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Using Flex™ 2.0.1 Language Reference offline

After playing with HTML Help Workshop for some time I have managed to compile the Flex™ 2.0.1 Language Reference in CHM format (CHM files are extensively used for documentation and help files).

This is similar to Help Window we get with the Flex Builder. FlexBuilder has a limitation that it doesnt allow using help unless FlexBuilder is open. This is where such a CHM is useful. It also has got search functionality and thus serves the purpose. Here are the steps to create a CHM file:

  1. Download Flex Language Reference from livedocs or alternatively take the zip from {Flex Builder installed location}/plugins/doc.zip (thanks to Sreenivas for pointing out this) and unzip it.
  2. Say the docs are located on PATH/flexapi.
  3. Download HTML Help Workshop from the following link and install it.
  4. Open HTML Help Workshop and go to File -> New and select Project. It will start a wizard.
  5. Give a name (say flex2.0.1_asdoc ), when asked for name of the project file.
  6. After clicking next, select HTML files checkbox (because we already have our doc created)
  7. In the next dialog box, press Add and give path of the index.html (PATH/flexapi/index.html)
  8. Click Finish to finish the wizard

Press Save to save the project and compile the project and click View Compile file button on the toolbar. You will find that the file created is broken because it has not included all the files. So we need to fix this. Actually HTML Help workshop has a limitation that it doesn’t pick files specified in CSS stylesheets and javascripts. Follow these steps to fix this:

  1. Close the project. And go to the project folder and open the .hhp file in any editor. You will find a [FILES] section in the file with index.html listed.
  2. Just do a find to find all the class-list.html files in the PATH/flexapi/ folder and add all those class-list files (with full path) after index.html
  3. Save this template.html file in the PATH/flexapi/ folder.
  4. Add template.html also to the list of [FILES] in .hhp file.

Now open the project again and re-compile the project. Use the CHM created when you are offline and not using FlexBuilder.

Here is a screenshot of CHM file I got. You can also take advantage of the search functionality and here is a screenshot for this.

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Filed under: actionscript, flex

16 Responses

  1. That’s a lot of work !
    Why not just use downloaded PDF versions from http://www.adobe.com/support/documentation/en/flex/ ?

  2. don says:

    Hey Tom,

    There’s PDF files for the language reference? Not at the link you posted…

  3. Mark Lapasa says:

    Any chance of posting the .chm files?

    I like CHM over PDF cause they run natively faster than the Acrobat Reader

  4. Aaron Smith says:

    Yeah please hook us up with those CHM’s. I’m on Mac and use chmox to view chms, but I can’t use HTML Helper. Hook us up. -Aaron

  5. pan69 says:

    Don’t wanna spoil the party, but isn’t this a violation of copyright?

  6. nisheet says:

    @Tom – As Mark said CHM files are really useful. I prefer them over PDF files because of the good search that they provide. Not only that, navigation in a CHM files is also easier.

    @Aaron – I am planning to upload the created CHM as file, stay tuned 🙂

    @Anonymous (pan69) – No I dont think if I am violating any copyrights.

  7. nisheet says:

    Here is the link for the CHM file I created:
    Flex™ 2.0.1 Language Reference CHM file

  8. John Connors says:

    Now that it’s in CHM format, I can convert it to DevHelp, for the Linux types…

  9. Noj says:

    Any chance of getting this in .chm format?

  10. Noj says:

    opps sorry!! i didn’t finish my e-mail. I meant any chance of getting flex 3 documentation in .chm format?

  11. nisheet says:

    Hmm, I have given instructions there, should work flex 3 as well.

  12. paul says:

    Flex 3 documentation.

    I have been trying to get the flex 3 documentation into .chm format. I have followed all the instructions above. I also get lots of warnings like the following:

    HHC3004: Warning: 03_Language_and_Syntax_11.html : The HTML tag “?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?” is not a valid HTML tag (it does not begin with an alphanumeric character).

    When I come to open the .chm file it does NOT display any toolbar or the left hand column. Only the main page is there.

    Does anybody know how to fix this.

    Regards

  13. adhi says:

    you also can download full documentation at “http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Flex/4.0/Flex_4_docs.zip”

    If you want to search another docs, you can visit “http://www.adobe.com/support/documentation/”

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