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Messages Reference Page

Many of the default properties of members of the TechWriter family are determined by the data in the Messages text file. Most of these values should be left as they are, but some may be altered by the user to configure the application in a way they may prefer. Please note, though, that you should save a backup copy of the file before making changes to avoid getting into an unrecoverable mess. You should also remember that when upgrading to a newer version the messages file may be replaced with a new version which will overwrite any modifications you have made. Hence you should keep a separate record of any changes and be prepared to redo them after any upgrade.

The main settings which may be of interest to users are listed below. The default values shown were correct at the time TW/EW 6.06 (Pro+) were released, but have been different (or absent) in older versions.

item Standard value and action
x3: x3:Inches
Sets the default units for the rulers. The inches will be subdivided into eighths if there is a trailing space character to produce ‘x3:Inches ’, but will be subdivided into tenths if there is no trailing space. Note that a trailing space will always set inches as the units no matter what text it follows, so make sure you don't include the space if you require one of the other systems of units! The other available choices are Centimetres, Millimetres, Points, Picas, Corps, and Ciceros.
x5: x5:~detach
This controls the default action when you attempt to load a large document. With the setting shown a large document file will opened at source (e.g. on disc) and only a portion loaded into RAM for editing and display. This is designed to limit the amount of RAM used and useful on older machines with limited memory. However it slows down document scrolling and global changes/searches.
If you wish to force large documents to be loaded completely into RAM, this can be done in various ways.
1) You can remove the ‘~’ so that the line reads ‘x5:detach’. This reverses the default action so that documents will always be loaded into RAM and the source file closed.
2) You can hold down <CTRL> when loading the document. This reverses the action set by x5. So it will normally load the entire file into RAM (unless you have changed the x5 setting as described above, when it will keep the file open).
3) You can use the ‘-r’ switch to set a large file size for the value below which files are always completely loaded into RAM
x26 - x29 Are values that control the appearance of the lines which can strikeout and underline text. The values are integers in the range 0 - 255 and are consistent with the values specified for the Font_Paint SWI in the Programmers Reference manuals. The units are scaled so that the current text is nominally 255 units high.
x26: x26:64 Controls strikeout line position
x27: x27:229 Controls underline position
x28: x28:16 Controls strikeout thickness
x29: x29:12 Controls underline thickness
x35: x35:`‘“`
Control for multi-press keys. These keys give a different character depending upon whether they are pressed once, twice, or three time in quick succession. The allowed maximum delay time between presses is set by the ‘-q’ switch value. They form of this message setting is
x35:kabc where k represents the key to be pressed and the chars a, b, c, are what would appear in the document if the key is pressed once (a), twice (b), or thrice (c). You can have up to seven x35 lines in messages and use this to obtain a number of characters not on the keyboard.
x36 - x42 relate to exported html. By default these are textual or simple markup, but can be replaced by more complex items – e.g. by <IMG...> items if you require buttons. Some only apply when the ‘split at break’ option is selected to create a set of linked html pages.
x36: x36:<HR>
When exporting linked sets of html pages from a single document, this will appear at the top of each linked page
x37: The default here is a single space character. The value given here is inserted before the first and last navigation lines when a document is exported with ‘split at break’ is set. If you prefer, this could be use to insert a logo image or some descriptive text.
x38: x38:Next
Text placed on html page to indicate the link to the next page when sets of pages are exported
x39: x39:Previous
Text placed on a html page to to indicate the link to the previous page when sets of pages are exported.
x40: x40:Contents
When a set of html pages are exported this text is placed on each html page to indicate the link to the main contents page. The same text is also used as the on-page title for the contents page.
x41: x41:Top/Top
This used for links to the top of a page from its end.
There are two items divided by a ‘/’. The first is the name of the link reference and should not normally be changed. The second is the text displayed on the page and can be changed if required – e.g. to an image used as a button by changing to something like
x41:Top/<IMG SRC="Top.gif">’.
x42: x42:Bottom/Bottom
As with x41, but for links to the bottom of a page. You may change the second item as you prefer.
x43: x43:<HR>
Inserted into exported html just above the bottom link of a page.
x47: x47:<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2//EN">
html document type header string. This is the default description of the html document type. It helps browsers understand and render the html as you intend. If you hand modify the html after it is exported from TechWriter or EasiWriter you might like to alter this to conform to any changes made to the html. In general, though, this line is best left unchanged unless you understand the html document specifications!
x49 - x53 control the export and conversion of images (and equations in TechWriter) when exporting a document as webpages. In general, all types of image except JPEGs and PNGs will be converted into GIFs. This process will use InterGif. Current versions of EasiWriter and TechWriter contain the code to do this themselves, but an external version will be used if !InterGif has been ‘seen’ by the filer. Refer to the help provided with Intergif for information on the meanings of the following control strings.
Please note that each of the following control strings must have a trailing space character.
x49: x49:Intergif Controls conversion of equations.
x50: x50:Intergif -i Controls conversion of DrawFiles.
x51: x51:Intergif -i -t Controls conversion of Sprites with 256 colours or less.
x52: x52:Intergif -i -best 256 -t Controls conversion of Sprites with 32k or more colours.
x53: x53:Intergif -i -loop Controls conversion of animations into animated GIFs.
x54 - x56 are for use when alien graphics formats are encountered when importing html or Word docs. These settings will be used unless ImageFS is intercepting file conversions.
x54: x54:<ChangeFSI$Dir>.ChangeFSI %s %n%sJPEGpic%n %s -nomode
Call to ChangeFSI used to convert bitmaps in MSWord documents when ImageFS is not present. This will not be used from 6·06 (Pro+) onwards.
x55: x55:<ChangeFSI$Dir>.ChangeFSI %s%s %s JPEG75 -nomode -gamma2.2
Call to ChangeFSI used for converting ‘progressive’ JPEGs into a form which can be handled by the RISC OS SpriteExtend module.
x56: x56:<ChangeFSI$Dir>.ChangeFSI %s%s%s28 -nomode -noscale -gamma2.2 { > null: }
Call to ChangeFSI for conveying alien graphics files into Sprites in html import. Also used when adding alien files to a document unless they have been converted by ImageFS. The default shown may change from version to version.
x58: x58:[%s] Default format for footnotes
x61: x61:B The tag inserted for bold text in exported html. Purists may wish to change this to something like ‘x61:strong’.
x62: x62:I The tag inserted for italic/oblique text in exported html. Purists may wish to change this to something like ‘x62:em’.
x63: x63:U The tag inserted for underlined text in exported html. Purists won’t use this at all!
x81 - x86 and x91 - x96 are provided for altering the html created by the headers of sections or subsections. By default these will be headers <H1>, <H2>,... etc. The default actions are implicit so no actual settings need be made. The default actions are described in the messages file by a pair of comment lines (comments start with a #). You can therefore add these commands as you wish to generate alternative html output at the beginning and end of section/subsection headers. For obvious reasons you should only do this if you understand html! Note that in these tags, ‘%s’ will be replaced by an appropriate ALIGN attribute and value.

Link to Switches reference page

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