How do we export to HTML without using a skin?

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How do we export to HTML without using a skin?

Unread postby Praveen Polavarapu » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:16 pm

The user guide makes several references to publishing to HTML with OR without using a skin (and instead use HTML page template).
Here, for example: https://www.helpandmanual.com/help/hm_w ... plate.html

However, when I try to publish to WebHelp, I don't see anyway to publish without selecting a skin.

How do I do this? Thanks!
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Re: How do we export to HTML without using a skin?

Unread postby Simon_Dismore » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:31 am

Praveen Polavarapu wrote:when I try to publish to WebHelp, I don't see anyway to publish without selecting a skin. How do I do this?

If your publishing dialog says '(no skin selected)' then you will be publishing without one, like this:
H+M-publish-webhelp-no-skin.png


If a skin is already selected, click the drop-down arrow symbol the the right of the skin name:
H+M-publish-webhelp-select-skin.png


A further dialog will appear, rendering a list of skins. Below the list, there's an option to remove the existing skin:
H+M-publish-webhelp-remove-skin.png


That should do the trick.
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Re: How do we export to HTML without using a skin?

Unread postby Praveen Polavarapu » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:10 am

Great!

I saw the "Remove Skin" option before, but I thought that was for removing the selected skin from the list.

I got it now, thanks!
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Re: How do we export to HTML without using a skin?

Unread postby Tim Green » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:42 am

Hi Praveen,

Further to Simon's spot-on comments, note that when you are not using a skin you revert to using the templates and settings stored in the project itself, which are also editable. The Configuration > HTML Page Templates > Default defines the individual container page for the topic content from your project and the Configuration > Publishing Options > WebHelp templates and settings define everything that would be in the rest of a WebHelp skin. :)

See this chapter in the help for more details:

https://helpandmanual.com/help/hm_advan ... lates.html
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: How do we export to HTML without using a skin?

Unread postby Praveen Polavarapu » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:28 pm

If we don't use a skin, there is no way to make the WebHelp output responsive just by modifying the templates and settings stored in the project itself, correct?
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Re: How do we export to HTML without using a skin?

Unread postby Simon_Dismore » Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:15 pm

Praveen Polavarapu wrote:If we don't use a skin, there is no way to make the WebHelp output responsive just by modifying the templates and settings stored in the project itself, correct?

I'd have thought you could simply copy all the template contents and settings from a skin into a project - at least for regular non-premium pack skins. Then you'd have a skinless project. But what would be the advantage of doing that?
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Re: How do we export to HTML without using a skin?

Unread postby Praveen Polavarapu » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:02 pm

I'm still learning how Help & Manual works.

I guess this would be more of an exercise towards that goal than a practical use.
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Re: How do we export to HTML without using a skin?

Unread postby Praveen Polavarapu » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:47 pm

Simon_Dismore wrote:I'd have thought you could simply copy all the template contents and settings from a skin into a project - at least for regular non-premium pack skins. Then you'd have a skinless project. But what would be the advantage of doing that?


Now that I think about it, there is a real use for this.

Since skins are created in the same way as a project, the question is:

Is it possible to create my own responsive skins from scratch?
(Instead of modifying an existing responsive skin.)
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Re: How do we export to HTML without using a skin?

Unread postby Tim Green » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:10 am

Hi Praveen,

Is it possible to create my own responsive skins from scratch?
(Instead of modifying an existing responsive skin.)

Certainly, if you have the necessary HTML, CSS and JS experience. You start by creating a standard empty project, then select Save As... in the File menu and save it as a skin. In the dialog displayed, check all 4 options (HTML Page Templates, Baggage Files, Variables and Custom Builds). Then you open the new .hmskin file in Help+Manual.

You define the skin type you are going to create in Configuration > Publishing Options > Layout:

  • Integrated: This is the best place to start. It creates a main layout page (index.html) with iFrames for the navigation pane (TOC, keyword index and search pages) and the topics (topics from your project). Basic integration scripts are generated automatically for the TOC (display topics and synchronize of the TOC with the current topic) the keyword index and the search page) and so on. See the HTML Templates chapter in the documentation to get started.
  • No frames: Not a skin, designed for people who want to integrate topic pages somewhere else. Generates separate TOC that is just a plain list of links (index.html), keyword index, search and topic pages. The only scripts included are those needed for your topics, for things like expanding text toggles in the topics.
  • Classic skins: Use the old, deprecated Frameset structure. Don't use unless all your users are still using Internet Explorer 6. 8)
  • Single page responsive/WebHelp 3: This generates a WebHelp 3 skin, for which you need to do all the work yourself. The only available WebHelp 3 skins are currently in the Premium Pack add-on.
WebHelp 3:
There are no integration scripts at all, you need to write them all yourself. This is because the WebHelp 3 format is a basic framework for development with no predefined scripts or CSS. When you publish WebHelp using this option the TOC and keyword index are generated as JSON data wrapped in a self-executing function in two JavaScript files, the \js subfolder in the output folder.

The topics are generated twice: once as normal HTML files, based on the HTML Page Template, and once as compressed JSON data containing only the topic content, also wrapped in a self-executing function and stored in individual JS topic files in the \jsfiles subfolder in the output folder.

The basic principle is that you define your HTML Page Template as the main layout file. When the user opens the WebHelp, the first topic they open becomes the home topic. It is up to you to write scripts that perform the browsing within the WebHelp to replace the topic content with the HTML from the new target topic, which you load from the JSON version of that topic in the /jstopics folder.

Similarly, you will generally want to write scripts to generate the TOC and keyword index dynamically from the JSON data described above. This gives you the opportunity to generate very flexible TOCs -- for example containing only the top-level topics, that only load the sub-topics on demand when the user opens them, and so on.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: How do we export to HTML without using a skin?

Unread postby Praveen Polavarapu » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:27 am

Thank you for the detailed answer, Tim! :D
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