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2,001 Tips
Windows 3.x

Closing Secondary Windows: Click, Click ... Gone

Secondary windows are windows that pop-up on top of the main window in Windows Help. They usually have a Close button, but if there isn't one, you can close a secondary window by double-clicking on the horizontal bar in the upper left corner of the window. Windows Help also includes pop-ups; these can be dispatched with a single mouse click, or by pressing any key.

Make Help Stay on Top

You can keep Windows Help displayed on top of the application you are using, so it's easier to follow the help file instructions. In WinHelp, select Help/Always On Top. This is a check-mark menu item that you can also use to turn off the function. With the WinHelp window on top of your application screen, you can resize and relocate it as necessary.

Memorable Bookmarks

You can share your bookmarks and annotations with someone else who has the same help file. If you have created any bookmarks, there will be a WINHELP.BMK file in the Windows directory. Send it to someone with the same help file and they will have your bookmarks. Delete it and your bookmarks go away.

Sharing Notes

Windows Help file annotations are saved in the Windows directory as files with the extension .ANN and with the same filename as the help file. So, annotations for WTHELP.HLP are in WTHELP.ANN in the Windows directory. If you send the .ANN file to someone with the same help file, they can read your annotations. If you delete it, your annotations will be erased.

Mouseless Maneuvers

You don't have to use the mouse to select a text or graphical hot spot in a Windows Help file. While displaying a Windows Help screen, press Shift+Tab and a hot spot will be highlighted. Press Enter to activate the hot spot, or press Shift+Tab again to move to the next hot spot.

Copy That Content

To save the contents of a Windows Help file topic in another format, select Edit/Copy. A dialog appears, in which you select the text you want to place on Clipboard. Then, open another application (a word processor, for example), paste in the text from Clipboard and save it in the desired format.

Don't Copy That Content

Don't even try to copy graphics or the content of help file pop-ups or secondary windows to Windows' Clipboard. Windows Help doesn't allow copying pop-ups or graphics to Clipboard.

Clip-On Comments

You can annotate any help file and add your own tips, tricks or experiences. In a help file, select Edit/Annotate, and type your annotation into the dialog box (or paste text from Clipboard). Select Save, and the help file will be marked with an image of a paper clip-a visual indication that there is an annotation. Single-click on the paper clip to read the annotation.

Graphic Help

You can copy Windows Help graphics, but it takes some work. With the graphic you want to copy on the screen, press your keyboard's Print Screen button. Open the Windows Paintbrush applet (from Program Manager, select File/Run and enter PBRUSH), and select Edit/Paste. Then save the graphic as a BMP file.

Defining Bookmarks

You can mark your path through a help file and revisit favorite places. When you find a place you may want to revisit, select Bookmark/Define and in the dialog box give the bookmark a name. Once you create a bookmark, it appears under the Bookmark menu every time you open the help file.

Some Day Your Prints Will Come

To print a help screen, select File/Print Topic. Windows Help will print the topic you're currently viewing-complete with graphics.

Help for Missing Help

If you click on an application's help button and see the message, "Help File Not Found," it's probably because you moved your application to a different hard disk. Select File/Open and look through the directories on your disk to see if you can find a HLP file with a name similar to that of the application. If possible, edit the INI file or change the start-up parameters of your application so it is able to locate its help file.

Hitting All the Hot Spots

You can easily find graphical or text hot spots in Windows Help files. Press Ctrl+Tab and all the hot spots on the current help screen will appear with their colors reversed. You can click on any hot spot to jump to another part of the file, or to display a pop-up window. Text hot spots are usually indicated by color and underlining.

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