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Adding Global Search function in Webhelp

-0001-11-30   Views:0

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I have been asked to add global search functionality to my website. As far as i understand, the only way of doing this using Webhelp is to use merged projects? As i have 40 separate XPJ files (some very large), this merged projects method didn't work

I have been asked to add global search functionality to my
website. As far as i understand, the only way of doing this using
Webhelp is to use merged projects?
As i have 40 separate XPJ files (some very large), this
merged projects method didn't work very well. For a start you got
lost in the vast number of projects and bookmarks displayed in the
merged TOC. Instead, from a main menu, each guide opens up in the
same fixed window and just displays its owns TOC. Curently you can
only search in the selected guide.
Having looked at Peter Graingers site, ZoomSearch would seem
to work OK. Does anyone know of any other method i could use or
free alternatives to ZooomSearch?
Thanks

The replay answer
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First, if you Google "refresh page" you'll have several
JavaScript options available to choose from.
Second, I can't show you my merged WebHelp, because it's
proprietary online Help provided with our product, but I used
Peter's method for a merged project of 42 projects, ~2.5K topics,
and mucho graphics. Unfortunately, in a WebHelp merged project, RH
provides an anemic, basic search only.
We had elected to place our projects within 14 major
categories in the TOC, so as to reduce the size of the TOC when the
help was opened. Each category links to a "navigation" page in the
parent project that provides a description of the category and all
first-level topics within each project in the category. This
category structure helps the user identify the major functional
areas, and helps the seven writers keep track of where their
particular projects appear.
GETTING STARTED
+ Release Notes
+ Installation
+ etc.
TRADING
+ Program Trading
+ Fixed Income Trading
+ etc.
This proved serendipitous when we decided to use Zoom, since
we were able to classify the same RH project folders under
identical Zoom categories, allowing users to select a single
category from a dropdown menu if they want more tightly focused
results.
Because our help is provided on a CD and is distributed on a
customer's server, we've had to implement Zoom search in Javascript
mode. Admittedly, the JavaScript mode in Zoom doesn't provide full
functionality either, but it's still better than RH (you can use
wild cards, special characters (underscore, colon, slash, etc.) to
"join" words, etc.).
Some Zoom issues:
Since RH ignores special Zoom tags in source files, such as
ZOOMSTOP/ZOOMRESTART, ZOOMKEYWORDS, etc., and over-writes them in
the output when generating/publishing topic modifications, we are
running the Zoom indexer against the source files and placing the
five Zoom files (search.html, zoom_pageinfo.js, etc.) in the output
folder. The Zoom 5.0.1005 build will automatically rename the path
from the source "/projects" to the output "/mergedProjects" if you
select that option.
Currently, a bug in Zoom replaces any closing HTML tag (HREF,
SPAN, etc.) that appears before a period, comma, semicolon, or
colon with a space. So, you need to run a Find/Replace to eliminate
those extra leading spaces (in the zoom_pageinfo.js file). I use
FAR for this; you can create a .FarRun file with entries like this
to do them in batch. Note that the 90_zoompageinfo_docsql01.FAR
FarList was created to contain only the zoom_pageinfo.js file, and
the "OpenFarList" line only needs to appear once in the .FarRun
file. After I run the Zoom indexer against the project, I only have
to double click the .FarRun file to run the batch replace.
Good luck,
Leon

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