Using RoboHelp 2017



What's covered?

This topic describes issues and some of the bugs encountered with RoboHelp 2017. It will be a mix of things that I have found, things that others have found and links to useful bits of information to help you on your way.

The more people who report a bug or request a feature, the more likely it is to be actioned. So if you see a bug below that you have encountered, please follow this link.

The rows with a darker background indicate bugs that have been fixed in a patch. It does not follow the other items are bugs that have not been fixed. Some will be "how to" items.







18 Sep 2019


Locally installed WebHelp not working in Firefox 68.

See Snippets WebHelp > Item 22.


12 Sep 2019

Willam van Weelden

Indigo Custom Icons.

Prior to Update 2, you could set custom icons in the Indigo layout. The option was removed in Update 2 because of issues leading to posts about how to reinstate them or roll back to Update 1.

Prior to Update 2, you could specify your own custom icons for the first level of books in the TOC. Because of issues reported with using custom icons, that functionality was removed in Update 2. In the forum thread Willam van Weelden has described how to fix that by editing the usersettings.js file. That method is fine but it will need to be done whenever you generate the output.

Willam has kindly supplied a revised MasterThemeSchema.xml file (link below). This adds the option to enable custom TOC icons in the editor again.

To use it:
1. Download the MasterThemeSchema.xml file.
2. Go to your RoboHelp project folder, to : !ScreenLayouts!\<LayoutName>\
3. Paste the downloaded file and overwrite the existing MasterthemeSchema.xml file.

You can now use the editor to enable and set the custom TOC icons.

Note: Any modifications you made prior to replacing the MasterThemeSchema will be lost. Custom colors, fonts and icons keep working, but RoboHelp may show the wrong values.

Using this is entirely at your own risk. Create a backup of your project first. I always recommend creating the backup as a zip file. That prevents you opening it accidentally and working on it before you realise it was the backup. This way you always have a clean backup that can be used to create a new clean copy time after time.

Update: Willam has provided this addtional information.

Adobe removed the custom icons as when you open a book, it shows the book to go back up one level. This book then shows the back button instead of the custom icon. This can easily be fixed in the CSS if that s needed. The attached CSS file fixes this problem. Simply overwrite the existing one.

Also, only the first level in the TOC will use the custom icons. You can change this behaviour by modifying the CSS as well. The attached SCSS file is prepared to also allow custom icons for items within books (one level per book). Anyone interested can uncomment the lines in the SCSS to play around with this.

Click here to download Willam's files.


21 Jun 2018

Peter Grainge

General Data Protection Regulations.

Please note that what I have posted here is my interpretation of what is required by the General Data Protection Regulalations for citizens of the European Union and how Adobe's solution should be applied. I am not legally qualified so you must check with your legal advisers to decide what is required. GDPR requires that EU citizens consent to the use of cookies, amongst other things. Cookies are what we are concerned with here and some functionality within RoboHelp requires cookies. It follows therefore that either cookies must not be used or there must be a mechanism for allowing users to disallow them. GDPR applies to anything that may be read by a citizen of the EU so even if you are say US based, if your help is accessible to EU citizens then the regulations apply.

Adobe have posted a solution that enables you, the author, to create help from RoboHelp 2015 and RoboHelp 2017 that does not use cookies. Click here to see their post with further information. Applying the Adobe fix will apply to all projects generated.

This solution is for responsive HTML5 layouts only.


12 Jan 2018


TOC issues with Chrome browser.

Forum users posted that WebHelp was working correctly in the main browsers but in Chrome the TOC books would not open. This followed a Chrome update and was thought to be an issue for Google to fix. Adobe then advised me that Chrome 63.0.3239.132 (Official Build) (64-bit) seemed to be OK so I tested that in a project I had and all seemed OK. However, forum users found otherwise when they tested their projects. I then tested another project and found I had some projects that worked and some that did not. Eventually I found the difference was that projects created in RoboHelp 2017 were working again after the above Chrome update but projects created in an earlier version did not, even though they had been updated.

I took this back to Adobe and they came up with a fix for RoboHelp 2017 that also works for RoboHelp 2015. By identifying the change made by Adobe, it was found that the same change in the same file also works for RoboHelp 10 and 11.The change is detailed below.

It is anticipated that Adobe will be issuing this fix direct in early February for RoboHelp 2015 and 2017 users, either via a tech note or a patch. RoboHelp 10 and 11 are out of support.

  1. Open the following folder <install dir>\RoboHTML\WebHelp5Ext\template_stock
  2. Create a backup copy for the following file whthost.js
  3. Copy the original to a folder outside of Program Files.
  4. Open the file whthost.js in a text editor with line numbering such as Notepad++.
  5. In line 872 (RoboHelp 2015 and 2017) or line 868 (RoboHelp 10 and 11) change the following line from
    sText = sText.replace("\n", "");
    sText = sText.replace(/\n/g, "");
  6. Save the edited file and copy it back to <install dir>\RoboHTML\WebHelp5Ext\template_stock overwriting the original

Please note I only tested in RoboHelp 2017 but forum users have posted success with other versions. Provided you make the backup as instructed, it can be reversed.

UPDATE 23 April 2018 Adobe have now confirmed the above changes as a Technote. Click here.


12 Jan 2018


Responsive Help issues with Internet Explorer.

Forum users posted that responsive layouts were either failing to load or the search failed to complete. Willam van Weelden posted Tracker Bug 960 with a fix that he had created and that worked for those visiting the forum. Another user posted that in merged responsive projects, topics were not synchronising with the TOC when viewed in Internet Explorer.

