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Archived Message:

Next and Previous Links

rdlynch The next and previous variables in the compiler are about to drive me crazy.

How do I use PREVIOUS() and NEXT() to navigate the e-book?

In my html files I'm using the following code.

<a href="PREVIOUS()">Previous</a>

I'm sure that's wrong, but the help is not at all clear on this.

Posted on: 8:09 am on August 16, 2004
Alaska RD -

 The Activ statements, just like the html History object's 'next' and 'previous' properties are designed to act like your browser's 'back' and 'forward' buttons.

 It refers to the pages your user has visited during the current session.

What you are looking for is a 'browse (or page) sequence'.  It's the sequence of pages your user navigates through as though it were a book.

I can provide you with a browse sequence script if you like; contact me offline (see profile) with your filename list.

best -

(Edited by Alaska at 9:55 pm on Aug. 16, 2004)

Posted on: 5:17 pm on August 16, 2004
GMc We are using RoboHelp to generate Web Help. Not by creating a WebHelp project, however, as the development team prohibits all of the RoboHelp "junk"  scripts and files. We are creating an HTML Help file, then using the individual HTML pages for our Web Help. The one nut we haven't cracked, however, is how we might make use of (or otherwise add automatically), the .brs file that is used in an HTML Help project.

Is there any way to use scripting to make use of the .brs file, to create a browse sequence through individual HTML pages?

Alternatively, is there any way to strip a RoboHelp WebHelp project of all of the RoboHelp scripts/files, so that a "clean" set of HTML pages w/minimum functionality results? (Minimum = TOC, Index, Browse buttons, HTML pages). Note that our Web application is for a single, specific environment (Windows), so we don't need all of the multi-browser junk (and other stuff) that RoboHelp so "helpfully" provides.

Thanks for any possible help.

Posted on: 12:52 am on July 22, 2005
EBookCompiler Change it to


Posted on: 1:15 am on July 22, 2005
EBookCompiler Gmc, there's no way to read a robohelp brs file.

You can determine the order of pages in the compiler by going to the Files tab, and using the blue arrow toolbar buttons to move the pages into sequence.

I think the question in your 3rd paragraph is probably best directed to RoboHelp. Alternatively you may be able to write a script or batch file to clean up a copy of the files.

BTW please can you email webmaster @ ebookcompiler.com a couple of sample brs files. I'd be interested ot see what's in them (I can't promise that it will help directly with this question)

Posted on: 1:18 am on July 22, 2005
Alaska  Wow, I just dropped by the forum, and realized my error in that old post.  I must have been thinking of the back() and forward() commands.  

 I use Robohelp as well, in full.  Because it employs frames, I can't use the built-in Activ buttons or commands for my browse sequences.  I use RH's, or my own.

 FYI, Sunil, this is the contents of a sample .brs file; it's used by the htmlhelp compiler to build it's browse sequence in the compiled .chm file:

Botswana | Southern Africa\Botswana.htm
Kenya | East Africa\kenya.htm
Namibia | Southern Africa\namibia.htm
Tanzania | East Africa\tanzania.htm
Uganda | East Africa\uganda.htm
Zambia | Southern Africa\zambia.htm
Zimbabwe | Southern Africa\zimbabwe.htm

[Places to see]
Kruger Camps | South Africa\Kruger Camps.htm
Ndumo Wilderness Camp | South Africa\Ndumo Wilderness Camp.htm
Phinda | South Africa\Phinda Resource Reserve.htm
Rocktail Bay | South Africa\Rocktail Bay Lodge.htm

East African region | Region East.htm
South African region | Region South Africa.htm
Southern region | Region Southern.htm

So, it's not very useful unless you rewrite it....

...and using the Table of Contents list is easier.

Posted on: 8:07 am on July 22, 2005
EBookCompiler brs files.

I was thinking it might be helpful to have some kind of function to process them, perhaps in future, or a script.

Of course, I'm just contemplating, NOT planning.  I need to see some exact files so if you could see me a couple of sample brs files that'd be great Roger

The brs files look very similar to stuff you manually wrote when using the Windows 3  help compiler, I think... if anybody else remembers back that far :-)

Posted on: 3:38 pm on July 22, 2005
GMc Thanks very much to both of you for your comments. I was also hoping that someone might be able to write a script to process the .brs file. That's what the little Help window .dll does. I'm not a script person, however. (Guess if this is so important to me, I should learn!)

