<< Click to Display Table of Contents >>

Navigation:  Reference > Project Configuration Settings > Publishing Options > WebHelp >


These settings control how the navigation is handled in your WebHelp output. Like the settings in the Layout template, they are important for the functionality and appearance of your help in web browsers. You should always check them before publishing your WebHelp to make absolutely sure that the help will behave as you want.

For more information see WebHelp in the Configuring Your Output chapter and WebHelp and Browser compatibility in the Reference > Help Formats chapter.

If you are using an HTML skin you must edit your templates and settings in the skin!

Nowadays you will almost always choose an HTML skin to publish your project to WebHelp or HTML Help/CHM. A skin is a special kind of Help+Manual project without topics that only stores your HTML templates and all the settings relevant for HTML output to these two formats. When you choose a skin, the templates and settings in the skin completely replace those in your project.

Normally, a skin is pre-designed and you don't need to change anything. However, if you do want to change something, you must do all your editing in the .hmskin skin file. Editing in your Help+Manual project won't have any effect because those templates and settings are not used.

To edit a skin, make a copy of the .hmskin skin file in your project folder and then open it in Help+Manual by selecting .hmskin as the file type to open in the Open dialog. All the templates and settings are in the same places as in a normal Help+Manual project.

Exception: HTML Export Options

The HTML Export Options section is not stored in skins and needs to be edited in your project.

Include Keyword Index
Include Full-text Search

These features should be self-explanatory. They simply switch individual features in your WebHelp on and off.

Note that Full Text Search is only available in the Professional and Server versions of Help+Manual and will only work if the user has JavaScript enabled.

If you activate search you should also configure the search options in the Full Text Search section.

Add chapter numbers to Table of Contents:

Adds topic/chapter numbering to the TOC in your WebHelp output.

Numbering format string:

This string defines the format of your chapter numbers. The standard format is standard legal numbering (1.1, 1.2 etc.), defined by the string

The characters in the string are processed in pairs for each level: A format character followed by a spacing character. Enter as many pairs as you need for the levels in your project. There are five format characters you can use. Do not include a spacing character after the last format character.

Format characters: (only these characters allowed)

1 =Numeric/Arabic
I =Roman, upper case
i =Roman, lower case
A =Alphabetic, upper case
a =Alphabetic, lower case


Format String


"1.4.5" or ""

I 1.a.1.a.1

"I 4.e" or "II 1.p.7.i"


"I-4.5" or "II.1.16"


"A.iv.5" or "B.i.16.7.9"

Single click on caption in Table of Contents expands chapter:

By default, the user must double-click on chapters to expand them in the TOC. This option allows you to change this to expand on a single click.

We recommend leaving this option off. The default mode allows you to select chapters without expanding them automatically and you can still expand chapters with a single click on the chapter icon.

Automatically collapse unfocused entries:

When you set this option all chapters except the chapter in which the user is currently browsing collapse (close) automatically. This can make navigation easier in large help projects because you do not have a large number of chapters open at the same time.

Selecting this option will disable On load, expand... All Entries (see below)

On load, expand:

Allows you to expand the TOC automatically when the user opens the help. You can expand either all entries or just top-level entries (main chapters).

Expand All Entries is disabled when Automatically collapse unfocused entries is selected (see above).

When a topic is loaded outside the navigation frame, force it to reload the navigation frame

Leave this OFF if you want your WebHelp to be indexed by Google!

Turning this on automatically reloads the entire WebHelp interface automatically when a topic is opened directly with a link to the topic file only (topicname.htm) instead of the full WebHelp syntax (index.html?topicname.htm).

In the past, Help+Manual automatically activated this option. Unfortunately, Google now interprets redirects like this as "duplicate content" and does not index any of the WebHelp topic pages on a site that does this. This option is now turned off by default and you should not activate it if you want to be indexed by Google.

The standard WebHelp skins included with Help+Manual and the Premium Pack skins now have a solution for this problem. When a page is opened on its own an automatic link above the topic header is shown that the user can click on to open the full user interface. This does not trigger the problem with Google.

Create a site map for improved search engine visibility:

Generates an XML site map file that will be automatically read by search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Ask and Bing. The site map tells the search engine where all your topics are and when they were last updated. This can improve search engine efficiency when scanning your site.

Full website URL: You must enter the fully-qualified URL to your WebHelp folder on your website here, including the http:// protocol prefix and the last slash. For example:

Icons in the TOC:

If you want you can select your own icons to be used in the Table of Contents here. If you select custom icons stored in folders listed in your Image Folders they will be copied to your output directory automatically.

If you use custom icons you can only use a set of three icons: One pair for the open/closed state of chapters and one icon for individual topics.

See also:

WebHelp (Configuring your Output)

WebHelp (Help Formats)

Browser compatibility