The Configuration section in the Project Explorer menu is the control center for your project. Unlike the settings in View > Program Options (which are program settings), all the settings you enter here are stored in your current project and are only available to the project in which they are stored. They define all the basic parameters for your help project and how it is output to the formats supported by the program.
You can use both user-defined variables and global variables in the text fields in your configuration settings. For example you could use © <%\YEAR%> by <%AUTHOR%> for your copyright message.
There are three groups of settings in the program configuration settings: Common Properties, HTML Page Templates and Publishing Options.
These settings define things like the name of your project displayed in help window title bars, copyright messages, language settings, where images and snippet files used in the project are stored, text variables used in the project and so on. This is also where you will find the help window definitions used to configure the help viewer for Microsoft HTML Help (CHM).
It is always a good idea to check all the settings in this section when you create a new project.
The HTML page templates are combined with the contents of your topic pages when you publish to most HTML-based output formats (ePUB and Kindle eBooks have their own page template). The template provides everything above and below <body> </body> tags, the content from the editor provides everything that goes between the body tags.
Advanced users can edit the source code of the HTML page templates directly to customize their output in any way they like.
HTML page templates in skins:
If you are using a skin the HTML page template in your project is not used. It is replaced by the template in the skin. If you want to make changes, you need to edit the HTML page template in the skin, not in your project.
These settings are organized in sections by output format. They allow you to control how each output format is handled, providing a high degree of customization. For example, in the WebHelp section you can directly edit all the additional HTML templates that define the frameset and the Contents, Index and Search pages of your WebHelp output. In HTML Help you can configure different modes for popup topics, in PDF you can choose between interactive and static PDF files and so on.