Help system customization

The Eclipse help system can be configured and branded to suit your product by specifying custom defaults for number of help preferences.

The Help system itself is divided up into a number of separate plug-ins. These tables shows available preferences, and which plug-in defines them.

org.eclipse.help plug-in:

Preference key Usage
Default
HELP_DATA Specifies the path of an XML file containing help data, such as the order in which the table of contents should be displayed, and which books and index contributions should be hidden from the user. The path may either be of the form PLUGINS_ROOT/ pluginId/path or "path". If the value does not start with PLUGINS_ROOT the path is resolved relative to the product plugin.  For example, "helpData.xml" or "PLUGINS_ROOT/org.eclipse.platform/helpData.xml". Consult the schema documentation for details.
filterInfocenter Specifies whether enablement filters should apply to an information center. Enablement filters are always applied to help in workbench and standalone mode. false
baseTOCS (deprecated; use HELP_DATA instead) Toc ordering. Ordered list of help TOC's (books) or TOC categories as they would appear on the bookshelf. All the other TOCS and categories will follow these. Non-present TOCs or categories on this list will be ignored. For TOCs, use the location of the TOC as /pluginId/path/to/toc.xml. For categories, use the category id.
ignoredTOCS (deprecated; use HELP_DATA instead) Disabling TOCs. List of help TOCs (books) or TOC categories that will be ignored by the help system. The disabled TOCs/categories will not appear in the list of books, cannot be linked. Topics defined by disabled TOCs will not be available from search. Non-present TOCs or categories in this list will be ignored. For TOCs, use the location of the TOC as /pluginId/path/to/toc.xml. For categories, use the category id.
ignoredIndexes (deprecated; use HELP_DATA instead) Disabling keyword indexes. List of help keyword index contributions that will be ignored by the help system. Keywords from the disabled indexes will not appear in the index view. For index XML files, use the path to the file in the form /pluginId/path/to/index.xml.

org.eclipse.help.base plug-in:

Preference key Usage
Default
banner Location of the banner page to display in the top frame
Example: banner=/org.eclipse.help.webapp/advanced/banner.html

banner_height Height of the banner frame
Example: banner_height=60

footer Location of the footer page to display in the bottom frame
Example: footer=/org.eclipse.help.webapp/advanced/banner.html

footer_height Height of the footer frame
Example: footer_height=60

titleResource The name of a project resource of the form <plugin_name>/<resource_name> which contains the title of the help page.
Example: titleResource=org.eclipse.help.webapp/help_webapp_plugin_name

help_home The page to show in the content area when opening help. Specify your html page as /pluginId/path/to/home.html. /org.eclipse.help.base/doc/help_home.html
page_not_found The page to show in the content area when a topic file cannot be opened. If this variable is not specified the browser will show its default 404 error page. /org.eclipse.help.base/doc/page_not_found.html
showBreadcrumbs Set to true or false to control the visibility of breadcrumbs. true
bookmarksView Set to true or false to control the visibility of the bookmarks view.
Note: this option has no effect in the information center.
true
indexView Set to true or false to control the visibility of the index view. true
windowTitlePrefix Set to true or false to control the title of the browser window. If true, the title will have a form "Help - <PRODUCT_NAME>", otherwise the title will be "<PRODUCT_NAME>", where <PRODUCT_NAME> is the name of Eclipse product set in the primary feature. true
imagesDirectory Directory containing images used in the help view. Images must have the same name as those in the org.eclipse.help.webapp plug-in. Use the /pluginID/directory format. images
advanced.toolbarBackground CSS background for toolbars. Value is used in browsers that display advanced help UI. ButtonFace
advanced.viewBackground CSS background for navigation views. Value is used in browsers that display advanced help UI. May be the empty string.
advanced.toolbarFont CSS font for toolbars. Value is used in browsers that display advanced help UI. icon
advanced.viewFont CSS font for navigation views. Value is used in browsers that display advanced help UI. icon
advanced.syncDefault The default boolean value for whether the toc should automatically be synchronized with the contents. true
basic.toolbarBackground Background color for toolbars. Value is used in browsers displaying basic help UI. #D4D0C8
basic.viewBackground Background color for navigation views. Value is used in browsers displaying basic help UI. #FFFFFF
locales List of locales that information center will recognize and provide a customized content for; if locales (or languages) accepted by client browser are not matched with any locales in this list, the browser will be served content for default locale - the server locale, or locale specified by eclipse -nl command line option; if list is not specified, the browser will be served contents for its preferred locale; note: not providing this option may result in a large memory and disk space requirements as navigations and indexes will be created for each distinct preferred locale among browsers accessing the information center.
Example: locales=en ja zh_CN zh_TW

productIndex If per-product, pre-built documentation index is provided with the product, the ID of the plug-in delivering the index must be specified to the help system here.
always_external_browser Use embedded when possible (on Windows or Linux), or always external.  Setting to true will force use of external browser.  Option has no effect if embedded browser is not available on a given platform.
false
default_browser

Default external browser.  ID of one of the external web browsers contributed to org.eclipse.help.base.browser extension point that help system will use. The browser's adapter available() method must return true on the current system.

