County Coordinator's Helper

On-line Documentation Manual

Version 1.06

 CCHelper is an application written by Patty Lindsay

html coding, gifs, and content on this page created by Carol A. Haagensen

Software and documentation may not be reproduced, distributed, or copied in any manner. Exception: This documentation may be printed or saved by any user who is using the CCHelper software for non-commercial uses, and not for profit.

Table of Contents

Basic Web Publishing Help

The following sites are offered to provide help for those just learning html coding and web page publishing on the web. These sites are not affiliated with CCHelper in anyway. These links are offered only for information on these topics.


Some users like to just jump in and do a quick setup, without reading through an entire manual. For those users, the following sections can be read in the order indicated. When finished reading a section, use the BACK key on your browser to return to this section.

  1. Read the information on-line about Getting Started
  2. Setting up a county for the first time
  3. Importing information to database
  4. Click on the CCHelper icon created by the install process.  Choose Manage, then Control Settings. Select  AlphaSep and then Edit. In the Value box, add semicolons so that &nbspthru&nbsp is changed to  thru 
  5. While still in Manage Control Settings, Click on CCeMail, then the EDIT button. Enter the coordinator's email address in the Value box. Click on OK. Then, click on CCName, then the EDIT button, and enter the coordinator's name in the Value box.
  6. Edit the HTML section Common Return
  7. Generating HTML
    After CCHelper has generated the webpages, and the user has seen the output pages, the fast-track user may want to modify and customize the pages. If so, the following documentation sections should be read:
  8. Creating or editing HTML sections
  9. Creating or editing pages and page definitions
  10. Managing counties

When the desired customization has been made, re-run Generate HTML. Then, if all else fails, read the Manual <G>, and/or subscribe to the CCHelper Discussion List.


These links work only while on-line:

For answers or problems not covered in this documentation, or when a unique situation occurs, questions can be submitted to the CCHelper Discussion LIST. New Users are encouraged to subscribe. Traffic is light to your email box, the members friendly and helpful, and there is no spaming or flaming permitted.

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The on-line and download version of this manual is a large file. For those who have difficulty managing the Manual because they do not have alot of RAM installed on their computer, a text-only version of the manual will be available soon. A notice will be sent through the Discussion-List when it is available.

Most of the gifs in this document contain "hot spots." Clicking on a Hot Spot provides links to documentation about the function that is chosen. Click on buttons, menu selections, or to view documentation about something within the gif. To return to the place in the Documentation Manual before you clicked on a Hot Spot, use the Back function key of your browser.

Navigation in this document has been made as easy as possible. Hyperlinks to specific topics are provided throughout this documentation. Click on any of the highlighted topics for additional information, or to go to related topics. A quick search can be made for any phrase or topic by using the edit option from your browser, then clicking on search. Multiple links are provided throughout, so that a user can read only one section, if desired. Then, if the user does not understand what is being described, the user can click on all related links within that section.

This part of the on-line documentation is intended to familiarize users with the various command functions in CCHelper, and to describe the operation of those commands. The descriptions of functions in this Documentation Manual refer to the usual default functions and settings. Because of the versatility and flexibility of the CCHelper software, no attempt is made here to describe all the customizing that is possible with CCHelper. CCHelper was created to assist USGenWeb County Coordinators to easily manage the data they receive in queries and posts. Some users of the software have customized the generated output pages to manage other genealogy database data such as obituary files, surname studies, regional genealogy information, and others. This documentation concerns only the default and usual usage of the software. For help and ideas on setting up other kinds of databases, it is suggested that the user subscribe to the CCHelper-Discussion List or browse through archived responses from the List. To subscribe to the List, or to view archived responses from the list, see the CCHelper main web page.

This documentation assumes a familiarity with HTML coding and Windows 3.1 or Windows 95. There are many websites and books which describe HTML coding and the operation of Windows. It is beyond the scope of this documentation to discuss HTML and Windows operation.


Autobot: A automated system previously in use by the USGenWeb which routed queries to individual county coordinators and inserted a standardized html coding.

Coordinator: Same as User.

Postings: Data entered into the CCHelper database. This usually refers to queries. Also query.

Researcher: The person submitting the query, surname, or information to be included in the CCHelper database. Also submitter.

User: Anyone operating the CCHelper software.


After CCHelper is installed on your system, double-click on the CCHelper icon to launch the program if using Windows 3.1. For Windows 95, click on County Coordinator's Helper from wherever it was placed in the Startup menu during installation. (Location and directory varies depending on what options were chosen during installation and where the shortcut keys were placed). When CCHelper is launched, click on OK. For help on installation, see the installation instructions on-line.

CCHelper uses four main menu sections which manage the database and all functions available. At the top of the CCHelper screen, a menu bar is always visible. Any of these four menu options can be selected at anytime. When a menu bar item is chosen, a drop down menu appears. The four main selections are:


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The first option, FILE, contains the following sub-titles: CLOSE, IMPORT, PRINT, PRINT SETUP, and EXIT.

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Closes any window currently on the screen. Nothing will happen if CLOSE is chosen when there are no open windows on the screen.

The import option allows queries, surnames, and researcher information to be imported or entered into the CCHelper database. Also see POSTINGS.

For data to be imported into the database, one selection from EACH must be made from the import options: Select import format, Select source, and Select a county.

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SELECT IMPORT FORMAT. This section identifies what kind of data is being imported to CCHelper. Data can be imported in autobot format, or freeform (generally ASCII-DOS text documents, email, mailmerge output pages).

Autobot. Click on this option if the data was sent through any of the State USGenWeb autobots, or when importing queries containing HTML coding. This option can also be used if the HTML coding was entered into the query manually by the coordinator using standard autobot HTML format. Queries can be imported one at a time or in a batch.

NOTE: Currently the old USGenWeb autobot is not functional. New queries are not being sent through the autobot. However, CCHelper can import any query previously sent through the autobot by using the autobot selection from the import option. New autobot programs are currently becoming available for county coordinators. Return to this website and documentation when they are on-line for updated instructions on how they interface with the CCHelper software.

When CCHelper imports the old version autobot HTML coded documents, the software scans the page being imported for each block of data containing the <strong> and </strong> command. If importing an existing web page with autobot queries, CCHelper will display a block of text and/or coding from the existing document which may contain HTML page header information, HTML page title information, background colors, etc. When this information is displayed, the user should click on the IGNORE (or Skip) button at the bottom of the window display. The IGNORE (skip) button can also be used whenever an imported query is not wanted to be imported into the CCHelper database, such as duplicate entries. After the header information has been ignored, CCHelper begins to import the queries one at a time. The user can modify and correct any information with each query during the import process.

The following requirements are necessary for CCHelper to process queries when the autobot option is chosen:

  1. The title line of the query must contain the commands <strong> and closing </strong>. A common problem encountered when importing queries is an error message notifying the user of a missing <strong> command. Many users who write their own html coding use the bold html code <b> and </b> instead of the <strong> and </strong> html code. When using the autobot option, the <strong> command is required. A search and replace of the <b> html code substituting the <strong> html code will correct the error message and allow the queries to be imported.
  2. Each query must contain a <a href="mailto:"> command.
  3. Each query must contain the name of the researcher. A full name is not required. When the researcher has not submitted his/her name, the email address can be substituted, or any other name supplied such as nicknames.
  4. Each query must contain a date in the autobot format. The autobot format for dates is: day of week, month, day of month, time, year. Example: Sat Sep 6 21:13:33 1997. If no valid autobot date is provided, an error message appears asking the user to either manually correct the date or accept the current date on the user's computer. When large numbers of queries are being imported and all are given the default current date by the CCHelper software, an unusually large file may be created when the CCHelper database information is processed. It is recommended that the dates be corrected manually when the CCHelper invalid date appears.


