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The answer is yes it is possible although there are issues with the index when you do. Download Rick Stone'e excellent Tips n Tricks file and look for "Skins" in the index for the pertinent info.
My answer to your question would be no -- it is not possible to customize the HTML Help UI in the same way as you can customize the WebHelp UI using skins -- Microsoft did not provide that capability with their standard. Technically it *is* possible to use custom icons within the TOC, but you have to do that by creating a single bitmap image that combines all the individual image icons -- it's not something I'd recommend attempting.
Rick Stone's solution is to create a WebHelp system and then embed that within a CHM. I think he came up with it as a proof of concept, and I'm not sure that he would necessarily recommend it for serious production work. It requires you to add all the WebHelp files as baggage files within the HTML Help project, and (as mentioned in your other reply) the index does not work properly.
I'd like to clarify something that Matthew alluded to. There are already a total of 42 different icons available for use in a .CHM TOC with no special icon strip being created. All you have to do is to right click and edit the properties of each TOC item in order to assign them.
As for the "Skinned .CHM", Matthew is spot on. It may not be suitable for actual use. Particularly if you are developing context sensitive help. But if all you are doing is shipping some docs or whatever, it may work. Additionally, I've not tested this ability with a recent version of RoboHelp. My initial tests seemed to indicate that the Index failed. This may have been simply the case that it just failed inside a .CHM or it could have been that I managed to forget to include a file or three that was needed. (with the swarm of WebHelp or FlashHelp files to add to baggage, it's super easy to miss some!) But my test worked fine with FlashHelp output.
Cheers all... Rick
Hi all and thanks for the prompt replies,
After reading RoboWizard's Tips n Tricks file (which is brilliant btw) I got to thinking about what it is I really wanted to achieve by adding a skin to the project. All I really wanted to do was to add an image background to the TOC, index etc pane, and maybe change the background colour of the Navigation Bar. But I can't seem to find the css file that controls these areas of the screen. Or are they separate entities all together, not governed by the html-css relationship of the content pane?