The Big Picture

A help system or help Web site is made up of several different files and components that you create using HTML Help Workshop as a help authoring tool. Some of the files contain the text, graphics, and other elements that appear in your help topics. Other files contain information about how your help system will look and how users will navigate through your help topics.

Using HTML Help Workshop, you create a project file to manage all the files in your help system. Using a process called compiling, HTML Help Workshop takes all the information about your help system stored in the help project file and all the related files that make up the content of your help topics, and creates a single help file.

Exactly which types of files will appear in your help project file will depend on how you design your help system and whether you plan to distribute it with a program, or to a Web site. These are the most common types of files contained in a help project:

  • HTML topic files, which contain the text that appears on each page in your help system or Web site.
  • Graphics and multimedia files, which contain links to graphic, sound, video, animation, and other multimedia files.
  • Help project files, which contain information about the location of your topic, graphic, and other files.
  • Contents files, which contain the information that appears in the table of contents for your help system or Web site.
  • Index files, which contain the information that appears in the index for your help system or Web site.

Related topics

Designing a Help System