Authoring - Creating a menu bar

A menu bar supplies a common housing for menus. Menus are typically present in web sites to provide access to other parts of the content. In HelpServer you create a menu bar by means of a hyperlink to a folder. An option in the hyperlink properties allows you to turn the hyperlink target into a menu bar. With this feature you can add pull down navigation menus to topics in a few minutes.

In the next examples we add a home page to the 'Animal information' project. It is the project's main entry point and we want ot use menus to provide access to all the topics, the photos and the movies in the project.

First, create the 'Home page' topic. Make it a simple topic with just a title and a few images. This example may not look so nice but it is meant to explain the working principles of menus in HelpServer. Once you get the hang of it you can build a more decorative solution.

The home page

Next, add a new folder 'Menu bar' to the project. This folder will act as the menu bar on the home page. It is meant to hold the parts of the content that should be directly accessible from the home page.

The menu bar folder

Here in this example the menu bar folder holds the two existing books (as shared objects of course) and some sub folders to contain photos and videos.

Now, copy this folder and paste it as a hyperlink in the home page topic

Opening the hyperlink properties

Next, popup the menu on the hyperlink object to open the properties.

The hyperlink properties

And select the invocation option 'In a menu bar'. There are quite some options to determine the behavior of the menu bar and the submenus. For now, accept the defaults and click 'OK' to close the window.

A menu bar is never visualized in the Workbench. You will have to preview the 'Home page' topic to see the result.

A topic with a menu bar

The menu bar and the submenus are automatically generated the moment the topic is displayed. The structure of the folder is completely reflected. Each menu item is either associated with a sub folder or a topic in the structure. If the item is a sub folder another pull-down menu appears when you move over it with the mouse. If the menu item is a topic you can invoke the content by pointing to the item with the mouse and clicking the mouse button.

The nice thing about this approach is that you only will have to maintain the folder (I.e the hyperlink target), your menus are up to date at all time.

You can only use mouse actions on HelpServer menus. Keyboard shortcuts are not supported.

The next steps are

Decorating the menus


Choosing the method to invoke the topics



 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
 Navigating to web pages
 Using embedded chunks
 Including html code
 Navigating with menus
 Creating a menu bar
 Decorating the menus
 Invoking the topics
 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