Legacy Documentclose button

Important: The information in this document is obsolete and should not be used for new development.

Previous Book Contents Book Index Next

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

Specifying Options in Help Resources

Each help resource contains an element that allows you to specify certain options. Notice the options element in the following header component for an 'hmnu' resource.

resource 'hmnu' (130, "Edit", purgeable) {
   HelpMgrVersion,      /*version of Help Manager*/
   hmDefaultOptions,    /*options*/
   0,                   /*balloon definition function*/
   0,                   /*variation code*/
You should normally use the hmDefaultOptions constant, as shown in the preceding example, to get the standard behavior for help balloons. However, you can also use the constants listed here for the options element. (Note that not all options are available for every help resource.)

CONST hmDefaultOptions     = 0;  {use defaults}
      hmUseSubID           = 1;  {use subrange resource IDs }
                                 { for owned resources}
      hmAbsoluteCoords     = 2;  {ignore coords of window }
                                 { origin and treat upper-left }
                                 { corner of window as 0,0}
      hmSaveBitsNoWindow   = 4;  {don't create window; save }
                                 { bits; no update event}
      hmSaveBitsWindow     = 8;  {save bits behind window }
                                 { and generate update event}
      hmMatchInTitle       = 16; {match window by string }
                                 { anywhere in title string}
If you're providing help balloons for a desk accessory or a driver that uses owned resources, use the hmUseSubID constant in the options element. Otherwise, the Help Manager treats the resource IDs specified in the rest of your help resource as standard resource IDs. (See the chapter "Resource Manager" in this book for a discussion of owned resources and their resource IDs.)

As described later in this chapter, you often specify tip and rectangle coordinates in your help resources. When specifying these coordinates within a scrolling window or whenever the window origin is offset from the origin of the port rectangle, you may want to use the hmAbsoluteCoords constant. This causes the Help Manager to ignore the local coordinates of the port rectangle when tracking the cursor and instead to track the mouse location relative to the window origin. When you specify the hmAbsoluteCoords constant as an option in a help resource, the Help Manager subtracts the coordinates of the window origin from the coordinates of the mouse location and uses the results for the current mouse location, as shown here:

mousepoint.h := mousepoint.h - portRect.left;
mousepoint.v := mousepoint.v - portRect.top;
With the hmAbsoluteCoords constant specified, the Help Manager always assigns coordinates (0,0) to the point in the upper-left corner of the window. So, for example, if the cursor is positioned at point (4,5) in a port rectangle and the window origin is at (3,4), the Help Manager calculates the cursor at (1,1). If this option is not specified, the Help Manager uses the port rectangle's local coordinates when tracking the cursor--for example, when using the GetMouse procedure.

The Help Manager draws and removes help balloons in three different ways. For all help resources except 'hmnu' resources, the Help Manager by default draws and removes help balloons as if they were windows. That is, when drawing a balloon, the Help Manager does not save bits behind the balloon, and, when removing the balloon, the Help Manager generates an update event. By specifying the hmDefaultOptions constant in your help resources, you always get the standard behavior of help balloons. However, you can often specify two options that change the way balloons are drawn and removed from the screen.

If you specify the hmSaveBitsNoWindow constant for the options element, the
Help Manager does not create a window for displaying the balloon. Instead,
the Help Manager creates a help balloon that is more like a menu than a window. The Help Manager saves the bits behind the balloon when it creates the balloon. When it removes the balloon, the Help Manager restores the bits without generating an update event. You should use this option only in a modal environment where the bits behind the balloon cannot change from the time the balloon is drawn to the time it is removed. For example, you might choose the hmSaveBitsNoWindow option in a modal environment when providing help balloons that overlay complex graphics, which might take a long time to redraw with an update event. Note that the Help Manager always uses this behavior when drawing and removing help balloons specified in your 'hmnu' resources. That is, when you specify the hmDefaultOptions constant in an
'hmnu' resource, the Help Manager provides this sort of balloon instead of drawing a window for a balloon. (In an 'hmnu' resource, you cannot even specify options for drawing a window for a balloon.)

If you specify the hmSaveBitsWindow constant, the Help Manager treats the help balloon as a hybrid having properties of both a menu and a window. That is, the Help Manager saves the bits behind the balloon when it creates the balloon and, when it removes the balloon, it both restores the bits and generates an update event. You'll rarely need this option. It is necessary only in a modal environment that might immediately change to a nonmodal environment--that is, where the bits behind the help balloon are static when the balloon is drawn, but can possibly change before the help balloon is removed. For example, if you use an 'hmnu' resource to provide help balloons for menu titles and menu items, you'll notice that the Help Manager automatically provides this sort of behavior (even when you don't specify the hmSaveBitsWindow option) when creating help balloons for menu titles.

In the preceding list of constants, the values for the constants represent bit positions that are set to 1. To override more than one default, add the values of the bit positions for the desired options and specify this sum, instead of a constant, for the options element. For example, to use subrange IDs, ignore the window port origin coordinates, and save bits behind the help balloon without generating an update event, you should add the values of the bit positions of these options (1, 2, and 4) and specify their sum (7) for the options element.

If you supply the hmDefaultOptions constant, the Help Manager treats the resource IDs in this resource as regular resource IDs and not as subrange IDs; it uses the port rectangle's local coordinates when tracking the cursor; and it generally creates windows when drawing balloons and then generates update events without saving or restoring bits when removing balloons.

The hmMatchInTitle constant is used only in window help ('hwin') resources to match windows containing a specified number of characters in their titles. This constant is explained in more detail in "Providing Help Balloons for Static Windows" on page 3-60.

The next sections describe how to create help resources that provide help balloons for the standard user interface features of your application.

Previous Book Contents Book Index Next

© Apple Computer, Inc.
6 JUL 1996