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H E L P



A DOS Help Function



Version B




R E F E R E N C E M A N U A L













Focused Magic Software, Inc.
P.O. Box 1069
Washington Grove, MD 20880




Copyright (c) 1987 Focused Magic Software, Inc.
All Rights Reserved







































This Manual was completely updated to reflect the current
state of the help programs as of release B.

Specifications subject to change without notice

HELP 2.1, HELP 3.1, HELP 3.2, and HELP 3.3 software copyright
(C) 1987 FM Software, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Software names in this manual are trademarks or trade
names of specific manufacturers.

Printed in the United States of America























HELP Version B
- 3 -


TABLE OF CONTENTS


License .............................................. 4

Warranty ............................................. 5

Ordering Information ................................. 6

Preface .............................................. 7

Introduction ......................................... 8

Installation ......................................... 9

Getting Started ...................................... 10

Personalizing HELP ................................... 12






































Copyright (C) 1987 Focused Magic Software, Inc.





HELP Version B
- 4 -


LICENSE


All versions of Help, including version B, are distributed
under the "ShareWare" concept. They are neither Public
Domain nor FreeWare.

HELP is copyright (C) 1987 by FM Software, Inc.

Non-registered users are granted a limited license to use
any version of HELP on a 30 day trial basis for the purpose
of determining whether it is useful to them. Use of any
version of HELP, besides on this trial basis, requires
registration. Use of non-registered copies of any version of
Help by any person, business, corporation, government agency,
or any other institution is strictly prohibited.

Registration permits a user the license to use the version of
Help registered on a single computer; a registered user may
use the program on a different computer, only if the program
is not run on more than one computer at the same time.

No registered or non-registered user may modify any version
of HELP in any way, including decompiling or reverse
engineering of the program.

All users are granted a limited license to make copies of a
version of HELP only for the trial basis of others and
subject to the following conditions:

HELP must be copied in unmodified form, including the
file which contains this license information.

The full HELP documentation which is provided with the
executable of the HELP program must be included with the
copy.

The user may not collect or request any fee, charge or
other compensation for the copy provided.

HELP may not be distributed in conjunction with any
other product without the express written consent of FM
Custom Software, Inc.

Operators of electronic bulletin board systems may post any
version of HELP for downloading by their users only as long
as the above conditions are followed.

Distributors of public domain or user supported software may
distribute copies of any version of HELP subject to the above
conditions and after obtaining written permission from FM
Software, Inc. Permission is usually given; write for
details.



Copyright (C) 1987 Focused Magic Software, Inc.





HELP Version B
- 5 -


WARRANTY

FM Software, Inc. makes no warranty of any kind, expressed or
otherwise any warranties of merchantability and/or fitness
for a particular purpose. FM Custom Software, Inc. shall not
be liable for any damages, whether direct, or indirect
arising from the failure of any HELP program to operate in
the manner desired by a user. FM Software, Inc. shall not be
liable for any damage to data or property which may be caused
directly or indirectly from the use or misuse of any version
of the HELP program.

IN NO EVENT WILL FM Software, Inc. BE LIABLE TO ANY USER FOR
DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST PROFITS, LOST SAVINGS, OR OTHER
INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE,
MISUSE, OR INABILITY TO USE ANY VERSION OF HELP, OR FOR ANY
CLAIM BY ANY OTHER PARTY.

In the event of permanent failure of a registered user's
version of HELP, FM Custom Software will replace the version
at a cost not to exceed the cost of a floppy disk and the
shipping and handling associated with the mailing of the disk
to the registered user.

































Copyright (C) 1987 Focused Magic Software, Inc.





HELP Version B
- 6 -


ORDERING INFORMATION


A HELP registration license allows the use of the product on
a regular basis. Registration includes notification of
updates and a printed manual. Users need to register only
one version of HELP; registration includes licensed use of
all upgrades.

Individual registrations cost $35. All upgrades of HELP are
available to registered users at a reduced cost of $8. This
cost is to cover the disk, printing, shipping and handling.

All corporate, business, government or other commercial users
of any version of HELP must be registered. An individual
registration of HELP for a corporation or business does not
grant the business the right to make unlimited copies of HELP
for their employees. A registered copy of HELP is required
for each user of the program.

FM Software does sell this product at a discount for quantity
orders and will engage in site licensing. Please send a
written request for information about quantity ordering, and
include in the request the number of copies which you are
interested in purchasing.

For use outside the US: Send checks drawn on US Banks in US
dollars. We can accept non-US currency, however, include an
additional $5 to cover conversion and collection costs.

Send all requests for registration to:

FM Software, Inc.
P.O. Box 1069
Washington Grove, MD 20880





















Copyright (C) 1987 Focused Magic Software, Inc.





