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Important: The information in this document is obsolete and should not be used for new development.

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Inside Macintosh: More Macintosh Toolbox /
Chapter 3 - Help Manager / About the Help Manager

About BalloonWriter

Apple Computer, Inc., makes available a tool that greatly facilitates the creation of help balloons. Called BalloonWriter, this tool gives nonprogrammers an easy, intuitive way to create help balloons. Writers who have no programming experience can use BalloonWriter to provide your application with fully functional resource code for menus, dialog and alert boxes, static windows, and non-document Finder icons. In its user's guide, BalloonWriter refers to help balloons for these interface features as standard balloons. For these types of help balloons, BalloonWriter creates 'hmnu', 'hdlg', 'hwin', 'hrct', and 'hfdr' resources, as appropriate, and places them in the resource file of your application. BalloonWriter likewise creates and stores 'STR ', 'STR#', and 'TEXT' resources that contain the help messages authored by your nonprogramming writers.

For dynamic windows and for menus that use custom menu definition procedures, your application must track the cursor and use the HMShowBalloon function to display help balloons. The BalloonWriter documentation refers to these balloons as custom balloons. BalloonWriter does not create the necessary resources or code that automatically displays these types of help balloons. However, nonprogrammers can use BalloonWriter to provide you with conveniently delimited ASCII text that you can then use in conjunction with HMShowBalloon to display the desired help balloons.

BalloonWriter is available from APDA.

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© Apple Computer, Inc.
6 JUL 1996