Opening Popup and Secondary Windows From an HTML Topic

In an HTML topic, you can link to any help topic in your help system and display it in a number of different windows.

Secondary windows and popups are implemented by a the lightweight component class JHSecondaryViewer. You use this class in an HTML topic by defining an <object> tag with the appropriate parameters. This topic describes how these windows look and how to use this tag to display popup and secondary windows.

  Popups and secondary windows are not used in this JavaHelp System User's Guide because they cannot be included in the PDF version. To see actual examples of how these windows can be used, experiment with the object demo located in the following directory:


You can also launch the object demo program by using shortcuts (program groups, desktop icons, links) that you might have created during the installation of the JavaHelp system.

Differences Between Popups and Secondary Windows

Popups and secondary windows are functionally similar. They are both fully capable HTML windows that can include graphics, links, and lightweight components. Most of the features described in this topic apply to both types of windows. The following lists describe their differences:


Secondary windows:

Working with Popups and Secondary Windows

You define the characteristics of a popup or secondary window by using a set of parameters with the <object> tag. For example, the following <object> tag definition creates a popup that is activated by clicking the text object "Click here":

<object classid="">
     <param name="content" value="../topicB/glossary_def.html">
     <param name="viewerActivator" value="">
     <param name="viewerStyle" value="">
     <param name="viewerSize" value="300,400">
     <param name="text" value="Click here">
     <param name="textFontFamily" value="SansSerif">
     <param name="textFontSize" value="x-large">
     <param name="textFontWeight" value="plain">
     <param name="textFontStyle" value="italic">
     <param name="textColor" value="red">

This popup object has the following characteristics:

The <param> element specifies parameters to the JHSecondaryViewer component. The <param> element takes two attributes: name, and value. Parameters can be specified in any order. If parameters conflict, the one specified last is used. Valid parameter names are:

The following sections describe each element of the object tag definition and provide examples of a parameter that performs a particular function.

Window Type (viewerStyle)

The type of window, popup or secondary, is defined by the following parameter:

    <param name="viewerStyle" 

If you omit this parameter, the window defaults to a secondary window.

For example, the following parameter specifies a popup:

    <param name="viewerStyle" value="">

Content or ID

The content of the object is defined by one of the following parameters:

    <param name="content" value="URL >
<param name="id" value="MapID >

The content of popups and secondary windows is rendered by the same HTML engine used in the main help viewer. Anything that is rendered in the main help viewer can be used in a popup or secondary window, including links, graphics, and lightweight components (for example, popup/secondary windows). You can specify the topics displayed in a window by using a URL or a JavaHelp system map ID.
  If you use a link in a popup or secondary window, whatever you link to will also be displayed in that same window. Therefore, links are not often used in these kinds of windows because it is preferable to keep users in the main viewer where they have access to the TOC, index, and other navigational tools.

Activation (viewerActivator)

You indicate the object that the user clicks to activate the window with the following parameter:

    <param name="viewerActivator" 

Users activate popup/secondary windows by clicking one of the following objects:

Button ()

This object is a standard button provided as part of the popup or secondary window component. You can use the button as pictured to the left or you can specify a string of text or an image to replace the ">" character on the button.

The following sample code defines a button with the text "ClickMe":

    <param name="viewerActivator" value="">
    <param name="text" value="ClickMe">

Here's what this button looks like:

The following sample code defines a button that has a GIF image on it:

    <param name="viewerActivator" value="">
    <param name="text" value="../images/popup_icon.gif">

Here's what this button looks like:

Text object

This object is a specified string of text inserted inline with the text of the topic. You can control font characteristics of the text to make it stand out.

For example, following parameters define the text object "Click here" to be SanSerif, medium in size, bold, italic, and blue:

     <param name="viewerActivator" value="">
     <param name="text" value="Click here">
     <param name="textFontFamily" value="SansSerif">
     <param name="textFontSize" value="medium">
     <param name="textFontWeight" value="bold">
     <param name="textFontStyle" value="italic">
     <param name="textColor" value="blue">

Here's what this text looks like: Click here

Graphic object

This object is a GIF or JPG image.

The following sample code defines a GIF image from the file rel_topic_button.gif:

    <param name="viewerActivator" value="">
    <param name="iconByName" 

Here's what this button looks like:


Window Size (viewerSize>, Location (viewerLocation) , and Name (viewerName)

You can specify the height and width of a popup or secondary window. When content exceeds the size of the window, scroll bars are automatically added to the window. For example, to specify a width of 300 pixels and a height of 400 pixels, use the following parameter:

    <param name="viewerSize" value="300,400">

For secondary windows, you can also specify the window's position and name.

Window Location

You can specify the position of secondary windows on the screen. The parameter specifies the x,y position (in pixels) of the upper left corner of the secondary window on the screen, with 0,0 being the upper left corner of the screen. Popups ignore this parameter. For example, the following parameter specifies a window whose top left corner is 300 pixels from the left side of the screen and 400 pixels from the top:

    <param name="viewerLocation" value="300,400">

Named Windows (secondary windows only)

You can name secondary windows. Doing so enables you to reuse an already active window. Popups ignore this parameter.

For example, the following parameter defines a window with the name glossary_window:

    <param name="viewerName" value="glossary_window">


When you add text to a button or use a text object as an activator, you can control the following font characteristics:

Font family

Parameter name:

You can set the font family to:


For example,

<param name="textFontFamily" value="SansSerif">

Font size

Parameter name:

You can set the size of the font to:

bigger (Increases the current base font size by 1)
smaller (Decreases the current base font size by 1)
nnpt (Sets the font size to a specific point value of nn)
+n (Increases the current base font size by a value of n)
-n (Decreases the current base font size by a value of n)
n (Sets the font size to the point size associated with the index n)

For example,

<param name="textFontSize" value="x-large">

Font weight

Parameter name:

You can set the weight of the font to:


For example,

<param name="textFontWeight" value="plain">

Font style

Parameter name:

You can set the style of the font to:


For example,

<param name="textFontStyle" value="italic">

Font color

Parameter name:

You can set the color of the font to:


For example,

<param name="textColor" value="red">

See also:

Creating Lightweight Java Components