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Eclipse Plug-in Developer Guide
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Content Extension



This extension point is for supporting dynamic and reusable content in user assistance documents. It allows for contributing content into an existing document. A document can declare that it can accept content contributions by explicitly specifying these contribution points using an anchor element. An element in a document with a unique id attribute specified can be replaced.

Content extensions are applicable to the following types of documents:

  • Help XHTML topics
  • Help table of contents
  • Help keyword index
  • Help context-sensitive help
  • Cheat sheets (both simple and composite)

Welcome content is extended using the org.eclipse.ui.intro.configExtension extension point.

Configuration Markup:

<!ELEMENT extension ( contentExtension | contentExtensionProvider)+>

<!ATTLIST extension





<!ELEMENT contentExtension EMPTY>

<!ATTLIST contentExtension



Defines content extension to one or more user assistance documents. The location of the content extension file is specified by the file attribute.

  • file - a plugin-relative path to the location of an extension content file. An extension content file is an XML file that specifies the location of content contributions and the target document where they should be merged into. A content extension is either a contribution of content at a known anchor, or the replacement of an element in an existing document. The content file is parsed at run time by the platform and each content extension is loaded and inserted into the target location specified by the anchor.

    This content file should have the a syntax like the following:


    contribution is the element used to insert content at the target anchor location. replacement is the markup used to replace the content of the target element by the specified content. In other words, content can be contributed that either adds to the target location or replaces the content of the target location.

<!ELEMENT contentExtensionProvider EMPTY>

<!ATTLIST contentExtensionProvider



(since 3.3) Allows java code to be plugged-in so that extensions can be generated at run-time. This is an alternative to the XML file, has the same capabilities, but doesn't require you to provide static XML.

  • class - the implementation class for the content extension provider. This class must implement the interface and must have a no-arg constructor.


The following is an example of using the contentExtension extension point.

In file plugin.xml:

   <extension point=
      <contentExtension file=

In file contentExtensionFile.xml:



The above contribution inserts the content of the XHTML file, topicA.xhtml, into the target Help system page specified by the path attribute. In this case, the content extension will be inserted in the location of an anchor called topicAnchor in page someHelpPage.xhtml in plugin

Supplied Implementation:
The default implementation of the base help system supplied with the Eclipse platform fully supports this extension point.

Copyright (c) 2000, 2006 IBM Corporation and others.
All rights reserved. This program and the accompanying materials are made available under the terms of the Eclipse Public License v1.0 which accompanies this distribution, and is available at

  Published under the terms of the Eclipse Public License Version 1.0 ("EPL") Design by Interspire