A HelpServer folder is shown in the web browser in a typical tri-pane web page. The left pane is the table of contents, the right pane shows the content of the selected topic in the table of contents. This is what people usually see when they start browsing a HelpServer folder.
A typical HelpServer folder previewed
The large empty space at the right isn't filled until people start selecting. HelpServer's look and feel mechanism is perfectly fit to make the view more attractive. But in most cases using an 'auto select' topic is the first step to obtain a better view.
An 'auto select' topic is automatically pre selected the moment its containing folder is viewed in the web browser. Usually it is some introduction that for examples welcomes people or provides an overview when entering the project or the folder. In the next example we have added a 'Welcome' topic to the 'Animals' project. Usually an 'auto select' topic is the first topic but it can be a topic anywhere in the folder.
Adding a welcome topic
You turn this topic into an 'auto select' topic by popping up the menu in the tree and selecting 'Properties > Auto select'. The auto select is a reference property and if you visualize all the properties in the table on the right you can also see and change it there.
Indicating the auto select property
An auto select topic is visualized by a '->' sign in front of the tree node. The next image is an enlarged view of that sign.
The auto select indicator
If you now preview the folder the right pane shows the content of the 'auto select' topic.
Previewing a folder with an auto select topic
Because it is automatically shown perhaps it would make more sense not to bother people with that topic in the table of contents. This can be achieved by popping up the menu of the topic in the tree and selecting 'Properties > Hide description'.
Hiding the description of an auto select topic
And this is how the folder looks now.
Previewing a folder with an auto selected topic
There can be only one 'auto select' topic per folder but each folder in the structure can have its own 'auto select' topic. If dependent folders have an 'auto select' topic it is activated the moment the folder is expanded or selected in the tree.