Common Desktop Environment: Help System Author's and Programmer's Guide

Creating an Index

The index for a help volume is similar to the index for a book. As an author, it is important to create index entries for your topics that will allow users to search for keywords or concepts. Creating a thorough index ensures that users will be able to find topics quickly and accurately.

To Mark an Index Entry

    Within the topic you want to index, use the <idx> element as shown:


Or, the short form:


Or, to control how the entry is sorted, use the <sort> subelement as shown:


Where keyword is the text you want to display in the index and sortkey is the text used during sorting.

The <idx> element can be used anywhere within the topic. Neither the keyword nor the optional sortkey are displayed in the topic.


Here's the start of a topic with two keyword index entries:

<s1 id=getting-started>Getting Started with Helpview
<idx>starting Helpview<\idx>
 <idx> Helpview, starting<\idx>

 Welcome ...

The following example indexes the + (plus character), putting it in the keyword index where the word "plus" would appear: