More docs on the ARB website.
See also index of helppages.
Last update on 04. Mar 2022 .
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Using embedded help


There are several versions of ARB help:

  • an embedded, context-sensitive version (press any 'HELP' button inside ARB)
  • an HTML version which is located in $ARBHOME/lib/help_html
  • This HTML help is also available via Please note that the online version may be more recent than your ARB version!

The following is about the embedded help module:

The embedded help is available by clicking on the 'HELP' menu (flat) or buttons (raised) located in most windows.
Clicking on a <HELP> button displays the 'HELP WINDOW' with help for that window.
Clicking on the 'HELP' menu and choosing 'Click here and then on the questionable button/menu/...' switches to the context-sensitive help mode (indicated by the 'open question cursor'). Then click on any button or prompt to display the 'HELP WINDOW' showing help for the pressed button/menu/...
There are two formats of embedded 'HELP' texts:
Normally, ARB uses simple ASCII texts displayed within the 'HELP WINDOWS'.
The titles of help texts on related main- and subtopics linked to the current help file are displayed in the subwindows in the lower part of the 'HELP WINDOW' and are activated by clicking on the tile prompts.
Press the <BACK> button in the upper part of the 'HELP WINDOW' to display the former help text.
Some 'HELP' texts are stored as postscript files and displayed using the public domain software 'ghostview'.
Press <Ghostview/Page/Next> to display the following page(s), <Ghostview/File/Print> to print the help text. <Ghostview/File/Quit> to leave ghostview.
"text" indicates an important term.
'text' indicates ARB-specific terms, paths, tools and prompts.
<text> indicates buttons.
"Windows" are the workstation work areas. The names are displayed at the very top of the window.
"Subwindows" (indented) are display and input areas within windows.
"Menu bars" at the top of windows (if present) are used to expose menu choices. The menus are displayed after clicking on the prompts of the menu bar.
"Menu buttons" are raised rectangular buttons containing a small raised rectangle at the right. Menu options are exposed after clicking on the button.
"Menus" initiate actions after clicking on the items.
"Scroll bars" at the extreme right and bottom of windows and subwindows allow to move through the display area in various increments.
Mouse buttons communicate commands to the program:
"Left mouse button" is used for clicking on prompts, checkboxes and buttons.
      and to select and modify the main display area.
"Middle and right mouse buttons" are used for modifying the main display (see ´NTREE MODES (general info)´)
"Mouse-Wheel" is used to scroll the a display-area (vertically or horizontally
              when used with ALT/META) or to zoom the display (when used with CTRL).
"Press" means hold down the mouse button while completing an operation.
"Release" means to let go of the mouse button.
"Click on" means positioning the cursor on a location, prompt, button or checkbox, pressing and immediately releasing the mouse button.
"Choose" from a menu means clicking on the desired menu option.


The 'HELP' texts for foreign programs or tools which have been incorporated into ARB (see ´ARB: a Short Introduction´) are usually (parts of) the original documentation or help texts.

The ASCII texts can be edited by clicking on the <EDIT> button of the 'HELP WINDOW' and can be modified by the user. Write permission is needed for '$ARBHOME/lib/help'. (This only works if you build arb from source)

See ´ARB WWW Queries´ on how to configure the BROWSE button.



In the current release, the 'open question pointer' is reset to the original symbol when moved to a menu item.