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Opening a specific topic in a Web Help system (by clicking on the "topic.htm" file)

I have generated a Web Help system with HelpSmith by importing topics from my Word document. HelpSmith has generated separate .HTM files for each topic in the Web Help's output folder.

  1. But if I open one of the HTML files, it opens the Web Help system, but does not open the particular help topic. What I am doing wrong?

  2. Interestingly, when the generated Web Help system is opened via HelpSmith, I can create links to specific topics - the context-sensitive function works correctly in this case.



Web browsers apply security restrictions to local HTML files

When you open the HTML file of a specific topic, the Web Help system attempts to load the navigation frames (header, footer, TOC pane), and also redirect to that topic.

However, modern web browsers apply security restrictions for the HTML files that are located and accessed directly from the local computer. In this case, some functions (for example, full-text search, redirects, etc.) may not work properly.


Solution: Publish your Web Help system on a web server

Therefore, it is recommended that a Web Help system to be accessed from a web server (via http:// or https:// protocol) only, but not via the "file://" protocol, which is used for HTML files on the local computer.

To publish a generated Web Help system, you can:

  • Upload it to a web server provided by your hosting service.
  • Alternatively, on the local computer, you can install a web server software, such as Apache.

Testing Context-Sensitive Help on the Local Computer

Please note that when you compile a Web Help system, HelpSmith displays it in the web browser via its built-in web server using the address like:

In this case, linking to a specific topic should work correctly, so it is possible to test such links on the local computer as well.


Many thanks for the explanation!


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