Want CSH topic to open showing a different TOC location

This forum is for all Flare issues related to the Microsoft HTML Help target.
This target produces "CHM" files in the output.

Want CSH topic to open showing a different TOC location

Postby barbs on Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:57 pm

We have several instances in our help where we document a fairly obscure dialog that can be opened in our product. These dialogs have help buttons that opens the help CHM to the correct dialog page as designed, but because we don't include these dialog topics pages in our TOC, when the help opens the TOC either has focus on a previously viewed topic, or the TOC is collapsed.

We do not want to include a bunch of obscure dialog topics in our TOC. Is there a way to have a topic open from the dialog's help button AND have the TOC open with the focus on a different topic?

Thanks!
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Re: Want CSH topic to open showing a different TOC location

Postby Anzac on Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:39 pm

Not really, that is a limi :blaze: ration of a chm
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Re: Want CSH topic to open showing a different TOC location

Postby ChoccieMuffin on Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:51 am

Why not include them in the TOC, and condition them as screen only? That way, if you put the topic in a sensible place in the TOC and you use breadcrumbs in your help, your breadcrumbs will work and they can navigate to other related topics more easily.

I had the same situation as you and decided to add them, and I'm very glad I did, for several reasons.

1. When using Analyzer the "list of topics not included in a TOC" item only highlights topics that are genuinely a problem and not these topics that I want to include in the CHM.
2. It makes it possible to select the "excluded topics not linked" option on the Advanced tab of the target and have a vague chance that it'll do what I want it to.
3. Breadcrumbs in the output work sensibly, and the CSH topics look the same as other topics (breadcrumbs just don't appear at all on topics that aren't in a TOC so it looks a bit odd compared to regular topics.)
4. When working in Flare I can find these topics in the TOC easily, and then check that the content is still in keeping with the topics around them.

Hope that encourages you to include these poor, lonely topics in a TOC so they know they have a home!
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Re: Want CSH topic to open showing a different TOC location

Postby barbs on Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:21 am

ChoccieMuffin wrote:Why not include them in the TOC, and condition them as screen only?


And that's where you lost me. :)

I don't have a "screen only" condition setting. Is this one that you've configured? Is it a default condition from Flare that maybe was deleted from my project before I inherited it? Do you apply it to the TOC listing for the topic (rather than to the topic itself)? What does it actually do? Does the topic then NOT show up in the TOC of the CHM?

I would love to learn more about how this actually works.
Thanks!
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Re: Want CSH topic to open showing a different TOC location

Postby ChoccieMuffin on Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:10 am

barbs wrote:
ChoccieMuffin wrote:Why not include them in the TOC, and condition them as screen only?


And that's where you lost me. :)

I don't have a "screen only" condition setting. Is this one that you've configured? Is it a default condition from Flare that maybe was deleted from my project before I inherited it? Do you apply it to the TOC listing for the topic (rather than to the topic itself)? What does it actually do? Does the topic then NOT show up in the TOC of the CHM?

I would love to learn more about how this actually works.
Thanks!
Barb

As a starter, conditions are discussed in the help: http://help.madcapsoftware.com/flare2017r2/Content/Condition-Tags/Flare/About-Condition-Tags.htm?Highlight=conditions

In brief, you create one or more condition tag sets, which can contain many conditions. So let's say you create a condition tag set called Primary, and in it you create a tag called ScreenOnly and another called PrintOnly.

For these CSH topics you're on about, put them in your TOC in a sensible place, and in the TOC apply the ScreenOnly condition. I also apply that condition in the Content Explorer, for clarity, and because I only ever want those topics to appear in the help, not in any print outputs. (There is a difference in how the conditions are applied depending on where you apply the condition, but you can read about that in the link I posted.)

Applying conditions to topics or content does nothing UNTIL you adjust the conditions of your various targets. I'll assume you have a print output (such as PDF) and a help output.

In any target that you DON'T want to include those topics (such as a PDF or some other print output), in the Conditions tab EXCLUDE the Primary.ScreenOnly condition. This means that any topic marked with that condition, and any entry in your TOC marked with that condition (and any content inside a topic marked with that condition) doesn't appear in the output. (That last bit is handy, as you might want to include additional cross-refs in your help that you don't need in printed outputs, for example. If you include them in the topic and then condition the paragraph as ScreenOnly, when you generate your PDF those additional refs don't appear.)

In any target that you DO want to include those topics, such as your help, you don't need to do anything on the Conditions tab as the default is to include stuff. So the topics will appear in the TOC of your help and will be called by your CSH. (And you may also have topics that you ONLY want to appear in your print output, so as above apply the PrintOnly condition to those topics and then in your help EXCLUDE the PrintOnly condition.)

And that's it.

Hope that helps. :-)
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Re: Want CSH topic to open showing a different TOC location

Postby barbs on Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:11 am

LOL! Oh, I know all about conditional settings, we have about 4, for CHM and HTML5 output 2 different product offerings. I thought maybe there was some magical one that would do what i want it to do, which is to not show up in the TOC, but put the focus in the right TOC location. Sorry, I should have been more clear about that.

Looks like I'm just going to be stuck with what we've ot (unless I can figure out another way).

Thanks for taking the time to try and help me out (and to convince me that its really okay to list all of these dialogs in the TOC!).

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Re: Want CSH topic to open showing a different TOC location

Postby ChoccieMuffin on Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:17 am

I've found that the topics for obscure dialog boxes tend to be buried fairly deep in the TOC structure so it's a lot less of an annoyance than I first thought - that's why I had hesitated to do it in the first place, but I'm glad I did in the end, for the reasons I gave.

Sorry I didn't have a magic wand to wave for you. :)
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