Freeform. This option allows data to be imported into the CCHelper database that does not have any HTML coding, such as queries sent to the coordinator through email, plain text documents, manually entered queries, or mailmerge post pages. No HTML coding is required when importing queries in freeform. However, special tags are required to tell CCHelper what portion of the data is the surname, researcher, date, query text, URL, note, and email address. The user can manually type in the data, copy and paste the information onto the screen, or use the Windows Clipboard memory queue. See Clipboard below.

When the information is entered on the screen, position the cursor in-front-of the text which contains the NAME of the researcher. Then, double-click on the blue NAME in the far left window containing the Tag List. (The Tag List is shown in the image above.) NAME: appears in front of the researcher's name in the text, and at the location where the cursor was positioned. Continue with this process until all information has been identified with the appropriate field. Freeform tags can be inserted in any order that is convenient for the user.

CAUTION: CCHelper recognizes everything after one of these inserted Tags until it encounters another Tag. For example: If there is text typed after SURNAMES and before the next inserted Tag, CCHelper will cause all the words of the additional text to be entered as a surname, or an extension of one of the surnames referenced by the post. Example: BROWNJANEBORNINNEWYORK When a "surname" is imported into the database containing more than the accepted number of characters, an error message appears and causes the CCHelper database to act unusually.

NAME and EMAIL Tags: The NAME Tag identifies the researcher's name. The EMAIL Tag identifies the researcher's email address.

SURNAMES and QRYTEXT Tags: The SURNAME Tag identifies the the surname(s) referenced by the query. The surnames can be identified with this tag, or the CCHelper software can extract them from the body of the query. See Completing an import. The QRYTEXT Tag identifies the body or text of the query.

DATE Tag: The DATE Tag identifies the current date, or the date the information was submitted to the coordinator. The format for dates using freeform is day-of-week/month/date-of-month/year. For example: Wednesday, January 21, 1998. The day of the week is not required. Dates may also be written in short date form: 1/21/98. When importing queries through email or with server stamped times, the hour of day with hour, minutes, and seconds is usually included. The time must be deleted or an error message appears indicating that the imported date is invalid when the query is processed into the database. To correct the date after receiving the error message, click on the CANCEL button at the bottom of the screen on the lower right side. This returns the user to the query so that the time may be deleted. Or, the user can manually type in the date in the short form format (example: 1/21/98) in the date box at the upper right side of the screen. It is recommended that the date be corrected by one of these methods, otherwise CCHelper will use the default date--a date in 1997--and the query will not be posted to the proper month and year page when Generate HTML is run.

URL, NOTE and OMIT Tags: URL identifies the researcher's homepage website if one is available. A standard URL must be included. When CCHelper generates the pages for the website, a link is created to the researcher's homepage. NOTE allows a note or additional information to be included about the researcher. This field may be used to include anything that the researcher or coordinator chooses. Some coordinators use the NOTE field as a mailing "snail mail" address for the researcher; researcher profile information such as other genealogical projects, special areas of interest; or offers to do lookups. When CCHelper generates the pages, the NOTE information is inserted into the Researcher Index Page. OMIT tag causes CCHelper to ignore all data and text after the OMIT until another tag is encountered. .

When using freeform, queries are imported one at a time, or queries can be imported in a batch. If importing several queries in freeform, each query must have --- (three-hyphens) at the beginning of each query. The three hyphens tell CCHelper to begin a new query import.

Common errors when importing in freeform: Sometimes a submitter will insert three hyphens into the body of their query. If the hyphens are not deleted prior to importing a batch, CCHelper interprets the hyphens as the beginning of a new query. Another possible cause of difficulties when importing freeform queries is when a submitter uses one of the TAGS (above) in the body of their query. For example, when a submitter is talking about when an ancestor was born, they could type in DATE: January 7, 1802, for example. CCHelper interprets this DATE: as a tag and will erroneously place the date of the query as being submitted in 1802. Since this date is beyond the accepted parameters of the date programming, the query will not import properly. Or, the submitter may type in NAME: followed by the name of their ancestor, causing CCHelper to use the name of their ancestor in place of the submitter's name. Another common problem when importing queries in freeform is when characters or words appear after the SURNAME tag and before another Tag is inserted. When queries do not import properly, it is first recommended that the user go to Manage Surname Master List and proofread all surnames to make certain that extraneous words have not been imported as extensions of a surname. If no errors are found, go to Manage Researchers and proofread the names and email addresses of the researchers. Usually, the user will discover the problem and can then correct it from the EDIT screens. The user can also click on the Explain button from the import screen. CCHelper will tell what data is missing from an import or the error detected.

Freeform is also used to import queries collected in Mailmerge. For information on setting up a mailmerge form, see the CCHelper Main Page for links and information on mailmerge.

SELECT SOURCE. This section sets the source of the data to be imported. The Blank option displays a blank screen, the ASCII option is used when importing a document in ASCII-DOS text, and the Clipboard option imports any data currently in the user's Windows Clipboard memory queue.

Blank. By clicking on this option, new queries can be added directly to CCHelper without importing them from another file or source. Data can be copy and pasted onto the screen, or manually typed onto the screen by the user.

If both autobot and blank are clicked, a blank screen appears. The autobot HTML codes listed above, and the body of the query, are typed directly onto the screen by the user. The screen is similar to any HTML text editor. The HTML codes must be manually inserted with this option. When finished typing the query and all the HTML coding, click on OK.

If both freeform and blank are clicked, a screen appears similar to a Windows Notebook or wordprocessing program. Using these options, no HTML coding is required or used. CCHelper will automatically process the query without HTML coding. However, the Freeform Tags must be inserted.

ASCII: Choose this option if the file containing the query data is in ASCII-DOS text format.

CAUTION: Do not attempt to import data from files not in ASCII format. This caution includes IA5, TXT files not in ASCII format, SAM, DOC, FFT, RTF, WP, DIF, any spreadsheet files, etc. If the data file is in a non-ASCII text file, it must be converted to a generic DOS ASCII text before importing into CCHelper. Some word processing programs such as WordPerfect will convert files from one format to another. See your word processing documentation. All HTML editors, Windows Notebook, and the DOS Edit program are in ASCII format.

When this option is chosen, CCHelper will prompt the coordinator for the location of the ASCII file. Click on the name of the file in the appropriate directory and drive where the file is stored on the user's PC. CCHelper will bring the file to the screen one query at a time if the file is in standard autobot format and autobot was chosen from the Select import format. If the file is not in standard autobot format, the user can manually edit the document before importing to make it compatible with the required autobot html coding. If freeform queries are imported, three hyphens must separate each query and the freeform tags inserted. Queries can be imported by either method, freeform or autobot, one at a time or in a batch.

If the ASCII file is part of an HTML page, portions can be omitted (skipped) or ignored by clicking on the IGNORE (skip) button at the bottom of the screen. Queries can be edited prior to or during importing, and surnames registered at this time.

