Re: WinHelp 4.0 is a pain

Subject: Re: WinHelp 4.0 is a pain
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 1996 17:39:50 -0500

>Is it just me, or do you think that the "new and improved" WinHelp 4.0
>much more difficult to design than WinHelp for Win3.1?

Actually, I find it easier.

>I mean, now you have to deal with a Contents file, multiple window
>interfaces, additional What's This? Help...sure, the end result may be
>better (of course, that is debatable, too), but development seems to
>a much more technical mind-set, more planning and organization, and
>less creativity.

It seems that way at first; however, once the new features are mastered
you probably will not want to go back.

>For instance, rather than designing your own Contents screen as in
>3.1, you now have to use the Microsoft Contents format, and design and
>the Contents using a separate application.

Not true. You can omit the .cnt entry (the Contents file field in the
Options dialog box's General tab) in the .hpj file and assign a TOC
topic to the Default Topic field on General tab (of the Options dialog
box). The TOC will now function as a 3.1 file; however, the index and
find tabs are still available in the Help Topics dialog box.

>Sorry, but I just spent all day trying to make sense of .h, .hm, and
>files in order to implement the supposedly simple What's This Help for
>system. Read all the Help manuals at least 3 times, tried a thousand
>variations of topic names, recompiled and tested the Help file dozens
>times, recompiled and edited the Visual C++ source code several times,
>still no luck.

I supply a .h file to the Developer. Entries appear as follows:

#Define FirstTopicId 10
#Define SecondTopicId 20
#Define ThirdTopicId 30

This file is also used (as is) in the Map section of the .hpj file (via
the include command). Despite what the HCW documentation says, I have
not had to use IDH_ prefixes.

The Developer then calls WinHelp as a popup and references the ID (alpha
or numeric). I believe this is WinHelp -N 10 -P or WinHelp -I
FirstTopicId -P.

To call the WinHelp 4 TOC, I believe the Developer uses the HELP_FINDER
argument with the WinHelp call.

Mike Wing

_/ Michael Wing
_/ Principal Technical Writer
_/ Infrastructure Technical Information Development
_/ Intergraph Corporation
_/ Huntsville, Alabama
_/ (205) 730-7250
_/ mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com

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