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

Creating a Glossary

Like a glossary in a book, your help volume can contain a glossary that defines important terms. The glossary, which is marked using the <glossary> element, is the last topic in your help volume.

Throughout your help volume, each key word or phrase that you enter with the <term> element automatically becomes a definition hyperlink to the term's definition in the glossary.

To Mark a Glossary Term

    Use the <term> element as shown:

<term>word or phrase<\term>  

Or, use the short form:

<term|word or phrase|

Or, use the shorthand form:

++word or phrase++

If the term within the help text isn't spelled exactly the same as the definition in the glossary, you can specify the "glossary form" of the term like this:

<term "glossary form">word or phrase<\term> 

Where glossary form is the term exactly as it appears in the glossary. This is useful if the term must be plural in a help topic (because of its context), but must be singular in the glossary.

Terms are displayed using a bold font and automatically become a definition hyperlink. When the term is chosen, its glossary definition appears in a quick help dialog.

Note -

If you mark a term that you intentionally do not define in the glossary, add the nogloss attribute to the <term> element. This allows the term to be displayed in the bold font used for terms, but without creating a link to the glossary.


If your glossary has a definition for the term "widget", you can enter it as a term like this:

A ++widget++ is the fundamental building block of OSF/Motif user interfaces.

If the glossary entry is "widget", but you need to use the plural form within the sentence, you could enter the term like this:

<term  "widget">Widgets<\term> are the fundamental building blocks 
of OSF/Motif user interfaces.

If you want to enter the same term, but you either don't want to include it in the glossary or you don't want it to be a hyperlink, use the nogloss parameter like this:

<term nogloss> Widgets<\term>are the fundamental building blocks 
of OSF/Motif user interfaces.

The equivalent short form is:

<term nogloss|Widgets| are the fundamental building blocks 
of OSF/Motif user interfaces.

To Define a Term in the Glossary

    Enter the <dterm> element into the glossary as shown:

 <dterm>word or phrase
 Definition of the term

Be sure to keep the <dterm>words and phrases sorted within the glossary.


Here's part of a glossary that includes the definition of the term SGML:

 Standard Generalized Markup Language. An
 international standard [ISO 8859: 1986] that
 establishes a method for information interchange.
 SGML describes constructs for marking the
 structure of information separate from its
 intended presentation or format.

See Also