It's Not Just Help
It's HTML Help
HTML Help exists at the intersection of the Web explosion and an unprecedented
growth spurt for online user assistance in general. With online help being
added to everything from stock portfolios to virtual museums, HTML Help
combines the best of HTML with the best of online Help—and the very best
approach is, quite possibly, a new format from Microsoft® that is called
compiled HTML Help. This Web site, and the book it draws from, explore
this new format in detail.
The “HTML” components of HTML Help can be dynamic and interactive, presenting
a style as strong as the content. Web technologies enhance the system
with cascading style sheets (CSS) for
control over layout and style, and with dynamic
HTML (DHTML) that allows the author to customize content and design
presentations that literally move the information to meet the user’s needs.
These enhancements are not mere aesthetic tricks, but legitimate tools
allowing writers to support all types of learners and all sorts of situations.
Learners' needs are also addressed by the strong architectural and navigational
components from the “Help” part of the equation. Drawing on the Windows
help tradition, HTML Help supplies built-in tools for creating
indexes, full-text search (FTS), and
tables of contents synchronized to
the user’s current page.
And the best part of the HTML Help revolution is that it’s not difficult
to join in. While the full world of HTML, Help, CSS, and DHTML is stunningly
wide, you need not master it all to create rich, useful, and attractive
HTML Help systems. In this book, you can learn everything you need to
get started and successfully produce your own HTML Help system enhanced
with Web technologies. After that, the only limit is your own imagination.
For more information, check out the overview
of what this book covers and the description
of who should read this book. In addition, this Web site presents
an overview of each chapter. Use the table of contents on the left to
access the desired topic and chapter.