Authoring - Creating the fields and the values

All metadata boils down to elements and attributes or fields and values. In the next example, the authors need to attach a ‘Division’ to all the plant topics added to the Encyclopedia. To do this, a metadata field ‘Plant division’ and a set of values is defined in the following way.

Adding a new metafield

Step 1

Popup the ‘Metadata’ root object’s menu and select ‘New>Metafield’. Enter the field’s description, for example ‘Plant division’ and click ‘OK’.

Adding the metavalues

Step 2

Next, popup the new field’s menu in the tree and select ‘New>Metavalue’. Enter, for example, ‘Bushes’ as the value. Repeat these steps to add all the required plant divisions.

Setting the metadata attributes

The metadata fields supported by HelpServer fall into the following categories.


Free text: the value can be any string such as a title or the name of an author.


Boolean: the value of a field is either true or false.


Single selection lists: the value can be chosen from a predefined list, such as a status field with one of only 5 possible values.


Multiple selection lists: multiple values can be chosen from a predefined list.


Since the authors can choose only one value from our plant division list, that metafield will be a single selection list. Follow these steps to indicate this in the field’s properties.

Setting the metafield’s attributes

Step 1

Select the metafield ‘Plant division’ in the tree and click on the ‘Properties’ tab on the right pane.

Step 2

Expand the ‘More’ item to expose the field’s attributes and select the ‘Listbox’ attribute.

We have also added a second field ‘Project’ to indicate the kind of project we are working on. One of the values is ‘Encyclopedia’. Other values may be added in the future. This field, however, has a limited number of values so it will be a ‘Combobox’, which is a kind of drop-down list box.

Creating a metafield of the type combobox

Indicating a default value

Since ‘Encyclopedia’ is the most common choice for now, we do not want to bother the authors by selecting in when adding new ‘Plant’ topics. In stead, this value should act as the default one. This can be achieved in the following way.

Indicating the default metavalue

Step 1

Select the metavalue ‘Encyclopedia’ in the tree and click on the ‘Edit’ tab on the right pane.

Step 2

Select the ‘Default value’ option and click the ‘Save’ button.


 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
 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
 Defining metadata
 Creating the fields and the values
 Changing the classes
 Using metadata
 Searching with metadata
 Workflow management
 Using event exits
 Appendix A: The URL parameters
 Appendix B: The object indicators
 Appendix C: Play Javascript