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If you're building help for an application, there is typically one or more ways to call the help from
that application. Early Windows programs had one entry point - the default contents topic. Later programs
introduced Help buttons on dialogs, triggering dialog-level context sensitive help. Windows 95 brought
us down to a new level - that of control-level sensitivity - with the WhatsThis help. All of these are
methods to allow the user to go from the application to its related help.
It can be argued that most users will approach the help through some level of context sensitivity. It
then becomes exceptionally important that all of these access links must be tested to insure they go to
the correct topic. While this can be tested using automated application test tools, this type of testing
requires programming knowledge which the average author may not have. Therefore, the only viable solution
may be the brute force approach, where every link is followed from every dialog in the application, by
hand. In some applications, this can be done in an hour, although others may take several days.
Copyright © 2009 by Dana
Last Updated Monday, April 06, 2009
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