Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

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Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

Postby picard2bridge on Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:23 pm

Greetings all.

Yesterday when I played with my project ,my topic names in the Content Explorer were, as far as I can remember, all just that--topic names. Today they seem to have sprouted .htm extensions, so that when I insert a hyperlink in my page (right click>quick link>same folder>...) I get a link with a .htm extension. And it looks that way in the compiled version as well.

When I created all the topics I gave them titles. Today if I look at the properties of a topic in the Content Explorer the title fields are blank, although in practice they are defaulting to the first line of text as they should.

This seems all very strange to me. Must I know go through the whole project and re-insert every topic title manually, and if so, how can I tell this won't happen again?

Any Ideas?

Thanks in advance,
Clive
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Re: Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

Postby LTinker68 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:41 pm

picard2bridge wrote:Today they seem to have sprouted .htm extensions, so that when I insert a hyperlink in my page (right click>quick link>same folder>...) I get a link with a .htm extension. And it looks that way in the compiled version as well.

I always see the .htm extension on my files, but I also have Windows set up to always show extensions. If you originally had Windows set up to hide the extensions for known file types, then you wouldn't have seen the extensions. My guess is that you disabled that option so now you see them.

picard2bridge wrote:When I created all the topics I gave them titles. Today if I look at the properties of a topic in the Content Explorer the title fields are blank, although in practice they are defaulting to the first line of text as they should.

I'm a little confused by this. I think you're saying that when you create a new topic that you enter a title instead of letting it go with the file name as the title. If that's the case, then the title you entered is what is displayed as the first line in the topic (generally in an <h1> tag), but no, it's not automatically added to the title field in the Properties screen. The title field actually corresponds to the <title> tag in web pages. Generally you're fine if the title field in the Properties screen is blank. You normally would only want to fill that in if you didn't want your first line of text to be used in search results and similar features that display the topic title.
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Re: Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

Postby picard2bridge on Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:56 pm

Hi Lisa,

> I always see the .htm extension on my files, but I also have Windows set up to always show extensions

As do I. This is my first and only project in Flare and I've never seen the .htm in the Content explorer before. Strange, but I guess unimportant. I'm sure you're right about the other thing. I've probably never looked at the Properties dialog for a topic before. Thanks--you have comforted me that nothing dramatic has gone awry :)

But the problem remains that when I insert a link to a topic it displays not the title of that topic but TheTitle.htm, so I have to manually edit the Link text for each link. I have never had to do this before, it has just displayed the title without the .htm extension. On the other hand, if I insert a cross reference it inserts the tile of the topic without the .htm as I expected. I think I'm doing the same things as I was before, but I am a relative newbie and haven't inserted hyperlinks for a while.

C
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Re: Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

Postby Fedja on Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:09 am

A cross-reference is what you want to use for referencing other topics from the project or headings/bookmarks in the same document. They will display your topic title or the heading that you chose, while referring the reader to the actual location.

Hyperlinks are primarily used to link outside the project. If you hyperlink a website (such as http://www.google.com), Flare won't assume to know the "name" of the location, so it will use the full address that you provided as the link. You have the option to change the displayed words yourself, as you may be privy to that information.

Hope it helps :)
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Re: Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

Postby KevinDAmery on Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:19 am

Fedja wrote:A cross-reference is what you want to use for referencing other topics from the project or headings/bookmarks in the same document. They will display your topic title or the heading that you chose, while referring the reader to the actual location.

Hyperlinks are primarily used to link outside the project. If you hyperlink a website (such as http://www.google.com), Flare won't assume to know the "name" of the location, so it will use the full address that you provided as the link. You have the option to change the displayed words yourself, as you may be privy to that information.

Hope it helps :)


Welll..... I use hyperlinks internally in my help system. The reason is it helps me get around a bug in Flare: if you use variables in your topic titles, Flare doesn't pick up on them when it generates cross references, TOC names, etc. With a hyperlink I can just put the variable in between the a tags and everything works. Ideally, a cross reference would be better, but to date Madcap hasn't made variables play nice with other Flare features, and I think using variables is more important than some of the other features (since our naming conventions are subject to change here).

Getting back to the OP's problem, my guess is that somehow your <title> tags got populated with the file names. I don't know how that would have happened, but it would explain the symptoms. Normally, if the <title> tags are empty Flare uses the first heading in the topic as its link text.

Two approaches I can see: 1) you can go through all the topics and make sure the <title>tags are correct. Which will be time consuming and no fun, but would be good for your docs in the long run. OR 2) you can create hyperlinks slightly differently. Instead of just dragging from the CE, you can type the text you want the link to use, select the text, then drag the topic from the CE onto the selection. This will create a hyperlink using the selected text as the link text.
Until next time....
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Re: Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

Postby Fedja on Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:25 am

KevinDAmery wrote:Flare doesn't pick up on them when it generates cross references, TOC names, etc.


