<a href> links not appearing in XHTML imported to Salesforce

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<a href> links not appearing in XHTML imported to Salesforce

Postby dallin on Tue May 21, 2019 11:05 am

Hi all. This might not be the correct section to post this in, but I could not find any board dedicated to Salesforce Connect; and while this does deal with an XHTML output, this is a web-based issue (I think it qualifies?). Apologies in advance if I'm mistaken, and I'd appreciate being pointed in the right direction.

The issue I'm having has been with support for a couple of weeks now but we're not really making headway. There is some misunderstanding of the issue that I haven't really been able to make clear to them - I'll try to do better here.

Let's take a section of the HTML. This is how it appears in Madcap Flare:
Code: Select all
<p><a href="http://www.pdf995.com/samples/pdf.pdf" target="_blank">This is a PDF link</a></p>


If I do not use inline styles, it is identical in the Clean XHTML output:
Code: Select all
<p><a href="http://www.pdf995.com/samples/pdf.pdf" target="_blank">This is a PDF link</a></p>


If I do use inline styles, it looks like this:
Code: Select all
<p><a href="http://www.pdf995.com/samples/pdf.pdf" target="_blank" style="color: blue;font-family: Arial;text-decoration: underline;text-decoration-blink: false;font-weight: normal;">This is a PDF link</a></p>


Thus far, all is well and expected. The generated output correctly shows the link, regardless of using inline styles or not.

I then publish to Salesforce using the plugin. The article is generated and looks good. However, this <a> tag is nowhere to be seen.
If I look at the source HTML for the generated article in Salesforce, I just see:
Code: Select all
<p></p>


The entire <a> tag is gone. This happens if I'm using inline styles or not.

Now if I manually copy-paste either of the above <a> tag samples into the source HTML of that Salesforce article, it works fine.

So the <a> tags work fine if I manually enter them but they disappear when the clean xhtml is imported and published to Salesforce.

I'm not entirely sure what else I can test or what my next steps should be. I appreciate any input - thank you in advance.
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Re: <a href> links not appearing in XHTML imported to Salesf

Postby dallin on Wed May 22, 2019 1:43 pm

We can consider this issue closed, as it doesn't look like something the community can correct.

After a few days with Madcap Flare's support they've submitted this as an official bug on their end (BUG REPORT #129914: SalesForce: Links to hosted or shared PDF/files do not display in published articles).
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Re: <a href> links not appearing in XHTML imported to Salesf

Postby doc_guy on Fri May 24, 2019 1:20 pm

If I understand you correctly, it is only links to PDFs that don't work when you import to Salesforce. Is that correct? If so, I have a work around that is a bit of a pain, but I think it might work, and if it does, its better than nothing.

What if you use a URL shortener to create the links to your PDF articles? So you would go to a shortener site like TinyURL.com, and create a link to your PDF file. Then when you create the link in Flare, instead of linking to the pdf file, you link to the TinyURL that was generated. That way, Salesforce sees a link to a web page and imports the link. When the user clicks the link in Salesforce, they will be redirected, through TinyURL (or whatever shortener you use) to the PDF file.

I dunno. Just trying to think of an out of box solution for you.
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Re: <a href> links not appearing in XHTML imported to Salesf

Postby dallin on Fri May 24, 2019 1:45 pm

doc_guy wrote:If I understand you correctly, it is only links to PDFs that don't work when you import to Salesforce. Is that correct? If so, I have a work around that is a bit of a pain, but I think it might work, and if it does, its better than nothing.

What if you use a URL shortener to create the links to your PDF articles? So you would go to a shortener site like TinyURL.com, and create a link to your PDF file. Then when you create the link in Flare, instead of linking to the pdf file, you link to the TinyURL that was generated. That way, Salesforce sees a link to a web page and imports the link. When the user clicks the link in Salesforce, they will be redirected, through TinyURL (or whatever shortener you use) to the PDF file.

I dunno. Just trying to think of an out of box solution for you.


I actually did consider this. I think it is a great idea, but I don't know if those shortener sites create permalinks or if they expire.

I also have a little resistance to using a third party to maintain my links, but this might be a great temporary solution. I'll need to determine how long these links last.
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Re: <a href> links not appearing in XHTML imported to Salesf

Postby doc_guy on Wed May 29, 2019 7:59 pm

TinyURL, for example, promises:

By entering in a URL in the text field below, we will create a tiny URL that will not break in email postings and never expires.


TinyURL has been around since 2002, so they are a pretty reliable service. But I understand your concern about using a third-party tool for something like this.
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Re: <a href> links not appearing in XHTML imported to Salesf

Postby dallin on Thu May 30, 2019 8:05 am

doc_guy wrote:TinyURL, for example, promises:

By entering in a URL in the text field below, we will create a tiny URL that will not break in email postings and never expires.


TinyURL has been around since 2002, so they are a pretty reliable service. But I understand your concern about using a third-party tool for something like this.


I think that on a small, targeted scale, TinyURL will work great for this. I was apprehensive mostly because of how goo.gl (Google's link-shortening service) shut down, but TinyURL has been going strong for a long time. I think I'm comfortable using them until this issue is corrected.

I'll give it a test.
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Re: <a href> links not appearing in XHTML imported to Salesf

Postby dallin on Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:38 am

Late update, but want to include in case anyone else runs into this issue.

While using a URL shortner was not applicable for my organization, we did determine that PDFs and other files uploaded to Salesforce itself do not have a file extension in the public links you can create for these files. So using a Salesforce link in Flare generates the link normally when the XHTML is imported to Salesforce.

In my case, I was always going to need to migrate all of our PDF content from its current host to Salesforce. So that just needs to happen first.

How Salesforce Lightning handles documents and document libraries is another story, but that's the path I'm treading for this now.
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