Authoring - Using task lists

HelpServer's workflow mechanism can send task related notification messages to contributors of the workflow. However, people can also generate a task list. The task list is an indispensable tool to tell people exactly what tasks they have to perform in which part of the project. It is a complete overview of their completed tasks and their pending tasks.

In the next example, we assume the person with the user ID "MICK" is the performer of the "Edit" task in the workflow.

To proceed with this example, restart the workflow in the "ADMINISTRATOR" workbench session. Next, start a new workbench session using the "MICK" user ID and follow these steps to generate a task list.

Generating a task list

Step 1

Pop up the menu of the folder in the tree and select "Workflow>Generate task list". Or click on the "Tasks" tab in the bottom pane of the Workbench and click the "Generate" button on the far right of that pane.

If you do not see the "Tasks" tab, select the menu item "Window>Show view>Tasks" in the main menu of the Workbench window.

Step 2

The "Generate task list" window will open. Click "Start" to scan the entire folder. When this operation is finished, close the window.

The task list is shown in the "Tasks" pane at the bottom of the Workbench.

A generated task list

The "Tasks" pane is split into two vertical panes. The left pane is a small tree of objects that shows the tasks that are currently assigned to you. You can see which of your tasks are pending or completed. Additional tree nodes will appear if tasks can be skipped or rejected and if multiple tasks are assigned to you.

An icon in a tree node indicates that there are associated data objects. If you select a task node with an icon then the associated data objects are listed in the right pane. In the example above, you can see the data objects for which the "Edit" task is still pending.

The "Edit" task under "Completed" has no icon. This means that there are no data objects for which you have already completed this task.

If you double click a data object in the list on the right, it will be preselected in the tree and you can start performing the task.

In the next example, we have completed the "Edit" task of the "Birds" chapter in the "Encyclopedia: Encarta" project.

A task in the list is completed

The task list is automatically adjusted after each task transition you perform in the workbench session. In this example, data objects are moved from the "Pending>Edit" node to the "Completed>Edit" node.

Should you reject tasks, the associated data objects will then appear under both the "Rejected" node and the "Pending" node (not shown in the above image) of the "Task to return to when this task is rejected"

Keep in mind that the task list is not saved. So you will have to regenerate a new task list


after refreshing the project folder,


after importing structured content in the project, and


after restoring a folder from the "Restorable objects".


After these operations, a message box will remind you to refresh the task list.

Regenerating a task list after refresh

Using task sublists

In the previous example, a task list was generated for the entire project. In large projects, a huge number of associated data objects will be listed in the right pane of the "Tasks" tab. Should this bother you, consider generating task sublists for one or more subfolders of the project. In the next example, we will demonstrate how to generate a task sublist for the dependent "Fishes" subfolder.

Generating a task sublist

Step 1

Select the subfolder "Fishes" in the main Workbench tree on the left and click on the "Generate" button on the far right of the "Tasks" top bar. The tool tip of this button indicates that you are about to generate a task list for the "Fishes" folder. Should you click the "Refresh" button than the task list of the entire project will be generated.

Step 2

The "Generate task list" window will open. If you click "Start", only the "Fishes" folder will be scanned.

When this is finished and the window is closed the "Fishes" subfolder will have its own task list showing only the associated "Fishes" data objects and nothing else.

A generated task sublist

The main project folder "Encyclopedia: Encarta" and all the other dependants still share one and the same task list. The "Fishes" data objects will not appear in that list.


 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
 Workflow management
 Creating the building blocks
 Enabling the workflow
 Using the workflow
 Indicating the task transition behavior
 Applying structural workflow changes
 The workflow contributors
 The workflow notification
 Using task lists
 Using event exits
 Appendix A: The URL parameters
 Appendix B: The object indicators
 Appendix C: Play Javascript