Microsoft KB Archive/106693

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MS-DOS-Style Context-Sensitive Help for Active Window

ID: Q106693

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft FoxPro for MS-DOS, versions 2.0, 2.5, 2.5a, and 2.5b
  • Microsoft FoxPro for Windows, versions 2.5, 2.5a, and 2.5b


When you are using the MS-DOS-style help system, you may want to bring up a help topic pertinent to the active window in an application. This feature is supported according to the documentation, but the documentation does not explain how this feature can be implemented.


Context-sensitive help is controlled by the FoxPro system menu. By default, FoxPro's system menu defines the System menu pad (FoxPro for MS-DOS) and the Help menu pad (FoxPro for Windows) as _MSYSTEM. This menu pad is used to activate the context-sensitive help system for FoxPro. If this menu pad is active (not removed or changed) during a READ command, context-sensitive help for the user-defined window is not possible. The only time context- sensitive help is available during a READ command is when _MSYSTEM has been replaced by another pad name.

The following steps will demonstrate the implementation of this feature:

 1. Enter the following commands in the Command window:

       USE foxhelp.dbf
       REPLACE topic WITH CHR(254)+" CUSTOMER"
       REPLACE details WITH "This is a help topic for a window"
       SET HELP TO foxhelp.dbf
       SET HELP ON

 2. Create a quick menu.

 3. In FoxPro for MS-DOS, click the Edit option for the System prompt.

   In FoxPro for Windows, click the Edit option for the Help prompt and
   make F1 the shortcut key for that option.

 4. From the Menu menu pad, choose _MSYSTEM Options.

 5. In the Name box, remove the "_M" from the pad name.

 6. Close the Menu Options dialog box and generate the menu.

 7. Create a quick screen and title it Customer.

 8. Generate the screen.

 9. Run the menu and then the screen.

10. With the Customer window active, press the F1 key. Additional reference words: FoxDos FoxWin 2.00 2.50 2.50a 2.50b KBCategory: kbprg KBSubcategory: FxprgDbfhelp

Last Reviewed: June 27, 1995
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