Re: Help for Doc2Help

Subject: Re: Help for Doc2Help
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 1996 16:01:00 EST

At 01:30 PM 6/12/96 -0600, you wrote:
>John, I don't know how large your original file is but I work with one that's
>about 170 pages with *tons* of graphics (the final help file is currently just
>over 1.5Mb). The only way I can compile is to break down the "make into help"
>routines and run them separately. Also, I understand that D2H now suggests that
>you not run minimized. My biggest problem is "out of memory" errors.

>Hope this helps.

>> *I had a large D2H V1.6 (Win3.1)file that failed to compile
>> (file was too large).
>> *Broke file into separate files Main Sub, Sub, Sub ...
>> *D2H contents function works only on current file (e.g.
>> if I am in Sub-File 2, Contents shows for that file only,
>> not that file AND Main File and Sub-Files Other.
>> *This is not satisfactory to me or client.
>> *D2H V2 (Win95) even if it worked (think not) is NOT an
>> alternative as client is committed to Win3.1.
>> *Likewise, RoboHELP is out due to committment to D2H.
>> *Client *reminds* me that MS seems to be able to use
>> huge HELP files.
>> *Given required use of D2H V1.6 (V1.7 is *in the mail*),
>> does anyone have any suggestions how I might display an
>> // all (D2H) files // Contents ?
>> *The project was due /yesterday/ (so what else is new?)
>> *TIA

Whoa, folks! For starters, what was the EXACT out of memory error you
encountered? My hunch is that the file isn't too large at all...I routinely
compile several megs of RTF into a single help file, using EXACTLY THE SAME
COMPILER YOU ARE. It's the compiler that snags and burps, not D2H.

Check each and every graphic that you've placed inline. Make sure that none
is over 64K in size, nor 256 color or bigger. Including a graphic larger
than this will make the compiler pop and show an out of memory error. BTW,
it's not out of memory at all, simply out of segment area. You can include
referenced graphics bigger than 64K, but not inline.

As to the problem with "Microsoft makes big help files...", yeah they do,
but they don't use a skinny tool like D2H to do it, frankly. Their technos
use much more advanced tools. D2H isn't a world-class, big gulp sort of help
tool. If the client is firmly enmeshed in D2H (God knows's all Word
anyway) then he'll have to accept the fact that D2H has petty irritations in
it, some borrowed from Word, some of its own making. One of the things about
D2H that had me busting my buttons was its unfortunate habit of using
include fields for each and every subfile. Sometimes Word hiccups and
doesn't recognize the fields, making D2H just another jumble of unusable

You may have given yourself the problem by trying to break up a monolithic
file into smaller subfiles after they were already written. That can make
D2H choke and die. My recommendation is to build the file into an RTF, using
whatever you can do to make it come out. Then MANUALLY feed the RTF into the
compiler, rather than letting D2H do it. Unfortunately, you'll have to use
D2H's build macros at this point to make the RTF file, since just saving the
DOC as an RTF will include all of the little field codes that D2H places
there, probably making the compiler throw it back at you.

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
FrameMaker support ForeHelp support

Makers of DuoFrame, giving you online help and paper
documentation from a single parent FrameMaker document.

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