Installing TECH Help!
TECH Help! is composed of a program and a data file. The hypertext
viewer is named XVIEW.EXE. The accompanying "hypertext database" is
Installation is quite simple. Just run the INSTALL program on the
distribution diskette. When distributed on high-capacity diskettes, you
can install manually by simply copying the files XVIEW.EXE and TECH60.H!
to your hard disk.
The following sections describe some customization features and options.
█▌Multiple Help! databases▐█
If you have more than one compatible hypertext data file, it is possible
that the XVIEW command will startup with the "wrong" file. If that
happens, press F9 or select Open... from the File menu (Alt+F,O) and then
choose the other file.
The "xview topic" syntax causes the Help! viewer to look in all databases
for topic, stopping at the first one it locates. You may wish to select
one of the databases as your "primary" database so that this syntax will
first look for topics in that database. There are two ways to do that:
■ Use F9 to bring up the file list.
Choose the desired hypertext data file and press Enter.
Select "Startup with this file" from the Configure/Options menu.
Choose "Save Setup" from the Configure Menu.
■ Create two or more batch files like so...
│REM start up with TECH Help!
│c:\help\XVIEW /m=c:\help\tech60.H! %1 %2
│REM start up with DOS 6.0 Help
│c:\help\XVIEW /m=c:\help\dos60.H! %1 %2
The /M option selects the primary database. See XVIEW Syntax.
█▌Configuring Colors & Options▐█
The Configure menu provides a way to choose custom colors and other
options. Just press Alt+C to drop-down the menu and use the arrow keys
and Enter to select options.
See Help! Menus for information on each menu option. Remember to choose
Save Setup from the Configure menu (Alt+C,S) to make the Help! viewer
remember your settings.
█▌Controlling the Printer▐█
TECH Help! is primarily an on-screen media, so the printer support is
somewhat limited. Pressing F5 (or Alt+F,P) will send the text of the
current topic to the PRN device. The following procedures provide some
control over printing:
■ Printer Filtering: If your printer cannot print box-and-line
characters, the printed output may contain a bunch of italic Ms or
other characters where you expect to see the box-and-line characters.
In that case, choose Printer Filter from the Configure/Options menu
(Alt+C,O,P). And then Save Setup (Alt+C,S). That way XVIEW will use
universally-printable characters, such as +---+ rather than ┌───┐.
Alternatively, you may be able to set your printer to print the box-
and-line characters. For instance, on HP LaserJets, use the front
panel to select the PC-8 character set.
■ Printing to a different printer: By default, XVIEW prints to PRN
(LPT1). To print to another printer, use Edit to modify the prnName
line of the xView configuration file. See Modifying XVIEW.INI.
■ Printing a setup string: You can set a string of control codes to be
sent to the printer before each topic. Use Edit to modify the prnSetup
line. See Modifying XVIEW.INI.
■ Printing more or fewer lines per page: Use Edit to modify the prnLines
line. You may also want to use a setup string to set your printer to
use a smaller font. See Modifying XVIEW.INI.
■ Early page eject; and blank pages: By default, XVIEW prints 59 lines
of text and then ejects the page. If your printer has been set to
automatically eject at exactly 59 lines, xView will print a blank page
between each printed page.
To change this behavior, you may modify XVIEW.INI, as above, setting
prnLines= to a smaller number (say, 55) OR send a prnSetup string to
tell your printer to print more lines before ejecting the page, OR use
your printer's front panel to set the default page length to 60 or more
Here are several other installation options and tips:
■ Put XVIEW on your path. Add c:\your_TechHelp_dir to your command
search path so you can easily start XVIEW, regardless of your current
■ Make a batch file to start TECH Help!. Many users find it convenient
to have a \BATCH directory on the command search path to hold often-
used batch files. A batch file such as...
│c:\help\xview %1 /M=c:\help\tech60.h!
...will start TECH Help! and ensure that it locates its data file.
See xView■Syntax for related details.
■ XVIEW will find the TECH60.H! file if it's in the same directory as
XVIEW.EXE. It will also find it if it's anywhere on the command search
path or if you have used /M=file in the XVIEW command line.
Another way to ensure that it will find its data file is to store an
XVIEWPATH variable in the DOS environment like so:
Set XVIEWPATH=c:\yourTechHelp_dir ◄─┘
This is also handy if you have other hypertext data files created
with Flambeaux Software's xText hypertext authoring system.
■ TECH Help! will look for its configuration file (XVIEW.INI) in the
directory in which XVIEW.EXE is stored. Another way to ensure that
it can find the file is to store an XVIEWINIT variable in the DOS
environment like so:
Set XVIEWINIT=c:\yourTechHelp_dir ◄─┘
This is important on networks, since it allows each user to have custom
colors and options. Contact Flambeaux Software for information on
network licensing of TECH Help!.
You may wish to install TECH Help! as a TSR▲. You may do so by executing
loadhigh xview /I (386+ PCs after using DOS=UMB in CONFIG.SYS)
...or by placing that command in your AUTOEXEC.BAT. You may then access
TECH Help! by pressing Alt+H OR put the cursor on the text of an indexed
topic (such as ASCII) and press Alt+L.
There are several memory-saving options in which TECH Help! uses available
expanded or extended memory. For instance, use...
...to install TECH Help! so that it uses only about 5K of conventional
memory and swaps its code and data to extended memory.
It is possible to select different pop-up hot keys. See Popup Help! and
xView■Syntax for related details.
█▌Backups and Bootlegs▐█
TECH Help! is not copy-protected. Registered owners are expressly granted
the right to copy the TECH Help! files to a backup diskette and/or your
hard disk for support of a single user on a single computer, as provided
for in the License Agreement which accompanies this software.
TECH Help! is a copyrighted, proprietary, commercial program and
all rights, including distribution in any form, are reserved by
Flambeaux Software, Inc.
It is NOT NICE to give away copies of TECH Help!, since Dan Rollins and
the hard-working people at Flambeaux Software would not receive any money
for the effort that has gone into this product and Dan's two beautiful
children will be forced to live in the street, begging for scraps of
If you happened to get a bootleg copy of any of the Help! series, please
write or call:
Flambeaux Software, Inc.
1147 East Broadway Street, Suite 56
Glendale, CA 91205
...to obtain the full package at a SPECIAL DISCOUNT for BOOTLEG-BUSTERS.
You will not be asked to tell us the source of your copy. And we accept
Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
If you see TECH Help! on any BBS, we would appreciate it if you tell the
SysOp that TECH Help! is a copyrighted commercial product, not "Freeware",
not "Shareware", and not public domain.
Finally, we appreciate your feedback on this product and we apologize for
any errors and typos in this text. The skinny TECH Help! disk represents
years of work researching, testing, cross-referencing, typing, and
proofreading; it's the equivalent of several large books.
To err is human; to forgive, divine.
Popup Help! Installing & Configuring Help! xView■Syntax Main Menu