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Creating Effective JavaHelp by Kevin Lewis

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Chapter 7. Using the JavaHelp API for Advanced Presentation Options

Throughout this book, you have viewed HelpSets in standalone mode, using the HelpSet Viewer utility. However, you may also need to create online help systems that work with Java applications. This chapter discusses a number of advanced presentation options—ways to tie the help system to the application:

  • The TypeFacer application

  • Invoking Help with a button, menu item, or key

  • Using screen-level context-sensitive help

  • Using field-level context-sensitive help

  • Embedding help into the application

To show you the coding effort involved, this chapter works through a progressive example, showing how to connect JavaHelp to a Java application. The material assumes you are already familiar with Java programming.

I don’t discuss how to create new Java components for displaying custom information in the help topics themselves. For example, you could create a multimedia object that plays movies or audio clips and then insert multimedia clips in your help topics.

While good practice dictates that you should plan online help when planning the application for which it is written, many times the application already exists and the help system is added later. Since this situation is a reality, that’s where I’ll start. Fortunately, adding JavaHelp after an application is developed is not a monumental task.

The TypeFacer Application

I will start with a simple application called Typeface Tester (TypeFacer for short) to illustrate the important ...

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