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Creating Effective JavaHelp by Kevin Lewis

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Merging HelpSets

You can merge HelpSets so that two or more independent HelpSets appear together in the HelpSet Viewer, almost as if they were a single HelpSet. On the HelpSet Viewer’s TOC navigation tab, all the HelpSets’ TOCs are concatenated. Data is combined similarly on the index and word-search index tabs.

A “product suite” provides an ideal opportunity for using this facility. For each component in the suite—such as a word processor, spreadsheet application, or database application—you can develop a separate HelpSet. Then, you can merge all the HelpSets to provide a unified online help system for the entire suite.

Using the <subhelpset> Element

To merge multiple HelpSets, add one or more <subhelpset> elements to the HelpSet file whose data should appear first (the master HelpSet file). Add these elements just before the </helpset> end-tag, as shown in the following example:

<helpset>
  ...
  <subhelpset location="../OtherProject/HelpSet.hs"/>
  <subhelpset location="../ThirdProject/HelpSet.hs"/>
</helpset>

The location attribute specifies the location of another HelpSet file relative to the location of the current HelpSet file. Data from the merged HelpSets appears in the navigational controls in the order of the <subhelpset> elements.

The TOC navigation components to be merged must all have the same view name:

<view>
   <name>TOC</name>         (view name of this component is "TOC")
  ...
</view>

Similarly, all index views should have the same view name, and all word-search index views should ...

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