Contextual Help Implementation Guidelines

Contextual helps come in different forms so they may be developed and implemented in various ways.

Implementation Types

You can implement contextual help into applications in different ways, for example by:

  • Publishing a contextual help as an online asset that is linked to in an application
  • Integrating a contextual help with an application interface
  • Embedding a contextual help into a desktop application or web application
Note: Depending on your organization requirements, contextual helps may be embedded as offline assets into desktop applications. Offline contextual helps can be accessed without the Internet connection, but are more difficult to update than contextual help. To update an offline contextual help, a new desktop application version that includes the revised documentation needs to be built and deployed to target machines.

General Guidelines

Keep the following general guidelines in mind when implementing a contextual help:

  • Determine how the users access the help content in the application or on the website.

  • Assign meaningful unique IDs to the elements that you want to map into the application or website.

    For example, Section_ProjectManagement, Procedure_SavingYourProject, or ChangePasswordScreen_LoginField

  • If you want to map a topic into multiple places in an application or multiple applications, you can add several unique resource ID elements to the topic.

  • The IDs remain assigned to the topics and topic elements even if you change their contents.