\, was created to hold the document and its resources.,

I click the OK box to close the Notice window. ,

I've never seen this message before when removing the underlines in the Topic title. Is this typical RH behaviour or have I done something wrong to prompt this notice message to appear?,



Date Posted:

10/30/2007 11:13:48 PM

Posted By: RoboWizard (Senior Member)


Uhhh, what version of RoboHelp are you using? Is it 6 or the new 7? I ask because there is a very elusive issue that the development team at RoboHelp has never been able to replicate surrounding this quirk. Normally, it's been my experience that it has only happened with imported content. You import content from Word and make a change via the properties dialog. You probably found that after seeing the message, the topic made an odd whooshing sound as RoboHelp lost track of it and placed the red X on it indicating it has gone missing. ,

The easy fix is to right click the topic reference and choose the Properties again. Then choose the File tab. After you do this, choose the "Open Folder" icon. This gets you near where you need to be. Inside this folder you should find another folder. If your topic was initially named whatzit.htm, you should see a folder named The topic will have been moved inside the folder. So to fix things, from inside Windows Explorer, drag the topic from the .book folder back to the folder containing the .book folder. Once you do this, RoboHelp will once again be aware of the topic and things should work better.,

Cheers... Rick,

Date Posted:

10/30/2007 11:51:39 PM

Posted By: FMnRH (Junior Member)


I'm using RH6. I was given a .chm file (help version 1) to update to another .chm file. I didn't have the original source files, so I imported the .htm files into a new RH6 project.,

I did what you suggested (moving the .htm file back to the original folder) and another RoboHelp HTML pop-up window appeared:,

The reference to the file, "C:(location of project folder)\originalfolder.css", from the file "C:(location of original folder)\whatzit.htm" contains illegal...,

Couldn't see the rest of the message because the location of the files were so long (buried under many sub-folders) and I couldn't re-size the pop-up window to see the whole message.,

Any suggestions? Should I be concerned about the illegal (unknown) things?,



Date Posted:

10/31/2007 12:00:09 AM

Posted By: Captiv8r (Senior Member)

Hi again,

Normally what happens is that the topic loses its reference to the style sheet. You should be fine. Just re-attach the style sheet by clicking the little toolbar button. (Looks like a little notepad icon),

Cheers... Rick

13 Oct 2007 Rick Stone / Gravenstein

Do I need to deliver all the WH folders and files?

People often ask whether or not it is necessary to publish all these files. My standard reply is "only if you want the help to work!"

The short answer is Yes. In response to a recent forum thread on this subject Gravenstein posted:

The RoboHelp help topic "Output Files for WebHelp" states:
"...The output files located in !SSL!\WebHelp\whgdata are HTML data files used in Pure HTML versions of WebHelp."

"...The output files located in !SSL!\WebHelp\whdata are HTML/JavaScript data files used in DHTML versions of WebHelp running on earlier browsers (such as Internet Explorer 4.)"

"...The output files located in !SSL!\WebHelp\whxdata are XML data files used in Java applet and DHTML versions of WebHelp running on later browsers (such as Internet Explorer 5 and Netscape Navigator 6.)"

Reading that, it would seem like you could delete at least whdata (and maybe whgdata) if you knew your users were running on a late-model IE only. I haven't actually done any testing on this, but I have thought about it. Is there more to it than meets the eye?

Rick Stone (RoboWizard) has a page on his site devoted to this area. Click here.

Gravenstein indicated that in her project these files amounted to about 300mb. My take on that is:

We are talking about less than half a CD here and into freebie memory stick territory. Against the risk of breaking the help in some way that nobody can foresee until months later when this is forgotten, it doesn't seem worth even a vague thought. I take your point about what is in the help but there's always the risk that it was either never 100% correct or that program changes have rendered it incorrect. Such things happen in any organisation. New developers, new authors etc, I'm with MergeThis. It isn't worth the risk for the saving.

Sometimes the pressure to reduce the size of the help comes not so much from considerations of the server on which it will ultimately reside but on the media that will be used to deliver the application and the help, or the fact that it has to be downloaded. Ask the developers if all their folders and files are needed. When they look horrified that anyone could be so stupid as to ask, just smile back.

06 Jun 2007 Yehuda Singer

Where can I find some information on Content Management.

Vasont Systems have put a really straightforward explanation of Content Management on their site. It's the clearest explanation I have seen.

22 May 2007 Peter Grainge

AutoRun an HTML file on CD.

If you want to run your help or any other HTML file from a CD, here's a useful link to a free utility.

Click here to visit AutoRunPro and download the files. Note I am referring to AutoRunPro, not AutoHTML.

Click here to visit a useful page to help you set things up.

Click here to download a little demo that I have set up. Just run AutoRunPro.exe to see what will happen when you burn the files to a CD. Better still, copy the files to a CD and insert it.

26 Apr 2006 Mike Feimster

Hidden text in HTML.

In connection with topic reviews, the question was posed as to whether hidden text could be inserted into HTML other than via the comments tag.

Quite simply you add style="display: none;" to a tag so that it appears something like the html below:

<p style="display: none;">Hello World</p>


<p>This is some <span style="display: none;">red</span>text.</p>

The text will not be seen nor will there be an empty line or space.

To reveal the text you would have to do a global find and replace changing the style to something visible that you do not use anywhere else. You would search on

style="display: none;"

and replace it with something like

style="color: red"

All the hidden text would be revealed and display red.

The replace needs to be unique so that you can do a reverse find and replace.

The html was suggested by Mike Feimster in connection with another use, namely getting words into a topic so that they would be found by a search even though they are not part of the topic text. Be aware that regardless of why you use this method, if style="display: none;" is in your generated help, the text will be caught by the search function.

Some might argue this will confuse users doing a search as the topic will be offered up but the user will not be able to find the word. That's true so it depends on who your users are and whether this is explained to them.


29 Jan 2006 Peter Grainge

Changing "Show".

File | Project Settings | Advanced button on General Tab | LNG File Tab
| Highlight Show=Show in [Common] section | Click Edit button and change
Show after the = sign.


11 Jul 2004 Peter Grainge

Printed Documentation - Open Office Conflict

See Print Issues.

Back to top

8 - Navigation Pane





23 Nov 2011 Peter Grainge

Change the search and index prompts.

Phrase searches need to be enclosed in quotes but does the end user know that? Probably not so help them with a prompt.

To change the string from the default go to

File > Project Settings > General Tab > Advanced > LNG File Tab

and change FtsInputPrompt to your own string.

You can also change the Index prompt and many other terms used in the output.

03 Feb 2007 Unknown poster

Want the TOC above the topic?

One poster wanted what they described as "a vertical layout in WebHelp similar to that offered in the vertical skins for FlashHelp". This means the TOC appears above the content. They found the solution below.

"I have found that the skn file in !SkinSubFolder! for the project contains two instances of frameset cols = "220,*": changing these to frameset rows = "220,*" seems to achieve the desired effect, and I have not yet found any glitches with the output (at least with IE6 as browser).

03 Feb 2007 Philip Tory

Missing Index Tab.

Philip was working on a RoboHelp project and generating a CHM output, only problem was the index tab was missing! After a lot of poking around Philip found the solution. All his keywords were in the topics. By telling RoboHelp to create future keywords in the HHK index file, adding a single index word and then switching the setting back to store keywords in topics, the problem went away. It seems you need at least one keyword in the HHK index file.


14 Aug 2004 Rick Stone and William Huscher

Toolbar and Navigation Pane Fonts.

The font for the toolbar and the navigation pane in WebHelp can be changed by using the skin editor. Changing the font for the navigation pane changes it for the TOC, the Index, the Search and the Glossary tabs. If you want a bit more control then you need to edit some files in the generated or published output, whichever you use:

TOC = edit the font setting in whtdhtml.htm - this affects the items listed in your toc.

Index = edit the font setting in whiform.htm - this affects the text at the top of the pane

Type in the keyword to find:

It does not affect the entries displayed. They remain controlled by the skin setting.

Search = edit the font setting in whfform.htm - this affects the text at the top of the pane

Type in the word(s) to search for:

It does not affect the entries displayed. They remain controlled by the skin setting.

Glossary = edit the font setting in whgdhtml.htm - this affects the text at the top of the pane and the top of the results panel


It does not affect the entries displayed. They remain controlled by the skin setting.

For More Information

There's a lot more information about changing fonts in Rick Stone's Skinny on Skins. That also covers how to change the fonts for the Index, Search and Glossary results. Visit

Back to top

9 - Printed Documentation





17 May 2012 Jeff Conn

Index heading and index items are on separate pages.

Jeff did not like the Index heading and the index content being on separate pages. After some research he found the solution.

  1. I opened the template in Word.
  2. At the bottom of the template I added a couple lines and created some text and an index marker so I could insert an index.
  3. I added a couple more lines and selected "insert index" from references tab to setup the index
  4. I changed the "formats" option from "from template" to "formal" and checked "right align" and "Tab leader" (that's the way i like my index format), then inserted the index.
  5. I closed and saved the template
  6. Then I generated my printed document, and suddenly, there is a "odd page" section break before the index heading (as there should be) and there is now no section break after the index heading (good), and two column index entries begins right below the heading (good).


31 Jul 2005

Peter Grainge

Is Printed Media Outdated.

It was suggested in a RoboHelp forum posting that printed documentation is outdated and that only online help is required. Here's my response.


The correct media depends partly on the content and partly on the users. Has anyone asked your users rather than being prescriptive?

On content, if all the topics are short and easily digested, then online help only can be considered. If they are longer topics, and particularly if the content is complex, then it can be difficult to digest properly on screen. You can argue that any topic can be printed but sometimes you have users who want to improve their product knowledge and that is more easily done by scanning a printed manual and homing in on relevant stuff.

On users, there will always be people who prefer to work from the printed media. For a start they can annotate it. Don't make the mistake that these are older people. I find many younger people prefer this media, again with complex subject matter.

Nonetheless, you could avoid the cost of sending the document to a print-house. What we do is PDF it and ship the PDF as well as the online help. For users who want the online help, they still have it. For users and situations where printed media is preferred, they can print the PDF version in its entirety or in part. You avoid the cost but the customer can still have their printed version.

I think the key is to let the user decide. Horses for courses.

Back to top

10 - RoboHelp HTML - Features and Use





17 May 2012 Rick Stone and Kathy Maddox

How to copy a customised To Do list to another project

Kathy wanted to copy her customised To Do list to a new project. Rick Stone produced a method and Kathy documented it as below.

  1. Make a back up of the project that doesn't have the ToDo list entries you want.
  2. From RH, open the project that doesn't have the ToDo list entries you want.
  3. From the Topic List pod, select all topics and confirm that none of the check boxes are selected for any topic. (I don't know if this step is necessary but since I was going to delete these definitions from the project, I wanted to make sure that they weren't being used in any topic.)
  4. Save and close the project.
  5. Delete the CPD file.
  6. Using a text editor, open the XPJ of the project that has the TO DO list entries you want. (I used Visual Studio, but Notepad would work too.)
  7. Copy all of the text from <TOD0List> to </TODOList>
  8. Open the XPJ of the project that doesn't have the TO DO list entries you want.
  9. Replace all of the text from <TOD0List> to </TODOList> with the info from the 1st project.
  10. Save the XPJ.
  11. From RH, open the second project and set the ToDo list items for each topic as required.
06 Apr 2012 Adobe

Windows and Word compatibility.

Click here to see which versions of RoboHelp are compatible with which versions of Windows and Word.

07 Oct 2011 Gunjan Kumar

Add a CSS table to a snippet.

If your CSS file has tables defined, you will not see them if you are trying to add a table to a snippet.

What you need to do is click this icon and select the CSS that has the required table(s).


Then the tables in the selected CSS will appear in the Available Table Styles and can be added. They will work without problems provided all your topics use the same CSS as selected for the snippet.

If you use multiple CSS files, then each CSS will have to have the table defined. The definitions can be different but the table name must be the same. Thus each CSS must have a table style such as MyMainTable but in one CSS all the borders could be blue whilst in another they could be red. The key point is that the CSS for all topics using the snippet must have a table named MyMainTable.

07 Oct 2011 Willam van Weelden

Show search results in dropdowns and expanding text.

RoboHelp's search will find results that are in a dropdown or expanding text but the user will not see them when they go to the topic. See Willam's site so that clicking the search results will go to the topic with the dropdown open or the text expanded to see the results.

09 Apr 2011 MeWrite and Lee Passey

RoboHelp slow and unresponsive - Check the number of publish location URLs.

This problem crops up from time to time and in most cases it is because the CPD file has become bloated. The solution is usually to delete the CPD as covered below.

