Projects contain the source files that become the final
Help system. Help authors work with the project files, and Help
users view the output. For CHM output, the project contains the
content you create and the properties you set up, such as what the
output window looks like. The developer determines the window for WebHelp
and FlashHelp output formats, or leaves them to run in your browser window.
Create folders in the Project Manager to organize topics and structure the
Projects are collections of files. The project file (XPJ file)
contains information about the content and properties of the project.
Whenever you change the project, this file (and any other affected
file) is updated automatically. Project files consist of the following:
- Project files contain topics with content and information
about the location of topics, images, index, TOC, and other files.
- Projects contain setting information, such as project title,
language, and windows. When you first create a project, the basic
(default) settings are used. Modify these settings according to
your design needs.
- Projects include a table of contents, index, and full-text
You can view the elements that make up a project in
several places, including the Project Manager, Single-Source Layouts
pod, and Project Settings dialog box. You can also generate various
reports (Tools > Reports) that identify project status, duplicate
topics, files distributed with Help, and so on.
Help project components
Help systems are made up of different components that vary
according to the Help format you deliver.
- RoboHelp HTML creates a main project file (with the extension
.xpj) that contains the information about your topics, images, and
other files. (Open this file to open a project.) Project files also
contain the settings that affect the appearance and functionality
of a Help system.
- The basic unit of a Help system is the topic. Topics communicate
the message of the Help system, mainly through text and images.
You decide the content, format, and organization of your topics.
- Table of contents
- If a table of contents is included, users see a Contents
tab or button when they open the Help system. The table of contents
presents a hierarchical outline of what the Help project contains.
Users can browse and select topics to view from the Contents tab.
- If an index is included, users see an Index tab or button
when they open the Help system. The index displays a multilevel
list of topics and keywords or phrases that you’ve specified.
- Full-text search
- Full-text search allows users to find specific words and
phrases that occur in the content.
- Links and navigation
- Users navigate a Help system by clicking links. You design the
strategy that connects your topics together. The most common links
are from one topic to another. Links can also go to topics in different
Help systems, different output formats, and even to a website or
- You format topics using styles. Styles are named formats
that you design and apply to control the layout and appearance of
- Image and multimedia files
- Images and multimedia files enhance Help by adding graphics,
sound, video, animation, and more.
- Windows are the frames that display topics. In certain output
formats, you can customize the appearance and attributes of windows.
You can also design new windows to suit your content. You can open
multiple windows and from the Windows dialog box, select a window
and click Activate to bring it to focus. Click Save to save the
displayed window in focus. Using the Windows feature, you can rename
the project title to display in the output.
- The Help compiler isn’t part of the final Help file, but
you sometimes need a compiler to create the Help file. For example,
in Microsoft HTML Help projects, the compiler aggregates the source
files and other project components. The compiler then creates one
Help system file that you distribute to end users. (WebHelp and
FlashHelp projects are not compiled.)
- Viewers and browsers
- Users access the Help system from within a viewer or browser.
Files in a project
Main project file (XPJ)
The project file (.xpj) is XML-based. You can open project
files with the .mpj extension, the format for older versions of
RoboHelp, but they convert to XPJ files.
Folder files (FPJ)
Each project folder has an FPJ file that lists the folder
contents. RoboHelp displays only those subfolders and topics that
are listed in the FPJ file of a folder.
All the subfolders have their respective FPJ files. The name
of an FPJ file except the FPJ file for the project folder is same
as that of the folder.
The name of the FPJ file for the project folder is root.fpj.
The root.fpj file is modified if you add, delete, or rename a topic
or subfolder inside the respective folder. The root.fpj file is
also modified if the order of topics or subfolders is changed in
Single-source layout files (SSL)
A single-source layout file (SSL) is used for each single-source
layout. An SSL file stores the properties of the respective single-source
layout and is modified when you edit the properties. An SSL file
does not get modified on generating, viewing, or publishing a single-source
Auxiliary project files (APJ)
The following components have corresponding APJ files,
which get modified when you edit the components:
Conditional build tags
Pop-up note topics
See Also keywords
Skins (when adding or removing skins only)
Single-source layouts (when adding or removing single-source
Topic templates (when adding or removing single-source layouts
Other types of files
When you modify the following components, the respective
file gets modified:
About output types
can generate the following output types. These types have common basic
characteristics but different features and viewing and platform
- Adobe WebHelp format works with virtually any combination
of browser and platform for web-based or desktop applications, online
Help, and online books. WebHelp also provides customizable navigation
panes and quick downloads.
