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The HELP command invokes the HELP Facility to display information about a command or topic. In response to the "Topic?" prompt, you can: o Type the name of the command or topic for which you need help. o Type INSTRUCTIONS for more detailed instructions on how to use HELP. o Type HINTS if you are not sure of the name of the command or topic for which you need help. o Type HELP/MESSAGE for help with the HELP/MESSAGE command. o Type a question mark (?) to redisplay the most recently requested text. o Press the Return key one or more times to exit from HELP. You can abbreviate any topic name, although ambiguous abbreviations result in all matches being displayed. 2 Parameters keyword ... Specifies one or more keywords that refer to the topic or subtopic on which you want information from a HELP library. Information within HELP libraries is arranged in a hierarchical manner. The levels are: 1. None---If you do not specify a keyword, HELP describes the HELP command and lists the topics that are documented in the root library. Each item in the list is a keyword in the first level of the hierarchy. 2. Topic-name---If you specify a keyword by naming a topic, HELP describes the topic as it is documented in either the root library or one of the other enabled default libraries. Keywords for additional information available on this topic are listed. 3. Topic-name subtopic---If you specify a subtopic following a topic, HELP provides a description of the specified subtopic. 4. @file-spec followed by any of the above---If you specify a HELP library to replace the current root library, HELP searches that library for a description of the topic or subtopic specified. The file specification must take the same form as the file specification included with the /LIBRARY command qualifier. However, if the specified library is an enabled user-defined default library, the file specification can be abbreviated to any unique leading substring of that default library's logical name translation. If you use an asterisk in place of any keyword, the HELP command displays all information available at the level that the asterisk replaces. For example, HELP COPY * displays all the subtopics under the topic COPY. If you use an ellipsis immediately after any primary keyword, HELP displays all the information on the specified topic and all subtopics of that topic. For example, HELP COPY... displays information on the COPY topic as well as information on all the subtopics under COPY. You can use percent signs and asterisks in the keyword as wildcard characters. 2 /INSTRUCTIONS /INSTRUCTIONS (default) /NOINSTRUCTIONS Controls whether the HELP command displays information on how to use the HELP facility. By default, the HELP command display includes a description of the facility and the format, along with the list of topics. If you specify /NOINSTRUCTIONS, only the list of topics is displayed. 2 /LIBLIST /LIBLIST (default) /NOLIBLIST Displays auxiliary help libraries, where applicable. See text under topic /USERLIBRARY for more information. 2 /LIBRARY /LIBRARY=file-spec /NOLIBRARY Controls whether an alternate HELP library is used in place of the default system library, SYS$HELP:HELPLIB.HLB. The specified library is used as the main HELP library, and is searched for HELP information before any user-defined default HELP libraries are checked. If you omit the device and directory specification, the default is SYS$HELP, the logical name of the location of the system HELP libraries. The default file type is HLB. The /NOLIBRARY qualifier is used to exclude the default HELP library from the library search order. 2 /MESSAGE Displays descriptions of system messages. Format HELP/MESSAGE [/qualifier [...]] [search-string] 3 Parameter search-string Specifies a message identifier or one or more words from a message's text. By default, HELP/MESSAGE displays a description of the message produced by the last executed command (that is, the message corresponding to the value currently stored in the CLI symbol $STATUS). The Help Message utility (MSGHLP) operates using the following conventions: o Words containing fewer than three alphanumeric characters are ignored. o Words can be specified in any order. You can minimize search time by specifying the most unusual word first. o Nonalphanumeric characters are ignored in the search. Exceptions are the percent sign (%) and hyphen (-) when they prefix a message. Therefore, you can paste a full message into the search string, provided you include these special characters and delete any variables (such as file names) that were inserted into the message. If Help Message fails to find a pasted message in the database, submit the command again and omit the leading special character, facility, and severity. Some common messages are documented as "shared" messages rather than facility-specific messages. o Help Message matches all words that begin with the characters specified in the search string. Use /WORD_MATCH=WHOLE_WORD to specify that only whole words be matched. 3 Qualifiers /BRIEF Outputs the message text only. /DELETE /DELETE=filename.MSGHLP Deletes all messages contained in the specified .MSGHLP file from whichever of the following files is found first: o A .MSGHLP$DATA file specified with the /LIBRARY qualifier o The first .MSGHLP$DATA file in a search path specified by the /LIBRARY qualifier o SYS$HELP:MSGHLP$LIBRARY.MSGHLP$DATA (the default .MSGHLP$DATA file) o The first .MSGHLP$DATA file in the default search path (defined by logical name MSGHLP$LIBRARY) You must have write access to Digital-supplied .MSGHLP$DATA files to delete messages from the Digital-supplied database. NOTE If you create a .MSGHLP file by specifying a search string, check the output .MSGHLP file to be sure the search did not pick up any unexpected messages that you do not want to delete from the database. Edit any such messages out of the .MSGHLP file before you perform the delete operation. /EXTRACT /EXTRACT=filename.MSGHLP Extracts messages from the database and generates a .MSGHLP file that can be edited, if desired, and used as input for /INSERT and /DELETE operations. /EXTRACT retrieves data from a .MSGHLP$DATA file or logical search path specified by /LIBRARY or, by default, from files in the search path defined by logical name MSGHLP$LIBRARY. When /EXTRACT is not specified, Help Message produces output in standard text format by default (see /OUTPUT). /FACILITY /FACILITY=? /FACILITY=(facility-name [,...]) /FACILITY=ALL Specifies which facilities in the database are to be searched for a match. Enter /FACILITY=? to output a list of all facilities in the default database or in a database specified by /LIBRARY. To narrow your search, specify one or more facility names with /FACILITY. (Multiple facilities must be enclosed in parentheses and be separated by commas.) Help Message then outputs only matching messages produced by the specified facility or facilities. Specify /FACILITY=ALL to output messages for all facilities in the database. /FACILITY=ALL is the default unless another facility is implied; for example, specifying /STATUS or defaulting to the value of the CLI symbol $STATUS automatically identifies a specific facility. Similarly, cutting and pasting a message that includes a facility name invalidates use of the /FACILITY qualifier. /FULL /FULL (default) Outputs the complete message description, including message text, facility name, explanation, user action, and user-supplied comment, if any. /INSERT /INSERT=filename.MSGHLP /INSERT=TT: Updates the first of the following files to be found with new or changed information from the specified .MSGHLP file, or, if TT: is specified, with the data entered immediately at the terminal: o A .MSGHLP$DATA file specified with the /LIBRARY qualifier o The first .MSGHLP$DATA file in a search path specified by the /LIBRARY qualifier o The first .MSGHLP$DATA file in the default search path (defined by logical name MSGHLP$LIBRARY) o SYS$HELP:MSGHLP$LIBRARY.MSGHLP$DATA (the default MSGHLP$DATA file) You must have write access for the Digital-supplied .MSGHLP$DATA files to insert data into these files. User-supplied data is identified by change bars in Help Message output. /LIBRARY /LIBRARY=disk:[directory]filename.MSGHLP$DATA /LIBRARY=disk:[directory] /LIBRARY=logical-name Defines the messages database for the current command to be a particular .MSGHLP$DATA file, all the .MSGHLP$DATA files in a specified directory, or all the files in a search path defined by a logical name. For most operations, the default database is either SYS$HELP:MSGHLP$LIBRARY.MSGHLP$DATA or a search path of .MSGHLP$DATA files defined by logical name MSGHLP$LIBRARY. For /DELETE and /INSERT operations, the default database is either SYS$HELP:MSGHLP$LIBRARY.MSGHLP$DATA or the first file in a search path defined by logical name MSGHLP$LIBRARY. /OUTPUT /OUTPUT=filespec Writes output to the specified file. By default, Help Message writes output to SYS$OUTPUT, which is normally the terminal. /PAGE /PAGE (default for screen display) /NOPAGE Displays terminal output one screen at a time. The page length is automatically set to 1 line less than the value specified by SET TERMINAL/PAGE. (Use of /PAGE is incompatible with /OUTPUT=filespec.) /SECTION_FILE /SECTION_FILE=* /SECTION_FILE=file-spec Identifies the specified message section file to the system so that Help Message can interpret the $STATUS values for the messages in that file. The default file specification is SYS$MESSAGE:.EXE. Specifying /SECTION_FILE=* automatically includes all OpenVMS-supplied message section files. NOTE The results of using this qualifier are entirely independent from those created by the SET MESSAGE command. The Help Message utility and Message utility do not interact. You must separately code each utility to obtain the results you want. /SORT /SORT /NOSORT (default) Sorts output in alphabetical order. If a sort fails, retry the operation using the /WORK_FILES qualifier. /STATUS /STATUS=status-code /STATUS='symbol' /STATUS='$STATUS' (default) Outputs the message corresponding to the specified status code. You can specify the status code with a decimal or hexadecimal number or a symbol enclosed in