Clipboard: Choose this option if data was copied from any source into the Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 Clipboard memory queue. This is done by opening the document containing the query information. Highlight the text to be copied in the source document, then hold down the CTRL key of the keyboard while depressing the letter C of the keyboard. This method is especially useful when importing queries received through email. Query information can be transferred into the Windows Clipboard memory queue, then imported into the CCHelper database by choosing Freeform and Clipboard. When the Clipboard option is chosen, anything that is currently in the Window's Clipboard memory queue will be transferred to the screen. For more instructions on working with Clipboard, see your Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 documentation.

When the text has been transferred to the screen, edit the text as desired. Insert the Tags if using freeform or insert the autobot HTML coding if Clipboard and Autobot was chosen. Then, click on OK to import the query to the CCHelper database.

SELECT A COUNTY: This option chooses the county where the data will be imported. The County must have been previously setup in CCHelper before importing any queries or data. See documentation on Setting up a county for the first time.

This window shows all counties currently created in CCHelper, including a sample county. CCHelper can manage an unlimited number of counties for the coordinator responsible for more than one county. Click on the desired county. Then Click on OK.

Completing an import: When the tags have been inserted or when the query has been imported to the first import screen, click on OK. If there are any error messages, click on Cancel from the second import screen to go back and find the error. Click on the Explain button for more information about the error that needs correcting before completing the import. If there are no errors, a new screen appears allowing the user to do a final proofread of the information, edit, or add to the query. To register a surname associated with the post, double-click on a surname until it is highlighted, then click on the UPPER button at the bottom of the screen. This will convert the surname to ALL CAPS. Alternatively, by double-clicking on a word in ALL CAPS and clicking on lower, CCHelper will convert the word to all small-case letters. Clicking on the Proper button will capitalize the word highlighted. By using these buttons, the user can edit the post when a researcher has submitted a query with every word in ALL CAPS, for example. When all the surnames are in ALL CAPS, and the query and all information is as desired, click on the button in the center of the screen. Words in ALL CAPS are copied to the Surname window. Delete or add surnames as needed.

Surnames Referenced by this Posting. This window provides a list of all surnames referenced by the post.

When the query or post is finished, click on OK. The query is then imported into the CCHelper database and the surnames registered to the Surname Master List.

Review of importing data, and final step to import data into CCHelper:

Choose the type of format by clicking on: autobot or freeform. Choose the source of the data to be imported: blank to type in data manually, ASCII if importing from an ASCII file document, or from Windows Clipboard if data has been transferred to the Windows Clipboard memory queue. Choose the county where the query data is to be stored. Click on OK to go to the edit screen or click on CANCEL to cancel the import. From the edit screen, add tags if using freeform format. Then, click on OK. A final screen appears. Proofread the data to be imported, click on the arrow button to add surname references. Add any extraneous HTML coding that may be desired to customize how the post will appear on the page which does not apply to every post, such as the <FONT></FONT>, <B></B>, <BR> or <LI> html codes. (If the coordinator wants every post to contain html codes that do not come as a default setting, edit the HTML section instead of editing every post as it is imported.) Click on OK. The post is now imported to the database and all surnames referenced are added to the Master Surname List.

Allows coordinators to print out data from CCHelper to their printer.

Closes the CCHelper software from use. CAUTION: Always EXIT from the program before turning off the computer. Turning off the computer while CCHelper is running may corrupt internal operating software files and may lose all or portions of the database.

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The Manage option command includes the following subtitles: Researchers, Postings, Surname Master List, Counties, Page Definitions, HTML Sections, and Control Settings. When using any of the Manage Option selections, the user can click on any blue highlighted areas within an open window. CCHelper will take the user to more information about that item.

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The top left window of the screen shows the researcher's name, CCHelper assigned ID number, and the researcher's email address. The ID number is assigned sequentially from when the data was entered in the database. It is for identification purposes only within the database and does not appear in the CCHelper generated pages. The ID code is used by CCHelper to create html anchor and links within the pages generated.

The far right windows shows all surnames registered to this researcher. The bottom right window shows all queries registered to this researcher including the date and CCHelper assigned query ID number. The bottom left window shows the URL address of the researcher's homepage website if one was entered, and a note about the researcher if a note was entered.

At the upper left corner of the screen, there is a series of buttons: Edit, Add Res, Add Post, Import, Delete and Merge. The buttons Add Res and Add Post are available when any of the MANAGE sub-commands are chosen (Researcher, Postings, Master Surname List). To use these buttons, first choose a researcher by clicking on the researcher's name in the upper left window, or by using the arrow keys on the keyboard until the hand points at the desired researcher.

When more than one county is managed by CCHelper: If a researcher has submitted queries to more than one county that is managed by CCHelper, each query is listed as well as the county to which it is posted. When generating pages, CCHelper lists only the data that is relevant to the county chosen, not every query submitted by the researcher which may belong in another county. It does not generate all the queries or information that is in the CCHelper database that may be indexed under another county for any particular researcher. Also see Generate HTML for more information about when more than one county is managed by CCHelper.

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EDIT: Choose this button to edit the name, last name, email address, URL, or note concerning the highlighted researcher. Click on the desired researcher. Click on the EDIT button. A new screen appears where the researcher information can be edited. The ResID number cannot be edited. The full name (given name and surname) of the researcher is entered in the field called name. Only the last name of the researcher is entered in the field last name. The URL of the researcher's homepage can be entered as well as information in the Note window. When finished editing the researcher information, click on OK.

ADD RES: Choose this button to manually add a new researcher to the CCHelper database. Adding a researcher is usually not necessary if queries have been imported to the database. In other instances, the coordinator may wish to add a researcher who has not submitted a query or surname information. When CCHelper generates pages, the researcher information is included on the list of researchers, but no links are created to queries or surnames unless they are added manually from the Master Surname List. Use this button to add a researcher who has not submitted a register or query, but who would like to be added as a researcher. For coordinators who keep lists of people researching in their area, but who have not submitted a query or surname, the ADD RES function adds this data to the database and creates the appropriate entries on the Researcher pages. Fill in the fields with first and last name, last name, homepage URL (if appropriate), and note. Possible notes might include the geographic areas of interest to the researcher or offers to do lookups for others.

CAUTION: Do not use this button to add a researcher if a post or query has already been submitted by the researcher unless the coordinator would like an additional entry for the researcher. Usually, researcher information is extracted from the post or query submitted to the county.

When customizing or using CCHelper to manage data other than traditional queries, the ADD RES button allows the user to add information to the database other than through the usual query and post methods. The researcher field is the only field which allows both a first name and surname to be entered. The ADD RES button has been used by some user's when a list of individuals is wanted, and the website does not contain traditional queries and surname references. Some users setting up non-traditional websites using the CCHelper software have used this function to combine the surnames of both husband and wife for a more accurate portrayal of families within their county; for example Smith_Jones (compound surnames must use the underscore _ or hyphen - to connect them rather than a slash / ). Because of this feature, CCHelper is not limited to managing only USGenWeb query and county sites, but can be used for other creative genealogical applications of the program.

ADD POST: Choose this button to manually add a post to the CCHelper database listed under the highlighted researcher. When this option is chosen, CCHelper will automatically extract the name, email, URL and note already listed for the highlighted researcher. This button can be used when an existing researcher on the CCHelper database submits additional queries to be posted to the County, or when the researcher submits a query to another County which the user is also managing.

IMPORT: See Import.

DELETE. Use this button to delete all information concerning the researcher highlighted. CAUTION: This button deletes a researcher and also deletes all posts in all counties submitted by the researcher. Surnames registered to the Surname Master List by this researcher are not deleted from the Surname Master List. DELETE deletes all information about this researcher permanently.

MERGE: Allows the coordinator to merge two researchers into one entry on the database. This can be used when the researcher has used alternate names for him/herself when submitting multiple posts; for example: John Smith and J.A. Smith. The two researcher records can be merged.

When queries are being imported into the database, CCHelper automatically detects possible duplicate entries for researchers. This occurs when names are similar but with different email addresses, or when the email address is the same with different researcher names. When CCHelper detects a possible duplicate during import, the user is prompted to merge records or to ignore it. It is recommended that the user click on OK to view possibly duplicates. Sometimes a researcher has submitted a typographical error in an email address or in his/her name. Comparing the two records often corrects these errors. When the merge screen appears, choose the information desired to be kept by clicking on record 1 or record 2 for name, email address, URL and note. When finished, click on OK.

When clicking on the MERGE button (as opposed to being prompted by CCHelper), CCHelper will display two windows, each containing a full list of all researchers on the CCHelper database. Choose one researcher entry from the top window, and choose the second entry to be merged from the bottom window. Click on OK. If there are differences between the two entries, CCHelper prompts the coordinator to choose which name, email, URL, and note to be used as the merged researcher entry. Click on Entry 1, or Entry 2, depending upon which data the coordinator may wish to be in the final record. CAUTION: The data that is not chosen will be deleted from the database. Only the name, email, URL, and note that were chosen will be in the final researcher posting.

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The top window of the screen shows the county were the post is entered, the CCHelper assigned ID number, type of entry, date of the post, and the researcher's name. CCHelper assigns a numerical ID to each post imported. The ID number is used by CCHelper to create HTML anchor and links within the generated webpages. When a coordinator manages more than one county, the assigned ID numbers are not sequential in each county, but are sequential when they were imported into CCHelper. There are only two types of postings: query and register. Query is indicated when the post is in a standard query format containing a text section. Register is indicated when the post contains only surname reference(s). The difference between a query and a register is that the text field is present in the query and not in the register. A register entry contains only surnames references.

The bottom left windows shows the text of the query, unless the post is a register type only. The right window shows all surnames referenced by this post.

At the upper left corner of the screen, there is a series of buttons: Edit, Add Res, Add Post, Import, and Delete. The Add Res, Add Post, and Import buttons activate the same functions as seen from all the Manage Options screen.

To use these buttons, first choose a post by clicking on one from the list, or by using the arrow keys on the keyboard until the hand points at the desired post. Then, click on the desired function.

EDIT: Allows the coordinator to edit any information about this post. When EDIT is clicked, a new screen appears to edit the post. Query ID and type of entry cannot be edited. Changes to the date the post was entered can be made. The researcher name may be changed, but changes to the researcher information is limited to choosing a researcher already entered in the database. Researcher information is changed from Manage Researcher above.

Make any changes to the post, click on the arrow button in the center of the screen if surnames have been added, then click on OK. Surnames must be in ALL CAP letters. For more information, on using the arrow button, see Completing an import. CCHelper automatically extracts any word in ALL CAP letters and inserts them into the window at the far right of the screen when the arrow button is clicked. These surnames are used as the surname reference for this query.

CCHelper extracts the last name from the full name of the researcher and places it in the last name field. When surnames contain a space or an apostrophe, such as in the name Van Buren or O'Dell, the user will need to correct the last name field manually. In these instances, CCHelper prints "Buren" as the last name of the researcher, omitting the "Van," for example. If correcting the surname of a researcher, move the cursor to the last name or name field. Insert an underline_ at the space for names containing a space; for example: Van_Buren. For more information on the standards necessary for surnames (the researcher's or those surnames referenced by a post) which contain spaces, small case letters, or apostrophes, see Rename.

A surname can be added to those referenced by the post, which is not in the body of the text, by clicking on Add Surname Reference. If Add Surname Reference is used, CCHelper shows a screen where the Master List of all surnames are shown at the far left of the screen, and a window where the new surname reference may be added. A new surname may be added by manually typing in the surname into the right window, or by clicking on a surname from the master surname list in the left window. When finished, click on OK. CCHelper returns to the EDIT screen. When finished editing the query, click on OK. If the surname includes spaces, as in the name Van Buren, replace the space with an underscore to Van_Buren. If the surname includes an apostrophe, such as in the name O'Connell, enter it here without an apostrophe. See Rename under the Master Surname List for information on re-inserting the apostrophe into the surname.

Surnames that are deleted from the post are deleted by highlighting the surname, then clicking on the Delete Surname bar in the lower right of the window.

ADD RES: See ADD RES above.


IMPORT: See Import above.

DELETE: This button deletes the post highlighted. CAUTION: Using DELETE deletes all researcher information referenced by the post unless the researcher has another query posted to the database.

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When the Surname Master List is chosen, a screen appears showing the current list of all surnames entered into CCHelper. If more than one county is being managed by CCHelper, all surnames entered for all counties are shown.

The top window of the screen lists all surnames in alphabetical order. The bottom left windows lists all queries where that surname appears, the county, the CCHelper assigned ID number, date the query was submitted, and the researchers who submitted the surname. The bottom right window of the screen shows any alternate spellings submitted for that surname. A row of buttons are to the left of the screen. They are:

This Gif contains Hot Spots.

EDIT: Use this option to add alternate spelling(s) of the surname. If an alternate spelling is entered, one spelling is listed as the primary surname, while any other spelling is listed as the alternate. Whenever possible, list alternate spellings of names when they are submitted. This allows other researchers who may not be aware of the alternate spelling to find the post(s) and each other. Alternate spellings are useful when the coordinator is managing a particularly heavy traffic site with many surname and query submissions. Although each spelling of the surname will be entered on the surname page, it may be cumbersome for some visitors to the site to scan through an entire surname index looking for alternate spellings which may be listed at the county site. The Edit button is used to add alternate spellings of the surname only. Scan through the list of surnames, click on the alternate spelling, then click on OK. The alternate spelling is now shown. The alternate spelling of the name must have already been entered into the Surname Master List before it can be used as an alternate spelling. To modify or correct the spelling of a surname, see Rename below.

ADD RES: See ADD RES above.


IMPORT: See Import above.

DELETE: Use this option to delete a surname from the Master Surname List database. CAUTION: Delete will erase the surname forever from the database. CCHelper does not allow the coordinator to delete any surname if the surname appears in any query/register presently in the database. Should the coordinator need to delete a surname, the query that contains the surname must be deleted first. If using the Delete button from the Manage Postings page, all surnames referenced by the query will also be deleted when the post is deleted. However, a surname cannot be deleted individually from the Master Surname List using the Delete button from the Manage Postings page. Once all of the queries referencing the surname are deleted, the surname still exists in the Surname Master List.

RENAME: allows the coordinator to rename or correct the spelling of a surname on the Master Surname List. CAUTION: If the spelling of a surname is changed from the Master Surname List, all surname references containing that surname are modified with the spelling change.

Editing the spelling of all occurrences of a surname in all queries can be used for certain desirable situations. The CCHelper software does not accept surnames imported with apostrophes, such as in O'CONNELL, O'BRYAN. The imported surname becomes CONNELL or BRYAN, for example. To correct this limitation of the import process, first allow CCHelper to import the surname without the apostrophe: OCONNELL and OBRYAN. When the query has been successfully imported, go to the Master Surname List. Click on the surname to be modified. Click on the Rename button. Then, add the apostrophe. Click on OK when finished. All occurrences of the surname in all queries and registers will be modified to include the apostrophe.

