HELPer - Advanced Documentation Wizard

With this command you can create advanced VI documentation with a maximum control over its contents and layout. As for 'Simple VI documentation', creating controls and indicators descriptions is a mandatory preliminary step. You can create such descriptions by adding text via 'Description and Tip' context menu of the given control or indicator. Or you can use 'Documentation' tab in the 'Properties' window of those controls and indicators. After descriptions are ready, you can run Advanced HTML Documentation Wizard:

Tools >> HELPer (VI Documentation Toolkit) >> Advanced HTML Documentation Wizard...

Calling advanced HTML documentation wizard

Wizard is a dialog window that suggests you to fill in typical LabVIEW help sections of VI documentation. When you run it, you should see something similar to this:

Advanced HTML documentation wizard

You can discard some sections of the VI documentation by unchecking following checkboxes: 'Owning Library/Palette Information', 'Details' and 'Examples Information'. Dependencies, platforms and VI description are mandatory fields and can't be hidden. Radio buttons 'Start path location' are responsible for starting path for all path dialogs of the wizard. Resulting paths are calculated relative to start path. If you choose 'Documented VI folder', wizard will create file hierarchy relative to documented VI location, whereas such hierarchy will be LabVIEW help folder for 'LabVIEW help folder' option. Both options have their own pros and cons ' choice is yours.

  • If you choose 'Documented VI folder', you must preserve relative paths between HTML documents and VIs. It means that you can't move VI to another folder without breaking VI documentation. But HTML files are not affected by LabVIEW upgrades on your system - you can upgrade from LabVIEW 2010 to 2011 (for example) without touching neither code, nor VI documentation.
  • If you choose 'LabVIEW help folder', you can move your VIs wherever you want without breaking links between HTML documents. Downside in this scenario is that you can potentially destroy your help files by upgrading LabVIEW on your system. When you install new LabVIEW version, it might modify files in its system folders including LabVIEW help folder. Also you'll have to install help files for a new LabVIEW version anew (since each LabVIEW version has its own help folder).

With a 'Detailed Help link' checkbox you can choose whether you need a link ('Detailed Help') to this HTML to appear in the 'Context Help' window.

Advanced HTML documentation wizard

'Context Help' window with 'Detailed help' link

Advanced HTML documentation wizard

'Context Help' window without 'Detailed help' link

With a 'Scrollable Window' checkbox you can choose whether the whole HTML page should be scrollable or topmost part of the page stays the same when you scroll its bottom part. You can compare these cases by looking at a page with a scrollbar for the whole page and a page with a scrollbar for bottom part of the page.

When using HELPer Advanced VI Documentation Wizard, you can save information for documented VI and load it later. So, there is no need to type in the same data again and again - one just need to load existing HELPer file, make necessary changes and save it again. To this end you can use following menu commands: "Open...", "Save to VI's directory" and "Save to Project directory". To learn more go to help topic on how to use HELPer Advanced Wizard menus.

Formatting your help files

When you create help files for you VIs you should bear in mind that LabVIEW help uses the following formatting and typographical conventions (according to LabVIEW help, topic 'Conventions').

Element Description
< > Angle brackets that contain numbers separated by an ellipsis represent a range of values associated with a bit or signal name-for example, AO <0..3>.
[ ] Square brackets enclose optional items-for example, [response].
>> The >> symbol leads you through nested menu items and dialog box options to a final action. The sequence File>>Page Setup>>Options directs you to pull down the File menu, select the Page Setup item, and select Options from the last dialog box.
Tip icon This icon denotes a tip, which alerts you to advisory information.
Note icon This icon denotes a note, which alerts you to important information.
Caution icon This icon denotes a caution, which advises you of precautions to take to avoid injury, data loss, or a system crash.
Supported icon This icon denotes supported features.
Unsupported icon This icon denotes unsupported features.
(blue) Text in this color denotes a specific platform and indicates that the text following it applies only to that platform.
bold Bold text denotes items that you must select or click in the software, such as menu items and dialog box options. Bold text also denotes parameter names, controls and indicators on the front panel, dialog boxes, sections of dialog boxes, and menu names.
dark red Text in this color denotes a caution.
green Underlined text in this color denotes a link to a help topic, help file, or Web address.
purple Underlined text in this color denotes a visited link to a help topic, help file, or Web address.
italic Italic text denotes variables, emphasis, cross-references, or an introduction to a key concept. Italic text also denotes text that is a placeholder for a word or value that you must supply.
monospace Text in this font denotes text or characters that you should enter from the keyboard, sections of code, programming examples, and syntax examples. This font is also used for the proper names of disk drives, paths, directories, programs, subprograms, subroutines, device names, operations, variables, filenames, and extensions.
monospace bold Bold text in this font denotes the messages and responses that the computer automatically prints to the screen. This font also emphasizes lines of code that are different from the other examples.
monospace italic Italic text in this font denotes text that is a placeholder for a word or value that you must supply.

