formhelp TacFormHelp component
Hierarchy Properties Methods Events Rich-text formatting FormHelp designer
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The acFormHelp component adds the context-sensitive help features to your Delphi/C++ Builder forms without any bulky help files. It traps the context-sensitive help calls and creates its own popup windows from a control's hint. You can choose whether to interpret the hint string as plain text or as kind of rich text allowing you to apply different fonts colors, styles and line breaks. Don't worry about your hints — FormHelp uses the secondary part of a control's hint that is separated by a vertical bar "|". Mouse hints still works as well. With FormHelp, neither help context numbers nor extra help files are required to display context sensitive help. FormHelp's popup windows looks and feels like native context help in standard Microsoft's applications. Even if you're using regular help files, the FormHelp will be great addition and vice versa.  
The FormHelp can automatically apply the "What's This?" menu item to every control with context-sensitive help in the secondary part of hint, and invokes the context help either after pressing the "Help" button on the title bar help or after selecting "What's This?" menu item. This popup menu is displayed dynamically. TacFormHelp recognizes controls that have their own popup menu and even regards manually displayed popup menus or popup windows.  
If the "What's this?" popup menu and help button on the title bar of your form still is not enough for you, you can also point the toolbar button and menu item in the main menu or even system menu which can handle the context-help as well. When user clicks this button or menu item, the cursor will be changed to a question mark with a pointer.  
If the user then clicks a control in the form, the control receives a WM_HELP message to show the context-sensitive help taken from secondary part of the Hint property.  
tip For easement of context-help authoring, component contains a WYSIWYG help designer (drop acFormHelp onto your form and try to edit secondary part of Hint property of any visible control) and may have an additional button help on form's title bar.  

How to use ?
Just drop acFormHelp component onto your form and edit the Hint property of any visual control (like TButton, TCheckBox or TGroupBox). Type any text in the secondary part of Hint, and make additional button help on form's title bar visible (if needed). Recompile and execute your application. Now your form will traps all context-sensitive help calls and when user clicks help button on form's title bar and clicks on control, popup window with context-sensitive help will be displayed. To arrange the width of popup window - use PopupWidth property and OnShow event.  
You can also show help-window "manually", using ShowHelp, ShowHelpFromControl and ShowHelpFromPoint methods.  

ActiveActivity flag of the component;  
AdjustPopupWidthWhether the width of the popup window with help-message should be adjusted accordingly to the width of visible text in the the popup window;  
CaptionButtonAdditional button help on the form's title bar. Works even if form style don't allow this button (see snapshot below);  
ColorBackground color of popup window;  
CursorCursor image for popup window with help message;  
DelayIntervalSpecifies the interval before auto-hiding of the popup window;  
FontFont of context-sensitive help text;  
PopupWidthControls the width of popup window;  
SystemMenuAppies the "What's This?" menu item to the system menu;  
TextStyleSpecifies the text style (formatted or plain) and tag brackets ('[' and ']' by default)  
WhatsThisWhether the controls contains the "What's This?" menu item.  

Derived features
acFormHelp is successor of acCustomCaptionButton class. It have a built-in support of the corresponding caption button on the form's title bar and the menu item in the system menu, associated with button.  


iiinfo Avoiding the Application.Hint problem.  

See also
acRichLabel component.