A help project template is simply an entire Help+Manual project with all its settings, including all your styles and all the settings and items in the Project Explorer. A project template can include topics with content but it does not have to. If you have topics that you always use (for example terms and conditions, introductions and so on) you may want to include them.
Unlike HTML skins, project templates are used as a model for new projects. You can also apply project templates to existing projects but this is a little more complicated (see below).
Skins are applied when you publish and do not affect the settings in your current project, the settings in project templates become an integral part of your project.
This is generally the easiest way to create a project template because then you don't have to go through all the project settings.
1.Create a backup copy of the project you want to use as a template and open the backup.
2.Delete all the topics you don't want to include in the template and edit any topics that you do want to include so that they do not contain any unnecessary text or other items.
3.Select Save As in the File menu and save the edited project in a safe place. You don't have to use a special format, a project template is exactly the same as a normal Help+Manual project.
Make a copy of the template project and edit:
Just make a copy of the template project file or project folder (if you are using uncompressed XML format), rename the .hmxz (compressed) or .hmxp (uncompressed) file and start editing. That is all there is to it.
You can also apply project templates to existing projects. However, this cannot be done in one process, you need to choose the parts of the template you want to apply.
Step 1: Apply the template stylesheet
1.Open the project you want to apply the template to and select Styles > Edit Styles in the Write tab.
2.Click on the Copy Styles From... and then select the project file you want to copy the stylesheet from.
Note that this will overwrite all the styles in your existing project!
Step 2: Apply the Project Configuration settings
All the other settings in your projects are stored in the Configuration section in the Project Explorer. You must import the properties here section by section:
1.Select the Configuration section of your project in the Project Explorer.
2.Select a section that you want to copy and click on the Copy Properties From... button at the bottom of the screen. Then select the project you want to copy the properties from.
You will be asked whether you want to copy the properties from just the current sub-section or from the entire section (for example: just the Image Folders section of Common Properties or the entire Common Properties section).
Note that this will overwrite all the settings in your existing project!
3.Repeat for all the template sections you want to copy.
If you want to copy the complete template import all the Common Properties and HTML Page Templates sections, plus all the Publishing Options sections for any output formats you are using.
Step 3: Import the Baggage Files
If your original project also contains Baggage Files you should import those to the new project as well.
1.Select the Baggage Files section in the Project Explorer.
2.Select Add File > Add New File in Project > Manage Topics and select the Help+Manual project you want to import the Baggage files from.
3.You will be asked if you want to import the Baggage Files from the selected project. Confirm to import the files.
Do you like the appearance of the Help+Manual help? In case you do we've included the complete source project used to create this help you are reading now. It is stored in the Examples\HelpAndManual6 folder in your Documents directory.
We have also included the custom skin we used to create the CHM and WebHelp versions of this help, and you are welcome to use that too. The skin is called HM6-OnlineHelp-Webhelp+CHM.hmskin and you can select it directly with the Select Skin option in the Publish dialog. It is stored the \Templates\HTML Skins folder in the Help+Manual program directory, along with all the other skins we provide for your use.
Creating a project based on the Help+Manual help:
Open our help project in Help+Manual and make a copy of it in a new folder with Save As... in the File menu. Then just delete all the topics and go through the Configuration sections in the Project Explorer to change the details necessary for your own help, like the title and so on.
Using our styles etc. in your own projects:
Follow the instructions for applying project templates to existing projects (see above) and copy the styles, Configuration sections and Baggage files from our help project – or any other project you want to use as a model.