Getting the Most from the Help System

The online Help system encompasses a variety of features:

Opening Help in tag editors and Tag Chooser

Help text in tag editors and in the Tag Chooser provides context-sensitive syntax and usage information.

To view Help in a tag editor or Tag Chooser do one of the following:

Editing Help in tag editors and Tag Chooser

Using the Visual Tools Markup Language (VTML), you can edit Help text in dialog boxes or add your own. For details, see "Customizing the Development Environment".

Accessing Help References

The online Help References contain the printed product documentation in HTML format and additional online references. They are an extensible resource for learning about product features, technology extensions, and other development topics.

Click the Help tab at the bottom of the Resources window to view the Help References tree. The Help toolbar is located at the top of the Help References pane.

Printing Help topics

If you are using Internet Explorer as the internal browser, you can print a Help topic by right-clicking the document in Browse mode and selecting Print.

The default internal browser does not support printing.

Bookmarking Help topics

You can quickly access your favorite Help documents by bookmarking them. You can assign bookmarks to documents in the Help tree, the file system, or the Internet.

To bookmark a document in the Help Tree:

To bookmark an external document:

  1. Click the down arrow next to the Bookmarks button in the Help toolbar and click Organize Bookmarks. The Help Bookmarks dialog box appears.
  2. Click Add to open the Add Bookmark dialog box.
  3. Type a name for the bookmark.
  4. Click Browse and find the document to bookmark, or type the appropriate URL or file path.
  5. Click OK to add the bookmark to the Help Bookmarks list.
  6. Click Close to save your changes and return to the Help Resources tab.

To open a bookmarked Help document:

  1. Click the down arrow next to the Bookmarks button on the Help tab toolbar
  2. Select from the list.

To maintain bookmarks:

  1. Click the down arrow next to the Bookmarks button in the Help tab toolbar and click Organize Bookmarks.

    The Help Bookmarks dialog box appears.

  2. Add, remove, and rename bookmarks as needed:
  3. When you are satisfied with your list of bookmarks click Close.

Searching Help References

You can access a book's online index in the Help reference tree, or you can search the entire set of Help References using simple to complex search criteria.

Using an online index

With the exception of language references, each book in the Help reference tree on the Help Resources tab has an online index.

To search a book using an index:

  1. Decide on the term or terms you want to find in the index.
  2. Do one of the following:
  3. Click the link for the first letter of your search term, and scroll the list of terms as necessary to find the term. Repeat this step for every search term you need.

Using the full-text search engine

To Search Help References for the first time on your system, you should allow the program to index the files; that is, to generate a full-text search database from the Help reference tree contents. This greatly improves the search engine performance.

After the initial indexing, each time you open the Help panel the program checks the Help References tree for changes. If Help files have been added or deleted, the program automatically indexes the Help files again.

If you have problems with Help Search, re-index (regenerate the search database for) the contents of the Help folder. To do so, close the program, delete the
Verity/Collections folder in your installation directory, open the program again, and run a search. Click Yes to allow Verity to re-index the Help files.

To do a full-text search of every Help Reference:

  1. Click the Search button on the Help toolbar to open the Search Help References dialog box.
  2. If this is the first time to run a search on your system, you are prompted to index the Help References. Click Yes.
  3. Type a word or phrase in the Enter the word(s) to find box.

    For information on using search operators, click the Search Tips button.

  4. To limit the references searched, select the Search only in selected references option and select the check box next to one or more references.
  5. Click the Search button to display the search results in the Help References pane.
  6. Double-click a document in the results list to open it.

The results list is saved until a new search is run, so you can return to the document list by clicking the Search results button on the Help toolbar.


Tip

To redo a recent search, click the down arrow next to the Enter the word(s) to find box and select the search keywords you previously used from the drop-down list.


Using advanced search operators

You can use a variety of advanced search operators to make your searching more precise. For information on using advanced search operators, click the Search Tips button in the Search Help References dialog box.

To print the search, open Help/Macromedia Support/VeritySearchTips.htm and use your browser's print command.

Making and viewing comments in the Help system

You can comment directly on our online documentation, or view others' comments.

