I'm assuming your FrameMaker XML output is from Structured Frame. Also, you
don't say whether the app is a desktop app or a Web app.

If you are using the Docbook or DITA flavors of XML, there are free tools
that you can download to create help from the XML.

If you are using your own schema, you have a couple of options. As Jeremy
said, you can check out Web Works Publisher Pro or Mif2Go. Both will turn a
FrameMaker document/book into online help (.chm, web-based, JavaHelp, etc.).
I don't think you can easily customize the output so that it is like MS
Word's help, but I'm not positive.

Another option is to use XSLT. If you are creating Web-based help, you'll
have to figure out how you want to handle search. Of course, you'll also
need to know XSLT or have access to someone who does. (It's not as easy as
HTML, but it's probably easier than C++.) Provided you have the right skills
available, this option opens up a lot of possibilities.


-----Original Message-----
[ at lists.frameusers.c
om] On Behalf Of Angela Akridge
Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2006 7:47 PM
To: framers at
Subject: Tool for XML -> Online Help


I've never worked with setting up an Online Help system. I know how to write
in raw html/sgml, but that's about the extent of my experience with Online
Help. I'm familiar with single-source authoring (using Epic) to create
customized documentation, but have NO experience designing a help system  I
currently edit existing context-sensitive online help. I don't use an Online
Help application (JavaHelp or RoboHelp). I simply have some hooks in the
code that call some html files (nothing sophisticated).

I'd like to use the content that I produce in manuals to produce online help
topics. If this means that the Online Help can no longer be context
sensitive without a lot of infrastrucuture, then so be it (although a hybird
would be ideal). My company is okay with dumping the manual into a clean
collection of individual procedures (modules) if the design provides a
search box. What tool will take my Frame xml output and generate a pretty
look-and-feel for online help? I like MS Word's Online Help.

Thank yoiu,

Angela Akridge
angela.akridge at
408/393-9249 (cell)

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