Thx again. --GMc

Posted on: 5:40 pm on July 22, 2005
Alaska GMc -

 You don't really need the Javascript if you are willing to build Activ's Content list, which guides your previous and next buttons.  It's already there for you.

 Sunil -  the future of RoboHelp is in limbo right now, and there is no guarantee that it will continue to be supported with new releases.

 RH was purchase by Adobe, which of course, was then purchased by MacroMedia - who have their own Help system and web design tools - FrameMaker, DreamWeaver, etc.  So, a niche product like RoboHelp may not survive.  There is a lot of speculation, and nothing forthcoming from MM indicates otherwise.

 I can still send the .brs files if you need, but I think you'll be facing some diminishing returns for your effort.

Posted on: 8:50 pm on July 23, 2005
Storyman Alaska,

It's nice to see you posting again.

For a thousand $USD RoboHelp must fill the niche with a lot of bells and whistles. You mention that Adobe had bought it and in turn Marcomedia purchased it. Wonder what the future will be for the program now that Adobe has acquired Macromedia. Heck, I'm even wondering what will happen to Dreamweaver. (For the last week I've been familiarizing myself with GoLive CS2 and have to say that there are a lot of nice features that are lacking in DW MX 2004--especially if you use CSS and javascript (or any number of other programming languages.)

Posted on: 10:18 pm on July 23, 2005
Alaska right - I got the order of corporate buyouts wrong.  MacroMedia bought eHelp, whose flagship product was RoboHelp.  Adobe then bought MacroMedia only a few months later.

Robohelp is designed to build help systems, so they sold to software and IT businesses mostly.  That makes it a business writeoff.  Plus, it is a bit more intuitive than the few other products out there, and can use Word documents as their primary platform, if needed.

The Copperfieldpub.com website was built with RoboHelp, as was this ebook:http://www.copperfieldpub.com/dev/alice111.zip.

 Here are some skins that have been developed for RH web page output - imagine them in an ebook:


 ...so, it's pretty versatile, and useful for creating ebooks, as well as help files and websites.  It is a bit pricey, and new versions would come out every year, so buying a subscription saves a bit.

Posted on: 12:40 am on July 24, 2005
Storyman There are a few features in the new GoLive CS2 program that might be of interest to you.

If you are a DreamWeaver user you might recall their feeble attempt of creating templates. The idea was that you could create a template with non-editable and editable regions. Supposedly, you could change the layout in the master template and all of the off-spring pages would reflect the change. The only problem was that each child page had to be opened in DW, then saved. Not much point in using Templates with a large web site.

GoLive CS2 creates templates that when changed are automatically changed throughout the site. The idea is carried a step further with Smart Objects. Smart Objects are master images kept in a separate folder. For example, if there was nav button Smart Object that was used several times on a page(s) by changing the Smart Object all of the occurences of that button would be changed. Same for JPG, PNG, SWF, GIF, etc.

Another feature that may interest you is the Diagram page, which lets you design the layout of a site before the first page is built. After the site is built you can drag and drop pages to change the archetecture of a site and all of the links (images, urls, etc) will be updated.

The kicker for me is the outline mode for CSS. If you've ever spent time hunting down a missing </DIV> tag you'll really appreciate the outline mode. And that is just the tip of the ice berg.

As mentioned earlier, I'm still learning the basics for GL CS2, but have pretty much decided that Dreamweaver is showing its age when compared with GL CS2.

Posted on: 4:46 am on July 24, 2005
GMc Roger,
Thanks for the suggestion about Activ. I took a look at it, and it's an interesting product. We are distributing online Help for a Web application, though, and would not be able to use an .exe file for our Help. Download  cannot be used, due to our need for very light client; .exe = possible issues w/client's security settings.
Thx again,

Posted on: 7:31 pm on July 25, 2005
Alaska GMc -

 Your limited options reduce you to something like RoboHelp's WebHelp.  It delivers your help content as web pages, with a TOC, index and search function within a frameset.

Posted on: 4:23 pm on July 26, 2005

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