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System User's Guide: Operating System and Devices

Appendix A. Accessing Information with InfoExplorer

Note: InfoExplorer is no longer shipped with the base operating system. Documentation is now viewed using the Documenation Library Service. This section is included for legacy users who are still using InfoExplorer from a previous release.

This section describes the different types of documentation available in the Hypertext Information Base Library and how you can use InfoExplorer to access information.

Using the InfoExplorer ASCII Interface

The InfoExplorer program ASCII interface provides a tutorial for first-time users and contains procedures for performing other tasks as described in the following overview.

The InfoExplorer program is the tool you use to learn about this operating system and other software. As an ASCII interface user, you have access to many volumes of software and hardware documentation. Because InfoExplorer information is hypertext, you can read this information without turning a single page. Instead, you view the information on your display and select links to move from one "article" to another. This way, you can choose your own path through the hypertext documentation.

Using InfoExplorer Screens

In the InfoExplorer ASCII interface, different screens contain different types of information. For example, you use some screens specifically for moving around. These screens, which include the Topic & Task Index and the Books, are navigation screens. The InfoExplorer program displays one navigation screen at a time. The contents of this screen are replaced each time you select a function that displays its information in this location.

Another type of screen contains the text you want to read. These are called reading screens. Reading screens provide conceptual, procedural, or reference information. They display articles that teach you about a topic, explain how to do something, or provide you with information about commands, calls, subroutines, files, or file formats.

From navigation and reading screens you can open other screens to perform specific tasks. The InfoExplorer program provides the following task-oriented screens:

Simple Search Handles searches on a title or information base for a single set of words.
Compound Search Handles searches on compound search strings within one or more selected information bases.
Search Matches List Displays where search matches were found, how many matches were found, and the number of articles in which they were found.
Glossary Displays a glossary term or phrase selected from a reading screen.
Defaults Editor Allows you to set default values for various InfoExplorer functions.
Preferences Editor Provides a way to customize InfoExplorer program options.
List of Links Allows you to select a previous link and access the information, delete a previous link from the list, clear all of the lists, or rename a previous link.
List of Files Allows you to load a previously saved file, save a list to a file, or delete a file.

When you start a session, the InfoExplorer program displays first the navigation screen and then the reading screen. The reading screen contains the "Welcome to the InfoExplorer ASCII Interface" article, which shows you how to perform basic operations and explains how to access InfoExplorer Help, copyrights, and trademarks. Return to the navigation screen by typing Ctrl-w.

Using Menus

The InfoExplorer ASCII interface displays a menu bar at the top of each screen. You select options in the menus to access specific InfoExplorer features.

Getting Help

To get more information on how to use the InfoExplorer program, you can use InfoExplorer Help. By using Help, you can find out more information on using the current screen. Or you can move to a list of articles that explain how the InfoExplorer program works.

To get Help, press the Ctrl-O key sequence, use the arrow keys to highlight the word Help, and press the Enter key. You can then choose between the following options:

On Screen Displays specific help information for the screen you are viewing, including links to articles that describe the screen, as well as functions available from that screen and a list of menus available in the screen, with links to descriptions of the menu options.

You can select links to display information that you want to read. To return to the help information screen after selecting a link, use the Path or .History menu option on the menu bar.

List of Helps Displays the List of Helps, a list of hypertext links to articles that describe key aspects of the InfoExplorer program and documentation, along with links to the helps for each individual screen.

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