Word document/PDF used as Help text

260 pts.
Help text
iSeries development
I am wondering if anyone knows of a simple way to solve my problem. We are creating help text documents in word/PDF and want to use those as the help text when the user presses CMD-Help on the RPGILE programs. i.e. when user presses cmd1 for help they will get a nice documented helptext with screens and so on. Please HELP and Thank YOU!

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Well, you don’t want much, do you?

Bear with me, because I am doing this for the first time as I write – maybe someone else could correct any errors that creep in….

To run a PC program from the iSeries you first need to run the STRPCO command from the iSeries. This should start a command session between the iSeries ans the PC running the Client Access session in which you entered the command. For any iSeris-PC connection, you only need to do this once.

Now you can use the STRPCCMD command. Your program can use QCMDEXC to do this, but to begin with you can test from a command line.

The STRPCCMD command takes a PC command parameter which is a PC path and object name, e.g.


The PAUSE(*NO) parameter lets the iSeries session get on with some work while the PC program is running. PAUSE(*YES) holds the iSeries session in input-inhibited state until the PC program stops running.

The path in the example is to a Word document in a folder on a network drive. The full path has to be expressed in the DOS 8.3 naming convention, which can be inconvenient if you routinely use long folder names.

Keep your help documents on a network drive so that you don’t have to keep a copy on each PC.

Now create an iSeries file to contain the document names. Use this file when the User presses F1 – the program name is the key to the record, and the document name is added to the STRPCCMD parameter string, and QCMDEXC executes it. Don’t forget to run the STRPCO command in the iSeries session first.

An annoying DOS box appears while the PC command is running. You can change the defaults for this box, setting all values to 1, which makes it very small but does not get rid of it. Oh, well – can’t have everything.

Do some experiments, and please let me know how you get on!


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  • JAC
    Thanks JB i will try it and let you know.
    260 pointsBadges:
  • TomLiotta
    The full path has to be expressed in the DOS 8.3 naming convention,... Full naming is allowed. You just have to quote properly. But there are so many potential problems trying to do help text this way that path naming is one of the trivial problems. Tom
    125,585 pointsBadges:
  • DanTheDane
    From one of my older apps, I picked this for you. First locate the Winword.exe pgm om your PC and replace my (danish) path to the program (see pgm below). Secondly define some HELPID that can be pssed from your application pgm to target the ight documnt, and add code to the '....winword.exe' statement.
    PGM        PARM(&HELPID)                          
    DCL        VAR(&HELPID) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(7)        
    DCL        VAR(&PGMPATH) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(64) +    
                 VALUE('"C:ProgrammerMicrosoft +    
    DCL        VAR(&CMD) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(128)          
    STRPCO     PCTA(*NO)                              
    MONMSG     MSGID(IWS4010)                         
    STRPCCMD PCCMD(&CMD) PAUSE(*YES)                  
    Years ago I began using browsers as my disply-help-text media. I now even have all my apps help-texts created as pages in a Lotus Notes db that is accessible from the internet. Thus I can add to help-texts with a snap when helpdesk gets questions over the phone from my customers. best luck DanF
    2,555 pointsBadges:
  • DanTheDane
    UPS - the slashes in my previous posting got lost in the editor... Here it is again: ”C:Programmer/Microsoft Office/Office10/WINWORD.EXE” DanF
    2,555 pointsBadges:

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