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 :key1:key2:key3 ^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.