The behavior of URLs in publishing depends on the type of output and the level at which the URL is linked.
Like links to package files and web pages, links to URLs are included in all Player outputs in Try It! and Do It! modes. For URLs linked at the concept level, the target of the link appears in the Concept pane. For example, if your corporate web site is the concept of a module, the Concept pane displays the home page of the web site when the user selects the module document. The display is fully functional, so that users can explore the site using its navigation buttons and links. For URLs linked at the frame or bubble text level, users access the link target by clicking on the link icon or hyperlinked text, respectively; in both cases, the link target opens in a new browser window. The same is true for hyperlinks to URLs within web pages.
Note: Users must be online when viewing your content to access linked URLs. They should also have a sufficient connection speed, any necessary plug-ins, and all appropriate permissions or user accounts to access the target sites.
Note: URL attachments linked to frames or bubble text are not available in See It! or Know It? play modes in the Player.
Only three types of document outputs ever include linked attachments such as URLs: the System Process Document, Training Guide, and Instructor Manual. For these three documents, the outcome depends on the level at which the URL is linked.
Direct links to URLs at the concept and frame levels appear in the same format: the text "Please refer to:" is followed by the address of the target. For example, a concept link to the Microsoft web site appears as "Please refer to: www.microsoft.com". The URL address functions as an active text hyperlink in the document output that your users can use to directly access the target of the link.
When linked at the concept level, this text appears immediately after the name of the parent document to which it is linked. When linked at the topic level, this text immediately follows the screen shot and steps for the frame to which the URL attachment is linked. It appears in a lightly shaded box that is indented slightly to set it off from the surrounding content, with the link icon to its left. When the same frame links to multiple URLs or other attachments that are included in document outputs, each attachment is displayed as a separate item, in the order in which it is linked.
Unlike package and web page attachments, URLs linked to custom bubble text in action frames are also included in document outputs. In this case, the address of the target appears in parentheses immediately after the linked text and again functions as an active text hyperlink. For example, the bubble text "You can find more information at the Microsoft web site." with a link from the text "Microsoft web site" would appear as "You can find more information at the Microsoft web site (www.microsoft.com)."
Web pages can also contain hyperlinks to URLs. Such hyperlinks are included in document outputs as part of the web pages to which they belong under the following conditions:
In this case, the hyperlink tooltip (if defined) appears in place of the link text, followed by the address of the target URL in parentheses. The URL address functions as an active text hyperlink in the document output. Consider the following example:
A web page linked as a topic concept contains the text "You can find more information at the Microsoft web site." with a hyperlink from the words "Microsoft web site" to the same target as above (www.microsoft.com). Further, the tooltip of the hyperlink is "Microsoft Corporation web site". Upon publication to the above document outputs, the result for this URL hyperlink is "You can find more information at the Microsoft Corporation web site (www.microsoft.com)." with an active link from the text "www.microsoft.com" to the web site.
Note: The Job Aid, Test, and Test Case document outputs do not include linked URL attachments.
An absolute URL represents the fixed location of a piece of content without regards to its context. A Relative URL is a shortened version of the full URL that only makes sense when used in context. The full URL is constructed by taking a Base URL (set in the General Content Defaults) and appending the Relative URL set when creating a hyperlink). Here is an analogy to help clarify. Let's say you asked me where my brother lives and I said "right next to my house". If you didn't know where I lived, this information would not be useful. However, if you did know where I lived, then you could find my brother's house by locating my house and then find his next door. In this case, my house is an example of the Base URL and "right next to my house" is an example of the Relative URL.
Relative URLs are useful when the content developer is not sure of the location where the content will be deployed. They allow the content developer to link to content outside of the Library in the Developer.
The Base URL can be set in the Developer and can be changed, if necessary, in the Player Package after publication.
Note: If a Base URL is set in the General Content Defaults, you can enter a Relative URL (beginning with ../) when inserting a hyperlink for a URL on the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.
To insert a Relative URL:
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