There were two threads though where this did not fix the problem in RoboHelp 8. See and There you will see that the initial cause was pinned on the number of layouts but I had seen projects with many more that worked just fine.

Eventually MeWrite identified that it was not the number of layouts but the number of URLs they contained. Lee Passey then identified a workaround. He identified that the list of publication servers is stored in an XML file named "pblsvrs.sss" and by swapping different versions of that in and out of the project, performance became acceptable.

19 Jan 2011 Peter Grainge

Want to clear out the list of used build expressions?

To delete the build expressions listed in the Conditional Build Expression dropdown, set the value in all layouts in the project to None. Close the project and delete the PSS file. Reopen the project and the dropdown will not contain any expressions.

13 May 2009 Adobe

RTF Converter not found.

I encountered this problem recently and was assisted by an Adobe contact.

I was advised to check the value of a registry key and found it did not exist. So I created it and copied the details from a working machine.

The key was

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Text Converters\Export\RHRTF

Click here to see the details I set up.

18 Aug 2008 Rick Stone

Change the default width of the Horizontal Line.

Typical Rick! After I told someone that I didn't think you could change the default width when you use RoboHelp's Insert | HTML | Insert Line function, Rick posted the answer! Neat trick sir. Here's what Rick posted.

In RoboHelp 2015 and above it's Insert | HTML |Text Box | Horizontal Line and the version below will be your version rather than 7.00.

You have to close RoboHelp and open your Registry Editor.

All disclaimers apply. Don't come cryin to me if you munge your registry and don't have a backup. Yadda yadda yadda.

Got Regedit open? Cool. Try navigating to this HKEY:

There are many many entries in this spot. You want to locate the one that reads:

Double-click that entry and you should get a dialog allowing you to change its value. Mine looked like this before:
<hr style="width: 50%; float: aligncenter;">

I modified it and now it looks like this:
<hr style="width: 95%; float: aligncenter;">

Close Regedit and restart RoboHelp. Insert a Horizontal Rule and bask in the glory of your new desired width.

23 Feb 2017 Peter Grainge

Project errors or CPD file getting bigger than you like?

From time to time there are posts from people who are finding their project seems a bit slow and they have found the CPD file has grown larger than they are used to seeing. Alternatively they are experiencing an error in one project only.

Often people, myself included, will suggest deleting the CPD file and letting it rebuild. As you can see in my topic on Opening Projects, you should not lose anything if you are using RoboHelp 7 or above. In RoboHelp 8 and above there is an option to automatically delete the CPD so that a new one is created on opening a project.

Don't also delete the XPJ file as I have seen some people suggest. That is a last resort. See Opening Projects for more about that.

I have seen people suggest that if authors have a copy of Microsoft Access, they use that to compact the database (the CPD). This is a standard procedure on any Microsoft Access database that users of that program will be familiar with. It seems a pointless solution to me as deleting the CPD is quicker and supported by RoboHelp. Also all compacting a database does is remove wasted space. RoboHelp rebuilds it using data from other files and that can have the added advantage of removing errors.

For that reason provided you are using a version of RoboHelp with the Clear Project Cache option, deleting the CPD file is the recommended option.

RoboHelp 8 introduced the option to automatically delete the project cache (the CPD file) every time you open RoboHelp. Look in File > Options (Tools > Options before RoboHelp 2015). Note this setting applies to all projects, not just the one that was open when you applied the option. With the project closed, delete the file manually if you prefer

09 May 2007 Doug Wood

The Parameter is Incorrect.

A small number of people have reported getting this message when trying to delete topics. Initially the only solution was to create a new project and import all the topics and the contents of the HHK and HHC files. Topics could be deleted on another PC with RoboHelp installed but that did not solve the problem next time you want to delete something.

Eventually Doug Wood came to the rescue. His colleague Calvin Wilson ran into the problem and Doug used some tools to compare files in a project. He identified differences in the PSS file and that if you delete it RoboHelp rebuilds with no apparent issues. I have since had confirmation from Adobe that this is a file that can be deleted safely.

So just close your project, use Windows Explorer to delete the PSS file and then reopen your project. You will lose some information about when a Single Source Layout was last created but the problem will be solved.

28 Jun 2006 Pete Lees

I want a search on "beam" to find "beam", "beams" and "beaming".

Sara Writer posted:

In my earlier project I produced several different chm files which all behaved the same when searching from the Search tab. When searching for say 'beam' it also found 'beams' and 'beaming'. Now I have two new projects and they will only perform a simple search; i.e. 'beam' will only find 'beam' and 'beams' will only find 'beams'.

Pete Lees responded with this:

You may need to check the language setting for each help file as only US English files support "stemmed" searches of the type that you described.

As I understand it, you can't set the language of an HTML Help file from within RoboHelp. Instead, you must open the project (.hhp) file in Notepad or HTML Help Workshop and add a line like this to the [OPTIONS] section:

Language=0x409 English (United States


23 Feb 2017 Peter Grainge

Get back warning dialogs.

Some dialogs in RoboHelp allow you select an option so that they do now display again. To get them back it was Tools > Options. In RoboHelp 2015 and above, it's File > Options.


20 Jun 2004 Roger Nilsson

Search in Page.

Various javascripts are available to provide users with a search function that is limited to the current page. For example:

(This snippet originally pointed to another site but the script has been removed. The link above seems to do the same job but I have not tested it.)

Back to top

11- RoboHelp for Word





01 Aug 2009 Marjoriem

Converting from RoboHelp for Word to RoboHelp HTML.

Marjorie wanted to convert from RoboHelp X5 for Word to RoboHelp HTML 7. The problem was that she could not find out how to map the styles so she posted on the RoboHelp forums. Later Marjorie posted that she had found various bits of information on my site and wrote up the detail of how she had approached the job, what worked and what did not.

This is a fairly regular forum question so here is a link to the post and here is a link to a PDF of it.

21 Sep 2008 Helpware

Converting Winhelp to HTML help.

You might find this link useful. There is also quite a bit of information in RoboHelp's own help on what will and will not work after conversion.

12 Jan 2008 Peter Grainge

Run-time error 49, "Bad DLL Calling Convention".

Snippet updated 24 Mar 2008

It is a sign that you have the wrong version of the templates installed and is seemingly easily fixed.

