Cue Cards 

But what about Windows 3.1?

This article was targeted at Windows 95 and Visual Basic 4.0, but the principles apply to other languages and older versions of Windows. Using Windows 3.1 will reduce the functionality somewhat, but the cue cards can still prove effective at training your users.

Help File Changes

WinHelp under Windows 3.1 does not support auto-sizing secondary windows, so make the initial window large enough for all cue cards. This does limit the design of the individual cue cards somewhat, as they should all be roughly the same size. If you use pictures in your cue cards, be aware that only 16 colors are supported.

Another feature not present under 3.1 is the ability to attach a macro to a secondary window class. The macro calls will need to be present in every cue card topic, as a "topic-entry macro".

The API routine prototypes (in the RR macros) will change slightly, as the hWnd values returned by GetActiveWindow and used as the first parameter in SetWindowLong and SetWindowText are now 16-bit numbers and the routines are found in USER.DLL rather than USER32.DLL.

If the macros appear not to work, you may need to call the SetWindowPos API routine to cause the window to redraw itself.


Program Changes

We were able to use the context numbers in HelpContextID since they were not being used for F1 help. With Visual Basic 3, there is no clean way to disable F1 help, so we could either store the context number as a string in the Tag property, or use some method such as adding 1000 to the existing HelpContextID. Only if we keep the cue cards in a separate help file could we use the same HelpContextID for both. And as with the help file, the WinHelp API prototype will change to use a 16-bit hWnd parameter and the USER.DLL file.

Copyright © 2009 by Dana Cline
Last Updated  Monday, April 06, 2009
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