"What's This" Help

Subject: "What's This" Help
From: "Michele Marques" <mmarques -at- cms400 -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 10:22:46 -0400

barbara -at- group -dot- com and peterlucas -at- mediaone -dot- net both asked about
"What's This Help" ... This answer is a bit more geared towards
Barbara, who is new to creating help files.

"What's This" help is a form of "context-sensitive help" (that might
help look up some specific instructions in Robohelp manuals/help).

I use a competing product, but essentially, what I do is make sure
that every topic that should pop-up in response to a "what's this"
query has a unique context-key and I provide a list of the key
numbers to the developer. He then does some programming stuff to
get the "what's this" actions in the appropriate fields call up the
appropriate help topics. He also uses the key numbers for getting
the "help" button on the dialog boxes to bring up the appropriate
help topic.

For "what's this" help, the help topics should ideally be "pop-up"
help, while for the "help" buttons on dialog boxes, the help should
ideally appear in a help window. I can't help you with the specifics
of how to do this in Robohelp; in Forehelp, I set this information as
properties on the help topic.

Note that I am creating Win '95 Help rather than HTML Help, but I
believe that the concepts are the same.

Michele Marques
Technical Writer, CMS Manufacturing Systems
mmarques -at- cms400 -dot- com
905-477-4499 x280

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