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

Create the Source Directory

  1. Create a directory named helpfiles where you will create and process your help files.

  2. Create a text file named Commands in the directory just created.

    For this example, all the information is put into a single file. Typically, you will use multiple files to fully explain the system or application you are writing help for.

    The Commands file contains text and element tags. The element tags within the < and > (angle brackets) indicate the structure of the information.

  3. Type the following markup text in the Commands file.

      <hometopic>  Command Summary
     Your &product; is capable of the following operations:
    <list bullet>
      * <xref ChannelChange>
      * <xref VolumeUp>
      * <xref VolumeDown>
      * <xref VolumeMute>
     Choose one of the hyperlinks (underlined phrases)
     to find out how to perform that operation.
     <s1 id=ChannelChange>  Changing the Channel
                             <idx|channel, changing|
     Speak the command:
     <ex> channel<\ex>
     followed by a number from one to ninety nine.
     <s1 id=VolumeUp>  Turning Up the Volume
                             <idx|volume, changing|
     Speak the command:
     <ex> volume up<\ex>
     For additional volume, speak the command:
     <ex> more<\ex>
     (See also <xref VolumeDown> )
     <s1 id=VolumeDown> Turning Down the Volume
                             <idx|volume, changing|
     Speak the command:
     <ex> volume down<\ex>
     To further reduce the volume, speak the command:
     <ex> more<\ex>
     (See also <xref VolumeUp>  and <xref VolumeMute> )
     <s1 id=VolumeMute> Turning Off the Sound
                             <idx|volume, changing|
                             <idx|sound, on/off|
     Speak the command:
     <ex> sound off<\ex>
     To restore the sound, speak the command:
     <ex> sound on<\ex>
     (See also <xref VolumeDown>  and <xref VolumeUp> )
  4. Create a text file that gives the information a title, provides copyright information, and provides other information about the online help.

    In this example, the following text is put into a file called Metainfo in the same directory as the Commands file.

          <title> Using the &product;
          &copy; 1995 Voice Activation Company.  All rights reserved.
          <abstract> Help for Using the &product;.