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Layout of the WebHelp Classic System Interface

The layout of the WebHelp Classic system consists of the following components:
Left Pane or Frame

This section on the left side of the help system includes the following tabs:

A typical table of contents style presentation of your content. You can use the Expand all/Collapse all buttons to expand or collapse all the topics presented in the Table of Contents.
Note: You can enhance the appearance of items in the Table of Contents. See the Customizing WebHelp Classic Output chapter for more details.
Presents the index terms for your content. If your content does not contain any <indexterm> elements, this tab is not generated.
Search Results
This tab is generated when the Search field is used. It presents the search results in the form of links to topics where the search terms are found, along with a rating scheme for each result. For more details, see the Search Feature section.
Upper Pane or Frame

The upper section of the help system includes the following features:

Search Field
Use this feature to perform searches in your content. When you enter search terms in this field, the results are displayed in the Search Results tab in the left section of the help system, along with a rating scheme for each result. For more details, see the Search Feature section.
Frames Option
Click on this option to display the output rendered in HTML frames.
Print Option
Opens a dialog box with various printing options and a print preview.
Navigation Links
You can navigate through the content of your output using the navigation links or arrows in the upper-right part of the page. These arrows allow you to move to the Parent topic, Previous topic, or Next topic. Links to the parent topics of the currently open topic are also presented at the top of the page.
Tip: To hide the Parent, Next, and Previous links, you can edit the transformation scenario and set the value of the args.hide.parent.link parameter to yes.
Main Pane or Frame
The content of the help pages are rendered and displayed in this main section.
Figure 1. WebHelp Classic Output

WebHelp Classic with Feedback Enabled

The WebHelp Classic with Feedback variant also contains a Comments section at the bottom of each topic. This section is where you can interact with users through a comment system. For information about deploying a feedback-enabled system, see Deploying a Feedback-Enabled System.

Figure 2. WebHelp Classic with Feedback Comments Section

To add a new comment, click the Add New Comment button, or click Reply to add a comment to an existing thread. You can click on the Log in button on the right side of this bar to be authenticated as a user and your user name will be included in any comments that you add. If you do not have a user name, you can click on the Sign Up button to create a new user.

After you log in, your name and user name are displayed in the Comments bar, along with the Log off and Edit buttons. Click the Edit button to open the User Profile dialog box where you can customize the following options:
  • Your Name - You can use this field to edit the initial name that you used to create your user profile.
  • Your email address - You can use this field to edit the initial email address that you used to create your profile.
  • You can choose to receive an email in the following situations:
    • When a comment is left on a page that you commented on.
    • When a comment is left on any topic in the WebHelp Classic system.
    • When a reply is left to one of my comments.
  • New Password - Allows you to enter a new password for your user account.
    Note: The Current Password field from the top of the User Profile is mandatory if you want to save the changes you make.

If you are an administrator, you can manage user information and comments. For more information, see Managing Users and Comments in a Feedback-Enabled System.

WebHelp Classic 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).
  • 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.
  • When searching for multi-word phrases in CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) languages that often have multiple words appear in strings without a space separator, you need to add a space to separate the words. Otherwise, WebHelp will not find results. For example, Chinese uses a specialized character for space separators, but the current WebHelp implementation cannot detect such specialized characters, so to search for 开始之前 (it translates as "before you begin" or "before start"), you have to enter 开始 之前 (notice the space between the second and third symbols) in the search field.
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.
Excluded Terms

To improve performance, the Search feature excludes certain stop words. For example, the English version of the stop words includes: 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 Classic Search Results Tab

When you enter search terms in the Search field at the top of the help system, the results are displayed in the Search Results tab in the left section. When you click on a result in the Search Results tab, that result is displayed in the main pane with the search terms highlighted. If you press Enter with the Search field empty, the highlights are removed.

Figure 3. WebHelp Classic Search Results Tab
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.

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 How to Change Element Scoring in Search Results.

Browser Compatibility
This output format is compatible with the most recent versions of the following common browsers:
  • Edge
  • Internet Explorer (IE 11 or newer)
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Opera
Important: Due to some security restrictions in certain browsers (Google Chrome and Internet Explorer), WebHelp Classic pages loaded from the local system (through URLs of the file:///... format) may not work properly. It is recommended that you load WebHelp Classic pages in Google Chrome or Internet Explorer only from a web server (with a URL such as http://your.server.com/webhelp/index.html or http://localhost/web_pages/index.html).
Warning: Due to some restrictions in web browsers regarding JavaScript code, the frameless version (index.html start page) of the WebHelp Classic system should only be loaded from a web server (with a URL such as http://your.server.com/webhelp/index.html or http://localhost/web_pages/index.html). When loading WebHelp Classic pages from the local file system, the frameset version (index_frames.html start page) of the WebHelp Classic system should be used instead (file:///...).