Authoring - Including an application or a text file

Application and text files are the kind of files that are processed by an editing or browsing application instead of a commonly known 'media player'. Many of these kind of files represent documents in a independent format such as the pdf file. Archived or zipped files to ship software releases and upgrades are also treated by HelpServer as 'application files' . Even Microsoft Office files. On the other hand, plain documents files are treated as 'text files'

You include an application or a text file in a topic by inserting the file from the file system or by re-sing the file from the project gallery. You actually insert a link to the file at the cursor position. The behavior of the file is determined by properties included in the link object and are saved in the topic body.

In the next example a pdf file is included in the 'Topic: About the falcon' of the 'Animal information' project. Popup the menu of the file link and select 'Application file link properties' to see and change the properties.

Opening the application file link properties

The application file link properties

The target

This is the actual file that remains on the database. If you click on 'File properties' you can see the file details.

The file properties

On this window you can reload  and restore the file.

The invocation

These options determine the way the application or text file is invoked. This can be the following.

In a new topic pane


In a new browser window or browser tab


In a drop down


In a popup


In an embedded block




The hotspot

The hotspot automatically gets the 'File' character style.

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.


 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
 Including an application or a text file
 In a new topic pane
 In a new browser window or browser tab
 In a drop down
 In a popup
 In an embedded block
 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