To view or make comments in the online documentation:

  1. Display the page in the online documentation for which you want to read or make comments.
  2. At the bottom of the page, in the Comments section, click View comments on Live Docs.

    A live version of the page from our Web site appears.

  3. At the bottom of the Web version of the page, you can read all of the user comments about that page.

    If there are no comments for that page, only a button appears.

  4. To add a comment of your own, click Add Comments.
  5. The first time you make a comment, you must create an account on the system:
    1. Click Add User.
    2. In the User Information page, complete the bold fields and any other fields.
    3. Click Add User Profile.

      Now you can log in from any online documentation page to add comments.

  6. In the Please Comment page, type your comment, answer any of the questions in the form as desired, and click Add Comment.

Your comment is added to the system, and members of the Macromedia documentation group are notified.

Members of the Macromedia documentation group then attempt to correct errors and clarify points directly on the Comments page. Larger documentation issues are targeted to the next product release. And, in general, they use your feedback to assess the effectiveness of their user guides and to improve them.


Note

LiveDocs is not technical support. For technical issues, you should go to the Technical Support page on our site to view support options.


Extending the Help system

One of the Help system's most useful features is its extensibility. You can add documents to the Help system by dragging and dropping them into the Help folder, either from the Files tab or Windows Explorer.

Help document files are generally in HTML, but you can include text files. The Help browser will use the file name as the title. You can also create a link from within an HTML file to files with txt, dtd, and pdf extensions if you use Internet Explorer as the internal browser. Web graphics files (GIF, JPG, PNG) are viewable in Help files.

This extensibility enables you to:


Note

Documents do not display at the Help References root level, so you must either place them in an existing folder or create a new folder.


Adding custom help to the Help tree

You can add files or whole references (folders) to the Help reference tree.

To create a new folder in the Help tree:

  1. Open the Files pane in the Resources window.
  2. Navigate to the Help folder of your installation.
  3. Right-click in the Files pane and select Create Folder.

    A new folder with a highlighted name box appears.

  4. Type a name for the folder in the box and press Enter to save the new folder.
  5. If necessary, press F5 to refresh the Help display.

The new folder appears at the bottom of the Help reference tree.

To add documents to the Help tree, do one of the following:

Changing the order of items in the Help tree

If you add a folder to the Help directory, the folder appears at the bottom of the Help reference tree. For most users, this is all you need.

If, however, you want to control the order in which the Help References display, you can edit the booktree.xml file in the Help root directory. The structure of the booktree file uses a simple tag set to configure how the Help displays on the book, chapter, and page levels. A quick study of the file will get you started.

The parser reads the booktree tags from top to bottom, so you can just insert folder and file tags where you want the references to appear in the Help tree. You can edit this file to rearrange existing Help content as well as to add custom folders and files to a specific location in the Help tree. Alternately, you can use the path attribute in the book and chapter tags to specify the folder's location on your system.

To add a folder to a specific location in the Help tree:

  1. In Windows Explorer, open the Help root directory, make a backup copy of the booktree.xml file, and copy the new folder into the Help root directory.
  2. In the product, open the new Help folder from the Files resource pane.
  3. Open the booktree.xml file in the Editor.
  4. Add a book tag for the new folder and save the file.

    Following is an example:

    <help_book path="folder name">Custom Help Files
    

The new folder now appears in the order you set up, but the files in the folder appear in alphabetical order. If you want to control the order of chapters and pages, add tags in the booktree file for these entries and arrange them to be in your desired order.

Displaying text files in the Help tree

Text files can be added to the Help reference tree. The Help browser default file type is HTML, so it looks for a TITLE tag in each file. If it does not find one, or if the tag is empty, it displays the filename as the document's title in the Help tree.

To change an HTML file's title in the Help tree, edit the HTML file to complete its <title> tag with the desired name.

To change a text file's title in the Help tree, first make a backup copy of the booktree.xml file in the Help root folder of your installation directory. Then open booktree.xml in the editor, find the <help_page> tag for the text file, and add a title attribute for the text file; for example, <help_page title="My Readme">.

Adding media content

You have considerable flexibility in adding supporting files (such as graphics, animations, video, and sound) to Help documents. There are two ways to do this:


Note

If you are using the default internal browser or an older external browser, proper playback of media files is limited.


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