How does "Open with topic navigation" work?

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How does "Open with topic navigation" work?

Postby PEH on Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:34 pm

When I open a topic directly (like TopicA.htm) the frames based navigation is not displayed. At the top of each page is a default link that says "Open topic with navigation" which I would think would take me back to frames and display the left nav frame with TOC, index, etc. However, clicking the link displays a blank page. When I open TopicA.htm in notepad the link shows <a href="..\..\ApplicationHelp_CSH.htm#FolderA\TopicA.htm">. The ApplicationHelp_CSH.htm exists in the correct location as does FolderA\TopicA.htm. Any ideas on how to get the "Open with topic navigation" to work? I am reviewing a trial version of Flare, although I don't know why that would matter.
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Re: How does "Open with topic navigation" work?

Postby lacastle on Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:18 am

Why would you want to open a topic like that?

Also, are you trying to open from the Content or Output folders?
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Re: How does "Open with topic navigation" work?

Postby RamonS on Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:32 pm

Are you opening it in the topic preview? In that case, no hyperlink works as that would require to also compile the linked topics, which then could also have links, etc. That behaviour is by design. If this is in compiled output then you indeed found a problem.
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Re: How does "Open with topic navigation" work?

Postby PEH on Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:19 pm

I'm opening the .htm file from the output folder after it's been compiled. This option seems to be controlled by Skins > NameOfSkin > Webhelp Setup. Under the heading "Topic Settings" at the bottom of the screen are checkboxes to "show navigation link at top" ... or "bottom". There is explanatory text next to it that says "Topics may be viewed as standalone by opening them directly from the output content folder...". That is what I'm trying to do but no luck.

I found an example of it working fine in madcap's own help. http://www.madcapsoftware.com/support/webhelp/flare/Content/Steps/S6_Distribute_the_Output_to_End_Users/Step_6_Distribute_Output.htm

If you click the "Open topic with navigation" link in the upper left it works as expected and displays the frameset.
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Re: How does "Open with topic navigation" work?

Postby LTinker68 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:07 pm

Congratulations, you've discovered a bug. Not what you want to hear when you're evaluating software, but A) MadCap will probably fix it relatively quickly, and B) it's not insurmountable -- there is a workaround.

I tried the feature on a brand new test project and it worked for me. However, when I create a test project, I always select the option to create an "Empty Help". Since you mentioned ApplicationHelp_CSH.htm, I decided to try creating a new project and selecting the option to use the "Application Help" template. When I generated the help without making any modifications to the project, I ran into the same problem you did when I tried to click on the "Open topic with navigation" link -- it came up with a blank screen.

The good news is, if you try creating a new project and tell it to create an empty help, and then create your own topics in the root folder and create a topic in a subfolder, and enable that feature in the skin, then when you generate the help and open one of the topics from Windows Explorer, then the effect will work. So apparently there is something wrong with the "Application Help" template.

I'll report it as a bug.
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Re: How does "Open with topic navigation" work?

Postby PEH on Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:09 pm

Thanks Lisa. Good to know it's that easy to resolve. I appreciate you taking the extra time to experiment with the "Application Help" template. :D
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