Project takes a lot of time to save

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Tansy
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Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:37 am

Project takes a lot of time to save

Unread post by Tansy »

Hi,
My project is 500+ pages long in PDF output, and it takes several minutes to save. The source project folder is over 1GB. Is there a way to make the project save quicker? I cannot make the document shorter. My computer is pretty recent, RAM 12 GB. And still the saving time..
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Tim Green
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Re: Project takes a lot of time to save

Unread post by Tim Green »

Hi Tansy,

When you say save, do you mean just saving the project with CTRL+S when you have made some changes, or are you talking about publishing, i.e. exporting the finished product? If you are just saving, there are a couple of things that could be involved:

Embedded Images:
If your topics contain embedded images they massively bloat the topic size and can also slow down editing generally. You should always convert embedded images to external files. Identify them by clicking on them: If they don't turn negative when selected, they are embedded. You can also locate them with the Report tool by generating a full report and searching for the word "embedded" in the report. To convert, right-click on the image and select the convert option.

Saving on a network or remote drive:
If your project is on a network drive or mapped remote drive it will take much longer to save. If possible, always edit your projects on a local drive on your own computer.

Orphaned network references:
Slow loading and saving performance is often caused by orphaned network references in your project to locations on the network that no longer exist, and it may be made worse by embedded images in your project, which can also slow down editing. This can apply in particular to image file references if the Project Search Path contains orphaned network references. Windows networks take a very long time to resolve invalid network references. In your project go to the following locations and delete any references to network locations that are no longer valid:

* Project Explorer > Configuration > Common Properties > Project Search Path
* Project Explorer > Configuration > Common Properties > Help Windows: HTML Help Options
* File > Recent projects (delete any projects shown in red that no longer exist)

Linked snippets:
Linked snippets use a fair amount of resources, particularly if they are stored on network drives. If you have a lot of them it can slow down project management. If possible, store all linked resources on local drives.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Tansy
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:37 am

Re: Project takes a lot of time to save

Unread post by Tansy »

Hi Tim,
Thanks for your response.
By saving I mean just saving the project with CTRL+S after making some changes, I try to save as often as possible not to lose any data, so a couple minutes waiting time at every CTRL+S operation slows me down a lot.


Tim Green wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:39 pm
Embedded Images:
If your topics contain embedded images they massively bloat the topic size and can also slow down editing generally. You should always convert embedded images to external files. Identify them by clicking on them: If they don't turn negative when selected, they are embedded. You can also locate them with the Report tool by generating a full report and searching for the word "embedded" in the report. To convert, right-click on the image and select the convert option.
No embedded images
Tim Green wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:39 pm Saving on a network or remote drive:
If your project is on a network drive or mapped remote drive it will take much longer to save. If possible, always edit your projects on a local drive on your own computer.
I always save locally, so not an issue here.
Tim Green wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:39 pm
Orphaned network references:
Slow loading and saving performance is often caused by orphaned network references in your project to locations on the network that no longer exist, and it may be made worse by embedded images in your project, which can also slow down editing. This can apply in particular to image file references if the Project Search Path contains orphaned network references. Windows networks take a very long time to resolve invalid network references. In your project go to the following locations and delete any references to network locations that are no longer valid:

* Project Explorer > Configuration > Common Properties > Project Search Path
* Project Explorer > Configuration > Common Properties > Help Windows: HTML Help Options
* File > Recent projects (delete any projects shown in red that no longer exist)

Looks like no oprhaned network references either. The only tool I didn't find was * Project Explorer > Configuration > Common Properties > Help Windows: HTML Help Options, my Common properties does not have the Help Windows item.
Tim Green wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:39 pm Linked snippets:
Linked snippets use a fair amount of resources, particularly if they are stored on network drives. If you have a lot of them it can slow down project management. If possible, store all linked resources on local drives.
No linked snippets.
Is there a way to remove unused images or some other unused data I am not aware of?
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Tim Green
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Re: Project takes a lot of time to save

Unread post by Tim Green »

Hi Tansy,
Is there a way to remove unused images or some other unused data I am not aware of?
Unused images shouldn't make saving slower. However, you can find them and move them to a different folder by running a full report with the Report Tool. The option to move the images will then be at the bottom of the report.

