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An RTF based help viewer

Started by hutch--, March 10, 2022, 08:07:03 PM

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The attached zip file contains an RTF viewer that is designed to be very easy to use to make help data for software, it is not dedicated to any particular language and is capable of reference material and source code which can be easily copied. The basic of the technique is a single binary file that has a dedicated directory branched off it called surprisingly enough "rtf" where you can put as many rtf files as you like.

The "rtf" files will be displayed in the left side list box and by double clicking on a file name, the rtf file will be displayed in the edit control.

To put a file into the edit control on startup, the file must be named "00_home.rtf". Any other files can have the start numbered so that they are displayed in order.

etc .....

There are no effective limits to the number of files that can be included in the directory and the side list has a 32k limit that should not be a problem.

The only problem I can see at the moment is there are no really suitable rtf editors as most I have looked at are trying to ape a word processor and have bright white backgrounds where this viewer has a dark background to reduce eyestrain. I have an editor that I use to make rtf help files but its an inhouse "rough as guts" model that is not suitable for redistribution so I will have to write one that is a lot more usable.

I have gone in this direction because of the complexity of having to make help files with other techniques. HTML is a pig to work with and the Microsoft help compiler is even worse. I have done the executable form with embedded rtf but they are fussy and slow to make where this tehnique is far simpler, you just write another rtf file and put it in the rtf directory.

To protect it from bundleware distributors, it is copyrighted FREEWARE that anyone can use including with their software but it cannot be bought, sold or bundled with other bundleware. Its FREEWARE for people, not parasites.


I could not find an RTF editor that handled the dark background so I did a quick knife and fork of my own inhouse version so its a bit more user friendly. It has no confirmation and uses preset fonts and font sized but it will do reasonable help format files that are easy to make and easy to modify.