Authoring - The object status

Most of the HelpServer objects can have multiple instances each having a specific status.




A work object is automatically created when authors create a new object or when they change an active object. This is the object where the authors are working on without disturbing their users because a work object cannot be accessed over the Internet.




An active object is presumed to be ready and released for the user community. And this is what people see when they access content over the Internet. An object is usually activated by the publish process (see publishing).




This status is applicable the moment HelpServer's versioning system is switched on. (see versioning). Each time an active object is wrapped into a new version, the previous version automatically becomes inactive. This allows authors to preserve older active objects. Inactive objects can also be seen by the users over the Internet

Only a few kind of objects are not involved in this mechanism, for example the 'Project gallery' and its dependent folders, 'Workflow management', and 'Pending check outs'. These objects are merely working objects for the author, they are not meant for the user community and so there is only one instance of these objects available.

The object status can be seen in the properties of the object. Select an object in the tree and click on the 'Properties' tab on the right. The object status is displayed after the 'Status' string (on the top of the pane).

The object version shown in the properties pane.

The object status can also be indicated in the tree in front of the tree item. Even the objects that are not part of this mechanism can be indicated. These indicators can be customized and switched on and off in your Workbench profile. These are the default settings:

A work object is indicated in the tree by means of a small red rectangle in front of the tree item.


The visibility of the active objects' indicator is switched off.


Inactive objects are indicated by a dark green rectangle.


Inactive objects only exists when the versioning system is switched on.

Objects that are not involved in the mechanism are marked with a light gray rectangle.


The next image is an extract of the Workbench tree showing that the objects 'Content', 'Book: Birds', 'Topic: About birds', 'Chapter: The eagle', and 'Chapter: The condor' are 'in work' and need to be activated as soon as the work is finished. The moment the author activates these objects (by means of the publish process), the work object will become active and the red rectangle will disappear. So, having the visibility of the work object indicator switched on and the visibility of the active object indicator switched off is somehow very convenient. As soon as you change something the red rectangle will reappear, so you know that your work is not activated. And the absence of a red rectangle means your work is activated.

The object status shown in the tree

Note the light gray rectangle in front of objects such as the 'Project gallery' and its dependent folders, 'Workflow management', 'Pending check outs'. These objects are working objects for the author, they are not mend for the user community and hence they are not involved in this mechanism.

Changing the appearance of the object status indicators

You can set the color of the status indicator in your Workbench preferences. You open your Workbench preferences by selecting ‘My profile’ object in the tree and then on the right pane you click on ‘Workbench preferences’.

Changing the object status indicators

On the ‘Workbench preferences’ you select the 'Colors' tab. On that pane you can set new colors per indicator. You can also choose to hide a specific indicator in the tree items, in case you think the tree is a bit overloaded. By default, the ‘Active' status indicator is not shown. If you activate an object (by means of the publish functions) then it will look as if the work indicator (by default a red rectangle) has disappeared. In this way it is very easy to distinguish the active objects in the tree.


 About HelpServer
 Starting up and logging on
 The basic working principles
 Introducing the Workbench
 Adding a new project
 Creating the content structure with folders
 Adding the content in topics
 Previewing the result
 Changing the object description
 Adding new objects at a specific position in the folder
 Rearranging objects in a folder
 References to content objects
 Using the work modes
 The properties of a content object
 The properties of a reference to a content object
 Copying, cutting, and pasting
 The object status
 Searching for changed content
 Recovering unsaved changes
 Enabling and disabling a reference in a folder
 Auto selecting a topic in a folder
 Controlling the levels in the folder structure
 Grouping topics in a folder
 Your profile and Workbench preferences
 Using the content in help and documentation systems
 Formatting the content
 Searching and replacing text
 Reusing content with shares
 Navigating with hyperlinks
 Navigating with pointerpaths
 Using bookmarks and jumps
 Duplicating content with clones
 Using tables
 Including media files
 Navigating to web pages
 Using embedded chunks
 Including html code
 Navigating with menus
 Using snippets
 Spelling checking
 Using the view mode
 Creating an index
 Creating a FAQ
 Creating a glossary
 Team authoring
 Working with projects
 Setting up structured authoring
 Generating file based output
 Creating printed output
 Importing files and folders
 Loading files in the project gallery
 Converting legacy content
 Including legacy content in real time
 Transferring objects between installations
 Customizing the look and feel
 User accounts
 Working with templates
 Working with metadata
 Workflow management
 Using event exits
 Appendix A: The URL parameters
 Appendix B: The object indicators
 Appendix C: Play Javascript