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It's Not Just Help. . .

So How Does It Work?

HTML Topics & Templates

Project File (.hhp)
Contents File (.hhc)

Merging Modular Files

Accelerating Links

Distribution & Installation

HTML Help Resources on the Web

Creating Magic:
The HTML Help Project File

The backbone of any HTML Help system is the project (*.hhp) file, the primary container for information about and pointers to all elements of the HTML Help project. The project file is where the magic occurs, bringing all the pieces together into one HTML Help system.

The project file itself is simply a text file with a particular structure; the information it contains is used by the HTML Help compiler to create the actual compiled HTML Help system (.chm file). The project file specifies the system parameters (such as window definitions, language and version compatibilities, and any other options) and keeps track of all the topic, contents, index, script, style sheet, and image files.

You can create this file in at least three ways:

  • New project files are most often created using the HTML Help Workshop’s New Project Wizard to set up the basics, then using other Workshop components to add to and adjust the settings.
  • You can create the project file by hand in Notepad or another text editor. This is the most difficult way to create a project file from scratch; however, you will often find yourself resorting to Notepad to "tweak" project file settiings.
  • Once your first project is complete, you can create similar projects by adapting the existing project file, either in the Workshop or in Windows Notepad.