A-Shell documentation is available in several formats and has evolved over the years as MicroSabio tries to provide the best viewing/reading environment for the reader. The currently preferred format for help documentation is online HTML files, though other formats are available as well. If you would like to get a copy of the document(s) in a format other than HTML, please inquire. See “File Formats,” below for more information.

Note that all of the docs are current, meaning they are the up-to-the-minute editions that describe the latest versions of the software in question. For older and version-specific editions of the A-Shell Reference and Release notes, see the Downloads Page.

The A-Shell Reference is complete documentation on A-Shell for users and developers, and includes installation and setup instructions.

The 6.4 Release Notes include a summary section (“Release Highlights”) as well as detailed notes on all the changes made during the 6.3/6.4 development cycle.

ATE, A-Shell Terminal Emulator

ASQL, A-Shell’s SQL Module

File Formats

 HTML: These help files are standard web pages, with hyperlinks, tables of contents, and linked indexes. They reside on the MicroSabio servers, are always up to date, and require no downloading, other than that individual pages are downloaded and displayed on your PC as requested. As long as you have a good internet connection, this is the preferred format for help/documentation files.   

CHM (Compiled HTML, older style standard Windows help files): CHM files are compilations of HTML pages into a single document which includes an expandable table of contents, hypertext index entries, and graphics, and which has been significantly compressed. This makes CHM files ideal for downloading to and accessing from your computer, and are the preferred help file format when you do not have a good internet connection. CHM files are opened using built-in components of Windows, so no additional programs are required to view them. If you are running Windows 98 or later, you have what you need in order to read CHM files. If you download them to your Windows computer and then double-click on them, they should be properly opened and displayed in the familiar help-file context.  Note: for security reasons, Windows may block CHM files from displaying their contents properly. Right click on the CHM file, select “Properties,” and then “unblock” the file.  

 Adobe Acrobat / PDF (Portable Document Format) : Various A-Shell docs have been available as PDF files in the past, and may be available on request; inquire if you are interested. Files of this type consist of exact replicas of printed pages, just as they appear in a printed manual. If you plan to print a copy of the document, this is the best type of file to download.  PDF files are not hypertext documents or pure help systems, but most documents come with an interactive table of contents. This file format and the program(s) needed to read these files are the property of Adobe Systems. If your computer does not already have a copy of Adobe® Acrobat®, which you will need in order to read the files, you may download a free copy from the Adobe Acrobat download page.  

PDF Printing – Important note: If you intend to print the PDF documents, be sure that your printer is configured to interpret colors as either black or white; if the printer tries to interpret colors as shades of gray, all the color printing in the document will appear as gray-i .e., light and not very readable black. The PDF documents do not have extensive color printing, but they do have some. On pure black and white printers, configured as black and white printers, the colored text prints fine. 

 TXT: Text files are universally readable by all computers and all operating systems, so you can download or display them regardless of your system. They do not contain any formatting, however, and are therefore the most difficult file type to read. 

 DOC:  This is the native file format of Microsoft Word, and is the original source of most MicroSabio documentation files. We write the docs in Word, in other words, and translate into all the other formats with various types of conversion and authoring programs. So all of the documents are readily available in Word format; if you want them, just ask.


HTML and CHM files are not particularly well-suited for printing. They are fine if you want to print a few pages or even a full section, but not if you want to print an entire doc/manual for reading and reference. The best format for printing is PDF. If you wish to print the docs, therefore, make sure to get a PDF version of the doc(s) you want to print. If you don’t see them here, contact us and ask about a PDF for the doc in question. Also, see “PDF Printing” note above.

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