First look in the project folder and see if that contains a copy of That template should not be stored there but some people like to save a copy in the project. If you do find a copy there, it may be that it is from an earlier version of RoboHelp and the template versions are incompatible. Move the template outside the project and then open the project again. RH will look for the template that should be in Documents and Settings (Windows XP) or Users (Vista) and that should be compatible.

If you continue to get the problem, again close RoboHelp and locate the template in Documents and Settings (Windows XP) or Users (Vista) and move it to a temporary location. On reopening the project and without a copy of in either of those locations or the project itself, RH will now take a copy from Program Files and that should fix the problem.

If you had customised the old template in any way, you can use Word's Style Organiser to reimport the styles from the copies you moved.

In the unlikely event you still get the error, you may also need to do the same with your template. I am told by a senior Adobe software engineer that this should not be necessary based on the way works. However, one person at least found it did fix the problem so it may be that a factor outside Adobe's control can affect things. Not sure on that one and certainly you do not want to lose unless you absolutely have to. Again, keep a copy somewhere so that you can import styles and macros back in.

25 Sep 2006 Minchou

List of fonts before the first topic.

Various reports have appeared on the RoboHelp for Word forum of a list of fonts being displayed before the topic heading when generating CHM help. This is thought to result from the patch referred to in Snippet 51 which relates to winhelp. However, we cannot be certain.

Minchou reported "I found a kludge that solves my problem in the short term: Insert a manual page break before the first topic in the document."

Simple but effective!

28 Jun 2006 RoboHelp for Word forum

placeCity appears in topic title.

Hot on the heels of Snippet 51 which covers a Word 2003 problem with Microsoft Patch KB 917334, a problem was found with Microsoft Patch KB917335 which is the equivalent patch for Word 2002 (Word XP).

What happens here is that topic titles get random prefixes such as placeCity, State and stockticker. They appear to be removed when changed manually but reopen the project and they are still there. You may also get a report of an unregistered routine followed by an option to let RoboHelp make the necessary updates. It is thought the best policy here may be to answer No.

As yet there is no solution apart from the obvious one of upgrading to Word 2003 where the problem has been fixed. Meantime here are some solutions posted for this issue and some that were for the wrong font issue but may also work for this one.

Solution 1

Karen R reported in the RoboHelp forum on Adobe's site:

In Word, navigate to the following: Tools | Auto Correct Options | Smart Tags - uncheck the Smart tag lists Recognizers box, then click the Remove Smart Tags button. This resolved the problem for my projects. I hope this helps you! I'm now trying to research the "PlaceName" and "Place Type" issue.

PegBrad reported that Karen's solution solved the whole problem for her.

Solution 2

You could uninstall KB917334 and turn off Automatic Updates to prevent if being applied again. I cannot advise you to turn off Automatic Updates. That is a decision for you to make in conjunction with your IT department where applicable. Also bear in mind that one person reported that uninstalling KB917334 (the Word 2003 equivalent patch) causes problems with the desktop.

Solution 3

The patch installs a new version of winword.exe and uninstalling the patch reinstalls the old version that did not have this issue. So the trick is:

  1. Uninstall the patch.
  2. Make a copy of Winword.exe and rename it (I suggest "Winword_original.exe") for future use. This is of course the version before the trouble started.
  3. Reinstall the patch so that your security updates are correct and you do not get nagged to apply this patch.
  4. Make a copy of Winword.exe and rename it (I suggest "Winword_update.exe") for future use. Leave all three Winword files in the "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11" directory for easy access.
  5. Two options now:
  • For those who are not bothered by the security risks: Delete Winword.exe, make a copy of "Winword_Original.exe", and rename it to "Winword.exe". This will mean that everything you do in Word will be based on the old version so you are vulnerable to the risks that the patch removes.
  • For those who need the security updates: Delete Winword.exe, make a copy of "Winword_Original.exe", and rename it to "Winword.exe" whenever you want to work with RoboHelp. After working with RoboHelp, delete Winword.exe, make a copy of "Winword_Update.exe", and rename it to "Winword.exe". This places the security update version back in service so you are not at risk while doing other work. You will know which one is being used by comparing the File Sizes and Date Modified since they are different.

Let me emphasise that you must ONLY adopt this approach with the agreement of your line management and IT Support. I cannot say whether there will be other side effects, only that it has worked OK for Steve Harley. This solution, like all the others, is entirely at your risk.

The findings of MS Caroline referred to above suggest that as Steve Harley had predicted, future patches will contain the same fix as was in KB917334/5 and reintroduce the problem. If that is the case, then Steve's solution of sticking with an old version of Winword will be the solution but it's one many system administrators will not like given that it removes the security the patch is designed to give. In Steve's case, his company took the view that he is one of a small number of users who would need to work this way and subject to Steve and his co-authors being sensible about what documents they opened, the company was willing to accept that risk. You need to check with your IT guys whether or not they share that view.

24 Jun 2006 RoboHelp for Word forum

Wrong font in RoboHelp for Word. Microsoft KB917334.

From June 2006, posts started to appear reporting that RoboHelp for Word was suffering from the installation of Microsoft Patch KB917334 which is for Word 2003. When generating winhelp, instead of text appearing in Arial, it was displayed in Times New Roman.

There was a lengthy Snippet here with many suggested workarounds but Adobe released a patch. Click here for the patch.

Please note that this patch is for Version X5 only. The fix is built into later versions.

A couple of people found the patch did not work and here are their solutions.

David Hurlston
Word sets the Heading styles to be based on Normal. We found that removing that link worked for David on his PC. Same project on my PC, the patch worked.

Great News is that I found a really weird work around. I change all the Verdana to MS Mincho, save to rtf, change to Verdana again. The *.hlp is perfect!!! PS, in all the fonts I tried, MS Mincho is the only one works.

15 Feb 2006 Rick Ferrell (Macromedia)

How many topics in a RoboHelp for Word document?

The advice from Macromedia on this was between 75 and 100 topics and I am not aware of any changes made since Adobe took over that would change this. You can have more than one document so split your topics if you need more than the recommended number.


05 Jan 2005 Roy Lagemann

RoboHelp for Word opens the wrong topic.

Roy reported that no matter what topic he double clicked, Word kept going to one topic. Solution? Turn off the Styles and Formatting toolbar in Word. Obvious really! No, I don't understand why either but try it.

Back to top

12 - Source Control





11 Jun 2011 Author Care,
Gravenstein &

Multiple authors - when to use source control.

