Writerside Help

Getting started

Writerside is a JetBrains IDE based on the IntelliJ platform. Use it to author, build, test, and publish technical documentation.

Install Writerside

  1. Download the Writerside installer.

  2. Run the installer.

Watch this short video for an overview of the Writerside UI and main features:

Create new documentation project

  1. From the main menu, select File | New | Project.

  2. In the New Project wizard, select Starter Project and click Next.

  3. Specify the name and location for your new project and click Finish.

Once you have a documentation project with a help instance, you can add topics to it and start writing content. Click The Writerside tool window icon in the left-side tool window bar to open the Writerside tool window and start adding content.

Create topics

Create a topic from scratch

  1. In the Table of Contents section of the Writerside tool window, click Add and select Empty MD Topic to add a Markdown topic or Empty XML Topic to add a semantic markup topic.

    For more information about topics, see Topic formats.

  2. Specify a title and filename for the topic.

Create a topic from template

Writerside includes built-in templates for different types of content that contain some boilerplate structure to give you something to get started with.

  1. In the Table of Contents section of the Writerside tool window, click Add and select a template under Topic from Template.

  2. Specify a title and filename for the topic.

Preview topics

Use the Writerside Preview tool window to preview the topic you are working on exactly the way it will be published.

Open the Writerside Preview tool window

Writerside opens the Writerside Preview tool window the first time you open any topic in the editor. If you close the preview and want to open it again, do one of the following:

  • Click the Writerside Preview tool window button The Writerside Preview tool window icon.

  • From the main menu, select View | Tool Windows | Writerside Preview.

  • Right-click any topic in the Table of Contents and select Preview Topic.

Writerside Preview

For more information, see Preview topics.

Change the table of contents

  • In the Table of Contents section of the Writerside tool window, drag topics around to change their order and hierarchy.

You can also edit the .tree file to change the TOC. For this, right-click the help instance and select Open TOC File.

For more information, see Table of contents.

Build your help instance

  • In the Writerside tool window, click Export To Export To and then select Web Archive.

    For more information, see Build locally.

If you want to build and publish documentation using CI/CD, we have instructions for GitHub, GitLab, and TeamCity Cloud.

If you want to use another CI/CD to build documentation, drop us a message at writerside@jetbrains.com, and we will provide you with a Docker image.

Feedback and support

Report an issue

  • Report any issues, usability improvements, or feature requests to our YouTrack project (you will need to register).

Get support and share feedback

You can also email us at writerside@jetbrains.com.

Last modified: 15 January 2024