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synth_cat

how to make .chm-like help files?

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Hello all, I'm sure some of you have used the DirectX documentation files (such as directx9_c.chm) These files give you a nice, neat table of contents, an index, and a way to search for keywords. I am currently making a game design document which is getting to be so long that it takes up a couple KB in multiple .doc files - getting big and hard to navigate. Does anyone know of software out there that will let me create my own .chm files, or something that works the same way as the DirectX documentation files? A plus would be if I could easily edit these files on the go without having to go through a lengthy rebuild process. I've already done a lot of looking around, found a bunch of promising programs and downloaded a few but I still haven't found anything that will do this. Can anyone help me out?

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I've always just used the html workshop (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=00535334-c8a6-452f-9aa0-d597d16580cc&displaylang=en). Not the greatest tool ever, but functional.

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Yeah, CHM files are compiled from HTML by a sort of compiler. You can get it free from Microsoft. I think Win2K/XP come with version 4 hidden away on your hard drive somewhere, and I think they're up to version 6 or so now. You can google "Microsoft HTML Help Compiler." I believe CHM stands for Compiled HTML Manual, actually.

Basically, what you do is organize your documents as if they were HTML on a web server. You organize them into various html documents, resource files and directories. You link to other documents and anchors just like you would with a standard web page. When you're done with it, you more-or-less point the compiler at the parent directory and it pulls it all together.

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