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The Guide (continued)

  1. In "Extensions" tab expand "org.eclipse.help.toc" and select (toc)
    - In "Extension Element Details" set primary to true
  2. In "Extensions" tab select "org.eclipse.help.toc" and right click mouse on the selection
    - In the popup menu select "new->index"
    - Under (toc) item there is now a new item "com.example.helpexample.index1"
  3. In "Extensions" tab expand "org.eclipse.help.toc" and select com.example.helpexample.index1

    - In "Extension Element Details" "path" enter "index/"

  4. In your "Package explorer" you have folder html which contains three files: maintopic.html, subtopic.html and toc.html two of them are used in toc.xml. Modify toc.xml and html files in the html folder until you are done with documentation. Editing toc.xml is a manual job and there is no help in making it easy. ;-)
     
  5. Save all modified files
     
  6. In the "Package explorer" right click on the "com.example.helpexample" and select "PDE Tools->Create Help Index" wait until indexing is complete.

    - Eclipse 3.3 doesn't have this option in the context menu, so you will have to add a new file to your project. Create a file with the name "build.xml" (you can use another name i.e. build.index.xml, etc. but it must be in the same folder as plugin.xml) with the following contents:
    <project name="com.example.helpexample" default="build.index" basedir=".">
        <target name="build.index" if="eclipse.running">
           <help.buildHelpIndex manifest="${basedir}/plugin.xml" destination="${basedir}"/>
        </target>
    </project>
    
    It is a basic Ant build file, this method also works in Eclipse 3.2.
    - Save file and then right click on the file name in the "Package explorer" and select "Run As->Ant Build". Wait until build (indexing) is completed.
  7. Help plug-in is done.

 

Tips & Tricks

  • To distribute plug-in you can use "Export wizard". Make sure that you select all the necessary files in "Build" tab (plugin.xml, toc.xml. index/, doc/ or doc.zip, META-INF/).

    If you place your html files in "doc/" folder instead of "html/" you can then zip that folder (doc) and distribute doc.zip instead of "doc/" plug-in will work. Your file layout should look like this:

    +- com.example.helpexample/
       +- doc/	<= this folder can be put in doc.zip when you finish creating plug-in
    	+- index.html	
    	+- remaining files and folders
       +- index/
          +- _xx.cfs <= xx will be 2 random letters/numbers
    	+- deletable
    	+- indexed_contributions
    	+- indexed_dependencies
    	+- indexed_docs
    	+- segments
       +- META-INF/
          +- MANIFEST.MF
       +- doc.zip <= contains "doc/" folder, you need to make it when you finish editing toc.xml and html files
       +- plugin.xml
       +- toc.xml
    

    doc.zip usually has the following layout:

    +- doc.zip
       +- doc/
          +- index.html
          +- somedir/
          +- remaining files and folders
    
  • For more info look under Help topic "Platform Plug-in Developer Guide->Programmer's Guide->Users assistance support->Help Content"

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Last updated: 09/26/08.