Using RoboHelp with Microsoft Developer

Subject: Using RoboHelp with Microsoft Developer
From: Alisa Dean <Alisa -dot- Dean -at- MCI -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 09:29:00 -0700

Okay, here's a "few" words on my experiences. The developers I worked
with were using Borland C++, but were integrating the results into
Microsoft Developer.

1. There are _many_ Windows default items that have IDs assigned
to them. Examples are the resizing borders, the title bar, error messages,
background to the toolbar, and the application windows. These IDs
were discovered in the online documentation in Microsoft Developer.
Of course, they were not all in the same place, so the developer had
to do quite a bit of rummaging to find them all.

2. In addition, the developers must assign IDs to each item (some
call them widgets) that they create. This includes dialog boxes, input
fields, radio buttons, error messages, and any other item that they
want to assign a help topic.

One of the biggest problems I had were developers who defined IDs,
and then changed the IDs later. This disconnected any links that I
had made within the help files.

Here was my solution to the "Help topic not found" problem.

1. All items that were to be connected directly to help topics, I
individually connected using the IDs during the document convert.
This included Windows items and developer-defined items.

2. All others I set to be an alias to the "Main Help Menu" (the top
level help screen). This way the user was guaranteed to be pathed
somewhere within my help system. RoboHelp allows you to do this -
I can't remember the specific command because it's been almost 2 years
since I've used it. However, it is documented in the RoboHelp manual.

The tedious part was entering in all the aliases (for example,
"IDNAME2=IDNAME1", "IDNAME3=IDNAME1"). In this example, thereafter,
the "aliased" IDs would path to the same topic that was assigned
the ID of "IDNAME1".

Hope this helps.

Alisa Dean
Sr. Technical Writer


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