I don't cover source control as it is something I have studiously avoided and with no ill effects, indeed, quite the reverse. This snippet is an exception as La Kisha asked about the best way forward as she was going to be joined by another author. The responses were particularly helpful and I felt it worth recording the key points here.

La Kisha posted

I've been the sole writer at our company for 6+ years. I finally have someone to help me; however, this has introduced a new challenge. We will both be working on the same RH project, and we will be using VSS for source control. I'm not sure how we should be 'sharing' this single RH project.

Does anyone have any best practices for when working in this type of situation?

I have questions such as:

  • When the other person is creating Index keywords, what if I have files checked out - how will this affect the adding of keywords?
  • When the other person creates new snippets or new user-defined variables, should he immediately check them in and let me know so that I can do a get latest and have the new snippets/variables in my project?
  • How do we manage both of us working on the same project, and having the need to check in/check out files, create new topics, etc. - what should our 'workflow' be?

Thanks in advance for any assistance/tips that any of you can provide!

Author Care responded

I recently faced a similar situation (we use TFS here incidently). What I did was to split the main help project into a merged help system with a master project and sub projects and then enforced a strict rule that only one author may checkout one project at a time. Our TFS revision control software was configured to forbid multiple checkouts of the same material.

Whilst you can both work on different topics in the same help project simultaneously in my opinion this is a messy way to author.

The golden rule here is to keep things simple and robust and don't be swayed by non authors in your course of action.

Then Gravenstein added this great post

I like Author Care's golden rule: keep things simple and robust. This topic touches on the three basic ways of sharing help authoring tasks. In order of complexity:

  1. Serial authoring. If you don't need to have both authors in the project at the same time, you can simply take turns working on the project. Just pass the files back and forth as needed. This is the most simple and robust approach.
  2. Merging projects. If you need concurrent authoring, then, yes, this is a simpler and more robust approach than source control. However, this only works if you can partition your material and your work assignments into two or more clearly-delineated parts. Merging projects can be a great solution, but it doesn't fit all cases.
  3. Source control. If multiple authors need concurrent access to the same material, then source control is the simplest answer.

Here are some tips and observations, based on my experience with RoboSource Control, in no particular order:

  1. Source control works best on small-to-medium-sized projects. Large ones can be unstable.
  2. Set it up to restrict file checkouts to one author only. Allowing two authors to work on a single topic simultaneously is bad.
  3. If possible, try to work in different areas of the project that don't touch. Remember that a single change in one topic can ripple out to many related topics. (For example, if you change the filename of a topic, every link to that topic must be changed.) If someone else is working in one of those related topics, you will not be able to complete your initial change.
  4. Make backup copies of your projects regularly, even though they are in source control.
  5. Create an administrator account to be used just for that purpose. Don't use that account for regular authoring. Don't give everyone administrative privileges.
  6. Designate one person as the administrator. Have at least one backup administrator. These will be the people who set up user accounts, override checkouts ("I need that file, and Joe is on vacation!"), resurrect old files, sort out source control conflicts, etc.
  7. Check in files as soon as you're done with them. Don't leave them checked out longer than necessary.
  8. If you have large projects, your virus scan utility can really degrade performance during certain operations, such as the initial "get" of project files. If this is the case, you might be able to configure your antivirus program to be friendlier to these source control activities.
  9. The help authors should stay in close communication. Let each other know what you're doing, especially if you are doing something radical like moving folders around. Be ready to check something back in if someone else needs it.
  10. Give a lot of thought to how your project is structured. Consider file structure, naming conventions, etc.
  11. Some actions are more source control intensive than others. (Moving, deleting or renaming folders are biggies.) Your project is vulnerable while these changes are in progress. If something goes wrong before the process is complete, you can end up with a mess on your hands. For example, let's say there's a network glitch while you're moving a folder, interrupting your connection with source control. You can end up with RH thinking that the folder is in one place, while source control thinks it's in another. The result is broken links and missing files. Time for the administrator to step in and sort things out. This is almost never a problem for small projects. It becomes a real issue for large projects.
  12. If you're getting close to a deadline, DO NOT pick that time to reorganize and rename files and folders.
  13. Follow the correct procedure for adding a project to source control. Doing it wrong will really mess you up. Adding a project to RoboSource Control is easy. I can't speak for other source control solutions.
  14. You might find it necessary to rebuild your cpd file more often than with non-source controlled projects.
  15. Have I mentioned lately that you should back up your source files?
Followed by another from her dealing with the specific questions

If one author is creating index keywords, when another has files checked out...I think it depends on how you have your indexing set up, whether the entries go into the topics or into a single file. (Feel free to jump in on this anyone.) If what he is doing requires a change to a topic that he can't check out, then I don't think he can complete the action. You could test this and see whether it's a problem or not. If someone is doing a large-scale action, it might be better for the other authors to stay out of the project while it's going on.

When someone creates new snippts or variables, is it best to check them in immediately...I would think that sooner would be better than later, but that'll be up to you and your team to decide. Be sure to keep each other informed about what your doing in your shared project.

How do we manage both of us working on the same project...what should our workflow be? When you open the project, get the latest version of the files. If you are working in unrelated areas of the project (recommended), you process will be more or less the same as in a non-source controlled project. Check in topics, especially any common files, as soon as you're done with them. If you need to make any large-scale changes to the project, discuss them in advance with the other writers, and arrange to do so while they are not in the project.

Truly, you and your team need to decide what your workflow is. Will you specialize, or will you decide that everyone does everything? For example, for consistency, you could decide that one person is in charge of laying out the structure of the project and creating each new topic, while the other person focused on technical content. Will you work only in folders A-F, while your neighbour works in G-M? Who will be the source control administrator?

Finally Amebr added this

If both of you will be working on the same project every day, I highly recommend getting into the habit of deleting the cpd first thing each day. (I find doing it first thing every day means I don't forget on the one occasion when it's actually necessary. ) I tend to do a Get as well to ensure I have all the latest files. This will show up any issues if people have been moving files around (broken links, missing topics, etc). RH 8 I think brought in a checkbox that deletes the CPD automatically on close.

However, if your project is one that takes 20min or more to re-build then this won't be practical. In this case, communication is key. Tell each other when you are about to rearrange, create, delete topics, etc so you can delete the cpd and get the latest files after these changes to ensure everything is synced. If you can, plan for one person to make all of these changes at one time to minimise how often you have to delete this file.

