ClickHelp User Manual

Smart Links

Smart Links allow you to avoid spending too much time on links micromanagement and provide the developers with a live link even before publishing anything. They always lead to the latest published version of the topic available to a given user.

For example

You have Project A with two publications: Publication X (Public, updated on March 23rd, 2021) and Publication Y (Restricted, updated on April 4th, 2022). 

Reader A is an unauthenticated anonymous reader. They visit a Smart Link to one of the topics of Project A. They don't have access to Publication Y, the most recent Publication. So the system displays them a topic from Publication X, which is the latest published version of the topic available to Reader A.

Reader B is an authenticated reader with access to all restricted publications. They visit the same Smart Link. They have access to Publication Y, so the system displays the topic from this Publication — this is the latest published version of the topic available to the reader B.

The system displayed the latest published version of the topic available to a given user in both cases.

This is one of the use cases of Smart Links. When retrieved manually — you can learn how to do it here — they can be helpful in the following circumstances:

  • Your project doesn't have any Publications, but you need a link to a topic to give to your developers. In this case, you can provide them with a Smart Link. Then, after you publish the project, the dev team won't need to update the application — Smart Link will point to your newly created Publication. 
  • Your project has several Publications, but the link should always point to the latest one. You won't have to update links on your website or application — the Smart Link always points to whichever Publication you updated the last. 

Smart Links are also automatically generated by the system in all situations where there's a chance the readers may see a link to a Project. Since the readers can't access a project, the system will not present them with links to a Project and replace them with Smart Links:

  • When you link a topic from another project in the topic content.
  • In the Reader Menu items, when you link to a topic in a Project. 
  • In the Context Help feature. HTML snippets generated by it use Smart Links to reference help topics. Since this is often done before a project is published, Smart Links is a logical choice for such scenarios. By default, such snippets will reference the latest published version of a help topic. However, suppose you do not need this and need to reference a topic from a specific Publication instead. In that case, you should change the topic URL in the HTML snippet generated by ClickHelp before inserting the snippet into your application/site pages. 

A Smart Link is easily identified by the /smart/ part in it: