Specifying or Changing the Generation Output Path in RoboHelp 2019

by tammyvb on June 12, 2020

Whether you are generating a standalone RH project, or merged help, you must always specify the generation output path for any output preset in Robohelp 2019.

Sometimes, but not always, you “change” the path and then Save your changes, or so you think. . . the change is actually not saved and then your generation can fail if the “old” generation path can no longer be found. For example, I had to move all my local files from one computer with a different user name to a new computer with a different user name. (It was a client-required move and I had no permission to set the username on the new computer . . . I had to go with the new user name). Accordingly, I went in to all my projects and “changed” the output path to reflect the new username, or again, so I thought. . . . and then was caught off guard when the generation failed. When I dug into each failing project, I saw that the output path had not actually been updated. RoboHelp did not recognize the change. . And this can be especially critical when using SharePoint Online for version control.

So, how you you ensure that RoboHelp recognizes it when you change the value of an generation output path? For lack of a better way of saying this, you have to “kickstart” RH into recognizing the change. Consider the figure shown below. In this figure, I manually had changed the username in the path from Spectrum Writing to u103297 and then pressed CTRL +S to “save” the change:

What I failed to notice, however, was that RoboHelp did not recognize this change, so the generation failed on the new computer. What I should have looked at BEFORE saving the change was the Change indicator (an asterisk (*)) that should have been displayed at the top of the HTML5 preset tab . . . had I looked, I would have seen that an asterisk wasn’t there, so RH wasn’t seeing any changes. But for whatever reason, when I would open another project and manually make the same change, RH would recognize the change and that would be indicated by an asterisk (*) being displayed on the HTML5 tab (as shown in the figure below.)

So, what I would wind up doing – after making the change to the output path, if I did NOT see the asterisk displayed, I simply clicked the HTML5 tab, and voila, the asterisk was displayed, indicating that RH was seeing the change and I could save it . . . for lack of a better way of saying this, I had to “kickstart” RH!!! But this one little step -just looking at the preset tab and verifying that an asterisk was present – ultimately saved me a lot of grief when generating a very involved merged help project.

Also, if you are using SharePoint Online for version control, and you make a change to anything in a project, such as the Output Path, then a Check-in dialog box should open with the affected files listed – if the Check-In dialog box opens, but no files are listed, then this is yet another indicator that the change was not recognized by RH. . .

So – the summary of this is – if you *think* that you made changes to a project, before “saving” these changes, look for an asterisk on the appropriate tab and if it’s not displayed, “kickstart” RH into recognizing these changes before saving them – and a great indicator that RH did  recognize these changes when using SharePoint Online for version control is the prompt to save these changes in a Check-In dialog box when you check the files back in to SharePoint Online!!

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