Normally those buttons are for traversing a Browse Sequence you have defined.
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In the initially created WebHelp project, I honestly am not exactly sure how it was discerned that updating that whtbar.js file will render the previous and next topics searched useless in our .exe project that accesses the help from a tab. However, for about three years, I always revert back to that old version upon check in to SVN, and there's never been an issue.
For example, if I select the topic Dictionary and then go to Concepts and then to Roles, once I get to Roles, I'd like to be able to click the back arrow and go to Concepts. Once on Concepts, I could click the previous arrow to go to Dictionary or click the next arrow to go to the topic Roles.
Is auto-creating a browse sequence using TOC the best option to get topics to go to and from last one opened? I don't want the sequence to have a predetermined order. I just want the user to be able to go back or forard to a topic they were previously on.
I just quickly looked at both the old whtbar.js file and the new one just generated in a compile of a new WebHelp project and compared them - well, parts of the files. At first glance, I did not see difefrent settings. For example, they both say:
Not sure that is right. Thanks again.
I did a doc comparison on the original old whtbar.js and the new one. I noticed two things.
The new one has two instances of else if (sType=="avnext") sections. The old one does not have this section. Both have (sType=="avprev") sections.
The old one has the line:
The new one has the line:
So, there appears to be some previous and next differences, which is what I was expecting. For whatever it's worth, the original help project simply has an untitled browse sequence with no files added to the right, Browse Sequences pane in the Browsw Sequence Editor.
Okay, here's the skinny.
First, I'll talk about the basic function of a Browse Sequence.
A Browse Sequence is nothing more than a defined list of topics. Very similar to links in a chain. The intent is that the user will work their way from the first topic in the sequence to the last in the order of the list. In the skin, if the first topic that is part of a sequence is being presented in the topic pane, the Previous button is disabled as there is nowhere to go "Back" to. It's the starting point. So only the Next button is available. Once you click the Next button, the next topic in the sequence is presented and both buttons are now enabled. (Assuming, of course, that there are at least three topics in the sequence.) Once the last topic in the sequence is presented, the Next button is then disabled as there are no further topics defined to visit. But the Back button is enabled allowing you to work your way the other direction in the chain.
In a skinned WebHelp and FlashHelp output with no special modifications, the buttons are only placed in that area if you have defined a Browse Sequence and if you have elected to present the Browse Sequence via the single source layout recipe.
What I'm now thinking is that in the earlier project where things appeared to work, there actually was a sequence defined. But in these projects where things seem broken, no sequence has been defined, hence the behavior.
On my RoboWizard site linked above, you may also freely download a file called "The Skinny on Skins", where I've detailed how to make the Previous and Next buttons behave like the Browser Previous and Next buttons.
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Than you very much. This is exactly what I was looking for. You very well may have been the one who suggested I do this sort of .js file manipulation four years ago when I began that first WebHelp project at our company. The Change the function of the Browse Buttons... article is perfect. I have no idea how you discovered these in the first place, but I'm glad you did.
Thanks for all of your help.