TOC contains invalid blank entries

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TOC contains invalid blank entries

Postby SmonK99 on Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:53 am

Hi. I am creating a PDF version of our (live) online help (HTML5 Top navigation) using a manually created TOC. When I build the document the TOC contains two invalid entries - both entries simply have a page number without a topic and I can click on the page number and it will jump to the specified page. Both links take me to the middle of the topic which appears above the blank line in the TOC. I have tried moving one of the affected topics and the blank entry still occurs at around the same page number but now goes to the middle of a different topic, so I am assuming this means there isn't something wrong in the original topic.
The document is 479 pages long and the blank entries occur around page 235 and 368. The TOC file in the Flare TOC Editor doesn't show any blank lines and the two lines occur at different levels (4 and 5)within the TOC.
Any ideas? I can provide more info if it would help.
Thanks
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Re: TOC contains invalid blank entries

Postby ChoccieMuffin on Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:17 am

Firstly, welcome to the forums, I'm confident you'll find them really useful.

Now onto your problem.

Have you identified the topics that are causing the blank entries? You may find the problem is as simple as an extra empty paragraph. Perhaps we need a bit more info in order to help.
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Re: TOC contains invalid blank entries

Postby SmonK99 on Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:57 am

Thanks for the welcome and for replying. This is my first attempt to produce a PDF from the same source as an HTML output and it hasn't been as simple as I was expecting!
Anyway, initially I assumed there was a problem with the topics to which the blank lines pointed so I looked through the HTML and couldn't see anything - there are no stray <h> tags or anything which isn't in many of the other topics as far as I could see. Then I moved one of the topics to a different place in the TOC but the blank entry remained in the same place - i.e. it references the same page number as before and so now points to the middle of a different topic - actually it is one page less than before but the new topic is only 2 pages long whereas the previous one was three I think and it pointed to the last page of the previous topic (if that's of any relevance?). So I am thinking that it isn't something wrong with the original topic itself otherwise you might expect the blank entry would have moved with the topic. I'm happy to supply more information but not quite sure what would actually be useful - I'm open to suggestions.
You did suggest an empty paragraph, by which do you mean literally <p></p>? Flare always puts <p>&#160;</p> when I add a blank line and so if I am manually adding blank lines in the HTML editor I follow this convention and there are loads of these throughout the project. If you have any other thoughts I'd be grateful.
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Re: TOC contains invalid blank entries

Postby robdocsmith on Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:50 pm

Hi,

I've had empty TOC entries and ListOf entries where there is content that overflows the text frame and therefore doesn't get printed. Flare knows there's something on that page, but since the content or heading doesn't land on a page, it can't get the text for the TOC. That was my case anyway, might help you. Mine was a too large graphic inside a DIV that meant the DIV couldn't be placed on the page.

Cheers,
Rob
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Re: TOC contains invalid blank entries

Postby ChoccieMuffin on Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:20 am

There's always the default first port of call with Flare problems:

Exit Flare.
Delete the \Analyzer and \Output folders.
Start Flare again and rebuild your target.

From time to time the database behind Flare gets its knickers in a twist, so by deleting the Analyzer folder you force Flare to rebuild it. You'd be surprised just how many Flare problems that step fixes, so do keep it in your arsenal for future troubleshooting.

If that doesn't work, the next thing I'd look at is the TOC file, in case there's something peculiar going on there. Open the TOC as a text file and see if there's anything "odd" around the location of the dodgy link.
Started as a newbie with Flare 6.1, now using Flare 2019r1 and 2020.
Report bugs at http://www.madcapsoftware.com/bugs/submit.aspx.
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Re: TOC contains invalid blank entries

Postby SmonK99 on Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:59 am

Hi guys
Thanks for your help. Whilst looking at your ideas I managed to find the problem and sort it. I was assuming the issue would be in the topics to which the blank lines pointed, but it actually turned out to be in the following topic where I had empty heading tags missing 'page-break-before: always;' so the blank line at the top of the topic was actually being added to the end of the topic before and hence creating the blank TOC entries. :oops: Thanks for your help though.
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Re: TOC contains invalid blank entries

Postby doloremipsum on Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:53 pm

Another thing to check: there might be an issue on the topic before or after the break. That would cause it to stay in the same place even when you've moved the topic you think is offending. It could be worth making a fresh TOC and adding topics/books to it one by one to check when the problem starts arising.

It is very weird to get a problem that seems to hang around the same page number, because pages are just something Flare creates as part of the output process and really have nothing to do with the underlying structure. Maybe you could also try adding a bunch of filler topics/remove topics before the break to see if you can push it around in the PDF.
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