And backups outside of VSS are also useful to deal with RH deleting added files and adding deleted files in source control because it was out of sunc with VSS - while possible to get everything back from VSS, sometimes it's just easy to copy from a zip backup.

Note from Peter Grainge

Having read through that, you might understand why I avoid source control. It does have its place and in some scenarios it is the only sensible solution. However, the answer is to keep it simple and robust as Author Care said. In my world I can do that without source control.

Many thanks to those who provided great responses to La Kisha's question.

The full thread can be found on the RoboHelp Forums, click here.

20 Jul 2009 Laurin Marden and Leon Descouteaux

What not to put into source control.

I don't normally cover source control issues but regularly people have problems with what should and should not go into source control. Laurin and Leon have often responded so I thought it might be worth pinning Laurin's latest reply here.

"There aren't very many files that RoboSource Control excludes. Let's see, a quick tally of my RH6 webhelp project shows the following to be excluded:

* projectname.cpd
* projectname.pss
* projectname.hhp
* projectname.trl
* ehlpdhtm.js

That's not very many, but the consequences of adding them to RSC are severe--things get very messed up, very fast. That's why I always let RH control the upload into RSC. Not an option if you're not using RSC, I realize."

Back to top

13 - WebHelp





24 Jan 2016 Rick Stone

Can't find skins for WebHelp on Adobe's site.

They were seemingly sunk without trace. Fortunately Rick Stone managed to locate them and has put them on his site. Click here.

24 Jan 2016 Adobe

Search Error - Failed to initialize database.

LykkeErik reported

I had this problem in RoboHelp 9 and 11. Here is what I did to fix it (Ashish at the Adobe Help Desk provided the names for the MSXML files to load...and a lot of troubleshooting as well).

1. Delete the .cpd file from the (affected RoboHelp project folder.

2. If using RH11, ensure that RH11 is patched through 11.0.4.

3. Install the following Microsoft updates on your computer (the KB numbers are important. There are many updates with the same name, but different KB numbers):

-- MSXML 4.0 Service Pack 2 (KB954430)

-- MSXML 4.0 Service Pack 2 (KB973688)

-- MSXML 4.0 Service Pack 3 Parser (KB2758694)

4. Reboot your machine (even if it doesn't ask you to).

5. Regenerate your project.

Doing this worked for broken search functions in both my RH9 and RH11 projects.

Update 23 Feb 2017 - If you have RoboHelp 2015, just make sure you have all patches applied.

27 May 2014 Willam van Weelden

Confused by all the patches for different versions of browsers and RoboHelp?

Willam has created a useful list of which ones do what. Click here to visit the page on his site.

18 Mar 2013 Willam van Weelden

WebHelp toolbar button to open another webhelp output.

Occasionally someone asks how they can add a toolbar button that opens another webhelp output.

Willam's solution is very simple. Create a toolbar button in the skin and add the line below in the onClick event.


Subsitute "myurl" with the path from root of the first help output to the start page of the target webhelp.

10 Feb 2013 Shannon

TOC does not open in WebHelp.

This problem has occurred when Google's IE Frame Add-on is deployed. See Item 10 in Using RoboHelp 10 for a solution. The solution is for RoboHelp 10 but hopefully the same change will work in other versions. Back up the file before making any changes.

10 Feb 2013 Donalmc and Adobe

Topics not opening in IE10.

Cathy Snyder posted in that when clicking a TOC entry in webhelp generated from RoboHelp 7, the topics were not opening on Windows 8 / IE10 machines. Click here to view the full thread. She also tried generating from RoboHelp 10 and had similar problems.

Then further problems were reported and I have conducted tests using both Rh9 and Rh10 on both Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines. What I found is below and effectively it means WebHelp is broken when viewed on an IE 10 machine. The results are the same with Windows 7 and Windows 8 so the problem seems to be WebHelp in IE10. Whether or not it is an Adobe or a Microsoft problem remains to be seen.

Firefox and Chrome are not affected by these issues. Also note these issues only occur on a webserver. WebHelp on an intranet is not affected.

RoboHelp 9 Output
RoboHelp 10 Output
Links in topics
Work until help broken using index or search
TOC Links
Work until help broken using index or search
Index Links
Search Links


The problem goes away if the window is resized but that is not a satisfactory solution. Fortunately Donalmc posted that adding a metatag to the start page of the help solved the problem for him after clearing the cache. It makes the output compatible with earlier versions of IE but obviously in some circumstances, that could affect content that relies on later versions of IE. Your choice!

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7">

19 April 2013 - Adobe have released three fixes.
One is to the Rh10 installation so that freshly generated help does not have this problem.
The second is to fix existing webhelp generated from Rh10 so that you do not have to regenerate. The third is to fix webhelp generated from Rh9.
The link name is misleading as the problem occurs with help viewed in IE10, regardless of whether you are using Windows 7 or 8.
If you do not want to add the Adobe supplied files to RoboHelp 9 WebHelp each time you generate, Willam van Weelden has created a fix that can be applied to your RoboHelp 9 installation. Click here.

3 June 2013
For most people the IE10 fix will work. There are two known scenarios where it will not.The first scenario is if the end user is viewing from a machine with Windows 2008 Server as the operating system. This is not a normal scenario. The solution is for the end user to enable the JavaScript by adding the webhelp as a Trusted Location in IE10 settings.
The second scenario is where the administrator who controls the host server sends any IE compatibility meta-tags. In this scenario the necessary Javascript settings in the Adobe IE10 fix will not be applied. Hence, the server should be configured not to send any IE compatibility

30 Dec 2012 Willam van Weelden

Always open WebHelp with the navigation pane shown.

If a WebHelp topic is opened directly, the navigation pane is not visible. The properties of the SSL can be set to show a link that will open the navigation pane but with a simple script, you can force WebHelp to always show the navigation pane.

The method is on Willam van Weelden's site. Click here.

7 Jun 2012 TheRealMike73

Seeing Superbold text in Firefox?

This item is fixed in RoboHelp 10.

DannyH reported that some bold text was appearing more bold than other bold text when viewed in Firefox but only on certain machines. Based on what was posted in the lengthy thread, I did some testing and this is what I found.

In the source when you apply Bold to some selected text you get what is shown in the first paragraph below. Note that span tags surround the text that was selected.

When you apply Bold to a paragraph you get what is shown in the second paragraph. Note the span is part of the <p> tag when bold is applied to the whole paragraph.


