Microsoft's HTML Help Workshop is a one-stop resource, comprised of the
navigation and development components needed by HTML Help authors, programmers, and HTML
expert users who need to know the nuances between HTML Help and standard HTML.
The HTML Help Workshop core component is a Help authoring tool offering a step-by-step graphical interface, for creating new Help project/content/index files, converting WinHelp files to HTML Help, and everything else you need for creating an online help system or web site.
It also includes an ActiveX control for inserting help navigation and secondary window functions into an HTML file; Java Applet for HTML Help file navigation if you don't choose ActiveX; an Image Editor that simplifies the import and conversion of images to GIF and JPEG formats; facilities for converting any existing Help files to HTML Help; and it offers Compressed HTML to allow reduced file space for your completed files.
A resident HTML Help Authoring Guide takes you through every step, with thorough operating instructions and explanations, with good cross-referencing to related topics or procedures -- in itself, a penultimate HTML Help file!
New features in the HTML Help Workshop 1.1 include: associative links (ALinks) and Keyword links (KLinks), runtime merging of multiple compiled help (CHM) files into one, including table of contents (HHC) and index (HHK) files. It adds the capability for launching compiled Help files from a web site, to automatically generate an index that merges a topic's keyword entries with an index file, and creating training cards via the ActiveX control. And new files have been added (HHUPD.EXE and HHRUNX.EXE) to allow easier redistribution of HTML Help systems. (If you're currently using version 1.0, an update download is available at Microsoft's download site given above.)
And if all this isn't enough, you can look into the "Official HTML Web Authoring Kit" prepared on behalf of Microsoft by WexTech Systems at http://www.wextech.com/ which goes into every conceivable detail.
If you're a help author familiar with WinHelp development, this program will ease you painlessly into honing your skills for HTML Help. Programmers can use it to find out exactly how to access or embed HTML Help into an application. And HTML users may find it largely academic, but you'll surely appreciate knowing how HTML Help fits into the picture. If you're using the HTML Reference Library by Steven Le Hunte, you've already got HTML Help Workshop installed as a prerequisiite to that program, so at least this write-up might motivate you to give the HTML Help Workshop a good lookover. It's a clever piece of work. While free, you'll find updates and useful development information posted regularly at http://www.microsoft.com/workshop/author/htmlhelp/.
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