Manually merged help on WebWorks ePublisher Pro

This blog post is more of a scribble with some valuable information that at least to me seemed hard to find. The short answer is that you follow the instructions in the WebWorks Help 3.0 guide, and do a bit of trial and error to update that format. The slightly longer answer is this list.

Manually merged help can be created by taking two or more existing help systems (not their source files), and combining them with a little sleight of hand and the aid of a nifty little program called wwhelp5.exe, which is what indexes the content in each help system. Merging help systems allows them to share a table of contents, an index, and a search engine. You might use this approach if you have several projects, and your best customer orders three of them and wants them to share a help system.

  1. Create a new folder for your merged project, and copy every top-level folder which contains content (as opposed to code, a.k.a. the wwhdata and wwhelp folders) to the merged project folder.
  2. Go into one of your top-level folders which contains content, and copy the wwhelp folder, wwhelp folder, and index.html file, and paste them at the root of your merged project folder.
  3. In the root of your merged folder, go into the wwhelp folder, and open the file books.xml in a text editor.
    1. Find xml entries that look like <Book directory=”folder-name” >. Change these entries to point to your top level content folders, relative to the root (if your folder in the root is named EatingCrow, enter directory=”EatingCrow”).
    2. Find the text showbooks=”false” and change it to showbooks=”true.”
  4. In the root of your merged folder, go into the wwhdata folder, open the xml folder, and open the files.xml file in a text editor.
    1. Find xml entries that look like <Document title=”folder-title” href=”folder-pathname” />
    2. Change these to use the correct title (shows up in table of contents) and href to your top-level folders with content, but append this suffix to each /wwhdata/xml/files.xml.
  5. In each top level folder, open the wwhdata folder, open the common folder, and then open towwhdir.js in a text editor. Locate the line that reads { return “” } and replace it with return { “../” }
  6. Open a command window (Start->Run->”cmd”) and type a variation on this command:
    “C:\Program files\WebWorks\ePublisher Pro\Helpers\WebWorks\wwhelp5.exe -wwhdata “C:\path-to-merged-project\wwhdata” -wwhelp “C:\path-to-merged-project\wwhelp”

That’s it. I apologize for the hasty nature of these notes, but they contain everything necessary to get a moderately experienced WWeP user up and running with this procedure.

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