Help automation support is based on the concept of a help ID. A help ID is a special integer value assigned to a control. When a help request is sent to the help processor, the help ID of the associated control is sent as a parameter.

Typically, each control is assigned a unique value. This allows the help processor to uniquely respond to each control. To create help that responds to the window, rather than an individual control within it, you can give all of the controls within a window the same help ID. Or you can mix the two approaches by giving some individual controls unique help IDs, while the remaining controls get a shared help ID. Because help IDs are associated with controls, you cannot use help automation with character-based (textual) ACCEPT fields.

Whether the control is defined in the Screen Section or in a DISPLAY statement, help IDs are assigned with the HELP-ID phrase. You can easily assign a screen-wide help ID to a window by specifying a HELP-ID for the top-level group item in the Screen Section description. You can override the screen-wide ID for a specific control by including the HELP-ID phrase in that control's definition.