People scan help pages. If a page doesn’t look like it contains the right information, people will abandon it and look elsewhere. If you want your topics to be useful, make it immediately clear what they contain and put the most useful information at the top. If you can, keep them short. Short topics are easy to scan and usually fit on the screen without scrolling.
Sometimes you’ll write long topics. Naturally, these topics are harder to scan. They cover more material and often contain several layers of information that might not be immediately clear when the page loads. However, you can create in-page navigation links to make these pages much easier to scan and use. Here’s an example from Microsoft’s help.
Notice the box that says “In this article.” It tells the user what’s in the topic and allows him to jump to a particular section. Imagine how unwieldy this topic would be without that box. That’s what I’m going to show you how to add to your Flare output.
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- Open your project in MadCap Flare. Open your target’s master page.
- Place your cursor under the topic body proxy.
- Click Insert on the ribbon. In the Symbols section, click Script. The Insert Script dialog box will open.
- Next to Script Link, click Browse and open the script file you created earlier.
- Click OK to insert the script on your master page. Remember to save the file.
Add the CSS styles for this navigation box to your CSS file
- In the Content Explorer, browse to and select the CSS file for your target.
- Right-click the CSS file and open it with the text editor of your choice.
- Insert the following CSS rules below all of your other rules. Remember to save the file.
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Build your web help and enjoy the in-page navigation! If you have questions or want to know how to customize this solution, let me know in the comments!