UPDATE 21 April 2018 Adobe provided me with a temporary fix pending further investigation into the issues and testing the fix. That fix is now available from Adobe. Click here.
If you applied Willam's fix, the files he changed will also be overwritten restoring you to the Adobe supplied files.


25 Nov 2017


Mobile Apps not generating.

Look for two possibilities.

If you have not changed the HTML5 layout to those supplied with Update 2, you will see a message stating that usersettings.js could not be update. Choose one of the layouts from the Gallery after Update 2 has been applied. If you have previously used an earlier version and are not ready to delete it, give the new layout a different name.

You also need to delete the Mobile App output that shipped with RoboHelp and then right click in the Output pod and select New Layout. Select Mobile App to set up the revised version that ships with Update 2.


07 Nov 2017

Peter Grainge

Click here to show message in full context.

Why do you sometimes see this message in an HTML5 output? It can occur when the help is not opened via the start page.

What does it mean? It simply means that if you click on it, you will see the same topic but with the full TOC, index and so on.

To change it to your preferred text, go to the Project ribbon and click Project Settings > General tab > Advanced > Labels. Scroll down to the Responsive Help section. Edit the ShowTopicInContext text.


07 Nov 2017

Peter Grainge

Generate folder not cleared with HTML5 outputs.

When you generate WebHelp, RoboHelp first deletes everything in the folder. This is a deliberate policy so that there is nothing left in the folder that could taint how the content works. Sometimes though you want a link to something that for whatever reason you cannot include in the project. For those situations, the Publish process can be used. You simply publish to the location you have set for publishing, RoboHelp will not delete addtional files in this process.

That works well in WebHelp but for some reason the generate folder does not delete everything. That may suit you but I still recommend using the Publish process. First Adobe could change things and second it would require more testing of what gets left before I would rely on not losing extra files.


07 Nov 2017

Peter Grainge

Merged HTML5 help issues.

The standard set by WebHelp is that any child can work standalone as well as part of a merge. The logic is that the author hands over the complete merge to the developers and they can install the parent and any combination of children or install a child project standalone.

Merged HTML5 help works in a different way and it is necessary for the author to create different merges as required or to generate standalone versions. I have flagged this with Adobe and requested they consider making merged HTML5 help work the same way as merged WebHelp.

As a result of the different way merged HTML5 help works, you will encounter the following issues:-

- The search fails if any child is deleted from the generated merge. All projects must be installed.

- Child projects cannot be copied from the merge output to run standalone. If removed, the search fails. Also thumbnails fail.

- Home" does not appear in breadcrumbs for a merge. Bizarrely if you add breadcrumbs to a master page in a merge, then Home does appear. To remove the standard breadcrumbs, you could set the colour to be the same as the background so that they are not seen. However, hovering over that area would still cause the cursor to display a hand. The better solution is to find the breadcrumb section in the topic.slp and remove it.

- These issues are included in Tracker RH-1130 on Adobe's bug reporting system.

Additionally there is a bug not related to this change in the way HTML5 help works whereby if the merge is viewed in IE11, the TOC does not merge when the user navigates around the help using topic hyperlinks, the TOC, the search, the index or the breadcrumbs. This is a separate issue and Adobe are aware of it.


07 Nov 2017

Peter Grainge

Pasted PNGs get converted to GIF files.

Apply Update 2 to so that the pasted image remains as a PNG.


07 Nov 2017

Peter Grainge

Thumbnail distortion.

In the first release if a thumbnail was clicked, the full size image had too large a border and if it was wider than the screen, it was very distorted. These issues have been fixed in the updates. Apply Update 2 and both issues should be fixed.


29 Oct 2017


Ocean HTML5 layout removed.

This layout has been removed in Update 2 because of technical issues.


09 May 2017


Cannot add new FlashHelp outputs.

Existing FlashHelp SSLs can still be used in RoboHelp 2017 but new layouts cannot be added. This option has been removed.


27 Mar 17


Dropdown text off screen in Ocean layout.

If a dropdown hotspot is near the bottom of the screen when clicked, the page does not move up to display all the content of the dropdown. No known workaround.


18 Feb 17

Peter Grainge

Open RoboHelp 2017 projects in RoboHelp 2015.

RoboHelp 2017 projects can be opened in RoboHelp 2015 and worked on. There is just one area to be careful with, HTML5 outputs.

If you need to work on the same project in both versions

The new Indigo and Ocean layouts can only be added in RoboHelp 2017 and the safest option is to only edit and generate them in that version. If such a project is later opened in RoboHelp 2015, whilst you can generate the output, it will not work correctly. Changes could be made in the RoboHelp 2015 editor but again not all would take.

With other HTML5 layouts, it depends on the version of RoboHelp in which you added the layout.

  • If it was added in RoboHelp 2015, you can generate from RoboHelp 2015 or 2017.
  • If it was added in RoboHelp 2017, it's the same as for the Indigo and Ocean layouts, don't work on the layouts or generate them in RoboHelp 2015.

If you accidentally generate from RoboHelp 2015, open the project again in RoboHelp 2017 and generate from there.

In short

  • If you select an HTML5 layout in a RoboHelp 2017 output, you must generate from RoboHelp
  • If you need to work using both versions, the best advice to avoid releasing an incorrectly functioning output is not to do anything with the layout in RoboHelp 2015.

To permanently work in RoboHelp 2015 on a project created in RoboHelp 2017

You can only edit and generate HTML5 layouts that were created in RoboHelp 2015. If your project contains any layouts created in RoboHelp 2017, you must delete them (or at least not use them) and add new layouts in RoboHelp 2015. That will mean you will not be able to select the Indigo and Ocean layouts.


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Topic Revisions


Changes to this page

03 Feb 2017

New topic.

New items will not be listed here as they are apparent from the date.