LabVIEW HELPer will format text according to special tags that you can place in you text:

Element Guidelines You type (example) User sees (example)
Tip icon Tip: place <_tip_> into your text <_tip_> To have the best performance you should start with 2 V and increase voltage by 0.2 V each step. Tip icon
To have the best performance you should start with 2 V and increase voltage by 0.2 V each step.
Note icon Note: place <_note_> into your text <_note_> Moving from serial to GPIB may require changing data update speed on PXI side. Note icon
Moving from serial to GPIB may require changing data update speed on PXI side.
Note icon Caution: place <_caution_> into your text <_caution_> This VI will not work on FPGA target because it uses floating-point operations Caution icon
This VI will not work on FPGA target because it uses floating-point operations
Supported icon Supported: place <_supported_> into your text <_supported_> You can use this feature both on PC/PXI and FPGA Supported icon
You can use this feature both on PC/PXI and FPGA
Unsupported icon Unsupported: place <_supported_> into your text <_unsupported_> "RESET" option is not supported when gauge connected via GPIB Unsupported icon
"RESET" option is not supported when gauge connected via GPIB
(blue) Platform: enclose platform name between <_platform_> and tags <_platform_>(Mac OS)</_platform> Press <Command>-click to perform the same action as right-click. (Mac OS) Press <Command>-click to perform the same action as right-click.
bold Bold: enclose such text between <B> and </B> tags Coordinates from <B>2D coordinates</B> describe relative position of the stepper Coordinates from 2D coordinates describe relative position of the stepper
dark red Caution text: enclose such text between <caution_text> and </caution_text> tags Use of strong encryption libraries may be <_caution_text_>under regulations</_caution_text_> in your country. Use of strong encryption libraries may be under regulations in your country.
green Link: place relative path in place of '_path_' and text in place of '_text_' and insert resulting string wherever you need: <a href="_path_">_text_</a> You can find more information on different LabVIEW connected topics at <a href="http://www.vigods.com">my LabVIEW related web-site www.vigods.com</a> You can find more information on different LabVIEW connected topics at my LabVIEW related web-site www.vigods.com
italic Italic: enclose such text between <i> and </i> tags <i>Coordinates</i> variable is in millimeters Coordinates variable is in millimeters
monospace Monospace: enclose such text between <_monospace_> and tags Refer to the "AES Example" VI in the <_monospace_>labview\examples\encryption\viGods AES 256 Encryption - Example.vi</_monospace_> for an example of using the "Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) LabVIEW Library" Refer to the "AES Example" VI in the labview\examples\encryption\viGods AES 256 Encryption - Example.vi for an example of using the "Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) LabVIEW Library"
monospace bold Monospace: enclose such text between <_monospace_bold_> and tags In this situation the application will give a <_monospace_bold_>Chamber is ready</_monospace_bold_> message to the user In this situation the application will give a Chamber is ready message to the user
monospace italic Monospace: enclose such text between <_monospace_italic_> and tags User should provide <_monospace_italic_>password</_monospace_italic_> to open connection User should provide password to open connection

You can look at what Advanced Documentation Wizard produced and compare this HTML help document to HTML pages generated by other tools for the same VI.

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