||Copyright 1991 David Jurgens
HelpPC Text File Format
HelpPC in its standard form can handle 1800 indexed topics
and 16 independent help files. If you find you need a larger
capacity, please contact me at one of the addresses below.
Each file must have its own title which will show up in the
main menu. Each topic following the file title (see below)
will show up in the subtopic menu. Also note that HelpPC
will adjust the menu format based on the screen height and
the number of items in the main menu.
HelpPC text files are simple ASCII files that contain control
codes in column one. Each file must contain a title in the
first line. The remainder of the file consists of keyed lines
and help text. Each line must end with a CR/LF pair (standard
DOS format) and shouldn't be longer than 70 characters. Tabs
position the text using 8 character tab positions. The following
is a list of keys and special characters:
'@' in column 1 indicates a file title which will appear in
the main topic menu. This must be the very first line
in the file and has a maximum length of 40 characters
(excluding the '@').
':' in column 1 indicates a subtopic key. Multiple keys
separated by colons ':' can be entered on the same line.
Single spaces are allowed in a key, multiple spaces are
compressed to single.
'%' in column 1 indicates to highlight the entire line
'^' in column 1 indicates to center and highlight the line
' ' (space) normal text
'~' Tilde, used to mark text as a subtopic link. Use two
tilde characters to represent an actual tilde in the data.
A word or phrase enclosed between tilde's will become a
subtopic link for the current topic.
TAB start text in column 9
any other character in column 1 is invalid an will not display
Use the BUILD command to index/reindex the default help text
files. To add your own files to the index use the command:
BUILD [fname [file2 ...]]
Limits of the HelpPC program
Max items in main topic menu: 16
Max items in subtopic menu: 512
Max topics in index: 1800
Max size of topic text: 16384 bytes
Max lines of text per topic: 512
Max topic key length: 20
Max file title length: 40
Max subtopic links: 120
No limit on text file size
Example help file:
@This title appears in main menu
^This line will be displayed centered and highlighted
%This line will appear highlighted
These lines are normal text. All three topic keys will point to
this same database entry. The following phrase ~SUBTOPIC LINK~
is a link to another topic. The tilde characters will cause it
to be highlighted and selectable.
|Esc or Alt-X to exit