The Help & Manual workspace has three main components that are immediately visible: The Ribbon Toolbar where you access all program functions, the Project Explorer for navigating and managing your projects and the Editor where you edit the content of your projects.
In addition to this, the File menu in the blue tab on the left reveals a fourth component called "backstage view". This completely hides both the Project Explorer and the Editor, providing plenty of the space for the dialogs and interactive assistants needed by the functions in the File menu.
The Ribbon Toolbar is the control center where you access virtually all of Help & Manual's functions. If you use Microsoft Office 2007 you will already be familiar with the Ribbon interface. It is context-sensitive, automatically displaying functions relevant to what you are currently doing.
Tip: The Ribbon can also be operated almost entirely via the keyboard. To display the accelerator keys just press and release the ALT key once – the keys will be displayed in icons superimposed on the Ribbon.
The Project Explorer is like Windows Explorer for Help & Manual projects. When you load or create a project all its contents are displayed here, including both the topic files it contains and all the settings and configuration options. You can load multiple projects in the Project Explorer and copy and paste between them.
The Editor is where you edit your topic content, and project settings dialogs. To edit a topic you just select the topic in the Project Explorer and start editing in the Editor, which works very much like a normal word processor. To edit project settings you just select the settings in the Configuration section of the Project Explorer.
The File menu in the highlighted tab at the left end of the Ribbon is the fourth main workspace element. When you click on it, it replaces the entire program window with the "backstage view". It provides access to major functions requiring large, interactive dialogs with lots of information and configuration options. This is where you open existing projects, create new projects, publish and print your projects, save your projects with other names and in other formats and so on. The functions include:
•Open, Close, Save and Exit (normal file menu functions)
•Save As (save projects with different names and in a number of different formats, including extended formats like skins, repositories and rescue copies)
•Program Options (global Help & Manual configuration options)
•New Project (create new Help & Manual projects, either empty or by importing existing data)
•Publish (output your projects to any of the supported formats)
•Import (import data into the current project)
•Version Control (options for integrating your project in a supported version control system)
•Print Manual (generated a printed manual from your project)
•Repository Manager (register repositories created with Save As.. so that you can link them to your projects)
The Quick Access Toolbar at the left end of the main program title bar provides access to your most frequently-used tools. It is fully configurable. Just click on the drop-down icon to the right of it to add or remove functions.
By default the QAT includes the New, Open and Save tools and also the Back and Forward tools that navigate through the topic files and other Project Explorer items you have visited in your current editing session.