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How to do this is covered by Rick Stone's excellent "Skinny on Skins" resource that can be found here. Look inside the book labeled "Navigation Pane". Inside is another book labeled "Hiding the pane" and inside that book are a couple of pages outlining how to hide the pane when the system loads up.
Thanks Colum. Th approach of hiding the pane when the first topic opens nearly works, except that (1) hiding the pane when any topic loads is not good because if the uer has opened the pane it should stay open when the topic is changed, and (2) hiding the pane when a specific topic loads is not good because context-sensitive integration with the application means that we do not know in advance what the first topic will be. (In addition, the pane disappears again whenever the user navigates to the specific topic, which can be irritating.)
What I really want is to open the help system (at any topic) with the pane hidden, and thereafter leave pane control entirely in the hands of the user. I suppose the application programmer might be able to do something with the way the help system is called from the application.
Check the current state of the window -- is a WebHelp window open, and is the pane shown or hidden? -- and (re)load the window accordingly.
I don't know the name of the variable that flags current window status, or whether there's one for the window and another for navpane status, but a developer probably could find it.
Maybe you can do it in the call from the main application, instead of revising whtopic.js or another WebHelp file.
If you figure it out, please post back.
What I really want is to open the help system (at any topic) with the pane hidden, and thereafter leave pane control entirely in the hands of the user.
Perhaps I'm missing something here. Simply calling the topic web page will bring it up alone, and will provide a 'Show' link in the upper left corner. Clicking that link brings up the navpane and topic window together.
Tweaking the script is always an option, but from what I gather, it may not be necessary for your purposes...
One of us is missing something, Roger.
Simply calling the web topic alone brings it up without the navigation buttons. I want the buttons to be there, so that the user has access to navigation directly but does not see the navigation pane by default.
The option to display the "show" navigation link in the topic is on the second page of the WebHelp generation dialog, where you check for Contents, Index, Search, SyncTOC, Show Nav pane ... and Search in toolbar.
frma, what I'm hearing is that you want your help called with the Nav Pane closed, but with the browse sequence buttons available to the user. This would involve a) calling help with only the Toolbar open (no Nav Pane), and b) relocating the browse sequence buttons up into the Toolbar.
Is that correct?
ClubHans - that's not exactly right. What I want to do is call the help with the navpane closed, in just the same way it is closed if you click the Hide Navigation Pane button. The browse sequence buttons are then hidden, but the Contents/Index/Search toolbar is present.
It is calling the help with the navigation pane hidden that is the problem.