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Writing Hypertext

Writing Hypertext

(D- - 4) gives the reader the ability to instantly cross-reference topics that may become of interest during the course of reading. This User's Guide and Windows help document is written in hypertext, as is the help file Sc_Help.doc (in the Sc\System directory)

When writing hypertext, give some thought to basic terminology, and try to phrase your writing to use consistent concepts and terms which can be explained in a paragraph or so. These concepts and terms become minor or topic headers, with corresponding topic references used throughout the text.

Consistency Will Be Rewarded

You may not have noticed the high degree of precision or consistency in the help file cross-referencing, but it is there. For example, because Printer Errors is not a sub-string of the word Printer Error, it will not function as a topic reference. If you want to use the phrase, you may have to key on an alias, just a portion of the phrase, or change the wording of your thoughts to incorporate the prevailing form. On one hand, this may cause some distortion, but it could also lead to breakthroughs of clarity in thought. Let us know which it does for you.

Converting to hypertext

Any document that uses consistent terminology can be converted to hypertext(D- - 4). Proceed as follows: Because the hypertext document can have many entries into the text, (not just one beginning), the table of contents should be near the physical beginning of the completed document (use the first page for directions on using hypertext). The user will be then be able to select an entry point directly.

For an explanation of how to create the topic references, and headers, see hypertext objects starting with context reference(12- 3).

Compiling Hypertext

Compiling a document links each topic reference(12- 3) to a topic header(12- 3). Select the Translate Compile Hypertext(3- 34) command, then select the hypertext(D- - 4) document to compile. You can interrupt hypertext compilation at any time without harm to the document.

Smart Characters scans the hypertext document twice. The Scanning hypertext Line ... pass extracts each topic header and its location and builds a topic table in a new document window. The Re- Indexing hypertext Line ... pass updates each topic reference pointer(12- 3) in the document with the corresponding topic header location. If a topic header is not found in the topic table, Smart Characters writes an error message after the topic table in a new document window.

Check for Errors

Examine the new document window and save it to a file named FileName.err. The entries at the end of the file are error messages preceded by the line number that made the invalid reference. Edit the document to eliminate errors and recompile.

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Last Modified: March 23, 1996

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