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Supply help text to users on an XpressDox interview

Providing users with help can guide them through the XpressDox interview

There are many ways to guide users through the interview process.


The Help command

Help text can be supplied for any data element referred to in a template. When help text has been provided on a data element, hover help is displayed on that field. There are two ways to provide help text for an element:

  • In the fillpoint, before the closing field markers (i.e. »), place the help text preceded by a question mark:
    «AccountNumber?Enter the account number»
  • Use the «Help» command:
    «Help(AccountNumber,Enter the account number)»
  • If you use the Define command to specify attributes about a data element, then one of the attributes that you can specify is Help text.



The Heading / Footing command

Placing Heading or Footing text on an interview can certainly give context to an interview. Have a look at this article on Guidance Notes which addresses ways in which to use Heading and Footing text to guide the user.



Other suggestions include:

Provide default values in the interview

Placing hyperlinks from the interview to external resources



A more advanced mechanism of including help text:

Now, it might be that you have a number of templates in a template folder which are all related (in fact this will most often be the case), and it can become quite tedious to type the help text into all the relevant fillpoints in every template.

As it happens, XpressDox handles the help text in such a way that if help is provided for a data element which is not captured for a particular template, then it is just ignored. This means that a time saving way of sharing the help text among all related templates would be to type all the «Help» commands for the relevant fillpoints into a special template reserved only for help text, and then «IncludeCodeTemplate» that help template into all the other templates.

To make sure that no formatted text inadvertently gets included from the help template, use the command «IncludeCodeTemplate(HelpFile)» (i.e. IncludeCodeTemplate rather than IncludeTemplate – the ..Code meaning that it should include XpressDox fillpoints only, no formatting).

The use of Helper Folders applies to the IncludeCodeTemplate command, so that if a Helper Folder with alias utilities is configured, and the file HelpFile.xdtpx is saved in the corresponding Helper Folder, then the command to include the Help file would be «IncludeCodeTemplate(utilities:HelpFile)».