The CCHelper software does not allow small-case letters in the middle of a surname, such as in the surnames McDONALD or McCOY. In these instances, the surname should be entered in all-caps: MCDONALD or MCCOY.

When a surname is actually two words, such as the surname VAN BUREN, the surname can be entered into CCHelper by adding an _ underscore between the words. VAN_BUREN. When CCHelper generates the pages containing the surname, the underscore is not visible.

Hyphenated surnames, such as Jane Doe-Smith, can be imported into CCHelper if the upgrade from version 1.05 to version 1.06 has been made. See the on-line Upgrade Page.

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To create any website or county using CCHelper, it is first necessary to define and create the HTML sections. For existing websites converting to CCHelper, the look of any website does not have to change when using CCHelper. It is not necessary to delete or significantly change the website to accommodate CCHelper. CCHelper can be used to supplement the pages already at the existing website; or CCHelper can be custom-made to look exactly like the current website, without all the work of posting and cross-indexing surnames, queries, and researcher information. The choices are all yours!

Templates (samples) are included in CCHelper to assist the coordinator in making a website. They are only suggestions. Most of the websites which currently use CCHelper to manage their query data has used the default format and look of the pages, with perhaps a change in background colors and gifs. However, this is only the individual coordinator's choice. The decisions on what is included at a website, how the finished pages look, how the query and surname pages look, special needs of the county, preferences in posting by the coordinator, these all belong to the user. Very few absolutes are necessary to run CCHelper.

After the HTML Sections are completed, they are used to create the pages. The pages are used to create the website. This process is like cutting up an existing website into smaller pieces (or sections). These HTML pieces are joined together in Page Definitions to make a complete page. The pages are joined together to make a county website in Counties.

The difference between working with an HTML editor versus CCHelper is that instead of creating an entire web page at one time, the coordinator creates HTML sections which are strung, or joined, together to make the page. If the coordinator has an existing GenWeb County page that is being converted to CCHelper, the coordinator will only need to copy and paste the portions of the existing webpage into the CCHelper HTML sections, then specify their position on a page in Page Definitions. CCHelper can also be integrated into an existing website as supplemental pages which contain only the query, surname, and researcher information; or just surnames; or just researchers. The choices belong to the coordinator. The output pages can include/exclude, contain, or be formatted in anyway the coordinator chooses.

Once these sections and pages are created, the coordinator will need to do nothing more than occasionally import queries into the CCHelper database, run Generate HTML, then upload the pages via FTP to their server. Of course, the user can add, change, or delete any portion of the site at any time. But, these are just choices that are made along the way, just as these choices are made by any county website not managed by CCHelper. When using CCHelper, these changes are not major revisions to the website, just changes to small HTML sections.

HTML sections consist of HTML coding, symbolics, and plain text if desired. HTML sections and/or symbolics are created or modified depending upon the needs or preferences of the individual user or website. These HTML sections are included in a page(s) of the coordinator's choice. These pages are then included in the county website. So, the website is created from the following process: HTML sections created --> pages created from HTML sections --> county website created from pages.

To create a county site, or duplicate an existing site already on-line, click on MANAGE, then HTML Sections from the CCHelper screen. CCHelper lists all HTML sections currently in the CCHelper database. The user does not need to use any of the sample HTML sections, but it is recommended that the original sample be left unmodified. See COPY below.

Spend a few minutes looking at the various Sample HTML sections. Most have CCHelper symbolics such as [[COUNTY]] [[SURNAME]] or [[SURLINE]], for example. CCHelper symbolics are always enclosed in double brackets. These codes cause CCHelper to insert the data from the database into the HTML section at that point. A new user may want to leave the symbolics exactly as they are. When more familiar with CCHelper, the user may want to change the symbolics or modify their position and use on the finished webpage.

The top window shows a list of current HTML sections in the CCHelper database. The right side window shows the Pages that currently use the HTML Section that is highlighted (or where the hand-pointer is located). The bottom window shows the actual text, HTML coding, and symbolics that are in that particular HTML section. To the left is a row of buttons, discussed below. The HTML sections can only be viewed from this screen. To edit, copy, or modify an HTML Section, one of the following buttons is used.

This image contains Hot Spots.

EDIT: The edit command allows the coordinator to edit the HTML section that was chosen. When the EDIT option is used, a screen appears showing the following kinds of information as in this example:

Name: At the very top of the screen, in the far left box, the name of the HTML section is listed. The coordinator cannot change the HTML section's name from this screen. The only time when the name can be modified is when the HTML section is first created by using the COPY or ADD button. The Name is for identification purposes only, and does not appear on a completed page or website.

Type: The next box to the right shows the Type of HTML section that is on the screen. The available types are: fixed, res, qry, and res. The various Types are also discussed below under the COPY button information. The Type of HTML section cannot be edited.

fixed type is used for any HTML section that will not be used to generate query pages, surname or researcher indexes. This type of html section contains only text or html coding information in the completed pages.

qry type is used only for HTML sections that control the output pages and links for the queries in the database. The qry type is used in website pages that contain queries. CCHelper scans through all of the queries in a county to make the output Query pages. It inserts the information from the database in a certain order and format as controlled by this type of html section.

sur type is used only for HTML sections that control the output of the surname indexes and links. The sur type is used for HTML sections that are created when CCHelper scans through all of the surnames referenced for a county. CCHelper uses this type of section to create the output pages with the surnames in a certain order and format as controlled by this html section type.

res type is used for HTML sections that are created by scanning through all of the researchers who have submitted a queryor register for a county. CCHelper uses this type of html section and html type to output the completed page in a certain order and format specific to researcher pages and indexes.

When the researcher, query, or surname information has been scanned by the program, the resulting data is inserted into the html sections. The HTML sections with the appropriate HTML type and symbolics, are used to create the links, hyperlinks, and anchors on the finished webpages.

Default Order. The number in the box, which can be changed or edited by the coordinator, determines the position of the HTML section on the webpage. 1 causes CCHelper to put this HTML section first on every web page that uses this section. For example, an HTML section could be created called header. It could consist of only the HTML coding that is necessary at the top of every webpage. For example, here is a header from the U.S. Virgin Islands website of the WorldGenWeb:

<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>U.S. (Danish) Virgin Islands</TITLE> <P></HEAD> <BODY BACKGROUND="blue.jpg" BGCOLOR=#B0E0E6 TEXT=#000080 LINK=#FF0000 VLINK=#8B0000> <P ALIGN=CENTER> <B>U.S. (Danish) Virgin Islands<BR> St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John<BR> <P><IMG SRC="virgin.gif" BORDER="2"></P> <P>World GenWeb Project</P></B>

A new HTML section was created called viheader by clicking on the ADD button, because this section contains no query, researcher, or surname information. This created an html section type of text. (See COPY below.) Then, the above example information was cut and pasted into the new HTML section and given the default order of 1. The same header is used on every page of the Virgin Islands website, so the same HTML header section is used in every Page Definition of the Virgin Islands county. Should the coordinator want to change the Gif, for example, only this one HTML section called 'viheader' needs to be edited, not many pages on the website.

When creating headers which contain html background colors, gifs, link colors, and titles, a 1 should be typed into the Default Order box. A 2 causes a section to be placed second, and might be used for links within the website, historical information about the county, an introduction by the coordinator, for examples. A 3 causes the section to be placed third, and so on. A 9 causes CCHelper to put that HTML section at the very bottom of every web page that uses the section, provided it is the highest number created by the coordinator. A 9 default order can be used for an HTML section which contains footer information such as page counters, last modified information, guestbooks, links back to the main page, the email address of the coordinator, for examples.

A total of 999 sections are possible on each page with CCHelper. If the coordinator wants to move a section so that it appears in a different place on the finished page, the user only needs to change the number in this box to move the HTML section to another location on the finished page, (instead of cutting and pasting HTML codes which would be necessary in a non-managed CCHelper page). If the coordinator wants to delete a section from a page, it is simply removed from Page Definitions. The default order can be edited at anytime the coordinator wants to change the position of information on the webpage. With CCHelper, only the DEFAULT ORDER number needs to be changed.

Available Symbolics: The window to the right side of the screen allows the user to insert symbolics into the HTML sections without manually typing them in. A new user may want to leave the symbolics that are already provided in the Sample HTML sections. Advanced users can modify the output of the information in the database by inserting the symbolics into the desired HTML section, and html section type. To do this, position the cursor in the text window where the code should be inserted, then double-click on the code in the Available Symbolics window. CCHelper will insert that symbolic code into the HTML section. Click on the Command Help button located in the far upper right side of the screen for a description of each of the symbolics. Also see Control Settings.

Text: The window at the bottom of the screen shows the data, HTML coding, symbolics, and/or text which is contained in the chosen HTML section. By clicking anywhere on the screen, the coordinator activates the edit screen, and then can edit anything in that section. For example: the IMG SRC codes can be inserted to position a graphic on the page, a table can be created using standard HTML coding, historical text about the county, or anything else the coordinator may wish to include. Once the sections are created, they are placed on a page. See Manage Page Definitions.

HTML VERIFY TEXT. Use the Verify Text button from the edit screen to cause CCHelper to verify that an HTML section has the proper symbolics and command codes to function properly when Generate HTML is run. If the html section will work properly, nothing happens when the Verify Text button is clicked. If there are errors in the symbolics or command codes, the program alerts the user to the possible problem which must be corrected before running Generate HTML.

ADD RES: See ADD RES above.


COPY: By choosing this option, the coordinator creates an exact duplicate of the HTML section highlighted. A screen appears prompting the coordinator for a new name for the copied HTML section. This new name can be anything that the coordinator would like to name it. It is suggested that the name be something that the coordinator can find easily when all the HTML sections are listed on the screen, and something that makes sense to the coordinator as a mini description of that section. This name does not appear anywhere on the webpage or links. The name is used only to identify the section from other HTML sections when using the CCHelper software. After typing in a new name for the section, click on OK. A new EDIT screen appears.

It is recommended that the COPY button be used instead of the ADD option button when working with the HTML Sections. This preserves an original in the CCHelper database in case something goes wrong. Also, there are certain CCHelper codes, such as the HTML TYPE which are automatically transferred when the COPY button is used, but not when the ADD button is used. Your HTML section will more likely operate correctly when COPY is used, unless you are familiar with the CCHelper programming codes. Find an HTML section that is similar to what is wanted to be created. Click on COPY, then modify the HTML section as desired. See EDIT above.

NOTE: It is necessary to use the COPY command when creating new html sections that contain surname, query or researcher information that is generated by CCHelper. Internal working codes of these html sections require this. Any information can be edited or deleted from the copied sections. But, the file TYPE must remain sur (for html sections containing surname references), res (for html sections containing researcher information), and qry (for html sections containing query information). In some situations, the coordinator may wish the file type output settings to be changed. This can be done through Manage Control Settings. To modify or create new html sections containing surname, researcher or query information, find the html sections called samp. surname body, samp. query body, or samp. res. body. Then the COPY button is used on the sample county html section. Rename and edit the new copied html section in anyway the coordinator may wish. The file type must always be sur, qry, or res for these kinds of html sections. If a text type is used, CCHelper will not properly generate the pages if they should contain query, surname, or researcher information. TEXT type HTML sections should only be used for HTML sections containing text or HTML coding only, such as the "viheader" example above. It is strongly recommended that the COPY command be used instead of ADD. This will always preserve a backup unmodified copy of the html section on the CCHelper database should the coordinator make changes that do not run properly, or if the user wants the original operation of CCHelper to be restored.

DELETE: The delete option is used to delete an HTML section from the database, not from a page. CAUTION: Deleting an HTML section will forever erase it from the CCHelper database. If there are pages which currently use that HTML section, the section will no longer appear on those pages after the delete option is used to erase it. The user does not need to delete the html section from the pages first. Whenever the DELETE button is used on a highlighted html section, the section is automatically removed from all pages and counties which have used that section.

ADD: The Add option allows the coordinator to add an HTML section and write in whatever HTML coding is desired. A screen appears prompting the coordinator for a name. See NAME above.

CAUTION: When using the ADD option, only a fixed text section can be created. A fixed text means that CCHelper is not able to insert automatically any surname, researcher, or query information for this html section. Use the ADD option only for creating custom HTML sections for the webpage. Creating sections where surname, researcher, or query information is contained is discussed above under COPY. Use the ADD button to create custom headers, footers, html coding, common or unique links to other pages at the internet, URLs, plain text sections, etc.

When all the html sections are created or edited that the users wants on a county webpage, they must be joined together in Page Definitions.

Before running Generate HTML, the HTML sections called "Common Links" and "Common Return" must be edited:

  1. Choose Manage, HTML Sections
  2. Scroll through the HTML sections and find the one called "Common Return"
  3. Click on the EDIT button.
  4. Change the" ______.___ " in the HTML text to [[HOMEPAGE]] as follows:
    <hr> <h3><a href="[[HOMEPAGE]]">Return to [[COUNTY]] Co. [[STATE]] Genealogy page</a></h3>

    Provided the county's home page is in the same on-line directory where the query pages are located. If not, then add a '../' before the [[HOMEPAGE]], as follows:

    <hr> <h3><a href=../[[HOMEPAGE]]>Return to [[COUNTY]] Co. [[STATE]] Genealogy page</a></h3>

  5. Add a link to qryindex.htm on your home county page, for example:
    <a href="qryindex.htm">Index to Surnames, Queries, and Researchers</a>

  6. Revise the howto page(s), if desired.  These are the pages that tell the visitor how to submit queries and surname registrations to the coordinator. The coordinator can remove the links to the howto pages (see step 7 below) and place/retain them on pages not managed by CCHelper; or the coordinator can edit the howto pages to include the information desired. If submit instructions are already written on an existing website, copy and paste them into the howto CCHelper page(s), (such as how to submit through an autobot, how the coordinator wants email sent to them, etc.). If the coordinator already has a howto submit page on an existing website, the user can copy the instructions that are already written into the HTML sections, or link to them from the common links html section.

  7. Find the HTML section called "common links," click on the EDIT button. Edit the links to point to the existing county pages or to whatever other page(s) the coordinator may want.

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The Page Definitions option is used to join together the HTML sections. The Page Definitions screen lists each html section that is included on each separate page of the county website. When joining the html sections to a page, common html sections can be used on multiple pages; for example: a common header, common links, plain text, researcher information, cross-referencing, footers, for example. The html sections that are included on each page is decided by the coordinator. Usually, a page definition would include the following html sections: common header; researcher, surname, or query links; plain text; common links; and a footer.

When the Manage Page Definitions option is chosen, a screen appears listing all pages currently created in the CCHelper program.

