Re: Context Sensitive Help

Subject: Re: Context Sensitive Help
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 9 May 1997 11:49:37 -0500

>We still produce Windows 3.1-compatible help, so we haven't implemented
>What's This help yet. The limitation I see in most What's This help is
>that it just describes the field and there is no obvious way to go
>directly to more information. I have seen some What's This topics with
>Related Topics buttons, and I think that is a good way to go.

I believe that the navigation capabilities of help invoked through
"What's This" depend on the mode in which "What's This" is implemented
in the interface. That is, the "What's This" function can be used to
create an instance of WinHelp that automatically opens to the topic
mapped to the applicable "What's This" property. From here, the user
can navigate the help just as if they had opened it from the TOC.
(There are some considerations if a multiple help file configuration is
in place. Namely, only the called help file is active.)

Another method of implementing the "What's This" help is to extract the
mapped topic from WinHelp and display it in a pop-up window. There is
no navigation from here because Winhelp is not actually invoked (but
there have been some creative implementations such as having the topic
kick-off a start-up macro or to include hot text). As a side note, a
consideration here is not to use non-scrolling regions for these topics
(the scrolling region does not display in the pop-up window).

The programmer implementing the context-sensitivity in the interface
determines the way in which "What's This" help responds. The programmer
must set the "What's This" response mode, help topic id, whether F1 acts
context- or contact-sensitive help, "?" icon display, and so forth.

Other methods have been to trap the F1 keystroke (to read the active
control and its associated contextid) or to add code to the click-right
mouse event to automatically invoke Winhelp as a pop-up (with the
mapped-topic displayed). Another variation, is to add the "What's This"
help to the right-click menu for a control.
>Hope this helps.
>Matthew Stern
>Sr. Technical Writer
>Platinum Software Corporation
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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