- WebHelp Pro
- WebHelp Pro is used for web-based applications, with features available
only in server-based Help. WebHelp Pro provides feedback on the
use of your Help system. Authors can work on separate projects and
publish anytime, and projects are merged on the server at run time.
RoboHelp Server is required to generate WebHelp Pro.
- Adobe FlashHelp® uses Adobe Flash® to provide an interactive navigation pane,
customizable navigation controls, Flash animation, streaming video,
audio, and graphics. Users need Flash Player.
- FlashHelp Pro
- FlashHelp Pro is used for web-based applications, with features available
only in server-based Help. Authors can work on separate projects
and publish anytime, and projects are merged on the server at run
time. RoboHelp Server is required to generate FlashHelp Pro.
- Multiscreen HTML5
- Multiscreen HTML5 output lets you deliver a reading experience
that is optimized for specific types of devices. You can add and configure
different screen profiles for different sets of devices and generate Multiscreen
HTML5 output for these screen profiles. When users visit the landing page
for the Multiscreen HTML5 output on their devices, they are automatically redirected
to content optimized for their device.
- Responsive HTML5
- Using Responsive HTML5, you can create a single output that
is optimized for all your screens. Responsive HTML5 automatically
adjusts to the screen a user is accessing it from and also adjusts
to dynamic screen size changes, such as a flip of orientation or
resizing of the browser.
- The eBook layout helps you generate output in EPUB 3 and
Kindle Book (MOBI) formats.
- Microsoft HTML Help
- Microsoft HTML Help is used as application and stand-alone
Help for Windows 98 and later, using Internet Explorer 4.x or later,
and provides unique features.
Note: Due to Microsoft security changes,
Microsoft HTML Help is now used where the Help has to be run on
the users PC; it cannot be installed on a server without registry changes.
WebHelp and FlashHelp are used where the Help is to be run from
a server. WebHelp and FlashHelp can be run locally, but it is not
- XML output exports to Extensible Markup Language (XML) format,
used to structure, store, and send information. XML files use style
sheets, as well as handler files. Handler files determine how RoboHelp
imports or generates the XML files, associated style sheets, and
- JavaHelp, from Sun Microsystems™,
works with Java applications and is a delivery system, not an authoring
tool. JavaHelp features (TOC, index, searches, controls, global
search and replace, pop-ups) are created automatically, along with
HTML features (links, Related Topics buttons, and image files).
- Oracle Help
- Oracle Help for Java™ is used with applications written
in any language. Oracle Help and the ICE 5 browser provide TOC,
index, full-text searches, pop-ups, context sensitivity, and customizable
windows, through the Oracle Help viewer.
- Printed documentation
- RoboHelp enhanced printed documentation provides control
over structure, content, and appearance of printed documents. You
can organize the content as needed, format using CSS or Word template
styles, and produce formatted and structured Word documents or PDF
- Adobe AIR
- The Adobe AIR output type allows you to generate Help in
Adobe AIR format. Generate your content in the cross-platform Adobe
AIR Help format that brings a host of enhancements, such as these:
Easy navigability through breadcrumbs, and more
New templates and skins
A rich branding experience, and the ability to insert corporate
logos and an About box in Help
Rich commenting and auto-updates
Browser-based Help, with both offline and online content.
Ability to add and access RSS feeds
End-user viewer requirements
Microsoft HTML Help
Windows XP SP4 or
later, Windows Vista, Windows 7
Web browser with Flash Player 8.0 or 9.0
Oracle Help viewer
AIR Help Runtime
Mac OS, Linux®
Web browser with Flash Player 8.0 or 9.0
AIR Help Runtime
iOS, Android (devices)
* Requires JavaHelp viewer, Sun Java 2 JDK or later, and JavaHelp
1.0 or later components.