Paste function has quit working

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Paste function has quit working

Postby DanAustin on Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:06 am

This is a strange one. I'm working in Flare v4 and I can't paste text into a topic. I was able to before, but that function has quit working. I'm getting an error message that says "Failed to run command 'Paste'. Exception: Object reference not set to an instance of an object." I'm able to paste into other applications like Word, and other functions in Flare like a dialog box, but not into a topic. Apparently Flare doesn't see that there's something in the clipboard to paste, because the paste icon in the toolbar is grayed out. Needless to say, I need to get this fixed fast. Any ideas?

Dan
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Last edited by DanAustin on Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby MikeKatz on Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:29 am

Were you copying and pasting from the same source when it started working again? If not, try that source again. Perhpaps the issue is where the copy is coming from, not where the paste is going into.
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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby DanAustin on Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:40 am

Here's the latest. I'm copying from inside the Edit Picture dialog. I create a screen tip, then copy and paste it into the alternate text box... works fine. Then I try to paste it again as a caption under the image in the topic and I get the error. If I just copy and paste from within a topic, it works fine. Copying from any other source (Word, PDF, IE) fails. Odd thing is that I was doing the same thing yesterday and it was working.

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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby Andrew on Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:31 am

I see copy and paste errors sporadically fairly frequently. They usually do not actually prevent the copy or paste (the error pops up, and the paste goes through anyway), but sometimes it does.

This sounds kind of silly, but have you tried restarting Flare? Sometimes this has helped me.

(For whatever it's worth, the error message you are getting is a fairly specific error in .NET -- it means that the developer didn't properly instantiate an object before using it, or the reference variable was somehow set to null, or to something that does not match any object available. Since this error is not consistent, and it has existed in Flare since v3.1 at least, I'm sure the issue isn't simple (or at least, isn't easy to find). Hopefully MadCap will stomp this bug soon, as it gets fairly annoying when you do a lot of copy/paste.)
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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby DanAustin on Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:54 pm

Thanks much for your very informative response. Yes, I do a LOT of copying and pasting, so this is a pretty major issue for me. It worked fine when I first got v4 up and running for a few days, then the problem came up. It has happened over several days, so restarting or rebooting doesn't help. I can paste into any other document but not into a Flare topic. I can even paste in Flare dialog boxes, such as image editing, but can't copy from the dialog box and then paste into the topic. I'll really appreciate any ideas on how to fix this ASAP.

Dan
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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby Andrew on Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:36 pm

Oh, in case you haven't yet, I advise submitting a bug report:

https://www.madcapsoftware.com/bugs/submit.aspx
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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby Richard Ferrell on Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:25 am

If you try pasting different content does it work? does it always happen to the same topic? Or from the same Source?
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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby DanAustin on Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:32 am

I'm trying to go into as much detail as I can to help troubleshoot this issue. Here is what I've noticed:
1) it only does it in one particular project that I'm working on. If I create a new project, it works fine.
2) In the suspect project, I can copy from anywhere in a topic to anywhere else in the topic, or to another topic, with no problem. If I try to copy from a dialog box, or from another application (i.e., this text, or something from Word, etc.), I get the error message.

I have zipped the project and submitted it with a bug report. It may not be an application issue, but may be just a corruption in my project somewhere? Does Flare have an equivalent to the old RoboHelp method of deleting the main project file and rebuilding it? I used to have to do that when something in a project would get weird like this.

Dan
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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby Andrew on Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:01 am

I suspect if you delete the main project file in Flare (the .flprj), you will get one very angry Flare. ;) I don't think there would be any way to open the project without it.

You are thinking, perhaps, of the database file that RoboHelp used, which occasionally got corrupted (I think the name was project_name.cpd or something like that)? There is no analog to that in Flare that I know of; all of Flare's files and settings are either stored in the registry, or stored in XML text files.
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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby DanAustin on Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:27 am

No, I wouldn't do that without making a backup first anyway. I'm just grasping at straws here trying to think of what to try since it seems to be something wrong in the project itself.

I just tried an experiment that may narrow it down. I started a new project, put an image in a topic, tried the copy and paste from the edit image dialog, and it worked fine. Then I copied the style sheet from my troubled project into the new one, pointed the project to the copied style sheet and the paste function started erroring out. This tells me that the problem is associated with the style sheet, but I have no idea how it could do that. I'll try commenting out blocks of the style sheet and see if I can narrow down the problem.

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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby DanAustin on Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:43 am

Ok, I believe I've found the offending entry in my style sheet:

pre
{
mc-disabled: true;
}


This is under the "@media print" section, and I have no idea what it's for. Any problem with just deleting it?

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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby LTinker68 on Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:16 pm

DanAustin wrote:pre
{
mc-disabled: true;
}

This is under the "@media print" section, and I have no idea what it's for. Any problem with just deleting it?

I think (emphasis on think) that code will prevent someone from being able to copy-and-paste or download images and text from your output. So it could very well be creating problems in Flare with the copy-and-paste function, although I would expect it to be more effective having the code in the main section of the stylesheet and not the print section since it's generally online output that people try to protect in this manner. If you move it from the @media print section to the main section, then it might not cause any problems, but if it does -- and you don't want anyone to be able to copy/download stuff from an online output -- then you might have to remember to re-add that code to the stylesheet before building the output (any output).
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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby DanAustin on Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:32 pm

I tried moving it up to the main section of the style sheet, but it doesn't work there either. I'm going to leave it in the style sheet and just leave it commented out for now. It's cool that you can prevent users from copying/pasting from the output, but it seems like a bug if that function is also preventing pasting into a topic under development.

As usual, thanks for your help! :D

Dan
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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby LTinker68 on Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:32 pm

DanAustin wrote:It's cool that you can prevent users from copying/pasting from the output, but it seems like a bug if that function is also preventing pasting into a topic under development.

Well, the XML Editor is (quasi-)WYSIWYG, so it's actually following the rules that you specified in your stylesheet, so it is behaving correctly. But it is annoying, especially since there's not a way through the Stylesheet Editor to comment out styles.

Make sure you submit a bug report/feature request for a way to ignore that type of code in the XML Editor and/or an easy way to comment out a block of stylesheet code. The former would be preferably, though, since you don't want to have to remember to uncomment the code before building every time. Submit the report/request at http://www.madcapsoftware.com/bugs/submit.aspx.
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Re: Paste function has quit working

Postby DanAustin on Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:56 am

I submitted a ticket and this is the reply:

Thank you for contacting MadCap Support. I was able to reproduce the issue, it is caused by the tag pre (in the Stylesheet) By default this style has not set properties, you can delete it. It will not affect the stylesheet formatting. Pre tags are used for control line breaks and spacing.

Anyway, mystery solved ... thanks to everyone for your help!

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