What could also slow down saving and performance is if you have too many image folders in your Project Search Path. Generally, more than five is probably too many as it forces Help+Manual to search through many folders in different every time it looks for an image. You can consolidate your image folders easily by moving all your images to a single or just a couple of folders. Then delete all your older Search Path references and replace them with one reference to the new folder/s. Ideally your image folder/s should be inside your project folder. Then you can move the entire project with the images without having to change any search path references.

Also: Are you working on a single-file project (.HMXZ) or an uncompressed project (.HMXP)? Uncompressed is much more efficient, since when saving you only need to save the topics and other files where there are actually changes. It is also much safer, since it is then not possible for a Windows error while saving to trash your entire project.

If none of these things apply it's probably just a slow computer/drive combination. :?
The only tool I didn't find was * Project Explorer > Configuration > Common Properties > Help Windows: HTML Help Options, my Common properties does not have the Help Windows item.
Sorry, that has been moved to Publishing > Microsoft HTML Help, since help windows are now only relevant in CHM.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Tansy
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Re: Project takes a lot of time to save

Unread post by Tansy »

Sorry it took me a long time to get back to the issue.
Also: Are you working on a single-file project (.HMXZ) or an uncompressed project (.HMXP)? Uncompressed is much more efficient, since when saving you only need to save the topics and other files where there are actually changes. It is also much safer, since it is then not possible for a Windows error while saving to trash your entire project.
I use a single-file project (.HMXZ). How do I migrate to an uncompressed project (.HMXP)? I tried using Save As and the System asked me to save the uncompressed project in a new folder. Do I need to copy and paste all the files in the original folder to the new folder then? Anything I should know about before the migration? Thanks.
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Tim Green
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Re: Project takes a lot of time to save

Unread post by Tim Green »

Tansy wrote: Mon Jan 09, 2023 9:17 am Do I need to copy and paste all the files in the original folder to the new folder then? Anything I should know about before the migration? Thanks.
You need to save to an empty folder initially. After that, move your image files and any other additional assets to subfolders of the new project folder. Then go to Configuration > Common Properties > Project Search Path and remove the old image folder paths and add new ones for the new locations. ONLY set paths to the image folder, not to any of the project folders.

This is also a good opportunity to consolidate your image folders if you have several of them, because HM will find them with the search path settings. Put your images in just a couple of folders inside your project folder. This also makes it possible to move the project around without changing the path settings: They are relative, so they don't need to be changed so long as the image folders are inside the project folder.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Tansy
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Re: Project takes a lot of time to save

Unread post by Tansy »

Thank you Tim!

Right now all the images and the project file are all in one folder. Does it mean I need to create a subfolder for the images and save the project file in the root folder? How do I make sure that nothing gets lost and all the images and other content are displayed correctly? The document is now 700+ pages long, too hard to check everything manually.
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Tim Green
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Re: Project takes a lot of time to save

Unread post by Tim Green »

Tansy wrote: Tue Jan 10, 2023 1:25 pm Does it mean I need to create a subfolder for the images and save the project file in the root folder?

The other way round:
  1. First create an empty folder.
  2. Then select Save As... and save the project uncompressed in the new folder
  3. Then create a subfolder in the new project folder for the images and move them all to that folder
  4. Then, in the new project, go to Config > Common > Project Search Path. Delete all the old references there and add a new one for the new image folder.
How do I make sure that nothing gets lost and all the images and other content are displayed correctly? The document is now 700+ pages long, too hard to check everything manually.
Everything should be fine after you follow the instructions above. The Save As process saves everything except your images and any external snippets. If you have external snippet files, create a second sub-folder for them, move the snippets there and add that folder to the search path as well. 8)
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Tansy
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Re: Project takes a lot of time to save

Unread post by Tansy »

Thank you Tim, will try that.
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