Getting started using MakeHelpIndex

Last modified: 5 August 2002.

Page Contents Copyright and Licence  Get an unzipper  Download the Hi HelpIndex Evaluation Development kit  Obtain and Set up a Java Virtual Machine (JVM)  Make your help index file  Call HelpIndex  Upload to your server  Pay for a full licence after 30 days  Further options 
See also Getting Started using Hi Lab (Windows) 

This page gives instructions on how to start using PHD's Hi HelpIndex applet. Please consult the main documentation for full instructions.

Most people will want to use the Hi Lab Windows visual design tool. Please read the getting started instructions for Hi Lab.

These instructions help you use MakeHelpIndex, the Java application.

Apart from a browser, you will need a zip file decompresser and a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) There are instructions below on how to get these.

Copyright and Licence

Hi HelpIndex, Hi Lab, Hi Jump, Hi Brow and MakeHelpIndex are Copyright © 1996-2003 PHD Computer Consultants Ltd. Your use of this software is governed by the licence agreement.

By downloading the software, you are accepting a licence to evaluate HelpIndex for 30 days. Paying for the full software gives a further licence to use unlimited Hi HelpIndex.

Note that the evaluation HelpIndex is deliberately limited to displaying a maximum of 500 keywords and a maximum of 100 URLs. This will in fact be big enough for a lot of sites. The full version has no limits.

Get an unzipper

You will need an unzip program. Make sure it is one that will cope with long file names.

We use the free Info-Zip package available here in the UK. Mirrors of this site and other unzip programs can be found via

You will usually get an executable file which you have to run to expand to get the actual unzip program and its documentation.

Download the Help Index Evaluation Development kit

Use your browser to download Please email Chris Cant if you have problems.

Make a separate directory to hold all the HelpIndex classes and documentation, eg C:\HelpIndex\. Move there and unzip it to obtain HelpIndex.class, etc. Point you browser at the documentation pages, eg at C:\HelpIndex\index.html, and bookmark it.

Now, make a copy of hi210.jar, hi230.jar, hi.gif, hitabs.gif, hiicons.gif and all the *.class, files in the directory where your web pages live. If using language files, copy the required ones to your web page directory as well.

Obtain and Set up a Java Virtual Machine (JVM)

To make help index files from your existing web pages, you need to be able to run a Java Virtual Machine on your computer. Note that this is not supplied as a part of browsers.



Make your help index file

It is assumed that all your site's web pages have one main root, eg default.htm or index.html.

Make the help index file as follows:

	cd <your web development root directory>
	java MakeHelpIndex -fd "My Site Name" site.hi index.html
You might like to make this into a batch file, eg MkIndex.BAT.

MakeHelpIndex lists each file as it processed. If it finds an error in your HTML, eg a link that it cannot find, then an error message is displayed.

Call HelpIndex

Now all you have to do is to alter one (or more) of your web pages to call HelpIndex.

To run HelpIndex on a page enter:

	<APPLET code=HelpIndex archive="hi210.jar" width=450 height=250>
	<PARAM NAME=index1 VALUE=site.hi>
	<PARAM NAME=mode VALUE=applet wide>
	Sorry, you need a browser that runs Java to see the Help Index.
Alternatively, to run HelpIndex as a small clickable icon enter:
	<APPLET code=HelpIndex archive="hi210.jar" width=70 height=80>
	<PARAM NAME=index1 VALUE=site.hi>
	<PARAM NAME=mode VALUE=icon>
	Sorry, you need a browser that runs Java to see the Help Index.
Vary the applet width and height as necessary. You might like to include extra instructions on how to use HelpIndex.

Now you should be able to run HelpIndex off-line. Check it works.

If you are not happy with the index, then you may wish to change your HTML slightly. Alternatively you can delve into the site.hi file and alter it as you wish.

Upload to your server

Simply upload all your web directory to your server (especially hi210.jar, hi230.jar, *.class *.gif, site.hi and the page that calls HelpIndex).

Check it works.

Call a friend and ask them to check it out on-line too.

Pay for a full licence after 30 days

If you are still using HelpIndex after 30 days, please purchase a full licence.

Further options

If not all your web pages come off your main root page, then simply list them at the end of the command line which calls MakeHelpIndex.

See the main documentation for further applet parameters, eg how to use HelpIndex in frames.

Remember to keep your help index up to date with your pages, and upload the new site.hi to your server.

Keep checking these pages for any HelpIndex updates.

HelpIndex    PHD