[texworks] HELP: Integrated Tw LaTeX2e Help dialogue

Paul A Norman paul.a.norman at gmail.com
Wed Jul 7 08:46:30 CEST 2010

Dear Ben,

I'm sorry you've been out to this trouble, but this is a great help!

First I would like to thank you for the clarity of your comments and
screen shots, they are a useful help.

I'll go through each one here...


On 7 July 2010 15:15, Ben Harrison <ben.harrison at liquidmesh.com> wrote:
> Paul,
> Some feedback and a question. I'm going to number them, because it's not
> really well laid out here.
> I'm on a Ubuntu Linux desktop, v9.10, TeXworks Version 0.3 r.671
> (launchpad).
> 1.
> I had to enable the QtScript debugger in Tw preferences before this would
> run (otherwise I got an error message "ReferenceError: __FILE__ is not
> defined"). Is that expected?

Jonathan Kew, I think, has talked about __FILE__  and possibly
revealing this directly to TwScript so that may answer that one.

I'm not sure whether it is necessary otherwise to turn on the Script
Debugger for normal script operation or not - someone more
knowledgeable as to the current status of that in Tw would need to
answer that.

> 2.
> After running the menu command, I was waiting a while for the help screen to
> load (it initially opened with an empty RHS pane, except for 'Wait a
> moment'), so I switched to another application. Twice, the help dialogue
> forced focus back to itself as, I guess, it loaded bits and pieces.

We hope to see this sort of thing sped up when direct file access is
enabled for scripting, at the moment we go through an unfortunate
workaround which does add a considerable time overhead to things, and
will bring itself forward from time to time, causing the file dailog,
and helper windows, to have the focuss.

There has been a discussion here for months about TwScript file
access, that looks like it has resolved to deciding that this should
actually be fixed.

But time will always be  taken parsing the necessary files during this
help file initialisation, though not as much as you are currently

In a revised version I intend (globals) to store the necessary time
consuming things from the first use of the dialogue, so that repeated
useage of the dialogue does not require complete reinitialisation each
time the dialogue is opened (during the same Tw editor session).

> 3a.
> I searched for \usepackage by highlighting it in my editor, and running the
> menu command. The twin panes opened, then showed four choices on the left
> (usebox, usecounter, usefont, usepackage), and the help text for usepackage
> on the right - nice! I clicked on usepackage in the LHS pane, and got an
> error:
>> Cannot read file "/home/ben/.TeXworks/scripts/Help/html/QVariant(QUrl)":
>> No such file or directory

I have exactly reproduced your steps on a WIndows Xp box, and this is
not happening there.
(For reference I have not compiled Tw 0.3 ver 671 one yet, I'm on ver 649)

It may be that this is OS dependant.

QVariant(QUrl) is an issue with QtScript, but I am surprised that this
is showing up.

The script has no access to, nor is the script directly calling any
QUrl (wish I could!) so this may be  a Qt / Ubuntu issue to do with
Tw's - Qt's filesystem access(?) via script(?)  - does soemone know?

> 3b.
> The error causes the QtScript debugger to open in the background, but I can
> 't do anything to it. If I click on the Help dialogue at this point in time,
> the Help dialogue is focussed, which hides the error popup (I didn't realise
> this at first, just thought it had been dismissed).
> 3c.
> I can't do anything to the debugger until I cancel the Help dialogue. I
> wouldn't know what to do with it anyway, but just curious if this is
> supposed to be useful?

Yes you can look through the varible values for trouble shooting and
debuging and so on.

> 4.
> Opening the Big List: the drop down box is the full width of my (smallish)
> screen, due to one entry. See attached screenshot (TheBigList.png)

Many thanks, I can reproduce that and fix it.

> 5.
> The button at bottom-left isn't big enough for the text on my system. See
> attached screenshot (HelpScreen.png).

Ok I can fix that as well, it shouldn't be fixed in size, my fault.
The box above would be affected as well.

> Ben

Thanks again,


> On 6 July 2010 23:48, Paul A Norman <paul.a.norman at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Thanks Jonathan and Stefan!
>> Here is the next shot at it, I've adopted all of the recomendations I
>> think.  Layout system was a new experience! I've added another set of
>> entries to the left menu to give more fuller results (added the
>> Concept Index).
>> Couple of function changes - nothing spectacular.
>> Made a new directory for the user's index to go into, to protect it
>> from future updates. (A blank copy of the neeed file will then be
>> found in /html/)
>> Any way here goes, pleae let me know if that works cross platform.
>> -----------
>> This is a Tw help dialogue (ver 0.52) July 7th 2010 that replaces the
>> NASA help info.
>> It utilises the LaTeX2e Help work done by Karl Berry and others.
>> The zip completely replaces ver 0.5 released here a few days ago. If
>> you installed that, delete its whole directory first.
>> Due to Jonathan Kew and Steffan Loefer's, and others efforts, it is
>> fully integrated with the Tw editor, and requires no outside browser.
>> Down load fom here --
>> http://code.google.com/p/texworks/issues/detail?id=261&can=5&q=sCRIPT#c30
>> Unzip into your scripts folder, perhaps into a directory called
>> `help'. Allow decompression to `use folder names'.  Refresh your
>> Scripts from the Scripts Menu.
>> Make sure your TeXWorks document is saved first.
>> You can then use (Win) Alt+F1,Alt+2 together to open this help-(Help
>> for LaTeX2e).
>> In the Tw Editor, select some text first, a full command, or partial
>> text that you want to search for help on. (Double clicking a LaTeX
>> command name will select it for you.)
>> Further help information is available in the dialogue.
>> Paul

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