apostrophes. If a HELP/MESSAGE command does not include a search string, Help Message by default outputs the message corresponding to the CLI symbol $STATUS; that is, Help Message displays information on how the last executed command completed. You cannot specify a search string or /FACILITY with /STATUS. /FACILITY is also illegal if you omit the search string and default to /STATUS='$STATUS'. /WORD_MATCH /WORD_MATCH=INITIAL_SUBSTRING (default) /WORD_MATCH=WHOLE_WORD /WORD_MATCH=INITIAL_SUBSTRING matches all words that begin with a word specified in the search string. The search string can contain multiple words to be matched. Only messages that match every word in the search string (in any order) are output. /WORD_MATCH=WHOLE_WORD matches whole words only and refines your search to the exact words specified. For example, an exact search on ACC screens out dozens of other messages containing words that begin with the letters ACC. /WORK_FILES /WORK_FILES=nn /WORK_FILES=0 (default if qualifier is omitted) /WORK_FILES=2 (default if qualifier is entered with no value) Specifies that work files are to be used if the /SORT qualifier is specified. You can specify a value from 0 to 10 for nn. This qualifier has no effect if /SORT is not specified. 3 Examples 1. $ SHOW DEVICE KUDOS %SYSTEM-W-NOSUCHDEV, no such device available $ HELP/MESSAGE The first command creates an error. The default HELP/MESSAGE command (with no qualifiers) displays a description of the SYSTEM facility message NOSUCHDEV. 2. $ HELP/MESSAGE ACCVIO $ HELP/MESSAGE/BRIEF ACCVIO $ HELP/MESSAGE/FACILITY=SYSTEM ACCVIO $ HELP/MESSAGE VIRTUAL ACCESS $ HELP/MESSAGE/STATUS=12 $ HELP/MESSAGE/STATUS=%XC These commands demonstrate how you can use various qualifiers to access and display the ACCVIO message (sometimes several!) in different formats. 3. $ HELP/MESSAGE/BRIEF ACC $ HELP/MESSAGE/BRIEF/WORD_MATCH=WHOLE_WORD ACC In the first command, Help Message by default matches dozens of words beginning with the string "ACC." The /WORD_MATCH=WHOLE_WORD qualifier dramatically refines the search to match the exact word only. 4. $ HELP/MESSAGE/FACILITY=(BACKUP,SHARED)/SORT/OUTPUT=MESSAGES.TXT This command selects all messages issued by the BACKUP facility and those messages documented as "Shared by several facilities," alphabetizes them, and outputs them to a printable file called MESSAGES.TXT. By selecting the messages you want and directing them to a file, you can create and print your own customized messages documentation. 5. $ HELP/MESSAGE/EXTRACT=BADMESSAGE.MSGHLP BADMESSAGE $ HELP/MESSAGE/DELETE=BADMESSAGE.MSGHLP- _$ /LIBRARY=SYS$LOGIN:MYMESSAGES.MSGHLP$DATA $ CONVERT SYS$LOGIN:MYMESSAGES.MSGHLP$DATA- _SYS$LOGIN:MYMESSAGES.MSGHLP$DATA $ PURGE SYS$LOGIN:MYMESSAGES.MSGHLP$DATA $ HELP/MESSAGE/INSERT=BADMESSAGE.MSGHLP The first command in this sequence extracts the hypothetical message BADMESSAGE from the default database and outputs it to file BADMESSAGE.MSGHLP. The second command uses the BADMESSAGE.MSGHLP file to delete the BADMESSAGE description from the MYMESSAGES.MSGHLP$DATA file specified by the /LIBRARY qualifier. The next two commands compress the MYMESSAGES.MSGHLP$DATA file to save disk space after the deletion. The last command uses the BADMESSAGE.MSGHLP file (possibly an edited version at a later time) to insert the BADMESSAGE message into the default .MSGHLP$DATA file. 6. $ HELP/MESSAGE/EXTRACT=NOSNO.MSGHLP NOSNO $ EDIT/EDT NOSNO.MSGHLP 1NOSNO, can't ski; no snow 2XCSKI, XCSKI Program 3Your attempt to ski failed because there is no snow. 4Wait until there is snow and attempt the operation again. 5If you don't want to wait, go to a location where there is 5snow and ski there. 5 5Or, try ice skating instead! [EXIT] $ HELP/MESSAGE/INSERT=NOSNO.MSGHLP This command sequence shows how users with write access to Digital-supplied .MSGHLP$DATA files can add a comment to a Digital-supplied message. The first command extracts hypothetical message NOSNO to file NOSNO.MSGHLP. The second command edits the .MSGHLP file to add a comment at the end of the message. Each comment line, even blank lines, includes a "5" prefix. The next command updates the database by using NOSNO.MSGHLP to insert the updated message into the default .MSGHLP$DATA file. 2 /OUTPUT /OUTPUT[=file-spec] /NOOUTPUT Controls where the output of the command is sent. If you do not enter the qualifier, or if you enter /OUTPUT without a file specification, the output is sent to the current process default output stream or device, identified by the logical name SYS$OUTPUT. If you enter /OUTPUT with a partial file specification (for example, /OUTPUT=[JONES]), HELP is the default file name and LIS the default file type. If you enter a file specification, it may not include any wildcard characters. If you enter /NOOUTPUT, output is suppressed. 2 /PAGE /PAGE (default) /NOPAGE Controls whether output to the screen stops after each screen full ("page") of information is displayed. If you specify /NOPAGE, output continues until the information display ends or until you manually control the scrolling. 