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Documentation / Mathematica / Add-ons & Links / AuthorTools / Customizing the Help Browser /


Mathematica's online help contains detailed information about all of its features and functions. You can also add your own reference material to the existing help files so that the material is viewable from the Help Browser window. This document describes the organization of the online help and the steps needed to modify it.

All material that can be viewed from within the Help Browser is stored in the form of Mathematica notebooks inside the Documentation/English directory. This directory is located in the top-level Mathematica directory and contains seven subdirectories, one for each top-level category in the Browser window:

  • GettingStarted

  • MainBook

  • RefGuide

  • Tour

  • Demos

  • Other Information

  • AddOns

In addition to the notebooks containing the Help material, each of these directories must contain its own copy of the following two files:

  • BrowserCategories.m—this is a plain text file that defines the categories that are displayed in the Browser window.

  • BrowserIndex.nb—this is a notebook containing a list of terms that appear in the Master Index as well as links to information about each of those terms.

Note: You should place all new material that you want to add to the Help Browser in the Documentation/English/AddOns directory, which is specifically intended for the purpose.

To add new reference material to the Help Browser:

1. Place the notebooks containing the new material inside the AddOns subdirectory of the Documentation/English directory.

2. Organize the material into a set of topics and subtopics corresponding to the categories that you want displayed in the Help Browser.

3. Add descriptive cell tags to the reference material to identify the cells that will be displayed under each category.

4. Edit the BrowserCategories.m file to create the categories that will appear in the Browser window. You should first save a copy of the existing BrowserCategories.m file in the same location under a different name, so you can always revert to it later.

5. Edit the BrowserIndex.nb file to specify the keywords that will appear in the Help Browser's Master Index.

Further details about these steps are presented in the following sections.

Note: Each time you modify any of the Help files, you must click the Help RightTriangle Rebuild Help Index menu command for your changes to take effect.