Before you generate output from your project, there are various tasks that you are likely to perform while developing your targets. To begin with, you need to determine what kind and how many types of output you want to provide for your end users.
There are several types of online output (Eclipse Help, EPUB, Microsoft Help 2.0, Microsoft HTML Help, Microsoft Help Viewer, JavaHelp, NetHelp) and one type of print-based output (Manual) that you can produce in Doc-To-Help. Each output type has its own set of advantages.
It is easy to confuse output types with targets, but they are two different (although related) concepts. A target is one instance of an output type. It is the engine that takes all of your files and settings, and brings them together to produce the end result. When you build your final output, you are essentially building one or more of the targets in your project.
When you create a new Doc-To-Help project, one target of each output type is added to your project.
However, any targets added to the project are just a starting point for you. You can rename them to reflect the nature of your project. For example, if you are writing a Help system for a software program called FictionSoftPro, you could rename a target "FictionSoftPro." Also, just because only one target was added when you first created the project, this does not mean that you are limited to just that target in your project. You can add as many new targets as you need, using any of the available formats. Each target has properties that you adjust to change the way the target behaves, as well as the way it looks and feels.
A condition is something that you can apply to different areas of your content so that some sections show up in some of your outputs but not in others. Although there are several settings that are important in each target, conditions are particularly important because they are central to your ability to single-source output from one set of source content.
Let's say you have two different audiences—beginners and advanced users. The content in your project is the same in most places for both audiences. However, there are sections that apply only to the beginners, and other sections that apply only to the advanced users. You can use one condition to mark the sections for the beginners only, and you can use another condition to mark the sections for advanced users only. This lets you create one output for the beginners and another output for the advanced users without having to create two separate projects.
Following are the primary steps when developing targets:
- Determine Output Type The first task in developing output for your project is to determine which type of output is most appropriate for your needs. You might even need to produce multiple outputs and require more than one output type.
See Output Types.
- Create/Delete Targets Every target in a project has a particular output type assigned to it. You can add multiple targets to a project. For example, your project might end up containing three targets that are all based on the NetHelp output type and eight that are based on the Manual output type. While you create new targets, you can also remove targets provided by Doc-To-Help that you don't plan to use.
See Creating and Deleting Targets.
- Edit Target Settings Using the Help Targets dialog, you can apply all kinds of settings to a target. This includes renaming the target to reflect the nature of your project, setting attributes (choosing the conditions to include or exclude from the output), and much more. The settings that are available are different for each output type.
See Editing Target Settings.
- Add Transformations Using the Transformation Wizard, you can insert boilerplate content or code into every topic in your targets. Examples include: headers, footers, or code needed for technology such as analytics.
See About Transformations.
Select Targets When you want to work with a target, or you are ready to build its output, you need to select that target.
If your project has target-specific tables of contents, you can select the target you want to work with by
opening the Doc-To-Help Project panel (Project ribbon> Project Panel), thenopening the Contents window pane and selecting a target-specific table of contents from the drop-down.
- Build Targets After selecting a target, you can generate output for it.
See Building Targets.