Sigh....... Thanks for the heads up, I know what I'll be double-checking all weekend. :roll:
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Re: Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

Postby KevinDAmery on Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:46 am

Feel free to report it again--I haven't had a chance to check if it still does that in the Blaze beta (which I hear is similar to what Flare 4 will be when it arrives) but if they haven't fixed it yet, they really really should....
Until next time....
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Re: Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

Postby LTinker68 on Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:22 am

I use hyperlinks between topics all the time, but I don't get the topics titles or file names at all showing up as the hyperlink. Perhaps it's a matter of process. What I do is what Kevin mentioned at the end of his post. I type all the content in my topic then go back, select the text I want to act as the hyperlink hotspot, then drag the topic from the Content Explorer onto the selected text. This brings up the Insert Hyperlink window where I can change the target or style or anything else I want. If you don't have any text selected when you drag from the Content Explorer, or if you just click the insert hyperlink icon without selecting text first, then you have to fill in the "Link Text" field manually (after selecting the topic to link to). If you don't specify anything, then it'll fill in the link text automatically. When I tried that it still gave me the first line of text in the topic as the link text, not the file name. I never use that method, though, because the topic's title (<h1> text) rarely fits into the sentence the way I want. Plus my titles are all first letter capitals which don't work in a sentence either.

So I don't think there's anything wrong; Flare is doing what it's supposed to be doing. I think it's just been awhile since you've done internal links and you lost your rhythm.
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Re: Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

Postby picard2bridge on Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:14 pm

> and you lost your rhythm.

You're not the first person to suggest that, Lisa, though I didn't realise you'd heard me play :-)

Thanks to everyone for comments. I am encouraged that nothing catastrophic has gone wrong, and that there are ways to work around it that are not too painful.

But I still maintain that something is wrong. Using the right click method to insert hyperlinks should insert the name of the topic, not the file. It used to and now it doesn't. The fact that it's meant to do that seems obvious enough. Hyperlink to a topic and it should show the topic name; hyperlink to a file and it should show the file name, and seems to me to be evidenced by the way inserting cross-references works. They don't insert a line that says "See Index.htm", so neither should the inserting of hyperlinks. And the rest of my project didn't require me to manually intervene by editing the link text. It was very fast and efficient, and seemed much quicker to me than the other ways being discussed.

I'd be interested to know what happens on your systems if you insert a Quick Link. Do you get topic name or filename.htm?

All the best,
Clive
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Re: Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

Postby wclass on Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:54 pm

I think I can repeat the “errors” – it’s all in how you insert the hyperlink.

What works as expected:
If you select text, then drag and drop, or choose Insert hyperlink, then the dialog is displayed with the selected text in the “Link Text” box. Quick link works here, but skips the step to show the dialog.

What works differently:
If you DON’T have text selected: -
  • if you drag a topic from the content explorer and drop it into the current page, the link text is set to the new topic’s title (or first H1 if no title).
  • if you select Insert Hyperlink or Quick link, the dialog is displayed with nothing defaulting in the Link Text box – if you leave this blank then the file name is inserted as the link text.
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Re: Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

Postby KevinDAmery on Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:51 am

picard2bridge wrote:> and you lost your rhythm.

You're not the first person to suggest that, Lisa, though I didn't realise you'd heard me play :-)

Thanks to everyone for comments. I am encouraged that nothing catastrophic has gone wrong, and that there are ways to work around it that are not too painful.

But I still maintain that something is wrong. Using the right click method to insert hyperlinks should insert the name of the topic, not the file. It used to and now it doesn't. The fact that it's meant to do that seems obvious enough. Hyperlink to a topic and it should show the topic name; hyperlink to a file and it should show the file name, and seems to me to be evidenced by the way inserting cross-references works. They don't insert a line that says "See Index.htm", so neither should the inserting of hyperlinks. And the rest of my project didn't require me to manually intervene by editing the link text. It was very fast and efficient, and seemed much quicker to me than the other ways being discussed.

I'd be interested to know what happens on your systems if you insert a Quick Link. Do you get topic name or filename.htm?

All the best,
Clive


AFAIK, what happens is:

  • if there is anything in the <title> tag of the topic, that is used
  • if there is nothing in the <title> tag, then the first line of the topic is used

By default, Flare doesn't populate the <title> tag, so normally you would get the first line. However, if somehow the <title> tags got populated with your filename, then that would take precedence.
Until next time....
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Re: Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

Postby dpatil on Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:01 am

I have the same problem. I would like the title to be names of the chapters, not the file name with extension. Can this problem be fixed in Flare, or do we still have to go through each file and replace the title tag?

Thanks,
Deepa
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Re: Topic titles growing htm extensions. Curious

Postby LTinker68 on Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:51 am

So long as you have some type of heading as the first line in your topics, then you should be able to do a find-and-replace using wildcard expressions to remove the entire <title>...</title> line from the topics. (Make a copy of your project first!!!) At which point, Flare should revert to using the first line of text as the "title" of the document.

I haven't used wildcard expressions in FAR much, but if you search this forum then you'll get some hits on other posts about how to use them. That will allow you to delete the entire line of code, even though the content between the title tags varies from topic to topic.

And after doing the FAR, delete the entire output folder before building, to make sure that the search files, especially, are rebuilt.
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