Well, I’ve pretty much finished my first big Scrivener to Latex project, which was a user manual for a piece of Windows-only software. The next job is to get all the words and screenshots into a Windows help-file.
Currently I’m thinking of some kind of Scrivener to MMD to HTML to Helpfile workflow. Has anyone got any advice/suggestions/experience of this?
Ideally, I’d like to stay out of Windows for as long as possible, but I’m resigned to the fact I’ll have to fire up Parallels at some stage, if only to see if the help works with the software. (The software is never going to have a Mac version – the market is too small and the developer doesn’t like Macs).
First off, your username freaked me out a little.
I had a character named Gruff, best friend of my Nanowrimo-novel-hero. Unfortunately, I had to kill him off and then my hero suddenly started seeing him everywhere. Haunting him.
Your username made me slightly worried about my own sanity for a second there…
Anyway, what do you have now? Do you have MMD-formatted files in your scrivener project? I know nothing about windows helpfiles, but I guess you can fairly easily convert a HTML file to a windows helpfile?
I think it’s very possible but the amount of work depends on what you have now…
I think the main trick here is that help files are going to require lots of individual HTML pages as opposed to one long page. That is an assumption on my part; that is how Apple’s help files work (lots of interlinked HTML files). Windows probably makes it more difficult than that, just to spite everyone from software developers to technical writers. Whatever the case, a good thing to recall is that MultiMarkdown is jazzed up Markdown. Most Markdown tools will work just fine on an MMD file (especially once you rip out the meta-data block). Naturally, any MMD features not available in MD will simply not parse. MMD syntax was designed to be backward compatible; so it will not actually mess things up, you’ll just get raw syntax in place of footnotes and such (and since help files do not have footnotes, you should probably strip exporting of them in Compile settings). Once you broaden your search to MD tools, you might find something helpful for getting things into the Windows Help format.