Authoring - Inserting files from the file system

You can directly incorporate all kinds of media files from your file system in HelpServer topics. However, always consider the following.

The file content does not remain in the topic body. Instead, an instance of the file is saved separately on the database and you actually create a link to the file in the topic. The file is referred to as the link target.


If you are working in a project the file is added to the project gallery.


If you insert the same file again from your file system then a new instance of the file is created and saved in the database. Also, the file will be added a second time to the gallery.


In other words, if you re-insert the same files from your file system you create duplicated content If you are the only author who is working on the project or if you are working on a small sized project, you might be able to control all the file instances. But in a multi authoring environment and/or in large projects this is probably not a good long-term solution.

So, a better approach would be to use the files from the project gallery

As an example we demonstrate here how to insert an image from your disk in the ‘About the falcon’ topic of the ‘Animals information’ project. The same method is used to insert a video or an audio file and an application or a text file.

Inserting an image from your file system

Select the ‘About the falcon' topic. Then on the right pane popup the menu on the place you want to insert the image. Select ‘Image > From file’. This will open the ‘File chooser’ window.

The file chooser window

On this window you can explore file directories on your file system and select the file you want. If you have selected a file click ‘OK’ to close this window. Here in this example the ‘Insert image’ window will popup where you can set the properties of the image link.

By default the file will always be put on the database. However you can decide to put the file on a server directory determined by an external data location in 'Write location'. More info about external data location in a next topic. This action is determined by 'Add files to a serving location' in the authoring permissions of the security rule.

Setting the image link properties

If you click ‘OK’ a link to the image file is created in the topic. If it is a link to an image file as here in this example, the Workbench will show the image. Other file links are represented by a hotspot.

The hotspot is the clickable area that represents a link to the file. By default the name of the file is used as a textual hotspot.

Using text as a hotspot

You can change the text in the entry field of properties window or you can change it directly in the topic body, it won't influence the link mechanism.

Using an image as a hotspot

If you like to present the file as an image you can click on the 'Browse' button and then select the image from the project gallery or from your file system.

Image appears in the topic body

If you insert an image in the middle of a text paragraph it will float along with the text, which is good for small images. Bigger images look nicer when they are inserted in a new paragraph.


 About HelpServer
 Starting up and logging on
 The basic working principles
 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
 Inserting files from the file system
 Inserting files from an external location
 Using the files from the project gallery
 Video and audio
 Application and text files
 Reloading files
 Restoring 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