<p><span style="font-weight: bold;">This is some sample text.</span> This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample <span style="font-weight: bold;">text</span>.</p>


<p style="font-weight: bold;">This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text.</p>


Moving from source to output, that comes out as below:


<p><span style="font-weight: bold;"><b>This is some sample text.</b></span> This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample <span style="font-weight: bold;"><b>text</b></span>.</p>


<p style="font-weight: bold;">This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text. This is some sample text.</p>

Note in the first paragraph in the output that where there are span tags, RoboHelp has also added <b> tags. The posters problem is that when viewed on a machine using Firefox with "Use hardware acceleration when available" the text with those <b> tags becomes what he described as superbold. Unfortunately that is the default setting in Firefox and Danny has no control over that on his users machines. Google results seemed to indicate it would only affect certain hardware configurations and that, as stated at the beginning, is what he was seeing in his own office.

The thread is at

Fortunately TheRealMike73 can up with a classicly simple solution. Add the following to the CSS file.

font-weight:bold !important;

That defines bold as bold and nothing more, "!important" stops anything else in the CSS overriding it.

17 May 2012 Willam van Weelden and Rick Stone

Search results listed alphabetically.

To suit specific requirements a question was posted to the RoboHelp forums asking how to have alphabetically sorted search results.

Willam came up with this project specific method.

Just ran a quick test on RH8 and it will probably work for RH9 as well:

In your output, open whfhost.js with a text editor.

  1. Find the line var g_nSortType = 0;.
  2. Replace the 0 with a 1 for ascending sort or 2 for descending sort.
  3. Save the file.

Rick Stone suggested modifying the file in Program Files, typically

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe RoboHelp 9\RoboHTML\WebHelp5Ext\template_stock

Note: Backup the supplied file first and only do this if you want all projects to be sorted alphabetically.

23 Feb 2017 -I have been advised that this method did not work in RoboHelp 11.

23 Feb 2012 Willam van Weelden

Browser Back and Forward buttons.

If your webhelp runs in a standard browser window, users have access to the browser's back and forward buttons. If you developers deliver the help in a chromeless window, those buttons will not be available by default so you may wish to add your own as part of the help.

Open your skin in the skin editor and click the + icon under Toolbar

In the Text tab, you must enter an Item name. Then enter the text required and / or the image required. (RoboHelp's Gallery has lots of arrow images that you can use.)

In the Action tab, click Javascript and enter the required code in the onClick field.

For the Back Button


For the Forward Button


Make sure you tick those buttons when you generate the help or they will not appear.

09 May 2007 Rick Stone

Links to Baggage Files broken (for example a PDF file).

A number of people have reported that their links in webhelp to PDF files do not work. It is in fact because they are generating with the Mark of the Web (MOW) option selected and that output is being placed on the server. The MOW is only intended to allow authors to view their work locally. It is not meant to be included in the final output. Mostly that does no harm but it will prevent links to baggage files from working locally.

05 May 2007 Peter Grainge

Want a different style sheet to be used when printing webhelp?


I decided to revisit this item and found an easier way of getting the desired result. In the HTML below I will use print.css and screen.css but they can, of course, be whatever names you want.

RoboHelp 9 will write your existing css as

<link rel="StyleSheet" href="screen.css" type="text/css" />

Add media="screen" to give you

... type="text/css" media="screen" />

Above that add the css you want for print.

<link rel="StyleSheet" href="print.css" type="text/css" media="print" />

<link rel="StyleSheet" href="screen.css" type="text/css" media="screen" />

Provided the two css files have the same styles defined, albeit with different definitions, it will work just fine.

WARNING 1: It is important the screen.css is specified below print.css

WARNING 2: If print.css has definitions that are not in screen.css, those styles will also be available when editing topics. So if print.css has a paragraph class called say "redwarning" you could select it when editing and the text would be red. However in Preview and OLH the screen.css will apply and as that style is not defined there, it will revert to the standard <p> tag definition. The text will be red if the topic is printed. So the outputs are correct but the Design Editor view is misleading.

For the benefit of anyone who used my earlier instructions, these remain below pending further testing of the revised instructions.



In theory you should just need to add this line below your existing style sheet reference, using the name and path for your print style sheet.

<link href="print.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="print">

I decided to try it and of course it is not quite that simple.

The first line below is how RH references the normal style sheet in the source. The second line I added in the true code view and I then immediately saved and generated, having added print.css to baggage first.

<link rel="StyleSheet" href="standard.css">
<link href="print.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="print">

That worked but as soon as you switch to WYSIWYG, you see your topic with print.css applied! Not what you want.

Go back to true code and you will see RoboHelp has helpfully "corrected" your code. At that point it appears it cannot be made to work in the real world so I then tried working on the output instead.

I found the closing head tag </head> and inserted the reference to the style sheet to give

<link href="print.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="print">

The good news is that worked in the simple example. Realistically though your topics are going to be in folders at different levels so some topics will require the path to the style sheet to be amended to ../print.css or ../../print.css etc. How to deal with that simply?

Do a multifile find and replace in several passes working on the output. I would use FAR from RoboHelp's own tool should work for this one but I never rely on that, just in case its limit to working on one line causes an issue.


Search for

<link rel="StyleSheet" href="standard.css">

and replace as below using your own CSS filename (Click in the field to copy)


Search for

<link rel="StyleSheet" href="../standard.css">

and replace as below using your own CSS filename (Click in the field to copy)

and so on.

It worked in my tests but do make sure you take a backup of your project before you do this.

The process will need to be repeated every time you generate and that introduces another wrinkle.

The search criteria above will find topics you have tweaked before as well as the new ones. If you used FAR, you could search once on

<link rel="StyleSheet" href="standard.css">

and delete all other topics from the list FAR generates.

Then search for

<link href="../print.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="print">

and delete from the new list all the topics where that is found. Then you have a list of files where you need to do the find and replace to add the style sheet.

It sounds clunky but in reality when you have done it the first time, you will find it quite simple and quick, just so long as you are careful.

UPDATE 3 Jan 2011
What you can do is amend the same CSS used for the online help and include something like the change below. That will use the same CSS and override the usual definitions with just what you change here.
@media print {
   font-size: 10.0pt;

24 Mar 2007 Peter Grainge

Using the startpage.htm#target.htm method of calling webhelp with IE7.

