Tech Write Tips

August 16, 2006

Flare 5: Adding Advanced HTMLHelp Features

Filed under: HTMLHelp,Madcap Flare,Tip,Tool — AndyR @ 12:38 pm

htmlhelpworkshop1.gifIn this post, we return to some more nuts and bolts issues regarding Flare and HTMLHelp.

Flare current provides the majority of HTMLHelp settings, and does this in a much more flexible way that HTMLHelp workshop does. Particularly useful are the WYSIWYG help window size and potitioning.

However, there are some advanced HTMLHelp settings (such as advanced help, or remembering the users last help settings) that are not currently available. Until these make it into the software you can still access these features by employing HTMLHelp workshop (which can be downloaded free from microsoft).

  1. Once you have finalised your help project.
  2. Generate the HTMLHELP output.
    Open the PROJECT\Output\USER\Temporary\Microsoft HTML Help\Content\_Temp.hhp in HTMLHelp Workshop.
  3. Click the Add/Modify Window Definitions button.
  4. Use the Window types dialog to make your advanced settings.
    1. The Navigation tab enables you to specify the Advanced search.
    2. The Positoin tab enables you to specify to save the users window position for help.
  5. Click OK to save the changes.
  6. Generate the help in HTMLHelp Workshop.
  7. You can then access your enhanced HTMLHelp .chm in the PROJECT\Output\USER\Temporary\Microsoft HTML Help\Content folder.


  1. From MadCap Forum:

    Just some news.

    I try today your workaround, and it does work for the ‘location’ column AFTER some code twisting in hhp file (for me it did not work if I only check the tickbox ‘Advanced’ in Html Help WorkShop).

    Explanations :

    Code in hhp file generated by Flare:
    PCE=”ProConcept ERP”,”_Temp.hhc”,”_Temp.hhk”,”PCE.htm”,””,””,”Site de Pro-Concept”,””,”Hotline de Pro-Concept”,0x1520,350,0xc203e,[0,0,1019,763],0xcf0000,0x100,,0,0,0

    Code in hhp file generated by RoboHelp:
    PCE=”ProConcept ERP”,”ProConcept ERP.hhc”,”ProConcept ERP.hhk”,”PCE.htm”,”PCE.htm”,””,”Site de Pro-Concept”,””,”Hotline de Pro-Concept”,0x21520,350,0xc207e,[0,0,1019,763],0x0,0x0,,0,0,0
    I just made a copy/paste from the RoboHelp code in the hhp file from Flare, then compiled with the Html Help Workshop.

    It also resolved another problem I had: the titles under the toolbar buttons appear now. A good news, because I do some customized links (hotline, our website…).

    Hoping that Flare will include this feature in the version 2.0 (no more twisting).

    Comment by Robert — September 5, 2006 @ 7:30 am | Reply

  2. From MadCap Forum:

    I had to compile first with Html Help Workshop WITHOUT twisting the hhp code.
    Then I modified the hhp code and compiled again.

    If I did not follow these steps, I have an error with hhc and hhk files.
    Don’t know why, but no matter.


    Comment by Robert — September 5, 2006 @ 7:30 am | Reply

  3. I hope Madcap is planning to support these “advanced” features directly, soon. We use both position-remembering and advanced search in our help, but we also automate the help build along with the nightly build of our code. This workaround means we have to choose between the features or the automation — that’s not an easy choice. (We can tweak the .hhp file and then automate the last stage of the build, but that’s not nearly as good as automating the Flare build. We were seeing the command-line automation of the Flare build as a major advantage.)

    Comment by Laura — October 26, 2006 @ 3:19 pm | Reply

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