Downgrade a RoboHelp Project

Downgrade a RoboHelp Project

A recurring forum question is whether you can downgrade a RoboHelp project. You may need to do this when you accidentally upgraded a project when trying out a new version of RoboHelp. Or you may need to do this when you receive a project from another author or another company.

Fortunately, it's rather simple to downgrade a project to RoboHelp 8 (or a higher version). There is a but: if the project use features that are not available in the lower version of RoboHelp, these features will not work. RoboHelp may even become unstable and crash the project. But as long as you have simple topics, you should be fine. Check Peter Grainge's RoboHelp Guide for an overview over all new and improved features of the different RoboHelp versions.

The first thing you need to do before downgrading, is to create a backup of your current project. You need to make changes to the RoboHelp project files and you can corrupt your project. So make a backup first!

This page was last updated on: 14-02-2017

TipNeed help recovering or downgrading your project? Contact me to find out how I can help. If you are recovering a project, you may also be interested in one of my recovery scripts.

Issues You May Encounter on Downgrading

Here is a short list of issues I know you may encounter on downgrading. This list is not exhaustive, but only a list of issues I am aware of.

To VersionSeverityChanges that may impact your project
2015 patchLow
  • Responsive HTML5 in RoboHelp 2017 includes several enchantments. Your 2017 Screen Layouts will not work with RoboHelp 2015.
  • Patches in RoboHelp 2015 have introduced small enhancements. These enhancements may break on downgrading a patch level.
11 or lowerLow
  • ​Named expressions will not work. You will have to redo all conditional build expressions for your outputs.
  • The new Responsive Layouts will not work in RoboHelp 11. Remove the Responsive Layouts and add them again.
  • Embedded multimedia introduced in patch 12.0.1 may not work properly.
10 or lowerBlockingRoboHelp 11 changed the way drop-down hotspots changed. If you use drop-down hotspots, downgrading your project may break existing drop-downs.
10 or lowerLowRoboHelp 11 introduces Responsive HTML5. These Single Source Layouts and Screen Layout will not work in RoboHelp 10. Remove them before downgrading.
9 or lowerHigh

RoboHelp 10 introduced variables in topic titles. Downgrading a project with variables in topic titles may have unpredictable results.

8MediumTracked changes were introduced in RoboHelp 9. Downgrading a project with tracked changes may have unpredictable results.
8Very LowThe location of the project's language file changed. On downgrading, paste the language files form the folder /!language!/<your language>/ to the root of the project.
7 or lower-Since the entire structure of RoboHelp changed, you can't just downgrade. See Downgrading to other versions

All these issues can be resolved through scripting and find/replace operations. Contact me if you require any help with this.

Downgrading with Source Control

When you use source control, I recommend that you add the downgraded project as a new project to source control. This will make the downgrade process easier. If you do not want to add the downgraded project as a new project, be sure to check out your project before trying to downgrade.

When you want to add the project as a new project to source control, you must remove the source control link from the project. See Rick Stone's article Banishing the sorcery for detailed instructions.

Downgrading Minor Versions (Patches)

Patches may include new functionality or features. Whenever a new feature is introduced in a patch, patch versions may no longer be backwards compatible. To downgrade to a previous patch level, follow these steps:

  1. Make a backup of the current project. Do not proceed unless you have a working backup.
  2. Find the .CPD file in the project directory and delete it.
  3. Open the .XPJ file with notepad or another text editor.
  4. On line 2, change the value of minorversion to 1.
  5. Save your .XPJ file.
  6. Open your RoboHelp project.

If RoboHelp asks to update the project, allow RoboHelp to update. This is regular behaviour to get the project version to the correct patch level.

Downgrading to RoboHelp 2015, 11, 10 or 9

Follow these steps to downgrade your project from RoboHelp 2017/2015/11/10 to RoboHelp 2015, 11, 10 or 9:

  1. Make a backup of the current project. Do not proceed unless you have a working backup.
  2. Find the .CPD file in the project directory and delete it.
  3. Open the .XPJ file with notepad or another text editor.
  4. On line 2, change the value of majorversion to the correct version:
  • For RoboHelp 2015, change the majorversion to 7 and the minorversion to 12.
  • For RoboHelp 11, change the majorversion to 6.
  • For RoboHelp 10, change the majorversion to 5.
  • For RoboHelp 9, change the majorversion to 4.

<rhpml majorversion="4" minorversion="0">

  1. Save your .XPJ file.
  2. Open your RoboHelp project.

Downgrading to RoboHelp 8

Follow these steps to downgrade your project from RoboHelp 11/10/9 to RoboHelp 8:

  1. Make a backup of the current project. Do not proceed unless you have a working backup.
  2. Find the .CPD file in the project directory and delete it.
  3. Open the .XPJ file with notepad or another text editor.
  4. On line 2, change the value of majorversion to 3.

<rhpml majorversion="3" minorversion="0">

  1. Save your .XPJ file.
  2. In the project directory, go to the folder !Language!.
  3. Open the folder named with the language code of your project. For example, if your project is in US English, open the folder en_US.
  4. Select the following files:
    • RoboHHRE.lng
    • File with the extension .IGN
    • File with the extension .PHR
    • File with the extension .STP
    • File with the extension .SYN
  5. Copy the selected files and paste them in the root of the project.
  6. Open your RoboHelp project.

Downgrading to other versions

Downgrading to versions older than RoboHelp 8 is not easy. With RoboHelp 8, Adobe changed the internal structure of projects, so you can't simply trick RoboHelp as you can for RoboHelp 8 or later.

If you do need to downgrade to earlier versions of RoboHelp, start with Peter Grainge's topic on opening projects. If you would like professional help, don't hesitate to contact me.

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