CHM version of Softimage 2014 User Guide

Click image to download
It’s not hard to do:

  • Download and install the HTMLHelp Workshop.
  • Download the local version of the Softimage User Guide.
  • Generate hhp (project), hhc (toc), and hhk (index) files for the HTMLHelp Workshop, and then compile the project. You can even download a utility that does that for you (well, everything but the compiling part).

    I used to do it with a few ad-hoc perl and python scripts, but that utility works great.

  • Or you could just click that image at the top of the page.

Compiled CHM version of the Softimage 2014 SDK guide

Here’s a compiled CHM version of the XSI SDK guide.

There’s no index, but you can always use Search with Search titles only enabled. If I can find my old python scripts, maybe I’ll get around to adding one (but it will just be an index of objects, methods, and properties).

This year I tried the Maxscript 2013 Help CHM creator, but really all that got me was the TOC for the Programmer’s Guide. I still had to add the Ref Guide TOC, and fix up the scripting errors, and remove the unneeded navigation buttons. I do all that with a few global search and replaces.

Compiled CHM version of the Softimage 2013 SDK guide

The other day, somebody asked whether there was a CHM version of the SDK help. There isn’t. So I downloaded a copy of the [aging and neglected] HTML Help workshop, installed the local version of the Softimage 2013 documentation, and compiled the SDK help into a CHM file.

Get the xsisdk.chm file here

  • You get full-text search.
  • I created the TOC manually, so it has only two levels. But clicking one of the sub-levels (like “Customizing with the SDK” or “Objects A to Z”) takes you to a page with more links.
  • I even added an index, but it has entries only for the commands, objects, methods, and properties. No C++. (I used a Python script to generate the index from some HTML pages in the help.)
  • Some pages will give a script error (because they have an apostrophe in the page title, and that title is used in a script). You can ignore those errors and continue on.
  • Some of the icons at the top of pages, like Home and Add to Favorites will pop up a browser page. I didn’t take the time to update every page to get rid of them.

I almost didn’t bother with the index, because I think you can usually get the same thing with the Search, as long as you enable Search titles only. It’s always bothered me that there’s no index entries like “children, adding” or “polygon meshes, creating” and that you have to somehow know the verb part of the method or command name if you want to find it in the index.

Here’s a few examples of using Search titles only: