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making help topics

Posted on 1998-10-08
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Last Modified: 2013-11-20
I made an application on VC++4.0. I understand that to customize the help topics I have to edit the .RTF files and change them, but each time I am changing those files the MakeHelp doesn't generate any .hlp file. For simple changes, like changing <<YourApp>>, the .hlp file can be generated but I don't see those changes on the help window. I think the problem is either my version of VC++ or the fact that I am editing the .RTF files using word.

Any suggestions,
m3
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Question by:m3
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13 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:kinkajou
ID: 1323104
So, when you run the hcw.exe with a valid .HPJ file and a changed .RTF, the resultant .HLP file does not show your changes?

Is Word keeping the help links in tack when you change your RTF file?

Also, which version of Word are you using? RTF formatting has changed some recently and it could be that you are using a version of Word and RTF that is incompatible with VC++ 4.0.
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Expert Comment

by:kinkajou
ID: 1323105
A lot of the time I take and existing .RTF and edit it using a text editor. I hate the way Word chops and mangles the formatting. But the down side is having to understand the RTF their tagging sceme.

Let's all say "Thank you Microsoft" for making everything so damn cryptic and verbose!
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Author Comment

by:m3
ID: 1323106
I noticed that each time I am saving with Wordt, the help can not read the file any more. Is there any alternative editor?

m3.
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Author Comment

by:m3
ID: 1323107
I switched to VC++5. with Office 97, but it still the same problem.

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Expert Comment

by:kinkajou
ID: 1323108
I've tried using the different version of Word with Office 95 and 97 to no avail. It should work but...

Any text editor will do, even Word (save as .txt and edit in text mode for word). I often use CodeWrite (almost always), the MSVC editor or NotePad. Are you familiar with RTF tagging?
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Author Comment

by:m3
ID: 1323109
The log file says:
HC4010: Warning:
      There are more opening braces than closing braces.
    HC4013: Warning:
      Invalid default font number in \\afxcore.rtf. Using Times New Roman as the default font.
    HC4002: Warning:
      The RTF file \\afxcore.rtf is corrupted at offset 353.

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Expert Comment

by:kinkajou
ID: 1323110
Yes, that is the familiar error message.
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Expert Comment

by:kinkajou
ID: 1323111
Do you have a version of the RTF that works? And you just want to make changes? Yes?
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Accepted Solution

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kinkajou earned 50 total points
ID: 1323112
So what you do is take the file that works and edit it. You're going to see lots of tags jumbled in the editor. Look for the id's that label your strings. For example. One of my strings is labled with "HID_ADVANCED". In the RTF, I would look for "{ HID_ADVANCED" followed by some "}"'s and a "{ \f##\fs##\lang##". The "\f" is a font defintion indicating a font defined at the top by the ## number. The "\fs" is the font size definition with ## indicating the size. The "\lang" is what language to use (you may not have this - I do lots of multi-lingual work) with a ## indicating the language id. Next is a space and the text. Edit the text at will. Save and build the HLP as usual. If you didn't make any mistakes, it should work just fine.

If you need to add formatting to the text, I suggest:

 RTF formatting specifications can be found on the Mircrosoft web page at: http://support.microsoft.com/support/downloads/default.asp, go to Mircrosoft Office>Word>97>GCo165.exe. and
    http://www.sunpack.com/RTF/.
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Expert Comment

by:kinkajou
ID: 1323113
BTW, the "HID_ADVANCED" is visible within Word as a footnote (go to view->footnotes) or by leaving the mouse cursor over the footnote marker at the beginning of the text line.


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Author Comment

by:m3
ID: 1323114
I want both, change the available once and make a new file.
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Expert Comment

by:kinkajou
ID: 1323115
If you want to make a new RTF file, I would suggest using WordPad and saving a template RTF file. Take the template and edit using the font tags defined from the top of the RTF file and use the ID's form your resource files for your project.

WARNING: This process is not for meek. You will have to spend some time looking at the documentation I gave in my answer to know how to build these files. This can be a very tedious process.
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Author Comment

by:m3
ID: 1323116
I just saved the file on WordPad, the font warning doesn't appear but I still have one more warning:
HC4002: Warning:
      The RTF file C:\stef\Muni\muni\hlp\.\afxcore.rtf is corrupted at offset 34308.
And when I click on the topic I get a white page.
Microsoft provide some information about the RTF format but the put it in 165 pages that I can not read in few hours.
Any suggestion is welcome.
m3

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