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phelp system



phelp -- page the output of the HELP task


phelp template


The phelp parameters are the same as for help except that the page and nlpp parameters are omitted.


The phelp task is a front end to help which spools the output of help in a scratch file, then calls the file pager page to view the output text. The advantage is that while help pages its output, one can only move forward through the output text. By using phelp it is possible to randomly scan the spooled help text, e.g., skipping forward to get a quick overview and then backing up to read the details more carefully. This capability is especially useful when viewing large multipage help pages, or when viewing a number of related help pages all at once.


1. Page the help page for the mkpkg task.

cl> phelp mkpkg

2. View the help pages for all the tasks in the IMAGES package.

cl> phelp images.*

When viewing multiple help pages as in this last example, note that the N and P keystrokes in the pager may be used to move to the next or previous help page. "." will return to the first help page (the start of the spooled help text) and G will skip to the end of file. Type ? while in the pager to get a summary of the most often used keystrokes.

3. Format and page the Lroff (IRAF HELP) format document "MWCS.hlp" in the system directory "mwcs".

    cl> cd mwcs
    cl> phelp MWCS.hlp fi+

In this case the text being viewed is not part of the on-line help system, but is a technical document describing one of the IRAF programming interfaces. Any .hlp file may be viewed in this way.


phelp is not quite as fast as help since it must fully format the help text into a temporary file before the file can be viewed. For small help pages, or to view only the first few screens of a help page, the help task will be faster.



page, help, references

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