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Eclipse Plug-in Developer Guide
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Keyword Index



For registering a keyword index for contributed help content.

Configuration Markup:

<!ELEMENT extension ( index | indexProvider)+>

<!ATTLIST extension






<!ATTLIST index



an index contribution made by supplying an XML file

  • file - the name of the index file which contains the list of keywords and related topics of the help content.

    Configuration Markup for index file:

        <!ELEMENT index (entry)* >

        <!ELEMENT entry (entry | topic)* >
        <!ATTLIST entry keyword CDATA #REQUIRED >

        <!ELEMENT topic EMPTY >
        <!ATTLIST topic href CDATA #REQUIRED >
        <!ATTLIST topic title CDATA #IMPLIED >

    The index element

    The index element represents an instance of index. Index consists of entries, each of them corresponds to a particular keyword. All contributed indexes are merged to one master index which the Help System provides to the user. When index is built, entries are appended in alphabetical order.

    The entry element

    The entry element represents a keyword of the index. Each entry may contain several links to help topics which associated with the keyword. Entry can also be a container for other entries (subentries) to form hierarchy of keywords. It is allowed to entry to be a container for subentries and to have topics simultaneously.

    The topic element

    The topic element provides reference to help content related to the keyword. The href attribute is relative to the plug-in that manifest file belongs to. If you need to access a file in another plug-in, you can use the syntax

    <topic label="topic in another plug-in" href="../"/>

    The title attribute is used to name the link to help content when multiple topics are associated with the single keyword. If the attribute is not specified, the title comes from the label attribute if present otherwise from a TOC which owns the link. If the link does not belong to any TOC, the title or label attribute must be specified, or else the title becomes undefined.

<!ELEMENT indexProvider EMPTY>

<!ATTLIST indexProvider



(since 3.3) an index contribution made by plugging in code

  • class - the implementation class for the index provider. This class must implement the interface.

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

(in file plugin.xml)

 <extension point=
     <indexProvider class=
 <extension point=
     <index file=

(in file index.xml)

    <entry keyword="Vehicle">
        <topic href="inventory_of_wheel.html"/>
        <entry keyword="Car">
            <topic href="car.html"/>
        <entry keyword="Ship">
            <topic href="ship.html"/>
        <entry keyword="Airplane">
            <topic href="airplane.html" title="History of aviation"/>
            <topic href="jet.html" title="Jet engine"/>
    <entry keyword="Engine">
        <entry keyword="Horse">
            <topic href="horse.html"/>
        <entry keyword="Steamer">
            <topic href="steamer.html"/>
        <entry keyword="Wankel engine">
            <topic href="wankel.html"/>
        <entry keyword="Jet engine">
            <topic href="jet.html"/>
    <entry keyword="Electricity">
        <topic href="electricity.html"/>

Internationalization The index XML files can be translated and the resulting copy (with translated keywords) should be placed in nl/<language>/<country> or nl/<language> directory. The <language> and <country> stand for two letter language and country codes as used in locale codes. For example, Traditional Chinese translations should be placed in the nl/zh/TW directory. The nl/<language>/<country> directory has a higher priority than nl/<language>. Only if no file is found in the nl/<language>/<country>, the file residing in nl/<language> will be used. The the root directory of a plugin will be searched last.

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

Copyright (c) 2006 Intel 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