Understanding Context-Sensitive Help
Context-sensitive help provides immediate assistance and information to users without requiring users to leave the context in which they are working. It helps answer questions like "What is this?" and "Why would I use this?", and provides information for a particular object and its context.
For example, in many applications, user interface controls such as windows and tabs have a help button. When users click on the help button, the application links users to a help topic specific to the context of the window. Some applications also embedded context-sensitive help topics into the window itself as an HTML pane. The application relies on an identifier such as a topic ID or file name to identify the specific help topic to display.
There are several methods for creating context-sensitive help links. In addition, different output formats use different mechanisms to support context-sensitive help links. For example, some output formats, such as Microsoft HTML Help, create a map file using topic aliases. Applications then use the topic IDs in the map file to provide links to context-sensitive help topics from within the application. Other output formats do not have a mapping mechanism. However, these output formats may support creating links to context-sensitive help topics using file names.