The center window lists the page Name, Title, and File Name (the DOS file name prefix). The two bottom windows list the html sections currently included on that page, and the county (or counties) which currently use that page. In the example above, the user created these pages called albqry, albres, albsur by using the Page Definitions COPY button from the Samp. query, Samp. res, and Samp sur. pages.

Name. This is the name that was assigned to the page by the user when the page was created. This name is for identification of the pages by the user only. It does not appear on any generated pages.

Title. This is the name of the page. It will appear on generated pages when the [[TITLE]] symbolic is used in an html section contained on the page.

File Name. This is the DOS filename that is used as a filename prefix when the page is generated. In the examples above, the page called albqry will be generated by CCHelper to a file called query_.htm, where _ is the sequential numeric number, by month, assigned by CCHelper for query pages. In the next example, the page called albres will be generated by CCHelper to a page called res_.htm, where _ is the alphabetical page break letter.

On the left side of the screen are the following buttons: EDIT, Add Res, Add Post, COPY, DELETE and ADD.


This Gif contains Hot Spots.

EDIT: When the Edit button is selected, a screen appears showing the current elements of the page chosen. At the top of the screen is the page name. This is not the name which will appear on the completed page, but the DOS file name. This name may be edited or changed within the parameters of DOS file naming. Below the page name is the TITLE of the page. The coordinator enters the title that will appear on the page when CCHelper generates the pages. This title appears wherever the [[TITLE]] CCHelper symbolic appears in the html sections. It is recommended that the title of a page be changed at this location instead of using a coordinator created html section to insert a title to a page.

NOTE: When using a COPY of the sample pages with the sur, res, or query file prefixes and if the appropriate symbolics are included in the html section contained on that page, then CCHelper automatically inserts the County and State names entered in the Manage Counties, EDIT option. For pages with the query file name prefix, CCHelper automatically inserts the month and year of the queries contained on that page. Therefore, the title entered should only include the title minus the information that CCHelper will insert automatically. A title for a query page, for example, might be "Queries posted for" CCHelper will insert the month and date, provided the symbolics instruct CCHelper to insert this information. (Also See Control Settings.) At the bottom of the screen is the DOS file name prefix for the page. The DOS name may be any name within the parameters of DOS file naming requirements. When CCHelper generates multiple output pages from one Page Definition, such as a query page or list of researchers or surname page, an additional page name prefix will be appended to the name in this field. For query pages, 001, 002, etc. will be added so that the output pages become query001.htm , query002.htm, etc., when query is entered into this field. If the coordinator does not wish to name the output pages "query," then the DOS filename prefix must also be changed from Control Settings. Changes to the sur or res filename prefix must also be changed from Control Settings. For researcher pages and surname pages, the alphabetical page breaks are appended to res and sur so that the output pages become resa.htm, surm.htm, etc. See the documentation on creating page breaks. In this field for the DOS filename, do not insert the filename extension such as .htm or html. The filename extension is appended automatically by CCHelper. To change the filename extension, see Control Settings.

To the right of the screen, the current html sections are listed which makeup the page. The buttons below the window allow the coordinator to add or delete html sections from the page. To delete a section from the page, click on the section to be deleted, and then click on the Delete Section button. The html section is then removed from the page. Generate HTML must be run again for the change to take effect on the output pages. To add a section to the page, click on the Add Section button. A screen appears listing the available html sections to be added. Click on the section to be added, then click on OK. The previous screen appears again (as in the image above) showing the html section added to the page. Generate HTML must be run for the change to take effect on the output page. Continue this process until all HTML sections are listed in the Page Definitions Edit window that the coordinator wants on the webpage. When finished, click on OK.

ADD RES: See ADD RES above.


COPY: When this button is chosen, the page which is highlighted is copied. A screen appears prompting the coordinator for the name of the new page. The name that is entered is the name which identifies the new page in the list of Page Definitions. This is not the DOS file name, and it is not the TITLE of the page. The name that is entered in this field is only the name which is used to identify the page for the coordinator's use in CCHelper. After a new name is entered, a screen appears like the one described above in EDIT.

DELETE: Use this button to delete a page from the CCHelper database. When this button is clicked, a prompt appears asking the coordinator to confirm the deletion of the page. If OK is chosen, the page is permanently removed from the CCHelper database. CAUTION: When a page is deleted, it cannot be restored. Do not use this button to remove a page from a county. To remove the page from the county, go to Manage Page Definitions, then click on the EDIT button. Use the DELETE button to delete a page completely from the CCHelper database.

ADD: When this option is chosen, a screen appears prompting the coordinator for the name of the new page. The name that is entered is the name which identifies the new page in the list of Page Definitions. This is not the DOS file name, and it is not the TITLE of the page. The name that is entered in this field is only the name which is used to identify the page for the coordinator's use in CCHelper. After a new name is entered, a screen appears like the one described above in EDIT. When the ADD button is used, the html sections must be added to the page. See ADD HTML SECTION, or DELETE HTML SECTION above.

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By choosing this option, the coordinator is able to manage, add, or delete pages from the county website. When using this option the user can control where CCHelper creates page breaks, alphabetical listings of the data, how many queries are generated on each page, where CCHelper will write the generated pages on the users PC, and change the County and State name that is printed on the generated pages of the county. CCHelper has the ability to manage multiple counties within the same database. The county coordinator who manages more than one county is able to keep all data on the same CCHelper database. The top window of the screen lists all counties presently on the CCHelper database.

When Manage Counties is chosen, the following information appears on the screen: county, which is the county ID that the coordinator supplied when creating the county; county name which is the actual name of the county; and State which is the State that county is in. The far right window shows the pages that CCHelper will generate for that county. In the example image above, the user manages several GenWeb websites. The counties are listed by their USGenWeb ID, the actual name of the county which appears when pages are generated, and the State name which also appears when pages are generated provided the appropriate symbolics are retained in the html sections on the page. In the example above, when CCHelper generates the html for this county, the pages called Export, howtoqry page, NYUnknown Query, etc., will be created.

The bottom windows shows surname and researcher break pages, the minimum number of queries per page that CCHelper will generate, the directory where CCHelper will write the pages on the coordinator's personal computer (not the website where the website appears on-line), and the name of the homepage of the county website. To make changes to any of these settings, click on the EDIT button.

To the left side of the screen there is a row of buttons. They are:

This image contains Hot Spots.

EDIT: This option allows the coordinator to create and determine which pages CCHelper will generate; and EDIT controls how CCHelper creates the surname and researcher pages. This function also tells CCHelper where to put the pages it creates on the coordinator's personal computer, and how CCHelper makes the HTML links and anchors between the pages of the website.

ADD RES: See ADD RES above.


COPY: When this button is chosen, the county which is highlighted is copied, including all settings, pages definitions, and all html sections which are contained in the pages. A screen appears prompting the coordinator for the name of the new county. The name that is entered is the name which identifies the new county in the list of Counties. This is not the TITLE of the county, but the county ID which identifies it within the CCHelper database. The name that is entered in this field is only the name which is used to identify the county for the coordinator's use in CCHelper. After a new name is entered, a screen appears like the one described above under EDIT, County. It is recommended that the COPY button be used instead of the ADD button whenever possible. This transfers all the Page Definitions to the new county which contain the surname, researcher, query, export, and summary files which are needed for the usual operation of the program.

