Tutorials for replacing Keywords

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Tutorials for replacing Keywords

Unread postby cindynotbrady » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:56 pm

We're in the process of discussing with our developers how to reconfigure the <F1> key that calls individual help topics in our program. Currently, each screen in our application calls its own CHM. For example:

Loans Activity screen pulls help called "LoansActivity.chm" and each field on that screen pulls an htm file within that chm, so the Account field on the Loans Activity screen pulls help from "LoansActivity.chm::AccountField.htm"

The problem is, we have 300+ screens, so 300+ CHM in one application, plus thousands of keywords.

We've convinced the programmers to call only one CHM but use a unique keyword. So instead of calling small, separate chms, the <F1> key calls "MasterHelp.chm" and each field is unique, so it would be "MasterHelp.chm::LoansActivityUnique1.htm".

Our developers use Microsoft .net Visual Studio using the HelpProvider Class in the .NET Framework, as discussed here:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/System.Windows.Forms.HelpProvider(v=vs.110).aspx

You once guided me to a place or something that showed developers how to quickly replace all keywords. Do you happen to know where that's at? Also, do you happen to know of a link on where to use A-Keywords instead of Keywords?

Thanks!
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Re: Tutorials for replacing Keywords

Unread postby Tim Green » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:23 am

Hi Cindy,

You once guided me to a place or something that showed developers how to quickly replace all keywords. Do you happen to know where that's at?

I think that was a conversation about replacing keywords in your Help+Manual project. If I understand you correctly, what you want to do now is replace the references within your .NET applications. Your programmers can do that easily with the refactoring and search and replace functions in Visual Studio.

Also, it's important to be clear about the terminology here: The references you show are not keywords within the context of Help+Manual (although they might be referred to as such in some Visual Studio contexts). They are the names of the HTML topic files within the CHM file, which are derived from the names of the XML topic files in the Help+Manual project from which they are created. The only keywords in Help+Manual you can use for referencing topics are A-keywords, and those don't really reference single topics directly, but only by association.

Also, do you happen to know of a link on where to use A-Keywords instead of Keywords?

A-keywords are only available in CHM files and their basic functionality is explained here in the Help+Manual documentation:

https://helpandmanual.com/help/index.ht ... _akeys.htm

As this topic explains, they are really only used for special purposes, so it would be important to know first whether those apply to what you are looking to do here.

In addition to referencing the topic file names in the CHM (as your developers are already doing) and via association with A-keywords, you can also call topics in a CHM with "help context numbers". These are optional IDs in topics that can be entered in the Topic Options tab for single topics, or globally with the Context tool in the Project tab, or automatically when topics are created if this is configured in Configuration > Common Properties > Miscellaneous.

However, if your developers are not already using context numbers it is not recommended that you switch to them. They work just as well as references to filenames, but it is much easier for the programmer to reference the wrong file. A human can tell the difference between widgetinformation.htm and dingusinformation.htm very easily, but not between 3356786 and 3356787. 8)
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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