After seeing a number of posts on various forums reporting the startpage#target method no longer works under IE7 I did some testing. What I found was if you open the help at the startpage and then add the hash and target details in the browser address bar, then the new page does not display, IE7 continues showing the original default page. This leads people to perceive that the method doesn't work.

It's not quite that simple though. It fails if you add the # and target details after calling the startpage normally but using hyperlinks the method worked for me and some others who have tested this.

  1. Click this
  2. When the default topic displays add
    to the end of the address bar.
    You will not be taken to the target topic as you would expect.
  3. Now click this link and you will see the method does work.
    Click here

So where your users will access target topics via links rather than typing into the address bar, the method is still good.

Also the method works when you use the startpage#target method as the first address you type in the address bar. It only fails for me when I add #target, not if I use it from the outset. Using forward slashes in the path avoids some problems.

It does seem however that calls from an application may not work. One poster reported "I've just gotten a confirmation from Adobe, that my issue with IE7 is a browser problem not a RH problem.  Apparently, other product help systems are affected and many reports have been sent to Microsoft to work the problem out."

Click here if you want to download the demo output and test it locally. Unzip to your C Drive to the default folder webcall. Double click the file TEST.HTM and follow the instructions there.

03 Mar 2007 Peter Grainge

"Hand" not showing over a button in your HTML?

If a button is a hyperlink, then when the mouse hovers over it, the cursor becomes a hand. However, it will not automatically do that if the button is calling some javascript.

The HTML for the buttons at the top of the page by default would be along the lines

<p><img src="path/filename .... </p>

and no hand would appear.

Amend that to

<p><span style="cursor:pointer"><img src="path/filename... </span></p>

and you have your hand.

08 Oct 2006

Jonathan Woodward

Jennifer Foster

TOC Fails to load on server.

Two posters found their webhelp worked fine everywhere except on the server when the TOC failed to load.

Jonathan Woodward reported, "We finally tracked it down to the security settings on the webserver where the application and OLH files resided. The webserver was blocking use of .xml, .js, and a few other important file types, thus causing the TOC to not load properly when accessed from the application."

Jennifer Foster reported, "The problem was that IIS 6 doesn't serve unregistered MIME types. For some reason, .js was not registered in IIS. To fix this, I just allowed all unregistered MIME types but doing an * as the extension and putting them as application/octet-stream. A better solution, though, would probably be to just register the .js file extension."

11 Jul 2006 Peter Grainge

Webhelp - Publishing Cancelled.

This crops up occasionally and I have never got to the bottom of it. Some say it is because one of the files or folders has become marked Read Only but when I checked my target, that was not the case.

Fortunately fixing the problem is usually straightforward. The quickest way is to rename the target folder and publish again using the original name, or publish to a new target folder with a different name. After that you can trash the original and rename the new folder.

Another reason can be the the publishing details have lost track of your username and password for the location you are publishing to. This can happen when you start working on a new PC. Just re-enter the details and publish again.


07 Apr 2005 John Daigle and Chrodgers

Print Button for WebHelp.

This is a different method to the one here before 21 Aug 2007. It does not require the user to click in the topic frame before printing.

Go to Skin editor and click the + sign to add a new button.

In the Text tab enter Print as the Item Name and complete the Text and Image options as required.

Now click the Action tab.

In the Action frame go to the OnClick field and enter


In the JavaScript frame click the Inline JavaScript option and then the edit button.

In the window that opens enter

(Click in the field and press CTRL + C to copy the code)

OK your way back out and generate the help. Don't forget to tick the Print button in the second page of the wizard.

The nice bit about this script is that the user does not have to click the topic frame before printing.

UPDATE 10 Feb 2011 - New scripts

See Scripts for Twisties & Show / Hide and Print. The Print scripts there work with RoboHelp 9 DUCC (Dynamic User-Centric Content) and you can provide buttons that allow the user to choose whether to print with all dropdown content or just what they have displayed.


25 Mar 2005 Rick Stone and Peter Grainge

Opening a Word document.

From time to time people ask how to open a Word document from the help.

UPDATE 29 Jun 2011
The information below remains true for users of older operating systems and older browsers. With Vista and Windows 7 the File Types tab is no longer available but the later browsers have changed the setup anyway.
Most browsers will now give the user the option to Open the file in the default application or to Save it.


Rick advises that you can use an HTML Help Shortcut control to accomplish the goal. You simply specify the file name where you would normally specify the application.


There is a way of forcing a Word document to open in Word rather than Internet Explorer but HEED THIS WARNING.

It requires changes to each users PC and many systems administrators will not permit those changes for very sound reasons. You may be placing documents on an intranet and know they are safe. However, the changes will affect ANY link to a Word document. If one of your users finds a Word document on another site and clicks the link, it could introduce all sorts of nasties onto your corporate network. There are many websites to help you find a new job!

Still determined? OK. On each users PC you need to go to Windows Explorer | Tools | Folder Options | File Types. Locate the DOC extension and click on Advanced. Clear the Confirm Open after Download check box. Next time you click the link, the document will open in Word. Depending on the location of the document and permissions, it may not be possible to use Save to save changes but the user can click Save As and save it locally.

Any Gotchas? Yes. If Internet Explorer is not your browser, some browsers will not let you open a Word document at any price.

The link below is to a Word document. Fancy clicking it to test those settings changes? Do back up all your RoboHelp projects first as it has a macro to delete them all. OK I am joking, I would not do that and the document is safe but I hope the point has been made - the next Word document could contain a malicious document. If you want to test how a document opens on your PC, it is OK to click the link below.

Click to open a Word document


14 Aug 2004 Leon Descoteaux

Force page breaks when printing HTML pages.

Update 29 Jun 2011.
RoboHelp 9 allows you to introduce page breaks via the interface. See the Insert menu. These page breaks will also create breaks in any printed documentation you publish.

Choose the HTML tag that you want to be the top of the next page, and insert the following:


That is, add it within any tag (p, H1, H2, etc.). For example:

<H1 STYLE="page-break-before:always">Main Tab</H1>


<p STYLE="page-break-before:always">Some text.</p>


Leon posted this on the forum but acknowledges the work of John-Pierre Cornilissen in finding the information on the site.

I would just like to add to Leon's excellent snippet...

  1. For those of you whose output is used internationally, make sure it works for both US Letter size and A4 or you might do more harm than good.

  2. In RH's WYSIWYG editor you will see this symbol where the page break will be.

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