It's Not Just Help. . .
So How Does It Work?
Topics & Templates
Project File (.hhp)
Contents File (.hhc)
Merging Modular Files
Distribution & Installation
HTML Help Resources on the Web
The process of creating an HTML Help system involves several different
steps, each using a number of file types
and a variety of applications. A quick overview can help you understand
the full process.
Basically, the process involves the following steps. Each step is explained
in detail within the chapter, and carried out in the sample
- 1. Plan the system design
- Plan the overall Help system, addressing both traditional online help
decisions (audience analysis, high-level organization, navigation model)
and HTML-specific questions (compiled or uncompiled projects, style
sheet design, interactive elements). This is a good time to set up your
- 2. Craft reusable elements & content
- Use an HTML editor or Notepad to write
individual topic files (*.htm). Identify and create required
reusable elements including graphics, style sheets, and DHTML snippets.
Combine these elements into HTML files that can be used as templates.
- 3. Create & test the HTML Help project
- Use the HTML Help Workshop or a third-party product to define
the HTML Help project (*.hhp), combining the individual
topic files, specifying project parameters, and building the navigation
system (table of contents, *.hhc,
and index, *.hhk). Finally,
compile the project into the distributable file (*.chm), and
troubleshoot the results.
- 4. Merge modular projects (optional)
- If you will combine several help projects into a single master
project (for example, if your documented application has components
that are only available in certain packages), create a master project
file (*.hhp) that specifies the constituent .chm files
as Merged Files in the .hhp and with INCLUDE
statements in the .hhc.