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Creating Effective JavaHelp by Kevin Lewis

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Chapter 6. Enhancing the HelpSet

So far, you have learned how to create a basic HelpSet. With the information from the previous chapters, you can create a fully functional help system with help topics, a TOC, an index, and a word-search index. You may, however, want to enhance your HelpSet by adding advanced controls within your help topics or by customizing the navigation facility.

This chapter covers the following topics that will help enhance your HelpSet:

  • Creating pop-up and secondary windows

  • Customizing the navigation facility

  • Merging HelpSets

Creating Pop-up and Secondary Windows

You can add pop-up and secondary windows to your HelpSet for many different reasons. You might use a pop-up window to define a word within a help topic or to provide expanded information for a procedure. A secondary window is similar to a pop-up window except it provides longer and more detailed information to supplement the original help topic. The user launches a pop-up or secondary window by clicking the text, image, or button that has an encoded link to that pop-up or secondary window.

A pop-up or secondary window displays a help topic, stored in an HTML-format file. That is, the topic has essentially the same format as the “main” help topics you’ve seen in the preceding chapters. You can add text, images, and links to the pop-up or secondary window text. However, keep in mind the customary usage of pop-up windows (for example, to define a word in the help topic), and limit them to displaying text ...

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