One of the most important help file format produced by the HelpNDoc help authoring tool is the HTML documentation format: the fully functional documentation web-sites can be hosted on any web server for quick access to self-service documentation, thus simplifying customer accessibility and the work of the support team. Support agents frequently need to share context-sensitive URLs to customers to explain specific tasks but those are often too long and hard to remember and type. Fortunately, every topics created in HelpNDoc can have an unlimited number of URL aliases: let’s see how they can be defined in HelpNDoc’s user interface.

Context sensitive HTML help

Each topic produced by HelpNDoc’s default template is context sensitive: it has a unique URL which can be shared to access this specific topic.

Context sensitive HTML URLs

HelpNDoc’s HTML documentation generator uses each topic’s help ID property to produce its unique file name. As an example, a topic with a help ID defined as MySampleTopic hosted on the https://example.com domain can be accessed using the https://example.com/MySampleTopic.html URL.

Furthermore, the topic’s help context property can also be used to access it directly. Using the same sample https://example.com domain name, a topic with a context number of 42 can be accessed using the https://example.com/context/42.html URL.

Define topic aliases

Some topics are more popular than others and providing them with an easy to remember alias can greatly speed-up support and enhance the user experience.

HTML topic aliases

Once a topic is selected in HelpNDoc’s table of contents, the “Topic properties” panel can be used to define its different aliases:

  • Click in the Aliases property’s editor to show the “…” button
  • Click the “…” button to open the “List editor”
  • In the “List editor”, click “Add” and enter a name to add a new alias for that topic
  • Add as many aliases as needed then click “OK” to close the “List editor”

Once the HTML documentation web-site is generated by HelpNDoc, this topic will be accessible via any of those aliases.

As an example, the “FAQ and Troubleshooting” topic could have the following aliases, which will all redirect to the correct topic:

  • /faq.html will create the https://example.com/faq.html alias
  • /faq/index.html will create the https://example.com/faq/ and https://example.com/faq/index.html aliases
  • /troubleshooting.html will create the https://example.com/troubleshooting.html alias
  • /troubleshooting/index.html will create the https://example.com/troubleshooting/ and https://example.com/troubleshooting/index.html aliases

Thanks to its powerful HTML generation capabilities, HelpNDoc is the perfect help authoring tool to produce truly user friendly documentation web-sites with advanced features such as context sensitive URLs and unlimited topic aliases. Download your free version now to try it for yourself.

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