Help+Manual automatically converts the project files from older versions with obsolete formats (H+M 3 and H+M 4) when you open them. Alternatively, you can also use the stand-alone converter program to convert old projects manually.
Help+Manual 4 projects are generally converted 1:1 and do not require any post-processing after conversion. Older Help+Manual 3 projects did not have the styles and other features introduced in the modern versions of the program and may require some reformatting after importing.
The Help+Manual 5 and 6 project formats are almost identical with the current format and require no conversion.
You can edit projects saved with Help+Manual 7 in versions 5 and 6 but this is not recommended. Any new features will be stripped out by the older versions when you do this. If you are working on projects in a team all team members should also be using exactly the same version.
Help+Manual 5 and Help+Manual 6 projects
Just open the project normally. No conversion is required. However, newer features of the current version of Help+Manual are not supported by earlier versions. If you use these features and then edit and save with the older version, the features may be deleted by the older version.
Help+Manual 3 and 4 projects
1.Select the File menu and click on Open, then select the format of the project you want to open in the Files of Type: field (or the drop-down menu next to the File Name: field in newer versions of Windows).
2.Select the file you want to convert and click on Open to display the following dialog:
3.Select Convert and open to convert the old project.The new project file will be saved in the same directory as the old project you are converting.
This method automatically converts the old project into a single compressed file with the extension .hmxz containing all the project components except the graphics files. If you are using the Basic version of Help+Manual this is the only project format you can use.
Using the external converter:
If you use the external converter you can also convert old projects to the uncompressed XML format (HMXP, Professional and Server versions only) and select additional conversion options for Help+Manual 3 projects.
Follow the instructions above and select Start external converter. For full details see The Project Converter.
If your old HMX or HM3 project contains "invisible topics" (topics without TOC entries) they will be moved to a sub-folder called Topics\Invisible in the Topic Files section in the Project Explorer.
When you use the external converter program you can decide what you want to do with your old invisible topics:
Add invisible topics to TOC creates the (Former Invisible Topics) chapter described above. We recommend deselecting this option.
Keep organization structure creates sub-folders in the Topic Files section to match your folder structure in your old project. You can create a maximum of 10 levels but the converter will not create more levels than the original project contained.
When you convert old projects the images they use are left in their original locations. The images are accessed by adding links to the old locations to the Project Search Path in the converted project. If you want to store the images with your new project you must manually copy them to a new folder in your new project folder and then update the Project Search Path of your new project so that it only references the new folder(s) location.
See Managing your graphics for more details on these subjects.
There are three areas where you may need to make adjustments after converting and importing old HM3 projects:
Settings for styles:
The settings for your styles may need to be edited a little because styles in Help+Manual 3 projects did not have the same close association with text and paragraphs that they have in Help+Manual 4 and 5. All the formatting of your text will be converted correctly but you may find that some paragraphs are associated with the Normal style instead of a newly-defined style matching the old formatting.
Imported and converted tables:
Some of the static tables from H+M3 projects may also need a little post-editing. Tables in Help+Manual 3 were fixed-width only and they were often split into multiple tables to handle page break problems in PDF and printed manuals. The Project Converter has options for dealing with both of these issues but because of the differences between the two table formats you may need to make some manual corrections to your tables after importing.
Custom code in HTML templates:
The HTML templates used in Help+Manual 4 and later have changed considerably, so it is not possible to transfer custom code from your .hm3 projects when they are imported – the risk of damaging the resulting code would be too great.
If you have entered custom code in your templates you will need to re-enter it in the templates of your converted Help+Manual project.