Applies To:
  • CitectSCADA 3.xx, 4.xx, 5.xx

How can I develop and incorporate an online help system into my Citect project?

popular method is to use WinHelp which is native to Windows 95 and NT.

Multimedia Help
Microsoft's Multimedia Viewer was the technology of choice for Windows 3.11 help systems. The help for Citect versions 1, 2 and 3, and the old Citect Knowledge Base was created using it. To create Viewer files (MVB) from source files (RTF) requires the Publishing Toolkit.

To launch the multimedia viewer from within Citect, use the WndViewer() function. Multimedia Viewer help systems are not well suited nor recommended for Windows 95 or NT.

WinHelp is the native help system for Windows 95 and NT, with the WinHelp API built into both operating systems. Citect can utilise a Windows help file as the basis of a Help System. This is in line with the majority of current generation Windows applications. Microsoft has a Help Development Workshop product and there are also commercial and shareware systems to choose from. I suggest browsing the authoring tools section of the web site for a list of products. For example, HDK and RoboHELP are both popular development tools.

A WinHelp file has the extension .HLP and is read by Winhlp32.exe. Citect's WndHelp() function invokes Winhlp32.exe. When you call WndHelp() the first argument you pass it is the name of your compiled help file. eg WndHelp("Myhelp.HLP",3,1). See the Global keyboard command configured in the Citect Example project for an example of how to call up a help system.

You will need to become familiar with a help authoring tool in order to produce your own MyHelp.HLP file or equivalent. But basically, you will first create an RTF file containing your help information. eg via MS-Word or other RTF editor. Word allows you to save text and DOC files as RTF. From within your authoring tool you will create a help project file (.HPJ), and a contents file (.CNT)

The RTF file will be compiled in the help workshop as a .HLP file. So, in order to run your help system the only two files you actually need are the .HLP and .CNT files. Eg MyHelp.HLP and MyHelp.CNT should reside in your project directory. You may notice that the files MyHelp.GID and MyHelp.FTS also appear in your project directory, once you have opened your help file. These files get created automatically when you open the .HLP file and perform a full text search respectively.

HTML help files are an alternative to using Windows help files. This is becoming an increasingly popular format. Currently Citect has no Cicode calls to view HTML files directly. You will need to use the Cicode Exec() function to run the HTML viewer. Eg Exec("hh.exe c:\citect\user\brewery\MyHelp.chm") The advantage of HTML is that you can create files using free Microsoft tools. A current limitation is that you need to have an Internet Browser installed - IE4 is recommended.

If you wish to open the file at a bookmarked location:

There is a freeware utility called KeyHH which is a wrapper function for HH.EXE and permits some additional parameters. Specifically..

For example, to open a topic called tagref.htm in the htmlhelp.chm file, you would use this command:

KeyHH -MyID htmlhelp.chm::/tagref.htm

Suppose you then wanted to link from tagref.html to a topic called api.htm. You would then use this command:

KeyHH -MyID htmlhlp.chm::/api.htm

If you were using HH.EXE in the above example, HTML Help would open a second window when the user clicked the api.htm link. If you are using KeyHH, api.htm simply replaces tagref.htm in the same window because the identifying name (-MyID) is the same in both cases.

Go to and go to the HH.EXE Params topic. From there you will get a description of the application and can download it from