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

Using Execution Aliases in Hyperlinks

An execution alias can be referenced using the <link> element or used in conjunction with elements that have a hyperlink parameter, such as <p> or <figure>.

To Create an Execution Link Using an Execution Alias

    Use the <link> element as shown:

<link "DtHelpExecAlias alias_name [default_command]" Execute >text<\link>  



Keyword that identifies this link has an execution alias


Name defined as an alias in the execution alias resource specification

default_command Optional.

If provided, this command is executed when an execution alias has not been loaded from an application's application defaults file. For example, application resources are not loaded when a help volume is displayed from an information viewer, such as Help View.


The portion of your help text that you want to designate as the hyperlink text (underlined)

Note -

If the command you are executing doesn't finish immediately, run it in the background by appending an &(ampersand) to the command. If you don't, the help window will not operate until the command finishes.


This hyperlink references the execution alias named, xclockAlias. The resource definition for the alias is shown in the section "Execution Aliases".

The link starts the xclock program running in the background. The phrase "Start the Clock" becomes the hyperlink. Clicking the hyperlink runs the xclock program in a separate window. To end the program, close the window.

<link "DtHelpExecAlias xclockAlias" Execute>Start the Clock<\link>

Here is the same hyperlink including an optional default command.

<link "DtHelpExecAlias xclockAlias xclock &" Execute>Start the Clock<\link>