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Create a Help file for an Application using Help Workshop
HELP FILE USING HELP WORKSHOP
Aim: Create a Help file for an Application using Help Workshop
Theory: Help files can be created in HTML Help Workshop or in any other HTML authoring tool (for example, Front Page, Word, or a text editor). Then use the Answer Wizard Builder to create the AW file from the HTML or CHM Help content.
Creating custom Help topics involves these steps:
Ø Choosing a custom Help file format (HTML or CHM files).
Ø Creating the custom HTML topics.
If you want to create, format, and link HTML Help topics, you can use any HTML editor. If you want to create CHM files, install Microsoft HTML Help Workshop and compile your custom Help.
The format you choose for your Help files also depends on where you plan to store the files and how often you need to update the content.
Advantages of using HTML Help
Ø HTML Help files can be stored on either a Web server or a network file share. If they are stored on either of these, the following advantages apply:
Ø You can update Help content in one place and not have to worry about deploying or updating it on individual computers.
Ø No hard-disk space is required on a user’s computer.
Ø HTML Help does not require a hosted Web site to display Help content.
Disadvantages to using HTML Help files include the following:
Ø If you use HTML Help files hosted on a Web site, users must have access to the Web.
Ø A CHM file is a compressed HTML Help Meta file. You can take the equivalent of an entire Web site and compile it into a CHM. It uses a special technology to combine HTML files into one file with a special directory, index, and file structure similar to a compressed drive.
CHM files offer the following advantages over other file types:
Ø CHM files can be compressed, taking up less hard-disk space and providing more portability than an entire Web site.
Ø Users get faster results when the CHM file is stored locally.
Ø A single CHM file can contain an entire Web site of HTML files.
Ø Users do not need access to the Web or the network.
Disadvantages to using CHM files include the following:
Ø You are required to register the CHM before it can be used.
Ø However, once it is registered, it does not need to be registered again.
Ø You are required to recompile the file every time a change is made to the Help system.
Creating custom Help topics
After you choose what format you will use for your custom Help topics, you can begin creating your topics. Where you start the process of creating custom Help depends on what format your Help files are in. If you have CHM files or Help topics in Win Help format, you can import them into HTML Help Workshop.
Start with Win Help sources
Microsoft HTML Help Workshop can automatically convert the source files for these to HTML.
After converting your source files, use HTML Help Workshop to create a CHM file from the new HTML files.
Help files can be created in HTML Help Workshop or in any other HTML authoring tool (for example, Front Page, Word, or a text editor). Then use the Answer Wizard Builder to create the AW file from the HTML or CHM Help content.
Conclusion: Thus we have created a help file using HELP WORKSHOP
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