Writerside Help

Project structure

The Project tool window shows the files and directories in your project. Use it to browse various configuration files and resources not accessible from the Writerside tool window , which is where you work with the table of contents most of the time.

To open the Project tool window, do one of the following:

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

  • Click Project tool window Project on the left-side tool window toolbar.

  • Press Alt+1.

Here is an example of a typical Writerside starter project structure:

Typical project structure

Every documentation project contains at least one help module. In the previous example, it is the directory Writerside. You can rename it to anything you like, for example docs.

In most cases, you will need just one help module directory. It contains the following files and subdirectories:


The main configuration file defines the basic Writerside project settings and help instances. This file is how Writerside knows where the root directory of your help module is.


The directory for topic files contains .md and .topic files. You can register a different directory for topics in writerside.cfg.


The directory for media contains images, animated GIFs, and videos used in your project. You can register a different directory for images in writerside.cfg.


The tree file defines the table of contents: the order and hierarchy of topics in a help instance. In the tree file, you also specify the name (which is used as the main title) and the unique ID (which must be the same as the name of the tree file without the extension) for this help instance. For example, aa.tree might define a help instance with id="aa" and name="Awesome App".

Every help instance must be registered in writerside.cfg by specifying its tree file in the <instance> element.


The list of categories defines groups of related links for the See also section of a topic.

Register this file in the <categories> element in writerside.cfg.


The list of global project variables with their default values.

Register this file in the <vars> element in writerside.cfg.

The following files and directories are optional:


The configuration file for redirection rules.


The directory for code snippets contains files with pieces of code that you can insert as samples in code blocks. Register this directory in the <snippets> element in writerside.cfg.


The glossary file defines terms and their descriptions that you can use in tooltips.

Last modified: 08 December 2023