How can I build context sensitive help using URLs?

Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2015

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The vendor for the software I am creating Help files do not use any numbers, only URLs to call screens.

Hi there

Here's the deal. When you open the help generically, you use a URL that looks something like this:

http://www.showmesolutions.biz/HelpExamples/WebHelp/index.htm

That's the start page for a RoboHelp output. Regardless of the topic that is presented in the window, the way WebHelp works is to present the same URL in the address bar.

To determine the exact URL of an individual topic, open the topic and right-click it. Choose an option on the context menu that will reveal the topic or page information. This should lead you to discover the actual URL that points to the topic itself. It may look something like this:

http://www.showmesolutions.biz/HelpExamples/WebHelp/New_Folder/Second_Topic.htm

If you have generated the WebHelp using the option "Show Navigation Pane Link In Topics", this should present a link that could be clicked to present the full WebHelp frameset with the desired topic in view.

tmp2.png

And here is the topic in the full WebHelp frameset

tmp1.png

So at this point you have a decision to make.

Do I want the context sensitive call to present the user with only the topic? If so, just note the URL you recorded that leads to the topic.

Or do I want the context sensitive call to present the full WebHelp frameset with the proper topic loaded? If that's what you want, you will need to present the topic, then click the Show link, then note the URL that is presented in the address bar of the browser. It will typically look something like this:

http://www.showmesolutions.biz/HelpExamples/WebHelp/index.htm#New_Folder/Second_Topic.htm

Note the path one would normally see to open the help has now been appended to with the #New_Folder/Second_Topic.htm

Hope this helps a bit... Rick

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How can I build context sensitive help using URLs?

Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2015

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The vendor for the software I am creating Help files do not use any numbers, only URLs to call screens.

Hi there

Here's the deal. When you open the help generically, you use a URL that looks something like this:

http://www.showmesolutions.biz/HelpExamples/WebHelp/index.htm

That's the start page for a RoboHelp output. Regardless of the topic that is presented in the window, the way WebHelp works is to present the same URL in the address bar.

To determine the exact URL of an individual topic, open the topic and right-click it. Choose an option on the context menu that will reveal the topic or page information. This should lead you to discover the actual URL that points to the topic itself. It may look something like this:

http://www.showmesolutions.biz/HelpExamples/WebHelp/New_Folder/Second_Topic.htm

If you have generated the WebHelp using the option "Show Navigation Pane Link In Topics", this should present a link that could be clicked to present the full WebHelp frameset with the desired topic in view.

tmp2.png

And here is the topic in the full WebHelp frameset

tmp1.png

So at this point you have a decision to make.

Do I want the context sensitive call to present the user with only the topic? If so, just note the URL you recorded that leads to the topic.

Or do I want the context sensitive call to present the full WebHelp frameset with the proper topic loaded? If that's what you want, you will need to present the topic, then click the Show link, then note the URL that is presented in the address bar of the browser. It will typically look something like this:

http://www.showmesolutions.biz/HelpExamples/WebHelp/index.htm#New_Folder/Second_Topic.htm

Note the path one would normally see to open the help has now been appended to with the #New_Folder/Second_Topic.htm

Hope this helps a bit... Rick

TOPICS
WebHelp

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329

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Sep 10, 2015 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 10, 2015

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That’s fine – you build the help & place it where the program will find it, then they can create URL calls that launch your topics.

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Sep 10, 2015 0
Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2015

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I have made a list of the URL calls for each screen. I'm not really sure context sensitive is really the way to go. I've seen the same URL call up different screens, which I thought was really strange. If we can't do it ourselves, this company will charge us an arm and a leg. They have never heard of RoboHelp, they have their customers deliver customized help using PDFs. That's why I'm thinking delivering the whole RoboHelp file would be more robust than a PDF if I couldn't do context sensitive.

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Sep 10, 2015 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 10, 2015

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You’ve got something messed up if the same URL launches 2 different topics – see http://www.wvanweelden.eu/article-category/context-sensitivity for more info.

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Sep 10, 2015 0
Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2015

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Thanks, and you're right, something is radically wrong. I have gone over these screens time and time again and can't figure out how or why this happens. This is the strangest vendor I have ever worked with. You can't even ask a simple question without them charging you. That's why I'm ready to give up on the context sensitive help and just deliver one complete thing. What output would you suggest would be the best for this?

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Sep 10, 2015 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 10, 2015

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Depends on how they’re going to be using it – hosted on a webserver someplace; located on a LAN server; installed locally, used on multiple devices, etc.

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Sep 10, 2015 0
LEGEND ,
Sep 10, 2015

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Hi there

Here's the deal. When you open the help generically, you use a URL that looks something like this:

http://www.showmesolutions.biz/HelpExamples/WebHelp/index.htm

That's the start page for a RoboHelp output. Regardless of the topic that is presented in the window, the way WebHelp works is to present the same URL in the address bar.

To determine the exact URL of an individual topic, open the topic and right-click it. Choose an option on the context menu that will reveal the topic or page information. This should lead you to discover the actual URL that points to the topic itself. It may look something like this:

http://www.showmesolutions.biz/HelpExamples/WebHelp/New_Folder/Second_Topic.htm

If you have generated the WebHelp using the option "Show Navigation Pane Link In Topics", this should present a link that could be clicked to present the full WebHelp frameset with the desired topic in view.

tmp2.png

And here is the topic in the full WebHelp frameset

tmp1.png

So at this point you have a decision to make.

Do I want the context sensitive call to present the user with only the topic? If so, just note the URL you recorded that leads to the topic.

Or do I want the context sensitive call to present the full WebHelp frameset with the proper topic loaded? If that's what you want, you will need to present the topic, then click the Show link, then note the URL that is presented in the address bar of the browser. It will typically look something like this:

http://www.showmesolutions.biz/HelpExamples/WebHelp/index.htm#New_Folder/Second_Topic.htm

Note the path one would normally see to open the help has now been appended to with the #New_Folder/Second_Topic.htm

Hope this helps a bit... Rick

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Sep 10, 2015 0
Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2015

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Thanks Rick, The last one is how I'd really like it to look, I'd just have to figure out what to do with those duplicate URLs. When I talked with our internal developer, he said that was how they're doing it these days.

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Sep 10, 2015 0
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LEGEND ,
Sep 10, 2015

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Not following you on the "duplicate URLs". Sorry

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