This preference controls external browsers in stand-alone help mode. In the workbench mode, help uses browsers provided by workbench browser support.

default dynamically set based on the browser available on a given system
custom_browser_path

Executable path for custom browser

This preference controls external browsers in stand-alone help mode. In the workbench mode, help uses browsers provided by workbench browser support.

C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE" %1 - on Windows,
"konqueror %1" - on Linux
"mozilla %1" - on other platforms
showDisabledActivityTopics Help system filters topics from disabled capabilities.  This option controls this behavior and existence of  Show All Topics button.
Accepted values: never, off, on, always
 never - topic from disabled capabilities are not shown
 off - user can choose to show all topics, disabled topics initially hidden
 on - user can choose to show all topics, all topics initially shown
 always - topic from disabled capabilities are shown (filtering disabled)
off
activeHelp Allows enabling and disabling execution of active help. The option has no effect in the information center setup, where active help is disabled.
Accepted values:
 true - default active help actions enabled
 false - active help framework disabled
true
restrictTopicParameter Since 3.4. When true prevents topic parameters with an http or other protocol from causing an external URL to open in the content frame of the information center. This improves security and the recommended setting is true. true
window_infopop Allows enabling the old-style infopops when help key is pressed in workbench windows. If false, the new dynamic help view will open instead. false
dialog_infopop
Allows enabling the old-style infopops when help key is pressed in dialogs. If false, the new dynamic help window will open instead.
false
help_view_open_mode Controls where links in the help view are opened. 
Accepted values:
 in_place - open documents in the help view
 in_editor - open document in an editor
 in_browser - open document in a browser
in_place
showSearchDescription If true descriptions are shown with search results. true
showSearchCategories If true search results are organized by book. false
remoteHelpOn
Controls whether or not remote help is enabled.
Accepted values:
 true - remote help enabled
 false - remote help disabled
false
The 6 remote help preferences below can each have multiple comma separated values if there is more than one information center contributing remote content.
remoteHelpName Specifies a name for this remote host which will appear in the table on the preference page  
remoteHelpHost
Specifies the host name to access for remote help content. This must be specified as a host name and cannot be a URL (i.e. do not include "http://").
remoteHelpPath
Specifies the context root of the information center application running on the specified host.  
remoteHelpProtocol
Specifies the protocol of the information center application running on the specified host. If no protocol is specified, http will be used. Supported protocols are http and https.  
remoteHelpPort
Specifies the port to use to access remote help content.  
remoteHelpICEnabled Specifies that the information center will contribute remote content  
The five css preferences allow for the control of page appearance by inserting css files into every page served by the help server. Each can each contain zero or more comma separated paths of the form /plugin/path. These paths should contain only ASCII characters.
If a path contains ${os} then that will be replaced with the name of the OS, any other parameters of the form ${parameter} are reserved for future use.
topic_css A list of css file(s) to include in every non navigation page served by help system.  
nav_css A list of css file(s) to include in every navigation page served by help system. /PRODUCT_PLUGIN/book.css
narrow_css A list of  css file(s) to include in every page displayed in the help view or help tray . /PRODUCT_PLUGIN/narrow_book.css,/PRODUCT_PLUGIN/${os}_narrow_book.css
remote_css A list of css file(s) to include in every page served by help system which originates from a remote information center.  
disabled_css A list of  css file(s) to include in every page served by help system from a capability that is not enabled. /PRODUCT_PLUGIN/disabled_book.css
These two parameters allow for the restriction of the number of print operation.
maxConnections Maximum number of connections for concurrent print(print selected topic and all subtopics).
Assign a value no greater than Integer.MAX_VALUE.
Example: maxConnections=20
10
maxTopics Maximum number of topics allowed for print in one request.
Assign a value no greater than Integer.MAX_VALUE.
Example: maxTopics=200
500

org.eclipse.help.appserver plug-in:

Deprecated: This plug-in is no longer used by help. See table for alternative usage.
Preference key Usage Default
port (deprecated)

The port number on which the sever listens for http requests. If port is not given, an arbitrary port is picked by the system.

Start Eclipse with "-vmargs -Dserver_port=<port>" instead

 
host (deprecated)

The host address or name to use for connecting to the server. The default is nothing, and eclipse will pick up an available local address.

Products using help in local mode (workbench or stand-alone, not information center), can set this preference to "127.0.0.1" to ensure help server is not exposed to other users on the network.

Start Eclipse with "-vmargs -Dserver_host=<host>" instead

 

org.eclipse.tomcat plug-in:

Deprecated: This plug-in is no longer used by help. No alternative commands available.
Preference key Usage Default
acceptCount (deprecated) The maximum queue length for incoming connection requests when all possible request processing threads are in use. Any requests received when the queue is full will be refused. 100
maxProcessors (deprecated)
The maximum number of request processing threads to be created by this Connector, which therefore determines the maximum number of simultaneous requests that can be handled. 75
minProcessors (deprecated)
The number of request processing threads that will be created when this Connector is first started. This attribute should be set to a value smaller than that set for maxProcessors. 5