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Understanding the Doc-To-Help Build Options

When working with Doc-To-Help 2007, you will encounter three terms that, while somewhat similar in function, are distinct in how they are used in the context of our product.


In general, the term Compile is used to describe the internal process by which Doc-To-Help translates your Microsoft Word or HTML source documents into help target files.

By right-clicking on any document, you can use the Compile command to update an individual source document, without updating the help target itself. For example, if a build fails because a topic title is too long, you can edit the document containing the error, and then compile it by itself to determine if the error has been fixed.

Make Target and Rebuild Target

The Make Target and Rebuild Target commands are similar in functionality, but different in scope. They both govern compilation – the difference lies in what each command actually compiles.

The Rebuild Target command removes all files from the output directory and recompiles your entire project, placing all new files in your output directory. This is most commonly used when you are making some sort of “global” change that affects the entire help target. For example, when adding a new term to the glossary, it is necessary for Doc-To-Help to search all source documents for instances of the new term. In this case, a Rebuild Target is required.

Alternately, the Make Target command modifies only those items (source documents, properties) that have changed since the last build. Make Target can be a time saver when working with a very large help project that includes many source documents because it compiles only those documents that you have modified recently.