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Links and references to images, tables and caption objects

The powerful Figure and Table Counter Variables feature allows you to create automatically numbered images, tables and user-defined caption objects for any other kind of element you want to number and reference in your project. The Figure Link option in the Link Tool is used to create links to these objects with link text that automatically shows the caption and number of the target object.

How it works

This works in the same way as links to anchors in the topic link tool. Instead of anchors, the dropdown list next to the Target: field shows the figure, table and caption object IDs contained in the target topic. In addition to this, the special <\%HMFIGURECAPTION%> variable in the link text can insert the number and caption of the target object.



1.Click where you want to insert the link and open the hyperlink tool.

2.Choose Figure Link on the left, then select the ID of the topic containing the figure from the list.

3.Select the ID of the figure from the list next to the Target: field. You will only see IDs here if the topic contains figures with IDs.
Tip: The preview on the right scrolls to the item with the selected ID.

Variables for the entire caption and just the number

The <%HMFIGURECAPTION%> variable inserts the entire caption in the figure link caption. The <%HMFIGURENUMBER%> variable inserts just the number. So if you just want to refer to the caption number, you would enter this in the figure link Caption: field:


IMPORTANT: Both of these variables can only be used in figure link captions. They will not work anywhere else.

Important configuration option

Help+Manual needs to scan the entire project in advance to calculate figure link references to elements that come later in the project than the reference. You can configure this in advance with the Calculate figure tables setting in Configuration > Common Properties > Miscellaneous options. If you don't turn this on and Help+Manual finds a figure table reference that needs advance calculation during export, it will stop with an error and ask you to restart. After this, it will be left on for the project until you turn it off.

Note that leaving this on will roughly double the time it takes to publish a project, so turn it off unless you really need it.

Cool tip

If you hover over a figure link in the Help+Manual topic editor for a couple of seconds you will see a preview of the target page scrolled to the target link.