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Tech Tip: 4D 6.5 Help Files
PRODUCT: 4D | VERSION: | PLATFORM:
Published On: May 21, 1999
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The 4D product line is accompanied by online help files (supplied in Microsoft Help format). The 4D installer places them in the same folders as the various 4D applications. In the case of plug-ins, the help files are installed in their respective Win4DX and Mac4DX folders. In order for these help files to be accessible under the Help menu of 4D, they must be relocated.

On Windows NT, the help files must be moved to either the Win4DX folder located in the same folder as your database structure, or to the Winnt\4D\Win4DX folder. The same applies to Windows 95 and Windows NT, except that the system folder is named "Windows" instead of "Winnt".
On Macintosh, the help files must be moved to either the Mac4DX folder located in the same folder as your database structure, or to the System:Preferences:4D:Mac4DX folder. On Macintosh, you must also rename these help files to end with the extension ".HLP" (upper- or lower-case doesn't matter). For example, rename "4th Dimension Help" to "4th Dimension.HLP"

The ability to have a plug-ins folder (Win4DX or Mac4DX) in your system folder is a new feature of 4D v6.5. Any items placed in this plug-ins folder are accessed by all the 4D databases run from your computer, which saves you the trouble of maintaining a separate copy of each item in the plug-ins folder of each database on your computer. As a developer, you may find it handy to install all the help files in this master ACI Folder:


  • On Windows NT, in Winnt\4D\Win4DX
  • On Windows 95 and Windows 98, in Windows\4D\Win4DX
  • On Macintosh, in System:Preferences:4D:Mac4DX


Then, any time you're developing a 4D application, these help files will be available for reference.
If you have the same help file placed in both the plug-ins folder (Win4DX or Mac4DX) of the structure file and also in the plug-ins folder of the system folder,that help file will then appear twice in the Help menu.
Each help file appears in the Help menu as a menu item consisting of the words "Help for " followed by the name of the help file (excluding the ".HLP" extension). If you wish, you can refine these menu titles by editing the names of the help files.

In a 4D Server system, a 4D Client user can see the help files located in either the plug-ins folder in the same folder as the database structure on the server computer, or in the plug-ins folder inside the system folder of the server computer. The 4D Client user will not be able to use any help files located in the plug-ins folder of the client machine's system folder. (Note: there is currently a bug where if you have a Windows 4D Server and a Mac 4D Client, the help files in a Mac4DX folder on the Server don't appear on the Mac Client.)