By default, eWriter eBooks contain both the viewer program and the book itself in a single EXE file. This is great for single eBook, but it's a little wasteful if you're installing multiple eWriter books as help files on a single user's computer. Then you have a copy of the viewer in every file, and every file also has to be a signed EXE. It also makes it more difficult to distribute updated versions, because making an EXE file available for download is more problematic than a plain data file.
To get around these problems, eWriter can also publish the viewer and book components separately. Then you just install the viewer once, and you can add as many separate eWriter books as you like, all viewed by the same viewer program. And when you want to distribute updates you just need to make the data-only book files available.
When you create a separate eWriter viewer it is actually a complete single-file eWriter eBook, containing both the viewer and a book part of its own. If it is opened on its own without a reference to a separate book file it will just display its own integrated book. So when you create your viewer for your books, it's a good idea to do it with some basic information that you won't want to change all that often.
In the examples we use the extension ".ebk" for the separate book files. This works fine but it is not required. You can use any extension you like as long as it is not .exe and not associated with any other programs on Windows. For example, the extension .ewriter also works fine.
Choosing between an integrated or separate viewer is very simple. If you use the extension .exe for the eWriter output file it will have an integrated viewer. If you choose any other extension Help+Manual will generate a book without an integrated viewer. By default we use .ebk for the extension, but you can choose your own if you like.
Publishing with an integrated viewer or creating a viewer program
To publish a single book with an integrated viewer, choose the default .exe extension. This creates a book with the integrated viewer. This is also how you create a viewer program to use with separate eWriter books, because the viewer program always also contains a book of its own. See further below for details.
Publishing an eWriter book without an integrated viewer
To publish an eWriter book without an integrated viewer, just enter any extension that is not .exe for the output file. Help+Manual will then automatically create a separate book file without a viewer. We use .ebk for this, but you can choose your own extension provided it's not in use by another program.
To create a separate viewer program you just need to publish a project to the eWriter format with the .exe extension (see above). It's important to understand that the viewer program is always also an integrated eWriter eBook in its own right. It always also contains the project you publish it with as a book. If it didn't, nothing would happen if the .exe file was opened on its own.
When the content in the viewer program is displayed
The viewer program's own content is only displayed when it is opened on its own. Then it functions as a normal eWriter eBook with its own integrated viewer.
Choosing the content for the viewer program
Since the viewer program always contains a book you need to choose its content carefully. In most cases you will be creating a separate viewer so that you can update your actual book files separately. So you will want the viewer's own book to be general information that doesn't need updating.
•The viewer's content should be general so that it doesn't need updating.
•It should include information about viewing your eBooks for users who open the file on its own.
•It should be compact. The more data you put in it, the bigger the viewer program file will be.
If it's likely or even possible that your users may try to open the separate eWriter books on their own you will also want to install the viewer .exe in your program's application folder and include a file association with your viewer in your installation process. Then the book files will open with the viewer automatically when a user double-clicks on them.
This also means you should standardize on a single extension for your book files. We suggest using .ebk, but you can use any extension you like as long as it doesn't conflict with any other file type on Windows. The extension .ewriter also works fine, for example, and since it is longer it is less likely to conflict with anything.