Common Desktop Environment: Help System Author's and Programmer's Guide

To Create a Quick Help Dialog

  1. Include the appropriate header files:

    #include <Help.h>
     #include <HelpQuickD.h>
  2. Create an instance of the quick help dialog widget:

    • Use the DtCreateHelpQuickDialog() convenience function.

      Or, use the XtCreateManagedWidget() function.

  3. Add a callback for handling hyperlink events that occur within the dialog. (For more information, see "Responding to Hyperlink Events".)

  4. Add a close callback for handling the OK button.

  5. Configure the dialog buttons that you want to use:

    • If you intend to use the application-configured button, manage it and add an activate callback.

    • If you want to disallow printing, unmanage the Print button.

    • Manage the Help button and add a help callback to the dialog to allow the user to get help on help.


The following code segment creates a quick help dialog (as a child of parent) using the convenience function. The dialog is left unmanaged; presumably, it is managed elsewhere in the application when a help request is made. In this example, the application-configured button is enabled and used to request more help.

Widget   quickHelpDialog, moreButton, helpButton;
 ac = 0;
 XtSetArg (al[ac], XmNtitle,  "My Application - Help");  ac++;
 XtSetArg (al[ac], DtNhelpVolume,  "My Help Volume");  ac++;
 XtSetArg (al[ac], DtNlocationId,  "Getting Started");  ac++;
 XtSetArg (al[ac], DtNhelpType,  "DtHELP_TYPE_TOPIC"); ac++;

 quickHelpDialog =
   DtCreateHelpQuickDialog (parent,  "quickHelpDialog", al, ac);

The following two calls add the hyperlink and close callbacks to the dialog. Presumably, the functions HyperlinkCB() and CloseHelpCB() are declared elsewhere in the application.

XtAddCallback (quickHelpDialog, DtNhyperLinkCallback,
				HyperlinkCB, (XtPointer)NULL);
XtAddCallback (quickHelpDialog, DtNcloseCallback,
                CloseHelpCB, (XtPointer)NULL);

Here, the application-configured button is managed and assigned an activate callback that invokes the application's MoreHelpCB() function.

moreButton = DtHelpQuickDialogGetChild (quickHelpDialog,
 XtManageChild (moreButton);
XtAddCallback (moreButton, XmNactivateCallback,
                MoreHelpCB, (XtPointer)NULL);

To provide "help on help," the dialog's Help button is managed and a help callback is added to the dialog.

helpButton = DtHelpQuickDialogGetChild (quickHelpDialog,
 XtManageChild (helpButton);
XtAddCallback (quickHelpDialog,DtNhelpCallback,
                HelpRequestCB, USING_HELP);

Like other OSF/Motif dialogs, when you add a help callback to a quick help dialog, it is used by both the F1 key and the Help button.

See Also