Topic Options

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Topic Options

The Topic Options tab is accessible on the left of the main editor window and contains a number of key settings for the topic currently displayed. It enables you to view and edit a number of settings that are assigned automatically when you create topics, and some additional optional settings.


<TITLE> tag:

This is the text inserted in the <TITLE> tag in topic pages in HTML-based output. By default this is the text displayed as the table of contents entry displayed in the Project Explorer on the left. If you edit the TOC entry this text changes automatically, unless you edit this field in Topic Options manually.

If the topic header text in the box above the editor is different from the TOC entry, the TOC entry is shown here and not the topic header text. (Again, only if you didn't edit the title tag text manually.)

Topic ID:

The address of the topic. This is used for referencing topics for links etc. and it is also used for generating the file names of HTML files generated for topics in HTML-based output formats.

You can change the topic ID by editing this entry. When you do this, all the references to the topic within your project are updated automatically.

External references to the topic from other projects and other web pages linking to your WebHelp cannot be updated from within Help+Manual. They will become invalid if you change the topic ID and must then be updated.


Target of the TOC entry for the topic. Normally this is the top of the topic, but if there are anchors defined in the topic you can select one here. Then the TOC entry will scroll down to the anchor when it is selected.

This option is normally only used for topics with multiple TOC entries. Then each entry can link to the appropriate part of the topic. Don't let this possibility tempt you to make excessively long topics – that is generally a bad idea. Normally, it is much better to have a separate document for each topic.

Topic class:

There are two possible classes: Default and Popup. Most topics will be default topics. The popup class can only be selected for topics that don't have TOC entries, because popup topics are not allowed to have TOC entries. See Creating popup topics for details.

Help context:

Optional numeric context IDs for use in Microsoft HTML Help/CHM files. You only need these if your programmers are using context IDs for references from your application to the CHM help file. See the chapters on context sensitive help and the Help Context Tool for more details.

HTML Page Template:

This selects the HTML layout template to be used for this topic in HTML-based output formats. Normally this will be the standard Default template. You can only select additional templates here if you have defined them yourself.

Topic Status:

This just provides another way to select and set the status for the current topic displayed in the table of contents in the Project Explorer on  the left. This is design-time only – the status is not exported to your output.


The index keywords associated with the topic. You can enter them directly here or centrally with the Index tool (Professional and Server versions only).


These are special "associative" keywords that are only supported in the Microsoft HTML Help/CHM help format. See this topic for more details on this.


An optional description of the topic. This has two uses:

1.Source for the description meta tag for search engine optimization in WebHelp.

2.Future use for alternative table of contents layouts with descriptions and images as well as titles.

Featured image:

This allows you to associate an image with the topic that can then be used in topic templates and PDF title pages for chapters.

In HTML templates you can use the TOPIC_PICTURE variable to insert the images in your templates.

See the help of the Print Manual Designer program for details on how to use the featured images to create title pages for chapters in PDF output.

Topic variables:

This table can be used to change the definition of user-defined or global variables for the current topic only. See this topic for details.