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HTML Assistant

, 25 Nov 2004 CPOL
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A simple tool assisting you in writing reports or generate primary resources for compiled help manuals in HTML format.

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Introduction

HTML Assistant is a simple tool assisting you in writing reports or generate primary resources for compiled help manuals in HTML format. It may also help those who want to learn writing HTML and want to see and understand what they are doing. Just keep in mind that HTML Assistant is not a fancy commercial product. It is just a tool, i.e., something really helping you do specific (sometimes boring) tasks. The content of this article was written using HTML Assistant.

Using HTML Assistant

So, time to start! Have your regular seat in front of your computer screen and start the Assistant. You should see the application display shown above. Depending on the fact that you are working on a previously generated HTML document or you intent to create a new one, click the "Load" or "Create" button respectively. The Assistant will ask you for the HTML target file.

Choose now a title for your document. This one will appear in the title bar of the browser each time your HTML document is opened. Write it in the "Document title" edit control and click the "Write title" button.

The assistant opens in your browser the document you are working on, so that you see at any time the results of your actions. Resize the browser window and place it and the Assistent on your computer screen the way you consider more convenient to you.

Normally, you should continue with a chapter title or something like that when creating your document. This is a heading in the HTML terminology. Write the text you need inside the "header" edit control and click on one of the three "H" buttons to select a size for your heading.

You will see immediately the effect in the browser window.

The assistant offers you also the possibility to see your generated HTML code, allowing for modifications or improvements (remember, the Assistant is only assisting you in doing your work).

Whenever you feel you need to see the code, click the "Open script" button. Close the code window when you finish with the checking, modifications, or improvements. The Assistant automatically updates what you are seeing in your browser.

Mainly, HTML Assistant supports you in writing text, placing images, writing simple lists, and constructing tables containing the information you want to show. Click the "New line" and "Paragraph" buttons whenever you want to start a new line or paragraph respectively. Then write the desired text inside the multi-line "Text" edit control. By pressing the [ENTER] key while writing the text will have no effect to the way the HTML document shows up in the browser. It affects only the way the text is written in the code file.

Click the "Write text" button when you are ready. The browser windows updates immediately.

To place an image, click the "Put image" button and select the desired image file through the pop-up dialog interface.

In our example, the "" file was chosen and the result can be seen in the browser window.

Sometimes, you need to show a list of items or descriptions. Use the "Begin / End list" functionality of the Assistant:

  • click the "Begin list" button;
  • click the "o" button;
  • write the item text;
  • click the "Write text" button;
  • repeat the "o" - text - "Write text" sequence as long as you need;
  • click the "End list" button when you decide to close the list.

A good, structured way to present information is based on tables. Inside the tables, you can place text, lists or images the same way we have seen before. To do this, begin a table, then begin a row, and then begin writing your data:

Each stage of table creation is signaled with a green icon on the application display.

Your data will be text, lists, or images placed according to your needs. Each time you decide to go to the next column, click the "End" button within the "Data" block and then "Begin" for new data, or "End" within the "Row" block to go to the next line. A click on the "End" button within the "Table" block will end the table creation. The Assistant does not support nested tables. Should you need nested tables, create them as simple tables, open the script, and "copy / paste" the tables one into each other. Here is an example of using the "Table" feature of HTML Assistant:

To change some characteristics of your table, open the script and insert the appropriate descriptors.

A final remark: you may use the HTML tags when writing text inside the multi-line "Text" control.

When you are finished with putting the information you need inside the HTML page, end your script by clicking the "End script" button. This action writes the appropriate ending code to your code file.

History

  • Created: Nov 24 2004
  • Added source: Nov 26 2004

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Mircea Puiu
Software Developer (Senior)
Europe Europe
More than 22 years of software development experience.
SCRUM Master nowadays

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralNice PinmemberCui Sheng15-Dec-04 14:53 
GeneralRe: Nice PinmemberMircea Puiu15-Dec-04 21:54 
Generalauto update Pinmembergok3-Dec-04 17:20 
GeneralRe: auto update PinmemberMircea Puiu3-Dec-04 21:14 
GeneralRe: auto update Pinmembergok7-Apr-05 8:18 
GeneralThank God for the Newsletter. PinmemberChris Meech30-Nov-04 4:33 
I somehow missed seeing this article when it was first posted, but saw it mentioned in this week's newsletter. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Otherwise I would have missed not only a good article, but also a really usefull tool. I've got half a dozen different ideas of how I can make use of this tool ranging from putting HTML help files together to producing HTML reports for distribution. My hat is off to you Mirceau for sharing your work with the community.Smile | :)
 
Chris Meech
 
I am Canadian. [heard in a local bar]
 
Gently arching his fishing rod back he moves the tip forward in a gentle arch releasing the line.... kersplunk [Doug Goulden]
GeneralExcellent (2) Pinmember.dan.g.28-Nov-04 16:03 
GeneralExcellent! PinmemberA. Riazi25-Nov-04 20:41 
GeneralRe: Excellent! PinmemberDarren_vms25-Nov-04 23:18 
GeneralNo source code Pinmembermier25-Nov-04 1:25 
GeneralRe: No source code PinmemberDarren_vms25-Nov-04 1:32 
GeneralRe: No source code PinmemberMircea Puiu25-Nov-04 1:50 

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