Help with additional functions

Many online help systems can do much more than what they offer today. As modern websites already show, many practical things can be set up with some ready-to-use Open-Source-JavaScript-libraries or jQuery-Plug-ins. This does not even require in-depth programming knowledge.

Text by Marc Achtelig


Help with additional functions

Image: @ Mt Kang/

Most online help is clearly limping behind state of the art technology in web design. To some extent, this is due to the help authoring tools that traditionally support only specific functions. However, it is also due to technical writers, many of whom believing that they lack the technical proficiency to make enhancements. Thanks to ready to use open source JavaScript libraries, much can be done without any programming knowledge. Some basic knowledge of HTML is sufficient.

Through this article, we would like to show you how to incorporate new functions in online help. We use specific examples, but the general procedure also applies for enhancing any other functions. We will be looking at solutions for the following in detail:

  • Sortable tables
  • Automatically appearing buttons for scrolling back to the start of the page
  • Tabs within a topic
  • Elements that do not scroll up from the ...