Help Topic Author

Help File Authoring Tool


Contents


Description

The Help Topic Author program assists in the production of rich text source files for use with the Microsoft Help Workshop or other help compilers. The program keeps track of the topic titles, ids, keywords and hotlinks in the help system without the user having to manually enter and maintain the required special text formatting and footnotes.

Each topic is listed in the left hand pane of the display as it is added. The text associated with each topic is entered and edited in the right hand pane. It is easy to move between topics by clicking on the required topic title to have its text and attributes displayed in the right hand pane.

Topics entered using Help Topic Author can be saved to disk and loaded again later for editing. At any stage the program can output a rich text file suitable for compiling into a help file.


Compatibility

This is a 32 bit Windows program. It has been tested under Windows 98 and should run on Windows 95 and Me.

The program is known to be incompatible with Windows 2000 and should not be used on this platform. Note: Help Topic Author will detect Windows 2000 and will refuse to run on that platform. It is hoped that a future release will be Windows 2000 compatible. It is unknown if this problem extends to earlier versions of Windows NT. See below.


Installation and removal

Installation

Help Topic Author is provided in a self-extracting install program - htainst.exe. The installation program is a console application that executes in a terminal window. htainst.exe may also be distributed within a .zip file along with ReadMe.txt. If this is the case, unzip the .zip file and then execute htainst.exe, after reading ReadMe.txt for further information.

By default Help Topic Author is installed into C:\Program Files\PJSoft\HelpAuthor1. To install the program into the default folder simply navigate in Explorer to where you downloaded htainst.exe and double click the file. The installer will open a console and will display its welcome message before pausing for you to enter an installation path. Either press return to accept the suggested path or enter the required path and press return.

Installing Help Topic Author will make the following changes to your system:

File Manifest

A list of installed files is included in ReadMe.txt.

Source Code

The program's source code is not provided with this distribution. It is available for download from my website.

Removal

To uninstall Help Topic Author use Control Panel's Add/Remove Programs applet.

To take care of uninstallation on behalf of Add/Remove programs htainst.exe installs a console based uninstall program (UnInstall.exe) into the root installation folder (C:\Program Files\PJSoft\HelpAuthor1 by default). This program requires a data file - UnInstall.xml and a DLL - InstallLib.dll - which are also installed. Care should be taken not to move or delete these files as they are required by Add/Remove programs.

UnInstall.exe deletes most files and cleans the registry. However, UnInstall.exe can't delete itself. Once Help Topic Author has been uninstalled it is safe to manually delete UnInstall.exe and the installation folder.

If for any reason uninstallation via Control Panel does not work then you can uninstall manuall. ReadMe.txt gives details of how to do this.


Known Issues


Update History

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.0 of 02/07/1999

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.1 of 23/07/1999

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.1.1 of 30/07/1999

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.2 of 04/08/1999

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.3 of 07/08/1999

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.3.1 of 11/09/2000

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.3.2 of 12/09/2000

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.3.3 of 14/09/2000

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.4 of 25/10/2000

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.4.1 of 25/10/2000

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.5 of 27/10/2000

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.6 of 28/10/2000

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.7 of 29/10/2000

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.7.1 of 04/11/2000

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.7.2 of 05/11/2000

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.7.3 of 05/11/2000

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.7.4 of 12/12/2000

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.7.5 of 23/12/2000

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.8 of 13/05/2001

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.8.1 of 13/05/2001

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.8.2 of 20/05/2001

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.9 of 23/06/2001

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.9.1 of 23/06/2001

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.9.2 of 23/06/2001

Release 1.10 of 21/07/2001
Help Topic Author v1.10.0 of 21/07/2001

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.10.1 of 05/08/2001

Release 1.10.2 of 12/08/2001
Help Topic Author v1.10.2 of 11/08/2001

No public release
Help Topic Author v1.11.0 of 25/08/2001

Release 1.12 of 30/08/2001
Help Topic Author v1.12.0 of 30/08/2001

Release 1.12.1 of 09/09/2001
Help Topic Author v1.12.1 of 09/09/2001


License & Copyright

This program is copyright 1999-2001 - PJSoft (P.D.Johnson), Llanarth, Wales, UK.

The program and source code (where supplied) is placed in the public domain. It may be freely copied and circulated on a not-for-profit basis providing that

By not-for-profit I mean that you may recover out of pocket expenses incurred in distributing the code, but you should not make any profit from this.

No warranty is made about the suitability of this software for any application. It is provided "as-is" and is used at your own risk.

If you discover any bugs in this implementation, or if you have any update suggestions, please contact me on peter.johnson@openlink.org.

Please do modify the source code for you own use providing it is not re-distributed (see above). I'd like to see any changes you make - I could incorporate them into future versions. Please notify me of changes on at the above e-mail address.

All registered trademarks are acknowledged.


About the Author

I'm Peter Johnson - a hobbyist programmer living in Ceredigion in West Wales, UK. I write mainly in Delphi, but occasionally dabble in C, C++ and Java. My programs are available for download on my web-site: http://www.pjsoft.contactbox.co.uk/.

I can be contacted by e-mail on peter.johnson@openlink.org.