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Producing a CHM file, you have to accept that it has limitations on what you can do with its look and feel. Other output formats (e.g. Webhelp) allow you to do a alot more via the use of skins. Whilst it is technically possible to apply a skin to a CHM, it does have some drawbacks which for most users make it a non-starter.
As for the specific effects you are after, it is difficult to say whether a CHM can do so without a reference. Can you tell us the help file name or give us a URL?
I have uploaded two images on http://www.freeimagehosting.net. The following are the URL
I am not sure if it is as per the terms and condition of this website, if it is legal to post an image and name of the help file without authorization. Please do apologize me if any breach in copyright issue.
Good luck in finding that out. I say that because you are talking about a Microsoft application. With Microsoft applications such as this one, they are well known to use internal and proprietary formats.
I cracked open my own Microsoft Expression and my help looks nothing like that. So mine is either older or newer. Not sure. Definitely different. In mine, when I right-clicked and attempted to "View Source", I saw a dialog stating that it was XML data.
I'll be happy to make an inquiry or two of my fellow Microsoft MVP buddies and see if they have an idea. If I hear anything back, I'll update this thread.
Have you viewed those images?
They are so small they are illegible.
I think what you are seeing is something done in an HTML editor where they have created simple links for contents which means they disappear as soon as you click one.
Search will probably be a proprietary search tool. Can't see what they have done for the index.
If they have done what I suggest, the banner may make it look more attractive but I think it makes it less user friendly. Difficult to be sure with images that size.
Yep, I viewed them. They were quite satisfactory in size, so I'm unsure what you may have seen. Hmmm, no I retract that. Here's what happened. Note there are two URLs for each image. The small one comes last. I'm assuming it is so that a thumbnail (which you probably viewed) is used to click and present the larger one (which I probably viewed)
Give these links a try:
I've posed the question to three of my Microsoft Help MVP team members.
Thanks Rick for links that work. :-)
Looks like it is effectively webhelp. I have the same issue as before, you cannot view the contents, index and search in their own pane while still viewing a topic.
Let's wait for your fellow MVPs to respond.
I have uploaded the serach and index window screen the link below.
http://www.freeimagehosting.net/image.php?bb74f02c8a.jpg><img src=http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.bb74f02c8a.jpg alt="Free Image Hosting by FreeImageHosting.net"
http://www.freeimagehosting.net/image.php?22d0dd48c9.jpg><img src=http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.22d0dd48c9.jpg alt="Free Image Hosting by FreeImageHosting.net"
Please do let me know if you need more screenshots. Thank you all for your support. I am just curious to know how it is done.
Okay, this just arrived in my in-box from fellow Microsoft MVP Rob Chandler (of FAR fame ).
Expression help uses Office Help.
Which is build on the MS Help 2.x help engine.
>> My gut says it's some Microsoft grown proprietary stuff.
After receiving that reply I asked if Rob's application FAR could be used to accomplish this. And Rob replied back with this:
> Hey Rob
> One follow up question. Doesn't your nifty FAR app allow folks to create Help 2 output? If so, could FAR be used to accomplish help that looks that way? Does FAR offer a web based output?
We can author Help 2 help. But we don't know how to make it show in a Office Help viewer. Although we could plug our help into an Office collction.. then it will show.
FAR does do web based help. Example...
Cheers all... Rick