Authoring - Overview

HelpServer provides a unique team-authoring environment that uses a shared, object-based content database that provides excellent support for day-to-day collaborative authoring activities. A virtually unlimited number of authors can use HelpServer's Workbench as a team to create, maintain, translate, review, and publish content in real time over the Internet.

There is no third-party tool involved. The HelpServer Workbench uses an automatic check out/check in procedure with exclusive locks for editing. This prevents authors from working concurrently on the same object. While an author makes changes, the others are only able to view the changed object. When the author has finished, he can release the object for use by others.

In addition, the browser-based authoring feature allows authors to work on content from anywhere, with any workstation with Internet connectivity without requiring them to install anything on their desktop.

Working in a team raises some security issues, so there must be at least one head administrator who defines and controls user IDs for all the authors. This is described in the security chapter.

There are two kinds of locks:

Session locks are active until the Workbench closes.


Persistent locks remain active all the time and should be freed manually.


HelpServer's authoring tool, the Workbench, provides the framework for organizing and editing all the elements of a content management system or a help project on multiple platforms.

The difficulty of creating new content and, later, adapting or updating the content to new scenarios is very often the main stumbling block for the adoption of a tool or technology. Hence, you’ll not find many bells and whistles in HelpServer's Workbench. Instead, you get a WYSIWYG editor, a spell checker, and the required functionality for editing and organizing your projects.

HelpServer’s interface is by default available in English. But it can be provided in French, German, Dutch, or Japanese, and other languages on request (delivery time is 2 months after request).


Distributed systems and web applications are becoming more and more commonplace as people demand the flexibility of “anytime, anywhere” access to their content. HelpServer's browser-based authoring feature provides a distributed environment for creating and maintaining content without requiring you to install anything on your desktop. It enables you to use HelpServer's authoring tool, the Workbench, in your web browser. You work the same way as with a traditional desktop Workbench tool while your work is being transferred over the web and stored in the HelpServer central repository.

Combining a browser-based authoring client with a server-based architecture creates a true collaborative development from anywhere in the world. The full authoring capabilities generate immense time and cost savings.

You will also be able to change topics on the fly. While reading the HelpServer content in the web browser you can simply switch to the edit mode, so you can react immediately to sudden, perhaps temporary, conditions.


 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
 Check out
 Check in
 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