Visual FoxPro IDE hooks to Help Builder

Help Builder provides a keyboard interface via a small program file that allows you to directly access help builder in context of the currently selected object. The keyboard interface is started via a small PRG file that ships with Help Builder that attaches several ON KEY LABEL keys to your environment.

To start this interface simply:

DO wwHelp_keys

with wwHelp_keys.prg located somewhere along your FoxPro path. Note that it mustbe in your path or else the actual hotkey requests may fail.

Once the hotkeys have been set up you'll get the following functionality whenever an object is selected either at runtime or in the class designer or on a live form at runtime:

Alt-F1
Brings up the Help Builder object or snippet with the current HelpContextId selected if the source object has this ID set.

Ctrl-F1
Sets the HelpContextId of the currently selected object in the screen or class designer from the currently selected topic in the Help Builder object.

If you're in a method snippet Help Builder will update or create a comment block from the currently active Help Builder Topic and embed the new text at the end of the snippet. If an existing snippet exists it's replaced. NOTE: For now this works only with Help Builder's Comment snippet format

Shift-F1
Brings up the New Topic Wizard and prompts you to create a new topic. Once the topic is created use Ctrl-F1 to update the object or snippet with the new topic information.

F2
Updates the currently open Help Builder topic from the currently open snippet. If the topic names are identical the Help Builder topic is updated without prompting. Otherwise, a dialog will ask whether you want to proceed.

Modifying the hotkeys and operation

wwHelp_keys.prg is provided as FoxPro source code and you can modify the source code to fit your needs. To change the hotkeys change the ON KEY LABEL commands with your own keystrokes:

***These activate the following functions via hotkeys
ON KEY LABEL ALT-F1 DO wwHelp_ShowContextId IN WWHELP_KEYS
ON KEY LABEL CTRL-F1 DO wwHelp_SetContextID IN WWHELP_KEYS
ON KEY LABEL SHIFT-F1 DO wwHelp_NewTopic IN WWHELP_KEYS

The hotkey functionality is entirely implemented via automating the wwHelp.wwHelp COM object. It's a simple demonstration of how you can control Help Builder's user interface in your own development environment.


© West Wind Techologies, 2018 • Updated: 08/13/15
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