HELP Version B
- 7 -


PREFACE TO HELP VERSION B


The B versions of Help 2.1, Help 3.1, Help 3.2, Help 3.3 have
a new look. In a effort to save on code size, the Help
programs now contain a data file with all the DOS command
information. In addition, the program comes in two versions
which are included with the documentation. The first is a
version similar to version A in that it is called from the
DOS command line. The second is a "Terminate and Stay
Resident" (TSR) which can be loaded at any time and
subsequently accessed by typing Alt-H, or a user defined
"Hot Key".

The B version of Help also will leave your screen in the
condition from which you called it with the addition of a
up to 5 lines containing the format of the command on which
help was requested (this does not apply to the TSR version,
which will not alter the screen). All of the improvements
and changes to the Help Versions are explained within the
Reference Manual.



































Copyright (C) 1987 Focused Magic Software, Inc.





HELP Version B
- 8 -


INTRODUCTION


Help has designed to provide a quick reference for the
DOS commands and programs which are used frequently. It
is available for DOS versions 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3. The
program consists of the executable code as well as a data
file containing the information about the various commands.

In addition to the data about commands, programs and
features of DOS, the Help program has been designed to allow
the user to add his own text files containing information
about programs and utilities which he uses regularly. These
files can be any Ascii text file up to 69 lines in length.

Help comes in two versions. One is a version which is
called by typing in "help" at the DOS Command Line. The
second is memory resident and is installed by typing
"tsrhelp" at the DOS Command Line. Thereafter, the memory
resident version is typically invoked by typing "Alt-H".

Help Files:

In order to run any version of help the following files
are required:

HELP.COM, the help executable file;
TSRHELP.COM, the resident version of help;
COMMANDS.HLP, the help data file.

In addition, any text files, which are created by the user,
should be located in the directory with the above files.
These files should be named ".hlp", where
is the name of the function which is requested from the help
command line. It should be noted that the user created help
files will not be included in the index of DOS commands and
functions which are supported by HELP (the display which is
invoked by typing "help").

HELP Environment Variables:

Version B of HELP supports the use of DOS Environment
Variables. These variables are used to set the filename of
the main help file, if other than the default; to designate
the path where all the help files exist; the colors which the
help screens will be displayed in; and the Hot Key which is
to be used to invoke the resident version of HELP. The exact
description and use of the HELP environment variables are
contained in the Personalizing HELP section of this manual.







Copyright (C) 1987 Focused Magic Software, Inc.





HELP Version B
- 9 -


INSTALLING HELP


Once the files have been dearchived, they need to be
properly located on the disk. HELP assumes that it will be
used on a hard disk with the drive letter c:. These defaults
can be changed by use of environment variables, if the
default configuration is particularly unpalatable to the
user.

The first step is to create a subdirectory "\help".
This subdirectory must be one level below the root directory
on the drive c:. The file "commands.hlp" must then be placed
into this subdirectory. Additionally, all user created help
files must also be placed in this directory. The files
"help.com" and "tsrhelp.com" may be placed anywhere on the
disk, and ideally should be placed within the DOS PATH.
Usually, this file is placed either in the directory "\help",
or in the directory where external DOS command files are kept
(such as "format.com"). Note that if the file is placed in
the "\help" directory, then a path should be created to allow
DOS to find the file. Usually this is accomplished by
placing the command "PATH C:\HELP" in the "autoexec.bat"
file. At this point help is ready to run. Simply type "help
" at the command line to get help about the DOS
command you specified.

Not everyone will want to use this particular directory
configuration. Some may wish to use a different directory
name, and others may wish to put the information file on
another disk, such as a RAM disk. HELP will be happy to look
elsewhere for the information requested, but must be told
where to look. This is accomplished by the used of an
environment variable. HELP looks in the environment for the
string "HELPPATH" (among others) to determine if it should be
looking elsewhere for its information file(s). To set this
environment variable, simple type "SET HELPPATH=" at
the DOS prompt, where is a full DOS path, including a
drive specification (e.g. d:\tools\hfiles). One warning, DO
NOT follow the with a backslash, this will lead to
unpredictable results. Best results are obtained by putting
this DOS command in you "autoexec.bat" file. For more
information about the environment variables, see the section
Personalizing HELP.












Copyright (C) 1987 Focused Magic Software, Inc.





HELP Version B
- 10 -


GETTING STARTED WITH HELP


Command Line Version:

To use HELP, type the following command:

HELP [/F]

where is the name of the command on which help
is wanted and /F indicates that only the format of the
command is desired. The and /F parameters are
both optional.

