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Customizing Microsoft HTML Help in FrameMaker 12?

Jan 21, 2014 8:46 AM

Tags: #publish #chm #customize #microsoft_html_help #framemaker_12

My company is currently using FrameMaker 11 with WebWorks ePublisher 2013.2 to generate context-sensitive Microsoft HTML Help (CHM). ePublisher makes it very easy to customize the global appearance of each page. For example, we have a product banner in the header, and company logo, copyright notice and contact info in the footer. We also have external resource files that contain context-sensitive help IDs (in combination with Topic Alias markers in the FM source files).


We are evaluating the FrameMaker 12 trial to see if it can replace FM11+ePublisher.


Although we are able to generate a CHM successfully in FM12, the customization options appear to be very limited, and it is not clear how to generate context-sensitive help.


Is it possible to customize the Microsoft HTML Help template/layout/theme? FM12 provides many options for the Responsive HTML5 format, but not Microsoft HTML Help. I don't mind modifying template files outside of FM12, if necessary, but I need someone to point me in the right direction.


Can FM12 publish context-sensitive Microsoft HTML Help? If so, where do I place the external files that contain the help IDs?


Any help is greatly appreciated. We need to make a decision real soon about whether to stick with FM11+ePublisher or upgrade to FM12.




  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 21, 2014 11:18 AM   in reply to MassWriter

    Customization from within FM12 – highly unlikely

    Customization via RH – more likely; skins have been around forever (much like CHM output)

    CSH with CHMs – yes, but probably has to be done via RH

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2014 7:32 AM   in reply to MassWriter

    You may still be able to do it all in standalone FM12 – I haven’t had any time to play with publishing out of FM. Grab a trial copy and load on a machine that doesn’t have FM and play around with a copy of your FM11 content to see what’s possible. Frankly, CHMs are really old news, so expecting much of them is probably limited.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2014 3:37 PM   in reply to MassWriter

    The company I work for is similar, so i'm also interested in the outcome of this discussion.

    Unfortunately, CHM is still widely used in embedded help in software, so for the time being we are stuck with it.

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