New in 2013 V2: Widgets for Interactive Content

(Content Widgets are available in the 2013 V2 release, which you can download here.)

What is a Content Widget?

Content Widgets are blocks of pre-made, editable, interactive content that you can insert in your source files in the HTML5 content editor.

Check out the Widget Explorer for examples and screen shots.

What does pre-made, editable, interactive content mean?

Each widget is a container for your content and that container has already been designed and made available through Doc-To-Help. You simply select the widget that you want from the Widgets button on the Insert tab and the container is placed in your source file for you, after you select a few options and click OK.

From there, you can start to edit. The key to giving you these editable containers is that it gives you a chance to bring attention to certain high-priority content and to improve how they interact with that content.

So, widgets are pre-made, editable, and interactive.

Seven Widgets to choose from

There are seven different widgets in Doc-To-Help 2013 V2: Note, Carousel, Lightbox, Gallery, Topic Contents, Tabs, and Code Highlighter.

Note widgets (see the sample) give you three options for presenting your content: Notes, Tips, or Warnings.

  1. Notes are good ways to call attention to supplementary information.
  2. Tips help communicate shortcuts, helpful instructions, and other tricks that will make your users more successful.
  3. Warnings call attention to important information that will help readers stay out of trouble.

Select the Note widget, choose whether you want it to be a Note, Tip, or Warning, and the widget displays in the content editor.

Lightbox, Carousel, and Gallery widgets all give you interactive options for displaying your images and screen shots.

  • Lightbox (see the sample) is a great way to display very large screen shots. It shows the image as a thumbnail in your outputs and displays in a modal dialog when the user clicks the thumbnail.
  • Carousel (see the sample) shows your images in a self-contained slide show. This is useful for organizing multiple images that don’t need to be displayed with text.
  • Gallery (see the sample) displays your images in a frame with a strip of thumbnails. Basically, it creates an image gallery that allows you to organize and display a set of related images and screen shots.

Topic Contents creates a linked table of contents within your topic that makes it easy for the user to navigate to a specific section that interests them. This is particularly useful for long topics and allows you to include a Wikipedia-like navigation that gives the user the option to jump to another section.

With Tabs (see the sample) you can organize multiple versions of the same thought, different code snippet languages, or a collection of related information. Each editable tab can contain different information for different types of users. For example, you could include different sets of installation instructions for different operating systems without cluttering up a lot of space on the page. The user would just select the tab that has the instructions for their operating system.

Use Code Highlighter when you need to include snippets of code in your documentation. Just insert the widget and add the code. There’s even a handy Copy Code button included in the widget that copies the snippet to the Clipboard.

You can use all of these widgets together in a project, or pick and choose which ones work best for you and your users given the requirements.

Download 2013 V2 and try them out today!

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