The appearance and functionality of HTML Help output is controlled by the settings in three Project Configuration sections:
•Configuration > Publishing Options > HTML Help
•Configuration > Microsoft HTML Help > Help Windows
•Configuration > HTML Page Templates
Nowadays you will almost always choose an HTML skin to publish your project to WebHelp or HTML Help/CHM. A skin is a special kind of Help+Manual project without topics that only stores your HTML templates and all the settings relevant for HTML output to these two formats. When you choose a skin, the templates and settings in the skin completely replace those in your project.
Normally, a skin is pre-designed and you don't need to change anything. However, if you do want to change something, you must do all your editing in the .hmskin skin file. Editing in your Help+Manual project won't have any effect because those templates and settings are not used.
To edit a skin, make a copy of the .hmskin skin file in your project folder and then open it in Help+Manual by selecting .hmskin as the file type to open in the Open dialog. All the templates and settings are in the same places as in a normal Help+Manual project.
Exception: HTML Export Options
The HTML Export Options section is not stored in skins and needs to be edited in your project.
The settings in Configuration > Publishing Options > HTML Help modify the appearance and functionality of your HTML Help output. The notes below explain what the sections are for, which settings you need to check and where you can find more information.
HTML Export Options:
This section contains some of the most important options for your HTML Help/CHM output. They control how your project is converted to HTML code and you should always check them before publishing a new project for the first time. Changes made here can cause radical differences in the behavior and appearance of your HTML Help output. There are also important settings here that enable your CHM files to display correctly on modern high-resolution devices.
For full details on all the settings in this section see HTML Export Options in the HTML Help section of the Project Configuration chapter. The options in HTML Export Options in the HTML Help section are also used for the two Microsoft Visual Studio Help formats.
Extended .HHP Settings:
The Microsoft CHM Viewer in Windows uses an old HTML rendering engine that has special requirements. Help+Manual can automatically configure your CHM file so that it displays correctly on high-resolution 4K monitors and devices like the Microsoft Surface and Lenovo Yoga Pro. If you don't do this the text and other elements will often be too small to read on these devices.
1.Open your project in Help+Manual and in the Project Explorer navigate to Configuration > Publishing Options > MS HTML Help > HTML Export Options.
2.Set Font Size Encoding to: pt Points.
3.Select the checkbox for Make pixel sizes relative to monitor resolution (4K display compatibility)
All elements of your CHM file will then automatically be adapted for correct display on both normal and high-resolution devices and monitors.
See Publishing for Hi-Res Displays for more details.
In addition to the settings in the HTML Help section, the configuration and appearance of your HTML Help output is also controlled by the settings in Configuration > Microsoft HTML Help > Help Windows. In particular, the HTML Help Options tab configures the features of the Microsoft help viewer used to display your HTML Help CHM file.
See Help Windows for some more information on this subject.
Match the System Locale to your output language
If you are not using a version of Windows matching your Asian language you must set the system locale to the correct language, otherwise the HTML Help compiler will not work properly because it is not a Unicode program; it needs support from Windows to be able to handle these character sets correctly. To do this open the International settings in the Windows Control Panel. The setting is in the Advanced tab. In Windows XP it is called "Language for non-Unicode programs", in later versions of Windows it is called System Locale.
You need to restart Windows after changing the locale.
Quick tests with the "Tolerant handling of Asian languages" setting
If you just want to do a quick compile of an Asian project without having to reset the System Locale and restart Windows there is a setting you can use to be able to view the output quickly:
View > Program Options > Compilers > Tolerant Handling of Asian Languages
This option is only for testing. It will create an Asian CHM that can be viewed correctly, but the keyword index and full-text search will not work correctly. To produce a production CHM for distribution you must publish it on a copy of Windows with the system locale set to the matching language.
As in WebHelp, you can exclude topics from the search in CHM by adding an underscore to the beginning of the topic ID. However, for this to work in CHM you must also activate an additional option for CHM in the HTML Export Options.
Important note for context help:
To exclude topics from the search:
1.Add an underscore to the beginning of the topic's topic ID in the Topic Options tab. For example, to include a topic with the ID Introduction from the search change the ID to _Introduction. (Note that you will then also have to change the addresses of any existing calls to your topic from your application!)
2.Go to the HTML Export Options and activate the option Exclude topics from CHM search if ID starts with an underscore.
3.If you have any context help calls to the topic in your CHM file from your application change the call to the new ID and file extension. For example, if the ID is _Introduction_Topic the new HTML file name to make the call to will be _introduction_topic.xhtm
This section provides access to the HTML templates used in all HTML-based output formats. These templates define the layout of the HTML pages into which the text from your topics is inserted.
Publishing with a skin uses the skin template
Normally, you will publish you project to CHM with a skin. When you select a skin the fully-configured HTML template from the skin is used instead of the template in the project and you don't need to concern yourself with it at all. If you want to change the appearance of the page when using a skin you need to edit the template in the skin, not in your project.
About HTML page templates in CHM output
In HTML Help/CHM files, the HTML page template is the only HTML template used in your output. It defines the layout of the HTML pages displayed as topics in the MS HTML Help/CHM Viewer. This viewer is a standard Windows component. It can be configured to a certain extent in the Help Windows settings.
Editing HTML templates directly requires experience with editing HTML code. If you are just getting started with Help+Manual it is recommended that you only use the Simple Template Layout tab. This allows you to use the default template while you are getting used to using the program.
For full details on all the settings in this section see Topic Pages in the HTML Help section of the Project Configuration chapter.