Updated for Flash 8: Customize your Help panel (in 5 easy steps) – control search highlight!

I originally posted in August about customizing your Help panel in Flash 2004 (http://weblogs.macromedia.com/dehaan/archives/2005/08/customize_your.cfm). Now I’ll update the steps for Flash 8 – very similar stuff.

First of all, you might have noticed a new feature in the Help panel that does search highlighting. This useful little feature has saved me a bunch of time.

But what if you’re not a fan of nasal yellow? Or even search highlight? Well, you’re in luck. You can control the highlight feature (modify, remove) by editing a simple CSS file. You can also change other elements of the Help panel the same way. Read on…

Caution: Before you start, remember to save a backup of the CSS files that you plan to modify “just in case”.

1. Close Flash and navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash 8\en\Configuration\HelpPanel\_sharedassets (Windows)

or

HD:Users:Shared:Library:Application Support:Macromedia:Flash 8::Configuration:HelpPanel:_sharedassets (Mac).

2. Open the help_pc.css file in a CSS editor (such as TopStyle or Dreamweaver, or a text editor such Notepad), or open help_mac.css if you’re on a Mac.

3. To change the search highlight color, find and modify this section of the file. I’ve modified the yellow (#DFDF00) to:

.searchhilite {
background-color: #AFE28B
}

To change the background color for procedures, find the line starting with “div.procedure, div.welcomehelp, div.welcomehowdoi {” (around line 224): Add the following line to change the background color for procedures to a light purple (new text in bold):

div.procedure, div.welcomehelp, div.welcomehowdoi {
display:none;
background-color: #F0FDFF;
}

5. That’s it! Save the CSS file, and then reopen Flash/Help panel.

I’ll post soon about other customizations you can make, such as creating a custom search category (that pop-up menu under the Search text box).