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File Organization

There is no single right way to organize projects and files when you are developing modular Help systems. However, a good system of organization makes management easier and production less error-prone. The following suggestions are based on techniques and standards that have proven themselves again and again.

Create a folder for the development files for the entire system. Give each component project its own subfolder underneath the overall folder. The hub document should also have a separate subfolder.

If a team of several authors will be working on the system, you will probably want to put the project on a network drive. If you are working alone, you can put it on a local drive, but in either case, be sure it gets backed up regularly.

Your project will need a folder in which you can collect, collate, and test the total Help system. This folder needs only the files which will be distributed to end users, such as the .HLP, .CNT or .CHM files. It does not need the component project folders or their contents.

If end users on your network need to access your modular Help system, it's best to have another folder somewhere with the user-accessed copy of the Help. This allows you to develop and test the Help system, and your users to access the information they need, without interfering with one another.