About Help Databases - Maple Help
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About Help Databases in Maple


The following information explains how help pages are incorporated into the Maple help system.


What is a Maple Help Database?

Types of Help Databases in Maple

Accessing Multiple Help Databases

What is a Maple Help Database?


A Maple help database is a file with a .help extension. A .help file stores a collection of files that represent help pages in the Maple help system. It contains the information required to index, navigate, and search the help system. Several .help files providing help pages and manuals are included in the Maple software.

Types of Help Databases in Maple


Read-only Help Databases


The shipped Maple .help files, which are located in the \lib directory of your Maple installation, are read-only files. This means that you cannot add to, remove from, or edit this collection of help pages.


Writable Help Databases


Although you cannot modify the shipped .help files, you can convert user-created text files and Maple worksheet files to help files, which can be integrated into the Maple help system. User-created help files must be added to a writable .help file you specify. Because these help databases are writable, the help files in them can be edited or removed. These help files can also be added to the help system's Table of Contents.  For information, see Overview of Creating Help Pages in Maple.


Older Help Databases


Prior to Maple 18, help databases used the HDB format. Existing .hdb format databases must be converted to .help files.  For complete instructions, see Migrating Help Content from Versions of Maple Prior to 18.

Accessing Multiple Help Databases


Directory Search Order


Help pages are located by searching directories in the order listed in the libname variable. For information on the current value of libname and how to add an additional directory location, see libname.


 To view user-created help pages:


Add the uniquely named user-created .help file to the \lib directory, or


Update the value of the libname variable (using the libname command) to include the name of the directory containing the user-created .help file. Check the contents of the \lib directory to make sure you use a unique name for your database.


For more information, see View a Help File as a Help Page.


File Search Order


In a directory, the .help files are searched in the priority order of the corresponding repository files, that is, files with .mla extensions. To specify the priority of a repository (and hence, help database), use the march command.


The .help files that do not have corresponding repositories are searched last. The search order is alphabetical.


Note: To ensure that a .help file without a corresponding repository is searched first, you must place the .help file in a new directory and list the new directory first in the libname variable.

See Also






Migrating Help Content from Versions of Maple Prior to 18

Overview of Creating Help Pages in Maple

View a Help File as a Help Page