Collapsing ToCs inonline hHelp

Subject: Collapsing ToCs inonline hHelp
From: Sandra Charker <scharker -at- connectives -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 21:19:47 +1000

A Friday debate:

Let's assume we have a collapsing ToC--let's use WinHelp as the example--with a number of multi-topic chapters. We also have quite a number of single topic "chapters." For example:

Widgets Overview
Making Widgets
-- At home
-- At work
Widget Disposal
Widget Uses
-- In Eating
-- In Bathing
-- In Recreation
Widgets in Space
Widget Variations

One school of thought is that the single-topic entries get folded up under their own collapsing chapter heading. For example, Widget Disposal might expand as follows:

Widget Disposal
-- Disposing Old Widgets

Another view is that standalone topics are standalone topics and don't get collapsed, just as I presented in the first example, above.

What's the going opinion?

Second issue.

When I click on the main (chapter) entry in a collapsing ToC, should I immediately see relevant info? Or should that click just expand the chapter into its component topics without presenting anything new? Microsoft pretty routinely does nothing but expand a chapter when you click the chapter heading, leaving the previous topic's text onscreen. However, others (and MS in some instances that I've seen), not only expand the chapter, but also display some introductory info. In other words, whether you click a chapter heading or a topic heading, you see some relevant text.
Again, what's the going opinion?


Sandra Charker
scharker -at- connectives -dot- com


We have enough Youth.
How about a Fountain of Smart.

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