Full-View - Windows for Pick

(C) Copyright 1985-1996 Modular Software Corporation. All rights reserved.

Version 2.0 for AP - February 14, 1996

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A general help facility is supplied which provides an easy windowing interface for displaying application help text to the user. An interactive painter is used to create or modify help text which is then stored as an item in a data file. It may then be utilized either with a simple BASIC subroutine call, or used directly by the data entry system. The help text is displayed within a pane and may appear anywhere on the screen. After the help text is displayed, the application screen will be restored and the calling application will resume.

The HELP SYSTEM includes routines to create and utilize help text. The functions are designed so that the text is displayed until the operator presses a key, at which time the calling application is re-entered with the screen contents are restored.

The help text is stored in two files in source and in object format. The source items are stored in the file HELP.SOURCE and the object is stored in HELP.OBJ.


An application program can display help text by calling an external subroutine with this sequence:

The string is a literal or variable which contains the ITEM-ID of the help text in the HELP.OBJ file.

In addition to using a painted help item with FV.HELP, either external BASIC subroutines or EXECUTED TCL statements may be specified. In order to run a BASIC subroutine, pass the string:


The subroutine may be entered with or without a window dimension parameter list. If window dimensions are included, the specified window (with border) will be created before the subroutine is executed. If no parameters are specified, the subroutine will execute in the currently defined window (or full-screen) area.

Executing a TCL command proceeds in much the same manner with:

    EXECUTE\tcl command

    EXECUTE\X0,X1,Y0,Y1\tcl command


The ENTER-HELP function is the main entry point to the HELP SYSTEM painter. To enter help text named CUST.NAME.HELP type:

The painter operates very simply and displays a blank screen on which help text is entered (painted). The help text may be entered anywhere on the screen and when finished, the painter will draw a box around it. All of the normal data entry features, including character insert/delete may be used to facilitate the entry of help text.

In addition to the simple entry of help text, several other functions are provided for manipulation of help text. When the help text entry function is exited with the SCREEN EXIT function a sub-menu is displayed which includes the following choices:

edit the help text on screen.
view the text in final form.
save and compile the help text.
exit without saving.
Cursor keys
relocate the text. The number of spaces or lines to move is prompted for.
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