Viewing external files

Contents

Overview of external documents

As of DBDOC 10.4, it is possible to link the locations of external documents into the M14 project file. Unlike all other documents and graphics built into the M14, only the locations of these documents are built into the M14. All other documents are included in the M14 in their entirety.

This feature is very useful for linking external shared documentation to the system view presented in Hyperview. In addition, file formats that are not currently handled by DBDOC, such as TIF graphics, can be linked and made available along with the regular compiled graphics. At the moment, only PDF files and TIF files can be linked into the M14 as external documents, but more file types could easily be handled in future versions of DBDOC.

The reference in the M14 file is the location of the external file on a network file system, for example

C:\External Files\PDFs\Minco TT manual.pdf

or

\\COMPUTER\External Files\PDFs\Minco TT manual.pdf

Links to external documents

Links to external documents can be listed in the table of contents just like links to other documents. A chapter may consist exclusively of external documents, or of a mix of external and built-in documents as shown here.

Hv-ext-docs-toc-mixed.png

There can also be links to external documents in a text document in the content pane.

Proxy documents for external files

Clicking on an external document link causes a "proxy document" to appear in the content pane. The proxy document is a placeholder for the actual external document, and contains a link that will bring up the actual external document in an external viewer. In future versions of DBDOC the proxy document will probably contain a thumbnail of the external document.

Hv-external-doc-proxy.png

How Hyperview locates external documents

When you click on the link to an external document, Hyperview attempts to locate the actual document on your filesystem or in a networked location. Hyperview checks the following locations in this order:

  1. The path built into the M14 file.
  2. The FC folder in the folder where the M14 is located (for function code documentation only)
  3. Any other paths specified by the user (checked in order). Paths can be added in the View tab of the Options dialog, and also in the dialog that appears if Hyperview cannot locate a particular external document.

Usually the path built into the M14 would be correct, but there are situations, such as running Hyperiew offsite, where it might be useful to override the built in external file paths.

If the file cannot be found at the location specified in the M14 or any of the alternate locations, Hyperview will bring up a dialog giving you the opportunity to specify a different folder where Hyperview should look for the external file. Once this folder has been specified, it will be searched in the future if Hyperview encounters another external file it can't find.

It is possible to specify more than one folder where Hyperview should search for external files if it can't find them in the location specified in the M14. These extra folders are searched in order.

To specify additional folders Hyperview should search for external files (without waiting for the External File Not Found dialog to come up), choose Options... dialog View tab, and add paths separated by | to Folders to Search for External Files.

How Hyperview opens external documents

External documents are opened with whatever application is associated with that filetype on your system. Since the only external document types supported at the moment are PDFs and TIFs, in practice these would most likely be your default PDF viewer and image viewer.

To change which application opens a file by default, find a file of that type in your filesystem, right-click on it, and then choose the Choose Default Program subitem of Open With.

Other interactions with external documents

Because external documents are not actually part of the M14 file, they cannot be searched like the other resources in the M14. You can still search for the titles of external documents however.


See also