Is the "offline" Help browser-based?

Hi Forum Folke, PROBLEM SOLVED. It IS html based, and does use a browser to display, and is offline.

Just downloaded and installed the English version of offline help. However, whenever I try to access Help, it pulls up my browser with Help in a new tab. Is Help just html-based and needs the browser to display? I’m making the switch from Apache OpenOffice, and I expected to see a help window open up within LibreOffice, like AOO does. Is this not how it works?

Which “help” did you select?

Help>LibreOffice Help (or F1) opens a new LO window displaying a local help file.

Help>Get Help Online launches your web browser and opens a new tab on this site.

…opens a new LO window

should read "…opens a new browser instance (or tab) displaying a local help file (just to avoid confusion with @Hrbrgr’s correct answer).

I never get a new tab, even when my browser is already running. Are you sure it is a browser instance? When I hover over the task bar (Fedora 33, KDE Plasma), the tooltip says soffice.bin (while I get LibreOffice xxx for the LO application). Also the usual browser shortcut don’t work. And the UI doesn’t look like the web browser.

I’m sure it is browser based for quite some time - If you get an LO Window then you seem to have assigned MIME type text/hml to Writer (or your distribution does deprecated things).

Just checked on a Fedora 33 test system and indeed Fedora still uses the deprecated old help system.

test/html is associated with Firefox (I just checked). I get a window that the taskbar attributes to soffice.bin. It does not look like any LO app (Writer, Calc, …). The icon itself in the taskbar is “unusual”. If you can identify what it is, here is a screenshot:

Cross-posting! It is then a choice of the distro maintainers.

It is then a choice of the distro maintainers.

yepp (and my next reason to prefer TDF packages against all recommendations for GNU/Linux system ;-))

It’s the “Help F1” that I selected. I note that there is also a “Get help online” button too; didn’t use that one. The download specifically said “offline” help. When installed, clicking on “Help F1” pulls up the browser, with a new tab opened to the online help site. Yup… I’m sure it’s the browser alright. No local window opens up.

That screenshot (Opaque…) looks a lot like what my browser opens up to… it’s definitely online help that’s coming up instead of local offline. How did this happen, when I downloaded and installed an “offline” help package?

@kharrisma: does the browser address bar shows file:///… or http://…? The first one is local, the second is internet.

AH! It does indeed show file:///. Might be nice to let people know that if they go looking for help, that their browser is going to fire up. NOT the way most people do things… it’s unusual, and looks like a problem. Thanks for your help!!!

Is the “offline” Help browser-based?


The offline help is indeed an html-based document, and uses your browser to display the pages. You can tell because the address in the URL bar says “file:///whatever.” Online help would say, “http://whatever.” Many thanks for your suggestions!!

The answer has been given by @Hrbrgr and http:// / https:// / file:// / ftp:// … is basic network knowledge not related to LibreOffice at all.

Networking is not my wheelhouse, and when a program deviates significantly from similar programs in an unexpected way, I’m not supposed to suspect the program? When I hear hoof-beats, I think horse, not zebra. And it IS a departure (and an unexpected one) from typical onboard help behavior.

@kharrisma: nope, it is a “shortcut”. Offline help is always based on a set of files. You have then two options: develop your own display utility (frequently reinventing the wheel), or use an existing one (you benefit from others’ experience and can concentrate on your own development thanks to the liberated resources).

If help is PDF, you use a PDF viewer; when HTML, a web browser. This also has the advantage of allowing fancy formatting at no cost.