Popups in HTML Help and eBooks

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Popups in HTML Help and eBooks

There are a couple of things you need to bear in mind when editing popup topics because of the different ways they are handled in different formats.

Popup topics in eBooks:

Popups are also supported in Windows EWriter eBooks. This format also supports popups with formatted text, graphics and links. However, these features can all only be used within the eBook. No context-sensitive features are supported. Apple iBooks®/ePUB eBooks do not support popups at all.

Popup topics in HTML Help:

Native CHM plain-text popups:

If you do not activate JavaScript popups your CHM files will only use HTML Help's native popup plain-text topics. These can only contain text, without any formatting or other elements. This means that even if you enter formatted text in the popup topics in the Help+Manual editor (which is possible because it is needed for other output formats) all formatting, links, graphics, tables, table contents etc. will be stripped when you publish to HTML Help.

Formatted JavaScript popups:

Help+Manual also supports a custom JavaScript popup mode that can be used in both HTML Help and WebHelp. However, you cannot make application calls to JavaScript popups. If you activate JavaScript popups in CHM, you must still access the plain-text popups (which are also included in the CHM file) for field-level popups displayed in your application. See Using JavaScript popups for details on JavaScript popups.

Information for application programmers:

The plain-text popups used in HTML Help are stored in an internal text file in the HTML Help CHM file. This is the file you need to reference in your application calls to field-level popups. By default this file is called CSHelp.txt, but you can change this file name in Configuration > Publishing Options > HTML Help > Popup Topics.

Controlling the width of popup topics:

In HTML Help the width of popup windows is controlled by the help viewer on the basis of the amount of text and the user's screen width. Since this system was designed a long time ago it does not allow for modern computers with wide-format screens and multiple monitors. When normal popups are displayed on these computers the popups can be much too wide, which looks terrible.

There are a couple of simple tricks for solving this problem, which are described in Creating popup topics in the Basic Procedures section.

See also:

Creating popup topics

Using Context-Sensitive Help

Using JavaScript popups