Re: edit the Find tab list of words in TOC?

Subject: Re: edit the Find tab list of words in TOC?
From: Bill Burns <BillDB -at- ILE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 15:51:15 -0700

> Is there a way to edit the list of words that appear on the "find" tab in
> the Table of Contents? The Find Setup Wizard states, "Before you can use
> Find, Windows must first create a list (or database), which contains every
> word from your help file(s)."
>
> Well, the clients don't want every word. They also don't want every
> punctuation used or every number (as if someone really wants to search for
> those topics that contain a comma). I pointed out that the supposedly
> unnecessary words, like "a" and "the," are there so the User can search
> for
> phrases -- if these annoying little words are not on the list, Help won't
> work.
>
I don't think there's a stop list for WinHelp's full-text search. The
WinHelp FTS API can be extended, and you might be able to add a stop list,
but it's not available by default. I would point out that users don't have
to scroll manually through the list, so they probably won't see these words.
For users that do, I doubt most of them will care about a few extra
articles. If the issue is about the footprint it will leave on the CD, then
just don't generate and include the FTS file on the final version.

If the client is seriously against allowing these words in the FTS file, you
can choose to disable the Find tab. I don't think this is necessarily the
best choice for the user, but it can be done. Just make sure you provide a
really good index for the help system.

You might also consider posting to the WinHlp-L discussion group. Someone
there might have a better answer for you.

Bill Burns
Senior Technical Writer/Technology Consultant
ILE Communications Group
billdb -at- ile -dot- com

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