(c) 1992, GMUtant Software; portions copyright TurboPower Software
MakeInfo is the utility you use to create additional databases for
the InfoPop search engine. The ASCII file SAMPLEDB.TXT gives
complete information on how you create a database. To see sampledb
in action, type MAKEINFO sampledb [return] at the DOS prompt. Then
activate InfoPop and press F3 to load a new database. Enter SAMPLEDB
at the prompt for the new file. You'll need to study SAMPLEDB.TXT
to see what's required in terms of formatting the input file.
* * * * * important! * * * * *
USE AN ASCII EDITOR TO VIEW and/or MODIFY SAMPLEDB.TXT
OR ANY DATABASE YOU CREATE
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Your input file must be plain ASCII text and end with a TXT extension.
You may comment the file by placing a ';' in the first character
position of the line.
No single topic can exceed 64K (of course, who would want to
page down through that much text?)
For each topic you add, you must assign a TOPIC NUMBER.
If you don't want that topic to appear in the initial window
(the main index), follow the !TOPIC # line with !NOINDEX.
MAKEINFO directives must begin with a ! in the first character
position of a line. The following sample entry shows what
you need to know about creating an entry
You can include multiple files to create your final HLP file,
just use the !INCLUDE IncludeFileName directive in your main
help file. This way you can create a very large help file
even though your editor isn't capable of keeping the whole
thing in memory at once. Remember that your topic numbers
must not conflict.
Don't use the Index number $FFFF (65535 decimal). MakeInfo uses
this value to diable indexing for a particular topic.
The rest of this file consists of text lifted from the sample
database input file SAMPLEDB.TXT. The semicolons that appear
in the left margin are comment markers -- since in that file
we don't want MakeInfo compiling that text into the database!
;!TOPIC 15 My Favorite Internet Destination [a]
;My favorite destination is reached via TELNET 99.999.999 [c]
;It is the central database for the 20CIA [d]
;first, the sample lines have been labelled at right (a thru d).
;The important features of each line are described below.
;[a] Note the ! in the first position. This indicates to MAKEINFO
; that a compiler directive follows. In this particular case,
; it is a new topic (number 15). You should group your topics
; by number range (to ease subsequent re-editing), but be aware
; that leaving large gaps will have a negative impact on the
; size of your final *.HLP file. A large gap is 50 or more
; unused numbers. The number you assign to a topic is the
; number you use subsequently to cross-reference it (make a
; hyperlink. You can see a link made in line [d].
; The !TOPIC text following the number appears as the header
; for that topic's window.
;[b] This directive '!INDEX' tells MakeInfo to put this topic
; on the opening menu of topics == what you get if you press
; HOME when Infopop is running. If you don't want the topic
; to appear in the main topic, put !NOINDEX. If you want
; to force a topic to be first in the listing (MAKEINFO
; defaults to an alphabetical listing of topics), put a
; number after the !INDEX (e.g., !INDEX 1 would make it
; first, !INDEX 5000 would make it last if you didn't have
; more than 5000 topics. Don't assign the index # of
; 65535. MakeInfo uses that particular number to disable
; indexing for a topic
;[c] This line would be the first line of text in the window
; associated with topic 15. Note the 's...this highlights
; the term (makes it appear bold). It doesn't establish a
; hyper link, it just provides a mechanism for bolding
; text. You create that symbol by holding down the ALT key
; as you press 2 on the keypad. Be sure to put the ALT-2
; mark at the start of bolding at at the end of the text
; string you want to appear in bold!
; Another way to enter these characters with some editors
; (e.g., the Turbo Pascal editor from Borland) is to
; Press CTRL-P then CTRL-B (for bold).
;[d] This line shows how you make a hyperlink. First press the
; ALT key, then the 4 on the keypad. That puts a symbol
; in the text. Follow that with the number of the topic
; you want to reference. Follow the number with a (ALT-5)
; then type the text you want to use to reference the
; linked topic (doesn't have to be the same as the text
; that follows the !TOPIC directive for the topic you're
; linking to), then follow that text with another (ALT-5).
; If using an editor that supports these characters via
; CTRL-P, then the sequence (as discussed above) the
; codes would be entered for this line like so:
; It is the central database for the ^P^D20^P^ECIA^P^E
;Use these directives at the start of any supplemental file:
;!WIDTH = width of text in window. If your line goes over that,
; makeinfo will wrap it...unless of course you specify
; !NOWRAP. I recommend you do, that way you can format
; your text in the *.TXT file you use to create the
; *.HLP file and it will appear just as you type it.
; If you're going to draw a map or reproduce a screen
; you really need the !NOWRAP directive.
;!SCROLLING = means you allow the user to scroll the window to see
; text that won't fit in the window.
;What follows is a small sample file
!TOPIC 1 About this database
This is a sample file that shows how you can create your own InfoPop
supplemental database. Be sure to read the SAMPLE.TXT file that
was used to create this demo. It explains how you must write the
Note that you must use an 2ASCII editor to create a supplemental
file. Then you must run it through 3MakeInfo to create the
resulting *.HLP file that you can load into Infopop.
!TOPIC 2 ASCII
Not a word processor...A really nice ASCII editor is QEDIT. Others
that will work are BOXER, PC-WRITE, or perhaps even WordPerfect
(just as long as you remember to save the file as an ASCII (DOS
text) file (CTRL-F5).
!TOPIC 3 MakeInfo
Makeinfo is a utility that will turn your *.TXT file into a database
that 4InfoPop can read and use. The ASCII text file will be
converted to binary form and compressed.
; Note in this case, there is no !INDEX directive. Omitting !NOINDEX
; will force this entry into the main index, displaying it in
; alphabetical order
!TOPIC 4 InfoPop
InfoPop (from 5GMUtant Software) is the whole point of this. IP.EXE
(the program) is what you use as the hypertext search engine for
!TOPIC 5 GMUtant Software
InfoPop and MakeInfo are not public domain. You may freely use,
fcopy and distribute the InfoPop package, provided that you
distribute all files contained in the archive. Any distribution
of InfoPop must include: IP.EXE, INFOPOP.HLP, IP.DOC, MAKEINFO.EXE and
You may create your own databases, compile them with MakeInfo
and distribute them if you wish.
Author: Clyde W. Grotophorst
email: [email protected]
; NOTE that you may have no more than 175 cross-references per
; topic. Thus, if you had more than 175 topics you would have
; to break your index up so that no one topic (in this case, the
; index), would be linked to more than 175 other topics or
; have more than 175 topics linked to it
!TOPIC 6 Index
Here are the topics covered in this database.