2 /PROMPT /PROMPT (default) /NOPROMPT Controls whether HELP initiates an interactive session once the initial HELP request has been processed. If you specify /NOPROMPT, HELP returns you to the DCL command level after displaying the requested information. If /PROMPT is in effect, one of four different prompts is displayed, requesting you to specify a particular HELP topic or subtopic. Each prompt represents a different level in the hierarchy of HELP information. The four prompt levels are: 1. Topic?---The root library is the main library and you are not currently examining HELP for a particular topic. 2. [library-spec] Topic?---The root library is a library other than the main library and you are not currently examining HELP for a particular topic. 3. [keyword] subtopic?---The root library is the main library and you are currently examining HELP for a particular topic (and/or subtopic). 4. A combination of 2 and 3. When you encounter one of these prompts, you can enter any one of the responses described below: Response Action in the Current Prompt Environment keyword[...] (1,2) Searches all enabled libraries for the keyword. (3,4) Searches additional HELP libraries for the current topic (and/or subtopic) for the keyword. @file-spec (1,2) Same as above, except that the library keyword[...] specified by @file-spec is now the rootlibrary. If the specified library does not exist, HELP treats @file-spec as a normal keyword. (3,4) Same as above, treats @file-spec as a normal keyword. ? (1,2) Displays a list of topics available in the root library. (3,4) Displays the list of subtopics of the current topic (and/or subtopics) for which HELP exists. <RET> (1) Exits from HELP. (2) Changes root library to main library. (3,4) Prompts for a topic or subtopic at the next higher level. <Ctrl/Z> (1,2,3,4) Exits from HELP. 2 /USERLIBRARY /USERLIBRARY=(table[,...]) /NOUSERLIBRARY Controls whether HELP searches one or more user-specified root libraries after it has searched the root HELP library. When you specify the /USERLIBRARY qualifier, HELP searches the process, group, and system logical name tables for logical names of the form: HLP$LIBRARY, HLP$LIBRARY_1, HLP$LIBRARY_2, and so on, to find the file specifications of any user-defined libraries. When HELP searches for information on a given topic, it proceeds in the following search order: root library, main library (if not the same as the root library), process libraries, group libraries, system libraries, and root library. If the search fails, the root library is searched a second time so that the context is returned to the root library from which the search was initiated. If you specify only one table for HELP to search, you can omit the parentheses. You can specify any of the following tables or keywords: ALL HELP searches the process, group, and system logical name tables for user-defined library definitions. NONE HELP does not search any of the logical name tables. This specification is the same as /NOUSERLIBRARY. PROCESS HELP searches the process logical name table for user-defined library definitions. GROUP HELP searches the group logical name table for user-defined library definitions. SYSTEM HELP searches the system logical name table for user-defined library definitions. By default, if you omit the qualifier, /USERLIBRARY=ALL is assumed. 2 Examples 1. $ HELP HELP . . (HELP message text and list of topics) . Topic? Issuing the HELP command without any qualifiers or parameters produces a display of the HELP topics available from the root HELP library, SYS$HELP:HELPLIB.HLB. If you type one of the listed topics in response to the Topic? prompt, HELP displays information about that topic and a list of subtopics (if there are any). If one or more subtopics exist, HELP will prompt you for a subtopic. Topic? ASSIGN ASSIGN . . (HELP message text and subtopics) . ASSIGN Subtopic? If you type a subtopic name, HELP displays information about that subtopic: ASSIGN Subtopic? Name ASSIGN Name . . (HELP message text and subtopics, if any) . ASSIGN Subtopic? If one or more sub-subtopics exist, HELP will prompt you for a sub-subtopic; otherwise, as in the above example, the facility will prompt you for another subtopic of the topic you are currently inspecting. Typing a question mark will redisplay the HELP message and options at your current level. Pressing the Return key will either: (1) move you back to the previous HELP level if you are in a subtopic level, or (2) terminate HELP if you are at the first level. Pressing Ctrl/Z terminates HELP at any level. 2. $ HELP FILL Sorry, no documentation on FILL Additional information available: . . (list of first-level topics ) . Topic? @EDTHELP FILL FILL . . (FILL HELP message) . @EDTHELP Topic? When you issue a request for HELP on a topic that is not in the default HELP library, you can instruct HELP to search another HELP library for the topic. In this example, entering the command @EDTHELP FILL instructs HELP to search the HELP library SYS$HELP:EDTHELP.HLB for information on FILL, an EDT editor command. HELP displays the message and prompts you for another EDT editor topic.

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