Last updated 6/12/2014
Chapter 3: Projects
Projects contain the source files that become the final Help system. Help authors work with the project files, and Help
users view the output. For CHM output, the project contains the content you create and the properties you set up, such
as what the output window looks like. The developer determines the window for WebHelp and FlashHelp output
formats, or leaves them to run in your browser window. Create folders in the Project Manager to organize topics and
structure the Help system.
Projects are collections of files. The project file (XPJ file) contains information about the content and properties of the
project. Whenever you change the project, this file (and any other affected file) is updated automatically. Project files
consist of the following:
Project files contain topics with content and information about the location of topics, images, index, TOC, and
Projects contain setting information, such as project title, language, and windows. When you first create a
project, the basic (default) settings are used. Modify these settings according to your design needs.
Projects include a table of contents, index, and full-text search.
You can view the elements that make up a project in several places, including the Project Manager, Single-Source
Layouts pod, and Project Settings dialog box. You can also generate various reports (Tools > Reports) that identify
project status, duplicate topics, files distributed with Help, and so on.
Help project components
Help systems are made up of different components that vary according to the Help format you deliver.
RoboHelp HTML creates a main project file (with the extension .xpj) that contains the information about your
topics, images, and other files. (Open this file to open a project.) Project files also contain the settings that affect the
appearance and functionality of a Help system.
The basic unit of a Help system is the topic. Topics communicate the message of the Help system, mainly
through text and images. You decide the content, format, and organization of your topics.
Table of contents
If a table of contents is included, users see a Contents tab or button when they open the Help system.
The table of contents presents a hierarchical outline of what the Help project contains. Users can browse and select
topics to view from the Contents tab.
If an index is included, users see an Index tab or button when they open the Help system. The index displays
a multilevel list of topics and keywords or phrases that you’ve specified.
Full-text search allows users to find specific words and phrases that occur in the content.
Links and navigation
Users navigate a Help system by clicking links. You design the strategy that connects your topics
together. The most common links are from one topic to another. Links can also go to topics in different Help systems,
different output formats, and even to a website or an application.
You format topics using styles. Styles are named formats that you design and apply to control the layout and
appearance of text.