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Apple Mac Help

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:30 am
by GeorgeBell
With the Mac version of a Windows product close to being ready, we are some what struggling to produce the all important Help side.

Has anyone any experience of, or can point to, informative material on the subject please?

In many ways, I'm surprised that MadCap Flare does not have such a Target Option given the popularity of Apple Macs.

Re: Apple Mac Help

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:22 am
by RamonS
Macs gain in popularity, but current market share for OS X is still hovering around 5%. MadCap may have a current and targeted audience where the share is even lower. It does not help that Apple Help uses yet another proprietary help format although it is HTML based. I am sure you are familiar with this ... intro.html . Even Apple does not have any tools listed nor do they provide one (Microsoft does for CHM). While the doc details how to create Apple Help files I got hopelessly confused by what needs to be where in which file that is not coming from an HTML editor. The only tool Apple provides is an indexer.
I'm not helping you by bashing Apple. If you can use web help it should work, even from local files. I didn't look into the distribution rules, but there are CHM viewers for the Mac ( ... 4591?mt=12 or One option is using a PDF, it might not provide CSH capabilities, but you get a ToC and full text search.

Re: Apple Mac Help

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:16 am
by GeorgeBell
Many thanks for your replay, Ramon, and my apologies for the delay in responding, but finally I have a query which I hope makes sense in respect of Indexing and Search. Here it is:

One problem remains, though, that prevents me being able to deliver better search results from the Help menu or the toolbar field in the Help Viewer. I'll explain by way of example.

In your topic file Content/language_translation_tables/urdu_pakistan.htm, we find the XML element <MadCap:keyword term="Urdu:Pakistan;Pakistan:Urdu" />. This strongly suggests that you have populated "keyword" values into the topic. And this, presumably, helps the CHM target and the "wide text field" of the Mac target to properly locate this as a topic of particular interest when you search for "urdu". Bravo.

The search options on the Mac that do not find it -- or do not prioritize it -- in a search for "urdu" would do so if the HTML 5 output contained:
<meta name="keywords" content="urdu pakistan, pakistan urdu"/> or some variation on that. (An extra Apple-specific bit of markup is also needed, but I can easily and reliably introduce this when building Mac media.)

I think that the Flare output deliberately omits the meta tag for keywords. Some online articles suggest that these are useless for material published on the web, because major search engines simply ignore these elements of online HTML files. The material from Flare ( ... Output.htm) doesn't endorse this point of view specifically, but doesn't contradict it either.

Questions: is there a specific option to allow for the inclusion of these tags in the HTML 5 output? Would they be there if we opted for "Google" search instead of "Flare" search output. (I highly doubt it!) Or is there some other means to introduce them -- perhaps with custom meta tags?