Authoring - Creating the content structure with folders

When you have added a new project you can create the content structure and add the actual content.

You create the content structure by means of folder objects, which are containers to hold other objects.


You add the actual content in topic objects.


You add new objects by popping up the menu on a node in the tree on the left. Next, under the 'New' menu item you have to choose the kind of object you want to add. The node on which you have popped up the menu determines the available kinds of new objects.

HelpServer supports different kinds of folder and topic objects. Each kind has its own behavior. For example a 'Book' behaves different then a 'Chapter' and a 'Chapter' behaves different then a 'Topic'. Instead of the term 'kind' we prefer to use the term 'class'.

You can build your content using the predefined classes. ‘Folder’ is the generic container class, 'Topic' is the generic topic class. Other predefined classes are ‘Library’, ‘Book’, ‘Chapter’, ‘Glossary’, 'FAQ topic', 'Glossary term', etc.

You can also define your own content classes to setup a specific behavior for your projects

If there is no 'New' menu item in the tree node's popup menu, then you have popped up on a topic object, and this cannot be further subdivided. So, you can only add new objects in a folder object

In this example let’s add a ‘Book’ folder to build part of the content structure of our 'Animals' project since a book is the most commonly known structure type.

Adding a book

Popup the menu of the ‘Animal information’ folder and select ‘New > Book’.

The 'Add new' window

Enter the description ( learn more) of the book, for example, ‘Birds’ and click ‘OK’. The new book is added under ‘Project: Animals information’.

The description is the object’s title (we prefer to use the term ‘description’). It is an important attribute that allows people to recognize and select a content object. It can be changed, translated and used in search requests.

If you try to add a new object in a folder that already contains an object with the same description a message will popup.

A new object's description is not unique

You can go on adding the new object without any problem because an entire new instance of the object will be created, it will not override the existing one.

The other fields on the 'Add new' window are some of the new object's properties  to handle security, to determine the layout, etc. You will learn more about these later.

New book added

The string 'Book' that appears in front of 'Birds' indicates the type of the folder you have added. By default it is shown in the tree nodes. In changing class properties you will learn how to change this and other defaults. The icon that appears in the node is part of the look and feel of the content and of course it can be changed, along with the font and the colors.

Next, you can further subdivide the book by again popping up the menu on the node and selecting an item of the 'New' menu.

Adding a chapter

You could add a topic directly under the book but let’s assume that the book consists of chapters. So, select ‘New > Chapter’.

The 'Add new' window

Name it, for example, ‘Introduction’, click ‘OK’ and the new chapter is added to ‘Book: Birds’.

New chapter added to the book

You can divide the chapter further into subchapters or you can add other chapters to the book according to the same working principles.

But at this point you can also add content in topics.


 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