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The settings in this section set the read-only attribute for merged child projects and allow you to automatically generate help context numbers and prefixes for topic IDs for new topics.

Help context numbers are sometimes used to make direct calls to help topics from application programs. Topic ID prefixes are useful for preventing duplicate IDs in modular help systems.

Topic ID Prefix:

Any text you enter here is automatically added as a prefix to the suggested topic ID when you create a new topic. Note that this function can only be used for new topics; you cannot automatically change existing topic IDs.

Help Context Numbers:

If you activate this function help context numbers will be assigned to new topics automatically, starting with the Start with number. Each new number will be generated by incrementing the last number assigned by the Increment by setting.

This function will only be used for new topics and anchors created after it is activated. You can add, delete and change the context numbers of existing topics with the Help Context Tool.

Apply help context numbers to topic anchors:
This setting will also automatically generate help context numbers for new topic anchors so that anchors can also be used for calls to help topics from applications.

Write translation-friendly XML

This "Tidy XML" feature significantly simplifies the XML source code of your topics, reducing the amount of tag information that needs to be written. This can make translation with XML-based tools easier but it is not compatible with earlier versions of Help+Manual.

Make sure you have a backup of your project before applying this option. Otherwise you will have trouble accessing it with earlier versions if you ever need to.

History Files:

Configure whether history files are automatically created for changed topics so that you can revert to previous versions if necessary. History files are then saved every time you save your project.

See Topic History for details.

Open child projects read-only:

This protects child projects merged into the TOC of the current project against accidental editing. This is the default setting.

See Working with Modular Help Systems for more information on editing merged child projects.

Visual Source Safe Version Control:

Manually check out and check in topics

This option is only relevant if you are using the obsolete Microsoft Visual SourceSafe for version control with your Help+Manual projects.

By default, file check-out and check-in is handled automatically for projects linked to VSS. Help+Manual automatically checks topics out of the VSS database when you edit them and checks them back in when you save your project and move on to a different topic.

Setting manual check-out/check-in switches this automatic feature off and sets all the topics in your project to read-only. To edit a topic you must then first check it out manually, either with Project > File > Check Out in the Ribbon, or with Version Control System > Check Out in the context menu displayed when you right-click on the topic in the Project Explorer.

After editing a topic you must also check it in manually with the Check In menu options in the same locations. Other users will not be able to edit the topic until you do this – even if you close your project. (This allows you to leave a topic checked out even when you are not working on a project.)

See also:

Topic IDs and context numbers

IDs and context numbers in modular help

Working with Modular Help Systems

Anchors - jump targets

Auto and manual check-in/check-out