About H+M's Unicode support

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About H+M's Unicode support

This topic provides some important background information that will help you to understand how to use Help+Manual with languages that cannot be edited or displayed properly without Unicode.

In addition to reading this section please also see International languages setup and Language Settings for details on configuring your project output in the language you are using, both with Unicode-based languages and other languages.

Unicode support in Help+Manual's output formats:

Provided the other requirements listed below are met Help+Manual can output projects written in Unicode-based languages to all its output formats.

Windows versions supporting Unicode:

Help+Manual requires XP, Vista, Windows 7 or later. You cannot run the program on Windows 95, 98, ME and NT4 because these versions of Windows do not support Unicode. Windows 2000 may work but it is not officially supported.

Windows language version requirements:

Although you can edit and publish projects on any language version of Windows that is properly configured you can only test the published Unicode HTML Help properly on a version of Windows with a matching language.

For example, Chinese HTML Help can only be tested properly on a Chinese version of Windows. You may be able to display the help, but things like full-text search and the index will not work correctly.

This means that ideally, a matching language version of Windows XP or later is required for development of help in Unicode-based languages. You need a Chinese Windows to develop Chinese help, Thai Windows to develop Thai help and so on.

Requirements for publishing projects:

The Microsoft help compiler for HTML Help (CHM files) is quite old and it does not support Unicode directly. This means that some special configuration settings in Windows are required when you are publishing projects using Unicode-based languages like Chinese or Thai to HTML Help.

WebHelp, Windows Exe and ePUB eBooks, DOCX, Visual Studio Help:

You can publish Unicode projects to these formats with any version of Windows XP or later provided you have the necessary language support installed to display and edit the language you are using. Help+Manual itself handles the Unicode output to WebHelp, eBooks and MS Word DOCX, and the MS Help 2.0 compiler is fully Unicode-compliant.

HTML Help:

The HTML Help compiler does not support Unicode directly. (This is a restriction of the compiler, not of Help+Manual). To be able to publish a project written in a Unicode-based language to HTML Help the "system locale" of your version of Windows Windows XP or later must be set to match the language you are using. This is necessary to enable the HTML Help compiler to process the language correctly for Unicode output.

Click to expand/collapseChanging the system locale

Requirements for viewing Unicode-based help:

WebHelp, eBooks, MS Word DOCX:

You can view Unicode help in these formats with any version of Windows 95 or later provided you have the necessary language support installed to display the language in question. The browser and word processor used to display WebHelp and DOCX must be Unicode-enabled, of course. The operating system must also be able to run the reader software for ePUB – some readers may not run on very early versions of Windows.

HTML Help:

You can display Unicode-based languages with any version of Windows XP or later provided you have the necessary support installed to display the language you are using. However, some features of the help, such as the full-text search and index, will only work properly on Windows versions with a matching language.

Visual Studio Help:

Visual Studio Help is only supported on Windows Windows XP or later. However, it is fully Unicode-compliant and will display properly with all features on any language version of these versions of Windows provided they have support installed for the language of your help file. Note that Visual Studio Help is only relevant for documenting programming components in the Visual Studio .NET environment. It cannot be used for documenting normal application programs.

See also:

International languages setup

Language Settings