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Creating Effective JavaHelp by Kevin Lewis

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Customizing the Navigation Facility

The navigation facility is one of the most important features of any help system. Without it, users can’t find the information they need. Because the navigation facility is so important, you may want to customize it to fulfill your users’ needs. You can customize the navigation facility in many different ways.

Changing Navigation Components’ Tool Tips

One feature that is easy to customize is the navigation components’ tool tips. The user sees these tool tips when the cursor rests over any of the navigation tabs in the HelpSet Viewer’s navigation pane. For example, when the cursor rests over the Aviation HelpSet’s TOC tab, a tool tip pops up with the name Aviation TOC. The tool tips work the same way for the index and word-search index tabs, as well.

You can change the tool tips by modifying the contents of the <label> elements for each navigation component specified in the HelpSet file. Give it a try:

  1. Open the Aviation HelpSet file (HelpSet.hs) in a text editor.

  2. Modify the TOC tool tip by changing the following line in the TOC section:

    <label>Aviation TOC</label>

    to:

    <label>Table of Contents</label>
  3. Modify the index tool tip by changing the following line in the index section:

    <label>Aviation Index</label>

    to:

    <label>Alphabetical
    Index</label>
  4. Modify the word-search index tool tip by changing the following line in the word-search index section:

    <label>Aviation Word Search</label>

    to:

    <label>Word Search Index</label>
  5. Save the HelpSet file and load the Aviation ...

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