WebHelp Responsive System

WebHelp is a form of online help that consists of a series of web pages (XHTML format). Its advantages include platform independence, ability to update content continuously, and it can be viewed using a regular web browser. The Oxygen XML Editor plugin WebHelp system includes several variants to suit your specific needs. The WebHelp Responsive variant features a very flexible layout, is designed to adapt to any screen size, and is available for DITA document types.

This type of WebHelp system can be generated by using the DITA Map WebHelp Responsive transformation scenario.


The layout of the WebHelp Responsive system is platform independent and is able to adapt to any screen size. It is highly customizable and relies on a template mechanism that allows you to control the position of various functional template components to suit your particular requirements.

You can select from several different styles of layouts (for example, by default, you can select either a tiles or tree style of layout). Furthermore, each of these layouts include a collection of skins that you can choose from, or you can customize your own.

Figure: WebHelp Responsive Output on a Normal Screen

Figure: WebHelp Responsive Output on a Narrow Screen

WebHelp Responsive Search Engine

Search Rules
Rules that are applied during a search include:
  • You can use quotes to perform an exact search for multiple word phrases (for example, "grow flowers" will only return results if both words are found consecutively and exactly as they are typed in the search field). This type of search is known as a phrase search.
  • Boolean Search is supported using the following operators: and, or, not. When there are two adjacent search terms without an operator, or is used as the default search operator (for example, grow flowers is the same as grow or flowers).
  • The space character separates keywords (an expression such as grow flowers counts as two separate keywords: grow and flowers).
  • indexterm and keywords DITA elements are an effective way to increase the ranking of a page (for example, content inside a keywords element weighs more than an H1 HTML element).
  • Words composed by merging two or more words with colon (":"), minus ("-"), underline ("_"), or dot (".") characters count as a single word.
  • Your search terms should contain two or more characters (note that stop words will be ignored). This rule does not apply to CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) languages.
5-Star Rating Mechanism and Sorting
The Search feature is also enhanced with a rating mechanism that computes scores for every result that matches the search criteria. These scores are then translated into a 5-star rating scheme and the stars are displayed to the right of each result. The search results are sorted depending on the following:
  • Search entries that satisfy the phrase search criterion are presented first.
  • The number of keywords found in a single page (the higher the number, the better).
  • The context (for example, a word found in a title scores better than a word found in unformatted text). The search ranking order, sorted by relevance is as follows:
    • The search term is included in a meta keyword
    • The search term is in the title of the page
    • The search term is in bold text in a paragraph
    • The search term is in normal text in a paragraph
Tag Element Scoring Values

HTML tag elements are also assigned a scoring value and these values are evaluated for the search results. For information about editing these values, see Editing Scoring Values of Tag Elements in Search Results.

Excluded Terms

To improve performance, the Search feature excludes certain stop words. For example, the English version of such stop words include: a, an, and, are, as, at, be, but, by, for, if, in, into, is, it, no, not, of, on, or, such, that, the, their, then, there, these, they, this, to, was, will, with.

WebHelp Search Results Page

When you enter search terms in the Search field, the results are displayed in a results page. When you click on a result, the topic is opened in the main pane and the search results are highlighted. If you want to remove the colored highlights, click the Toggle Highlights button at the top-right side of the page. The Search field also includes an autocomplete feature.

Figure: WebHelp Responsive Search Results Page

Autocomplete Suggestions in the Search Text Field
When you are typing in the search text field, proposals are presented to help you to compute the search query. The information proposed when you are typing is collected from:
  • The search queries from the history of the previous searches.
  • The titles collected from your documentation.
  • Documentation index terms and keywords. For example, in a DITA topic, the keywords and index terms are specified in the topic prolog section like this:
Missing Terms

If you enter multiple search terms (other than stop words), for any result that the search engine found at least one term but not one or more of the other terms, the Missing terms will be listed below each result.

Browser Compatibility
This output format is compatible with the most recent versions of the following common browsers:
  • Edge
  • Internet Explorer (IE 10 or newer)
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Opera