If HELP is invoked with no parameters, a list of DOS
commands which are supported by the HELP version being used
is displayed. When HELP is called with a command name, the
information about that command is displayed to the screen.
If the /F parameter is used, only the format of the command
is written to the screen. To exit HELP, type ESC.

It is possible for the information about a command to
require multiple screens. To page through the screens use
Pg-Up and Pg-Dn. In addition, when there are more than two
screens worth of information, the Home and End keys are also
active. The Home key will display the first page of
information and the End key will display the last page of
information. It should be noted that when only two pages of
information about a command exist, the Pg-Up and Pg-Dn keys
function identically to the Home and End keys, respectively.


Memory Resident Version:

If the Memory Resident version of HELP is being used,
installation of the program is required before it can be
used. To install the program, type "TSRHELP" at any DOS
command line. After the initialization of the program, the
user can gain access to it by typing ALT-H. The name> parameter is requested in a small window. To get help
on a specific subject, enter the subject and press carriage
return. If the index of subjects is desired, then simply hit
carriage return at the prompt. The /F parameter is
meaningless in this version. As in the Command line version,
multiple screens of data are manipulated using the Pg-Up,
Pg-Dn, Home and End keys.

User Created HELP Files:

The user can create his own HELP files easily, greatly
enhancing the utility of HELP. The files are simply Ascii
text files which are no longer than 69 lines in length. Once
the text file has been created, store in the same directory
where the file "commands.hlp" was stored. The file MUST have


Copyright (C) 1987 Focused Magic Software, Inc.





HELP Version B
- 11 -


the extension ".hlp". From then on, entering "help "
will display the text file "file.hlp" within the HELP
environment. Note that the extension ".hlp" is NOT entered
when requesting the display of a User Defined Help File. As
an example, if the user had an address list that he wished to
be able to easily access, he could put the list into an Ascii
file called "address.hlp", and store it in the directory
"\help". From then on, when he wished to reference the list
he would simply type "help address" from the command line, or
enter "address" in the window of the resident version. The
file that he developed would then be displayed.













































Copyright (C) 1987 Focused Magic Software, Inc.





HELP Version B
- 12 -


PERSONALIZING HELP


HELP Environment:

Version B of HELP defaults to the following:

* The command file for HELP is "commands.hlp".

* The directory which contains the help files is
"c:\help".

* The default colors are high intensity white on
black for the help text and high intensity white on
blue for the status information.

* The Hot Key for the resident version of HELP is
Alt-H.

To change the defaults, the environment variables are used.
The environment variables can be entered at any DOS command
line or placed in the system initialization batch file,
"autoexec.bat". The environment variables required by help
are as follows:

* helpfile -- changes the default help filename

* helppath -- changes default directory for the help
text files

* helpcolo -- changes the default colors for the help
text and status information

* helphkey -- changes the Hot Key for the resident
version

Each of these variables are initialized within the
"autoexec.bat" file using the DOS "set" command as follows:

set helpfile=[filename.ext]

where : filename.ext is the filename you wish to use
for the main information file. Note that
you will have rename the file
"commands.hlp", and that the file can not be
modified without affecting the operation of
HELP.

set helppath=[d:][path]

where : d is the drive letter, and
path is a full DOS directory path where the
HELP information files will be located.





Copyright (C) 1987 Focused Magic Software, Inc.





HELP Version B
- 13 -


set helpcolo=TF,TB,SF,SB

where : TF is the text foreground color,
TB is the text background color,
SF is the status line foreground color, and
SB is the status line background color.

The following codes are used for the colors :

00 - Black
01 - Blue
02 - Green
03 - Cyan
04 - Red
05 - Magenta
06 - Brown
07 - Grey
08 - High Intensity Black
09 - High Intensity Blue
10 - High Intensity Green
11 - High Intensity Cyan
12 - High Intensity Red
13 - High Intensity Magenta
14 - Yellow
15 - White

Please note that leading zeros are expected.

set helphkey=alt-

where : key can be any alphabetic key (a-z),
any numeric key (0-9), or
any function key (F1-F10)

The key specified will be the hot key used for HELP.
For example, the command "set helphkey=alt-F7" will make
the keystroke "alt-F7" the hot key for bringing up HELP.


Notes :

* Both helpcolo and helphkey must be specified before
installing TSRHELP. TSRHELP will look for these
specifications at installation time, and will not look for
them again.

* When using the environment variables, you may run out of
environment space. Later versions of DOS allow you to
increase the size of the environment by including the
command "shell=command.com /e:xxxxx" in your "config.sys"
file, where xxxxx is the number of bytes to use for the
environment. Please see your DOS manual for more
information.



Copyright (C) 1987 Focused Magic Software, Inc.