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How to publish a Web Help system?

I've downloaded your HelpSmith software to create our online documentation which can be accessed by other people.

Currently we have some questions on documentation publishing:

  1. Can we publish a generated Web Help system on our website?
  2. How can we publish a Web Help system for use within our organization?
  3. Is it possible to link to a specific topic in the help system?

Thanks in advance!

51

Comments

Can we publish a generated Web Help system on our website?

Publishing a Web Help system on your website

When you compile your help project to the Web Help format, HelpSmith generates the help system's files, which you can find in the webhelp output folder.

Since a Web Help system works as a static HTML website, it can be published on any website, and also it is compatible with any content management system (CMS) that you are using.

Web Help system's output folder

Upload your Web Help folder to your web server

To publish your webhelp system on your website, you can upload the generated "webhelp" folder to your web server (for example, the web server provided by your hosting service, etc.) by using an FTP client program, such as FileZilla, WinSCP, etc.

Accessing your Web Help system

After you have uploaded the "webhelp" folder to your web server, you can try to access the help system by typing the URL address into your web browser like:

https://www.example.com/webhelp/

You can find more details on creating and publishing a Web Help system here.

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How can we publish a Web Help system for use within our organization?

Publishing a Web Help system in local area network

In your local area network, you can setup and use a web server software, such as Apache which can be installed and configured on a regular Windows computer, or on an internal server by your system administrator.

Please note that using a full-featured web server software allows you to access the help system through the http:// (or https://) protocol, which is required for the Web Help system to work properly.

Using a local web server

Otherwise, if you try to access the Web Help system through the file:// protocol (e.g. the index.htm file located in a shared network folder) without using a web server, some help system's functions may not work correctly due to the security restrictions of web browsers for local HTML files, as explained here.

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Is it possible to link to a specific topic in the help system?

Linking to a specific topic in a Web Help system

The easiest way to link to a topic in the Web Help system is to link to the topic's HTML file directly.

To get the URL address of a topic:

  1. Open your Web Help system in your web browser.
  2. In the Table of Contents section, right-click on the topic that you need.
  3. In the popup menu, click the appropriate command to copy the topic's link to the Clipboard.
  4. Paste the copied link (by pressing Ctrl+V) into a text message, or insert it into the source code of an HTML page.

Copying the topic's link to Clipboard

Remark: If necessary, you can also link to a topic by the topic's Context number, or textual ID.

For more details on context-sensitive help and web help integration, please visit this topic in the HelpSmith manual.

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