This program allows you to use a normal text editor to generate Windows
3.x help files. You will still need access to a copy of the Microsoft
What you will not need is an editor that outputs RTF (Rich Text Format)
. QDHELP takes an ascii file that contains commands, a very little bit
like TeX, and outputs the RTF format that the Microsoft Help compiler
needs to churn out Windows 3.x help file.
QDHELP is shareware. Check it out. If you use it register it! To
register just fill out the REGISTER.FRM file using any ascii editor
and send it in. The cost? A mere $49.00 + 5.00 S/H, which is a drop in the
bucket next to a RTF word processors!
To run qdhelp you type
QDHELP infile [outfile]
The infile is the file which contains the ascii text including commands
for QDHELP. The outfile (which is optional) contains the output RTF
file. If no outfile is given the output is written to out.rtf.
The standard file extensions for the input file is .qdh and for the
output file is .rtf.
QDHELP.EXE - The program
QDHELP.WRI - A windows write format full document of QDHELP.
README - This file
WHATSNEW.WRI - A windows write format document describing the new
features for this release.
REGISTER.TXT - The registration form.
QDREPORT.EXE - A program which will generate 3 reports from the
.DB file output by QDHELP. TOPICS.RPT, BROWSE.RPT
and LINKS.RPT. Each report gives information about
the structure and layout of your help file.
QDHELPSR.ZIP - A archive that contains the source files used to
generate the QDHELP.HLP help file. To build the help
file simply execute
QDHELP.HLP - A actual windows 3.1 help file that describes QDHELP
syntax and commands. This file can be viewed in
windows by opening the help window from the program
manager. Then choose the Open option under the
File menu. From the open file dialog box choose the
QDHELP.HLP file and you will be rocking and rolling.
The following template .hlp files can be viewed in the
same way as this file.
TPLATE30.QDH - A simple sample QDH file to get you started with help
files for windows 3.0
TPLATE31.QDH - A simple sample QDH file to get you started with help
files for windows 3.1
GLOSS.QDH - A simple sample QDH file showing how to implement a
glossary like all the fancy help files you are used to.
UPTEST.QDH - A simple example showing how to creat a up button using
SOUND.QDH - A example showing how to play sound from q QDHELP file.
This example also needs the file SOUND.SHG and QDHELP.WAV
KEYWORDS.QDH - A example showing how to use QDHELP to generate a help
file with keywords placed at different places in a
These are the basic steps needed to generate a help file for
windows 3.x using the QDHELP program.
Write the .qdh file using any standard editor. This should be
a raw ascii file.
Run the .qdh file thru the QDHELP program until there are no
run the hc command on the .hpj file output by QDHELP.
You should now have a .hlp file which you can load into the windows
3.x help engine by choosing the open command from the file menu
of the help window.
QDHELP file syntax.
There are three places to learn about the syntax of the qdhelp
1) look at the provided .qdh files
2) Running Windows 3.x load the qdhelp.hlp file into the help
system and browse thru it. The meaning of all of the
commands can be found there. Many of the commands are not
really qdhelp command but straight RTF commands that are
passed thru to the help compiler.
The Microsoft help compiler is available on Compuserve.
There is also a version of the 3.1 help compiler in the WINSDK Forum
on compuserve. Library 16 (WinHelp). It is a version that will use
extended memory for compiling large help files. I suspect you are
supposed to have a current version of the help compiler to use this
one. So your on your honor.
I would strongly suggest that you beg, borrow or in some other way
get your hands on a copy of Microsoft Windows 3.1 Programmers Reference
Volume 4 Resource. Chapter 15 of this book covers all the Win 3.1
Macros and what they do. Along with some other information on help.
I would appreciate your help in finding and killing the bugs that
are lurking in QDHELP. If you have questions, comments, bug reports
or anything else on your mind you can reach me at the following
internet [email protected]
I use QDHELP to generate help files, I hope you will find it useful