Integrating extensions help pages in LibreOffice help

(this was first posted to the main discourse board)


I’m searching information about extension help pages integration with LibreOffice ones. AFAIK, the help integration system was changed a while ago. Given that change, I can’t find any relevant information about the new process. I’ve read about .xhp files but that’s it.

For instance, given the structure change, the main help documentation page:,_Authoring_and_Editing_Openoffice.org_Help/1
seems to be outdated. Do you confirm?


How are .xhp files created?
It seems that there’s an help authoring tool available somewhere but can’t find it.

Once the .xhp files are created, how are they connected to the extension dialogues?
Specifying them in the manifest.xml is not enough. I guess there’s some reference to add to the dialogues Help button. What should be done there?

I’ve been browsing web pages for a while but couldn’t find anything that is up-to-date.

Any help appreciated (pun intended :slight_smile:

I have found the help authoring extension tool, here:
This was completely by chance though because it’s well hidden.

Second, if this tool still valid? The top of this page Documentation/Help - The Document Foundation Wiki states that “The HelpAuthoring Extension is now considered DEPRECATED. Avoid using it to edit help pages as it can break the Help XML”

Can someone confirm and guide me on track?

Hello good
I am a normal user and what I tell you is only from my point of view, it is not official.
– LibreOffice changed its help system to pages on the internet or with a package that is downloaded from its official site (I don’t have it installed).
Some old Extensions incorporate their help into the old help system and it works for me, although not very well.
– Possibly the old help system will disappear (that’s what I think, it may not be true)
I don’t know the help Authoring tool extension but given the date it may be for the old help

Bernard Marcelly created an ott file with macros to compile extensions (Extension Compiler) with which you can compile extensions and also include help (in the old system). His page is no longer on the internet but can be rescued with the Wayback Machine. I leave you the link.

The Extension compiler file can give you some guidance. - I have only done tests but it seems quite complicated to me.

Perhaps the safest way is to create your help system, for example, create a PDF file and integrate it into the extension and open it with a macro.

Thanks bantoniof

I know of Extension Compiler (and use it a lot :wink:

Currently, I’m using ordinary htlm pages that are displayed by the system browser. This works OK but is not integrated with the LibreOffice help system.

So, I’m just curious and want to get details on how to achieve that integration and try it.

Bonjour Jean-François,

One can use XHPEditor to create or update .xhp help pages. .xhp pages get processed by Weblate translators before being transformed - using .xslt directives - into .html native pages and integrated into build processes.

While you may build locally your own set of help pages - to be incorporated into an extension or copied locally - you may .not be able to benefit from translations. Besides I am unaware of an existing mechanism that would add a path - for extension-based or local .html files - permitting seamless integration with current LibreOffice help system.

Bonjour Alain,

thanks for these points, very interesting. I had never found information giving an overview of the new help files development process.

My current focus is on extensions management. One of the topics being extension help files integration within the LibO help system. This once was possible, but since the help infrastructure has changed it is poorly documented from this pov. I was hoping this would be still possible and you made my dreams crash :cry:

Thanks again for the view of the insider. I’ll continue providing separate html pages as the poor-man’s help system.


An old-timer workaround exists - still supported so far - used by ‘Wiki Publisher’ extension, which requires a JRE. ‘Wiki Publisher’ is available in Windows LibreOffice TDF copy.

In order to get access to ‘Extension Compiler’ based help pages, follow these steps:

  • Select Tools - Options
  • Select Internet - MediaWiki
  • Press ‘Wiki Publisher’ Add… button
  • Press Help button in MediaWiki dialog

You’ll get access to ‘Wiki Publisher’ local help INCLUDING ALL ‘Extension Compiler’ based help pages that you may have created and installed.

PS: The trick is to create your own setup/configuration that automates the above steps out-of-the-box when ‘MediaWiki’ is absent.

Enjoy !!

Hello Alain,

thanks for this hint. I’ll have a go at it asap (glad to still have a Win10 virtual machine). I’m currently working on the extension update part :wink: