Using Internet-based content in Windows Help

If you're a Windows Help author you simply must check out this WinWriter's article by Tony Self. You'll learn how to display remote (Web-based) content within an MS Help file and discover a neat little JavaScript snippet you can use to notify users when updated help files are available for downloading.

These are wonderful ideas -- the ability to mix local and remote content in a single help system provides for a better user experience, and more up-to-date documentation. There are some challenges in the way WinHelp supports this (especially in regards to searching and updating) but it is still well worth exploring. If you're authoring for Apple Help, the Help Viewer in Mac OS X Jaguar automatically displays remote content whenever possible , updates its own search indexes, and allows for offline searching and browsing. But on either platform, these methods provide the tools for a "living" help system.

Posted: December 3, 2002 link to this item, Tweet this item, respond to this item