Understand the concepts of context-sensitive help and learn how to use it.

What is context-sensitive help

A context-sensitive help topic provides information about the user interface of an application relative to the task your user performs. For example, context-sensitive help topics provide details about fields and controls in dialog boxes, descriptions of windows or screen objects, and explanations of messages. Your users access a context-sensitive help topic by pressing F1, clicking a Help button, selecting from a menu, or clicking a question-mark icon.

What is a map file

In RoboHelp, you work with context-sensitive help topics through map files in Output view. You can create, assign, unassign, edit, import, and export map files. A pairing of a map ID and map number for each topic is saved in map files. 

map_file
A map ID and map number pairing inside a map file

Map ID Assign a unique map ID to each topic to display it in the CSH. For example, ID_SetupScreen.

Map number A numeric value associated with a topic. Map numbers are used with applications to specify a topic for calling context-sensitive help. For example, 101.

Whether application developers use map numbers, map IDs, or both depends on the programming language they use. 

Topic You can assign or unassign a topic against a map ID and number. For example, SetupScreen.

Author and developer tasks

Map files are used by authors and developers to build a context-sensitive help for an application. 

  • Author Writes the Help topics that describe how to use application components such as windows, dialog boxes, fields, and controls.
  • Developer Builds the components (windows, dialogs, fields, controls) that make up the application.

An author can generate map files containing map IDs and give them to the developer. Or, an author can obtain map files from the developer.

To share map files, you can export a map file as a .h file in this format:

#define ID_SetupScreen 101

Create a map file

To create a map file:

  1. In the Output toolbar, click Map Files.

  2. In the Map Files panel, click  at the top right corner and then click New Map File

  3. In the New Map File dialog box, specify the name of the map file.

    Piezīme.

    When creating filenames, use underscores instead of spaces, and avoid using these illegal characters:
    \ / : * ? < > | # " $ & [ ]

  4. Click Done.

    RoboHelp places the map file in alphabetical order of filenames in the Map Files panel and opens the map file editor.

Edit a map file

To edit a map file:

  1. In the Output toolbar, click Map Files.

  2. In the Map Files panel, double-click the map file you want to edit. Or choose Options  > Edit against the map file.

    RoboHelp opens the map file editor with Contents panel at the left and the fields Map ID, Map No., and Topic at the right.

  3. To map topics, you can follow two approaches.

    Approach 1: To let RoboHelp automatically assign map IDs and map numbers, from the Contents panel, drag a topic and drop it below the field names in the map file editor.

    RoboHelp automatically maps the topic name as map ID. For the first topic, the default map number is 1. You can edit the map ID and map numbers.

    Piezīme.

    Map file settings, if specified, are applicable to all topics that are dragged and dropped.

    Approach 2: If you want to specify a custom map ID or map number and separately assign a topic, do the following:

    1. Type a map ID in the Map ID field and press Enter

    2. Type a map number in the Map No. field and press Enter.

    3. Assign a topic by clicking  at the right side of the row. 

    4. In the Insert Topic dialog box, search for a topic or select it from the Contents or Recently Used drop-down sections. 

    5. Click Insert.

      The topic is assigned to the map ID and number, and the topic filename appears under the Topic field.

      To unassign a topic, click  next to the topic name.

      To delete an entire row of map ID, map number, and topic, click  in that row.

      Piezīme.

      Map file settings, if specified, are not applicable to topics that are assigned separately or to mappings defined before the settings were specified.

  4. You can modify both Map ID and Map No. fields.

Specify map file settings

Map file settings apply to topics that are dragged and dropped in the map file editor. To specify map file settings:

  1. In the Output toolbar, click Map Files.

  2. In the Map Files panel, right-click a map file and click Options. Or, against the map file, choose  > Options.

  3. In the Mapping Options dialog box, do the following:

    • Prefix Map ID With To automatically add a prefix to all new map IDs, specify the prefix in this field. 
    • Start Map Number From To automatically start map numbers from a specific number, specify the number in this field.
    • Create Map ID in uppercase Select this field to automatically create map IDs in uppercase. 
  4. Click Done.

Rename a map file

To rename a map file:

  1. In the Output toolbar, click Map Files.

  2. In the Map Files panel, right-click a map file and click Rename. Or, against the map file, choose  > Rename.

  3. In the Rename dialog box, specify a new name for the map file. 

  4. Click Done.

    The updated name of the map file is shown in the Map Files panel.

Import a map file

You can import a map file received from an author or a developer. To import a map file:

  1. In the Output toolbar, click Map Files.

  2. In the Map Files panel, click  at the top right corner and click Import

  3. In the Import dialog box, select the map file you want to import.

  4. Click Open.

    RoboHelp places the imported map file in alphabetical order of filenames in the Map Files panel.

Export a map file

You can export a map file to share it with an author or a developer. To export a map file:

  1. In the Output toolbar, click Map Files.

  2. In the Map Files panel, right-click a map file and click Export. Or, against the map file, choose  > Export.

  3. In the Export dialog box, select a location at which you want to save the map file.

  4. Click Save.

    RoboHelp exports the map file at the selected location.

Delete a map file

To delete a map file, press Delete. Or do the following:

  1. In the Output toolbar, click Map Files.

  2. In the Map Files panel, right-click a map file and click Delete. Or, against the map file, choose  > Delete.

  3. In the Confirm dialog box, click Yes to confirm the deletion.

    The map file is deleted.

Locate a map file on your computer

To see the location of a map file on your computer, do the following:

  1. In the Output toolbar, click Map Files.

  2. In the Map Files panel, right-click a map file and click Show in Explorer. Or, against the map file, choose  > Show in Explorer.

    Windows Explorer opens to display the map file and its location.

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