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These settings are very important for correct handling of languages and character sets in your output. Before making any changes here please study the International Languages and Unicode chapter in the Reference section carefully. For more detailed instructions for individual languages please also refer to International languages setup in the Creating Projects chapter.

Language of help file:

Defines the language of the help file. This option controls sorting in the keyword index and full-text search in the published help file. In addition to this it also identifies the language to the system for proper handling of languages with special character sets and languages requiring Unicode for proper processing.

The default setting (English United States) works correctly for all Western European languages and should not be changed unless really necessary.

The language setting should be changed for Eastern European languages (including Greek and Turkish) and the Font character set setting (see below) should then be set to match.

This setting must be changed for all Asian languages and other languages requiring Unicode support (all languages with more than 255 characters that store characters as two bytes). Here too, the Font character set must also be set to match. Correct Unicode support for these languages is not possible without a correct language setting and a matching font character set setting.

Bi-directional Language Mode:

This setting is for activating support for right-to-left languages like Arabic, Hebrew and Farsi. The default is Left to Right and it should only be changed if you are working with a right-to-left language like Hebrew, Farsi or Arabic.

Right-to-left support is only available in HTML Help (CHM). It is not supported in any other output format.

The setting makes radical changes in the way Help+Manual operates, switching the direction of all the texts in the editor, TOC and everywhere else, both in Help+Manual itself and in the published output.

Font character set:

Defines the character set to be used both in your published help file and in the Help+Manual editor.

The default setting (ANSI_CHARSET) should be used for English and all other Western European languages.

This option must be set to the correct, specific character set for all Eastern European languages (including Greek and Turkish). Furthermore, this setting must match the Language of the help file setting.

This option must also be set to the correct, specific character set for all languages requiring Unicode support (most Asian languages and other languages with more than 255 characters). In these languages too it is essential to set both this option and the help file language option to the correct, matching settings for the language you are using.

Default font:

This is not the default font for your help file! This option only sets the font used by Microsoft HTML Help for dialog boxes and table of contents entries. The default is MS Sans Serif,8,0 and HTML Help is optimized for this font and font size. If you change this font always test thoroughly before publishing your help.

The value 8 defines the font size and should generally not be changed. The value 0 defines the character set. You do not need to change the character set value – if it is necessary Help+Manual will do this for you automatically when you publish your project.

Default ("Home") topic:

This setting specifies the topic that is automatically displayed when an electronic help file is opened (HTML Help, WebHelp, Windows eWriter eBooks). This setting is not supported in ePUB eBooks.

See Setting the default topic for full details on setting and using the default topic in different contexts.

You can also use a user-defined variable in this setting to insert the topic ID of the default topic. Just type the variable name into the Default Topic field using the standard <%VARIABLE_NAME%> syntax. This makes it possible to define the default topic dynamically by changing the definition of the variable when you publish.

Note on Home topic and CHM publishing:
When you are working in Help+Manual and publish a CHM it will try to display with the topic you are currently working on, not with the Home topic. This won't affect the CHM when it is opened directly or by your application, it is just a convenience for use when you are testing while working with Help+Manual.

See also:

International Languages Setup (Procedures)

International Languages and Unicode (Reference)

Test-publishing Asian languages on non-Asian Windows