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Using the Help Viewer for Topics

HTML Help comes with a fully functional Help Viewer in which authors creating help files for distribution with a program can display their files.

You can use HTML Help Workshop to add buttons and other design elements to the Help Viewer, customizing it to suit your needs. Unless you design your own set of windows or frames to display your help content, the Help Viewer is the default for all help projects. Any topics you set up in your help project file will open in the Help Viewer.

The Help Viewer contains three panes:

  • Users view help topics in the Topic pane.
  • To the left of the Topic pane is the Navigation pane, which can be set up to display a table of contents, an index, a list of favorite help topics, or a full-text search tab.
  • A third pane contains the toolbar, which allows users to display or hide the Navigation pane, or move forward to the next topic or back to the previous topic. Stop, Refresh, Locate, and Home buttons are also available.

Help authors also can customize the Help Viewer by changing its default characteristics.


  • You can simultaneously display multiple files in the Topic pane by clicking Cascade, Tile Horizontally, or Tile Vertically on the Window menu.
  • You can also download Help Viewer topics, which contain basic information about how to use the viewer, from the Web and include them in your help system.

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