DELETE: Use this button to delete a county from the CCHelper database. When this button is chosen, all settings, pages and information relative to the county are permanently removed from the CCHelper database. CAUTION: When a county is deleted, it cannot be restored.

ADD: When this option is chosen, a screen appears prompting the coordinator for the name of the new county. The name that is entered is the name which identifies the new county in the list of Counties. The name that is entered in this field is only the name which is used to identify the county for the coordinator's use in CCHelper. After a new name is entered, a screen appears like the one described above in EDIT, County. When a county is created using the ADD button, new Page Definitions must be added as well as all other settings for the new county.

When setting up a county for the first time by new users: The user must setup the county before data is imported into the CCHelper database.

  1. Click on MANAGE, then COUNTIES.
  2. Click on SAMPLE county, then click on the COPY button. Type in an ID code for the county. It does not matter if the ID is in small-case or upper-case letters. The ID is for internal identification when using the CCHelper software only. This is usually the USGenWeb ID. Example: WyCarbon for Carbon County, Wyoming.
  3. Click on OK.
  4. A new screen appears. Type in the county name where the cursor is automatically positioned. This is the actual name of the county, such as Carbon. Do not type in the word county.
  5. Move your cursor over to the state field. Type in the State name, such as Wyoming, for Carbon County, Wyoming, for example.
  6. Ignore the fields in the middle of the screen for page breaks. When all queries have been imported to CCHelper, come back to this screen by clicking on the EDIT button. Click on Suggest Breaks, and allow CCHelper to suggest the page breaks for this field. It is not recommended that page breaks be set until all queries have been imported into the database, so that the page breaks can be calculated accurately, and all pages generated by CCHelper are of a similar size.
  7. HTMDR: Read and follow the instructions under HTMDR.
  8. Homepage: Read and follow the instructions under Home Page.

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Allows the user to control the output generated by CCHelper. The following control settings are available. Whenever any of these settings are changed, Generate HTML must be run for the change to take effect. For more detailed information and use of the control setting codes, see the descriptions within the CCHelper software under Manage, Control Settings.

The remainder of the Control Settings are symbolics and controls what kinds of information is processed by CCHelper. Whenever CCHelper finds one of these symbolics surrounded by double-brackets [[ ]] in the HTML Sections, it substitutes the value of the symbolic in the text when Generate HTML is run. The values of some symbolics are set from the Control Settings page (eg: SurSep = ', '); and other symbolics contain values that CCHelper reads from the database (eg: QryText); or what kinds of links are generated (eg: AtoZRes). By inserting the Control Setting name, surrounded by double-brackets [[ ]], the user can control where information appears and what kinds of information is included on the finished pages. For example, by inserting [[AtoZRes]] anywhere in a html section, the command will cause CCHelper to place an A to Z listing of links to the researchers in the database. A control setting must be surrounded by the [[ ]] characters.

The last three items on the Control Setting list, such as the Command above, are help text and instructions for the use of the control settings in html sections. See these items in the software program for more information.

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To generate the html and pages created by CCHelper, click on Output, click on the county to be processed, then click on the Generate HTML button. CCHelper processes all the information concerning that county and places the new output pages into the directory that was specified from the HTMDR line. Generate HTML must be rerun every time new posts are added to the database for the additions to take effect. Upload the pages via any FTP program. It is not necessary to re-upload all pages generated each time a county is updated. The coordinator may only upload the pages which have been changed by the update. Usually this is the current month's query page (query015.htm, for example), the sur_.htm. and res_.htm pages, where _ is the alphabetical page break letter. The summary_.htm pages should be uploaded also if the site is registered with Surname Helper. The export_.htm should also be uploaded with each update to preserve a current backup of the database.

When more than one county is managed by CCHelper, and before Generate HTML is run, separate directories for each county must be created on the user's PC to prevent over-writing of files. Using File Manager on Win 3.1, or Explorer or My Computer on Win 95, create the directory/folder for each county using the name that was noted in HTMDR and Home Page lines.

A mailing list of submitters can be generated by CCHelper. Click on Output, then Mailing List. Choose the option desired: Researchers who have posted, Researchers without recent activity, or Surname Notification. A screen appears where the user fills in the parameters of the mailing list to be generated. When the parameters have been set, click on OK. CCHelper scans the database and copies the email addresses and names of the desired list into a new window. Click on Copy to Clipboard. This places the list in the Windows Clipboard memory queue. Paste the list into the TO: or recipients field of whatever email program is being used. Compose the message and send normally. Some email programs require a semicolon or comma between each email address. If this is required, paste the list to the Windows Notebook program and edit as necessary. Copy and Paste the changed list into the TO or recipient field, then send the email. For more information on working with Windows Clipboard, see your Windows 3.1 or Windows95 users manual.

Some users keep a standardized reply in a word processing program directory. This allows the coordinator to quickly acknowledge submitted posts to the county, and also tests the submitter's email address. The mailing list is copied into the TO: or recipient field of the email form, then the text of the reply is copied and pasted into the body of the email.

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Backing up your database:

It is highly recommended and encouraged that the database be backed up frequently to prevent loss of data. There are two different methods for backing up the database. Both methods should be used.

  1. cchelper.db The cchelper.db file is the sum total of every html section, page, county, submitter, researcher, queries, email addresses, all data and settings, etc., that comprise everything that CCHelper uses to generate the html sections and pages for all counties contained in the database. This includes all customization that the user has created. This is the primary backup option. Copy this file to ANOTHER directory and/or drive on the user's PC whenever an update is made to the database. It is recommended that the user get in the habit of copying this file before running Generate HTML whenever an update is being done. This file can also be uploaded to the user's website, copied to another hard drive or zip drive. This prevents the loss of the file in the event of a hard drive failure. In some cases, there have been reports of corrupted cchelper.db files when the program was accidently damaged. Without a backup of the cchelper.db file, all data is lost and in most cases cannot be restored.
  2. export_.htm The export files are already setup in the defaults and Sample counties. When setting up a new county, if COPY county was not used, then the export page should be added to the list of pages being used by the new county. Go to Manage Counties, then Edit. Click on Add page, scroll down the list of pages, and add the Export page. After Generate HTML has been run, upload the export_.htm pages to the FTP server, where _ is the page break letter. The export files contain all the essential data submitted by query or surname submissions, but the export files DO NOT contain the html sections, page definitions, and county information used to generate the website using CCHelper. In the event of a total loss of the cchelper.db file, the export files can be imported again into the CCHelper database, but all html sections, page definitions and county information will need to be re-created. Do not create links to the export pages. They are used for the storage duplication of data in the database only. The export files can also be used when a county coordinator wants to send the query data to another coordinator, such as when the coordinator is giving up a county. The filename generated is export_.htm where _ is the alphabetical letter of the page breaks assigned by the user from the Manage County, Edit screen.

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Adding a site to Surname Helper: After a county site is managed by CCHelper, it is recommended that it be registered with Surname Helper, a searchable surname database comprised of all the surnames referenced by the registered sites. To index a site, the user follows the step-by-step instructions below. It is not necessary to resubmit the information when new posts are added to the county.

/[ IF SeeLine EXISTS ]/
'[[surname]]', 'X', '[[seeline]]', $today
'[[surname]]', 'R', '[[ResRef]]', '[[postdate]]'
'[[surname]]', 'Q', '[[QryRef]]', '[[postdate]]'

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Carol A. Haagensen authored this Documentation Manual, the html codes, and created the images. She is available for other technical or creative writing projects. Email: [email protected].