You can create context-sensitive calls to WebHelp (web HTML) from your application or web pages with normal URLs using the syntax explained below. These calls can be made locally, across networks or across the Internet.
If you want your WebHelp to be opened locally without a server (for example WebHelp on CDs and DVDs), Help+Manual has a special mini server that you can distribute with your help for better performance. See HM2Go - mini server for local WebHelp for details.
Calls to WebHelp must be normal URLs, made in the same way as any other URL link that opens a browser with a specific web location or local HTML file, using exactly the same syntax:
Different syntax in Premium Pack V3 skins
Please note that the new V3 skins in the Premium Pack add-on use a simpler, easier URL syntax that only requires you to use topic.html. The index.html?topic.htm syntax is no longer required for these skins, although it is supported for backward compatibility. They also use a different syntax for references to anchors. See the Premium Pack documentation for full details.
Examples of the standard WebHelp URL syntax:
This example uses the standard file names and extensions and accesses an anchor in the referenced topic:
The following example shows a call to a project that was published with both a non-standard index file name and a non-standard extension for the topic files (see below). There is no reference to an anchor in this example.
Elements of the calls:
Normally, context IDs or context numbers are only used in Microsoft CHM/HTML Help files. However, Help+Manual also exports a scripted map file of all the context IDs in your project in your WebHelp output and allows you to link to them with a URL switch, in the same way as you link to normal topic IDs. This makes it easier for programmers who are using context IDs for making their CHM files to remap their calls to WebHelp.
Where xxxxxx is the context number/context ID. This works both for normal topic context IDs and context IDs attached to anchors. If you are using standard templates or skins the anchor must not be inside hidden text (i.e. not inside a toggle that is not open when the topic is opened). If you are use a Premium Pack skin the ToggleJump feature implemented there allows you to link to anchors inside toggles as well.
That is really all there is to it.
Where this is implemented:
Premium Pack Skins:
Adding support in your own skins:
By default, only the topic will be opened if you link to it with the topic name only, i.e. like this:
In all the standard skins, a link will then be displayed automatically above the topic header with which the user can display the full user interface with the TOC.
Automatic reload will stop Google from indexing your WebHelp!
There is a reload feature that will do this automatically when only the topic file is addressed without the index.html part of the URL. This is off by default, because Google interprets the automatic reload as an attempt to increase your click count artificially and stops indexing your WebHelp.
Turning on automatic TOC reload for topic.htm links
If you don't care about Google indexing your WebHelp, or if you are using the WebHelp on a local intranet server where there is no Google indexing, you can turn the automatic reload feature on:
1.Open the .hmskin file for the skin you are using in Help+Manual.
2.In the Project Explorer on the left, navigate down to Configuration > Publishing Options > WebHelp > Navigation.
3.Activate the option "When a topic is opened outside the navigation frame..."
Calling only a topic when automatic reload is on:
When the automatic reload option is active you can still call just the topic without the TOC if you want. You do this by leaving out the index.html part and adding a simple switch to your URL.
topicname.htm?toc=0#anchorname (with an anchor)
topicname.htm?toc=0 (without an anchor)
Direct calls to the topic.htm file without the index.html? portion of the URL will only display the topic file by default. There is an reload feature that automatically displays the full user interface for such links but this is off by default because Google doesn't index your site when it is on (see above).
However, even when the automatic reload feature is on, you should try to make sure that all your links to your WebHelp use the full index.html?topic.htm syntax. The reload feature is convenient, but in addition to creating problems with Google it will also confuse the browser history, so that the user will get unexpected results when they try to navigate with the Back and Next buttons.
It is thus always advisable to use the full call including the index file, using the standard syntax: