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What’s New in Doc-To-Help 2007

Doc-To-Help 2007 Version 3

Support for XHTML Output

Users can now generate an XHTML version of NetHelp, HTML Help, Help 2.0, and JavaHelp targets. The XHTML output conforms to the W3C XHTML 1.0 transitional specification.

To generate XHTML Targets, set the GenerateXHTML property in the Help Targets property list to True.


      XHTML Output conforms to the latest Web standards.

      XHTML Output is compatible with XML parsers.

      XHTML gives you the ability to use transforms (see below), giving you infinite customization possibilities.

      An easy way to convert Word and/or HTML to XHTML

New D2H toolbar button for inserting DemoWorks movies

Doc-To-Help now has a new Flash Movie toolbar button in the Microsoft® Word Doc-To-Help toolbar that allows a user to import and insert a Flash movie object into online output. This button was not added to HTML editors because they already have this feature built in.


      Easily insert a movie made with DemoWorks.

      Use Microsoft® Word to design rich online content.

      Impress your end-users.

      Use HTML/XHTML standards for inserting multi-media without having to know the code.

Expanding/Collapsing Sections

Doc-To-Help has drop-down text, but it is for a single drop-down instance. If you would like to subdivide entire topics into collapsible sections, use the new Expanding/Collapsing Sections feature, which allows you to define collapsible sections with a special style. Doc-To-Help will automatically generate collapsible/expandable sections complete with the “+” and “-“ icons.


      This feature can be used with the HTML Help, NetHelp, and Help 2.0 targets (the GenerateXHTML property must be set to True).

      This feature is an example of an XML transform (see below).



      Quickly create dynamic content.

      An additional option for content organization.

XML Transforms

Users can now add transforms to XHTML output to manipulate content. These transforms can be .NET or XSLT. The Expanding/Collapsing Sections feature (see above) is an example of this feature.


      This feature can be used with the HTML Help, NetHelp, and Help 2.0 targets (the GenerateXHTML property must be set to True).


      Use XML transforms to customize your content any way you want.


      Infinite flexibility and customizability.

Extensive Improvements to Sandcastle Functionality

Doc-To-Help is the first Help Authoring tool to integrate with Microsoft Sandcastle to automatically generate .NET reference documentation and combine it with narrative Help content. This release extends the functionality of the Sandcastle Plug-in by giving authors more power to connect narrative and reference content.

This version of Doc-To-Help supports the latest Sandcastle CTP (Community Technology Preview) version, which is October 2007. If you have an earlier version of Sandcastle installed, you will need to upgrade to the October version.


      Save countless hours generating reference documentation.

      Extend Sandcastle by adding an index, TOC, etc.

      Integrate narrative and reference instead of maintaining separate projects.

      Give Sandcastle an interface.

Specific improvements:

      Added CodeBlock and PostTransform components

      D2HML hot spots in XML comments in source code

      XSLT transformation of the source code comments XML

      Exclude elements without description

      Special styles to easily create links from narrative parts to the reference part

      Source template and the toolbar "Doc-To-Help - Sandcastle

      Added "Enable sending feedback" check box and Company name/email text boxes

      Added "Copyright text" text box

Option to select Word format when creating documents

There is a new property, WordDocFormat, that allows Microsoft® Word 2007 users to set the .docx format as the default for Manual Targets.

Doc-To-Help 2007 Version 2

Text and Rich Content Variables

Variables allow you to manage content in one place for reuse across your project. You can use Text Variables for any amount of unformatted text or Rich Content Variables for blocks of formatted content.

Variables make it possible to:

      Change once and automatically update everywhere.

      Use HTML variables to enter HTML elements in your Word documents. (Or use Word variables to enter Word text in HTML documents.)

Variables are easy to manage and use. For more information see The Project Icon.


Examples of Text Variables include:

      Product or company name

      Frequently used descriptions


      Copyright notices


Examples of Rich Content Variables include:


      Images or other media

      Formatted company names (i.e., ComponentOne)

      Entire topics


If you have used the “Passthrough HTML” feature in the past, you may want to try the Rich Content Variables feature. “Passthrough HTML” is still supported by Doc-To-Help

Microsoft® Sandcastle Plug-In

Microsoft's Sandcastle utility automatically creates MSDN formatted reference documentation from .NET assemblies and XML comment files. Doc-To-Help integrates Sandcastle's output into your projects, automatically creating topics, index, TOC, and other Help elements. With this information added to your project, you can edit/add your own topics, and easily link to namespaces.

With this plug-in you can generate any output from Sandcastle-generated content, automatically add reference sections to your documentation using Microsoft utilities, and enjoy automatic standard MSDN formatting.

Documenter for .NET is still included with Doc-To-Help if you have older projects you’d like to maintain.

Enhancement to the Custom Color Picker in the Theme Designer

When creating a custom theme using the Theme Designer, you may now specify custom colors for fonts. Use the “Custom” tab to specify RGB values.

Doc-To-Help 2007 Version 1

JavaScript Search for NetHelp

NetHelp search can now be set to JavaScript search, which eliminates the need for end-users to have Java installed on their machines.  See NetHelp Target.

Breadcrumb Navigation in HTML Outputs

Breadcrumbs can now be added and configured for all HTML-based targets (HTML Help, NetHelp, Help 2.0, and JavaHelp). See Using the Theme Designer (Exploring the Topic Text Mode). 

Generate PDF button in Word

You can now generate a PDF directly from the Doc-To-Help toolbar in Word. This allows you to make edits to your document before creating a PDF. After you have generated a Doc-To-Help Manual target, click the PDF button. See Creating a PDF for more information.

Documents and Topics can now be excluded from NetHelp Search

Setting the SearchEnabled property to False will now exclude specific documents and topics from a NetHelp search. See the SearchEnabled Property.

Microsoft Windows Vista and Word 2007 Support

Doc-To-Help can now be used with Microsoft Windows Vista as well as Microsoft Word 2007.

In Word 2007, the Ribbon has replaced toolbars; therefore, Doc-To-Help toolbars have been converted to Ribbon tabs.

Doc-To-Help Ribbon


D2HML Styles Ribbon


Documenter for .NET Ribbon


Team Authoring Support

Doc-To-Help allows you and your team to collaborate on projects with "check in/check out" synchronization and other team support features. This feature is available in Doc-To-Help Enterprise 2007 only.

You start with a regular, single-user, Doc-To-Help project. You then make it available to other members of your team by uploading it to a central repository, either on a machine on your organization's network or on a Web server. Team members can connect to the team project and create their own working copies of it, where they will make their changes. Once changes are made, the project and document files can be checked in, or uploaded, to the repository and then be retrieved by other team members using special Doc-To-Help commands. Only one author at a time can check out a project or document file, preventing team members from overwriting each other's work.

For more information on using Doc-To-Help's team authoring features, see Team Authoring.

PDF Output

Doc-To-Help will now create a PDF file from the Manual target. You can create live, or working, links in the PDF using the LiveLinks property, as well as create an outline, or bookmarks, in the PDF by setting the OutlineInPDF property. For more information, see Creating a PDF in the Doc-To-Help Guided Tour.

Document Conditions

Conditions can now be specified in the Doc-To-Help project editor on the document level, in addition to the topic and character style level. You can now designate entire source documents for individual platforms, Help targets, or attributes. See Conditional Text and Attributes for more information.