Uses for Baggage Files

<< Click to Display Table of Contents >>

Navigation:  More Advanced Procedures > Using Baggage Files >

Uses for Baggage Files

There are two main uses for the Baggage Files section: For files of your own referenced in your HTML code and scripts and as a storage area for small, frequently-used graphics you want to keep with your project, particularly those used in your HTML templates (for example logos, buttons etc).

Integrating files referenced in HTML code and scripts:

There are a number of functions in Help+Manual that allow you to insert your own inline HTML code in your output or to modify the HTML code generated by the program. These include HTML Code Object Tool, the HTML code editing function of the Insert Video Tool, all the HTML editing functions for HTML templates and the code you enter in scripts and macros.

If you want to reference graphics files and other files in this code Help+Manual normally has no way of knowing that these files exist or that you want them to be exported with your project when you publish. The Baggage Files section provides a quick and elegant way of solving this problem.

All files that you add to your project as Baggage are automatically exported when you publish your output and can be referenced in your HTML code by name only, without any additional path information.

Frequently-used graphics

You can also use the Baggage Files section for storing small, frequently-used graphics files for example custom icons used for your Table of Contents in WebHelp output or logo images that you use frequently. Once you have added them to the Baggage you can delete any graphics files used in your project from other locations. Help+Manual always looks for files in the Baggage first, so if they are there they will be found, for all output formats.

This is a useful way of keeping the files associated with your project together but it should generally only be used for relatively small files. This applies particularly if you are using the single-file .hmxz format, because all your Baggage files are stored inside the .hmxz file together with all the other project components. (The Basic version of Help+Manual only supports the .hmxz format .)

Graphics storage location in HMXP projects

When you are working in single-file HMXZ mode we don't recommend storing large numbers of large files like graphics in your Baggage. If you do, you will bloat the project files and this may slow down editing because the entire contents of the HMXZ must be loaded into memory when it is opened. However, you don't have this problem in HMXP projects because the contents of the Baggage are just files on disks.

Storing your graphics in your Baggage in HMXP projects can be practical if you are saving your projects in a Version Control System (VCS).  If you do this, then your graphics are automatically saved to the VCS repository because they are an integrated part of your project. Since graphics can take up a lot of space in the repository you may or may not want to do this, but it is available as an option if you want it.