Released Build 118 of H3Viewer. Includes the following updates since build 112...
What are the differences between the various Indexes -- .HHK (HTML Help), .HxK (MS Help 2) and the embedded Help Viewer Index. The source to these examples can be downloaded at the end of this post.
I've created this index using the FAR TOC/Index Editor...
Compiling to a .CHM I see pretty much the same as in my editor... Just been sorted for me by the compiler
Compiling to .HxS Help. Everything works much the same.
I used mshcMigrate.exe to export my HH project (.hhp) and H2 project (.HxC) to .mshc help.
Note I could also export .chm but the .hhp project file contains richer info (we can get to the index file data etc).
HV project migrated from HxC -- Displayed in VS 2012 Viewer
Here I've created a separate collection (See read me in the example zip) so we can see just our helps index items.
No big surprises.
HV project migrated from HHP -- Displayed in VS 2012 Viewer
Here I got some strange results re popups -- which I will need to check out.
It could be because I included Level 2 and 3 popups etc. I would have expected the Indexes from HH and H2 to be the same.
Many thanks MSDN forum user TechWill28 who posted me the following instructions on how to use your own CSS style sheet with VS 2010 Offline help content.
I've changed the branding-en-US.css to match the look of vs2005 help as closely as possible when viewing in normal text size. This means reduced header size, smaller verdana font for text, courier new for code samples, background of code samples in light blue and other details. I thought I'd share this with others.
Download Updated CSS file: http://williamsedb.dk/downloads/branding-en-US.zip (also attached to this post). My own notes here: http://williamsedb.dk/h3viewer/how-to-make-vs2010-help-look-like-vs2005-help.htm
1. Shut down LibraryManager if it's running. 2. Unzip branding-en-US.zip (downloaded above) to the same folder as dev10.mshc is in. (c:\program files\microsoft help viewer\v1.0\). 3. Open dev10.mshc with WinRar, WinZip or the like. 4. Replace the branding-en-US.css with the new one you just unzipped. 5. Close dev10.mshc. 6. Restart h3viewer. If you use another language than English, you'll have to replace that stylesheet instead (eg. 'branding-de-DE.css' for German). The stylesheet will affect the way you see help in both HV1 and h3viewer, since h3viewer just uses the settings from HV1. You do have an alternative: just choose another font in h3viewer, but that'll change the font for code samples as well, making them harder to read.
As an example here's what the help for the For..Each statement looked like in VS2005.
Here's what the same help will look like in VS2010 with h3viewer installed in the default setup.
I've tested this several times and had no problems.
Note that you can blow away (delete) your Library content and at the same time set a new library location. Here's how to reset help:
Next time you run Help Library Manager you will be prompted for a new library location (accept the default path or enter a new path). The new library will initially contain just Help On Help, which is automatically added to any new help catalog.
If you have several PCs and want to save bandwidth, you can use the information above to copy the entire library from one PC to another. To save further bandwidth, only allow one PC to receive help updates (using Help Library Manager) then when you want to, simply xcopy the updated library to the other PCs.
Alexandr Kozlenko (SDE, Lime Systems) wrote a nifty utility for downloading any locale version of Visual Studio 2010 help: http://vshelpdownloader.codeplex.com
You can see the relevant read\write HelpLibraryManager.exe code here.
You may have noticed the new Filters page in H3Viewer. Multiple catalogs can be used to host multiple help systems. Flipping between catalogs providing a kind of pseudo filtering system. However if you update a help Book that is installed in several catalogs then the update will silently fail. Apart from that catalogs work well.
When a help file (package) is installed into a catalog, only one copy is kept in the help store. All catalogs reference that one copy. Help Viewer 1.x installs will fail silently unless you first uninstall any old help from "all catalogs". Although the Help Library Manager "Update" page seems to do the Uninstall automatically for you as part of the update of Microsoft content (or maybe this is because MS content is signed?).
But neither Microsoft nor 3rd parties are expecting content to be installed across multiple catalogs. Updates will fail if the content is installed in other catalogs. So please uninstall those particular books from the other catalogs before installing updates.
Today I used 'Help Library Manager' to update "Help on Help" (HLM reported an update).
I had more than one catalog containing 'Help on Help' so although the update was reported as a success, in fact it had failed and after the update the metadata.xml file in the data store still reported my 'Help on Help' was “Fri, 18 Mar 2011 21:12:44 GMT”.
Once I removed 'Help-on-Help' from all catalogs and install it again, the metadata.xml file in the store reported a new date of "Thu, 31 Mar 2011 01:12:12 GMT" and the .mshc file finally had new content.
The Golden Rule:
To update a book installed in more than one catalog, first remove that book from all catalogs (other than vs\100\*). If the book still does not update then also remove the book from the vs\100\* catalog.
For Help Viewer 1.0 and 1.1 there is currently no easy way to remove a catalog once you create one.
In case you missed it….
VS SP1 is now available for download from MSDN Subscriber downloads and tomorrow as a public download. VS SP1 contains the new VS local Help Viewer. So no more browser based help. No more testing in all browser for compatibility.
Side Note: The latest H3Viewer.exe is compatible with the new help system and still contains several extra features.
Today Microsoft released VS 2010 SP1 public Beta.
It contains the new VS 2010 Help Viewer:
PackageThis.exe allows you to select MSDN online content and package it into a help file (VS 2010 help, VS 200? help or .chm).
Download from VS Gallery: PackageThis
(VS Gallery version now supports VS 2010 help files).
Or download directly from the Patches area in CodePlex.
CodePlex: PackageThis > SourceCode > Patches.
(eventually this will be promoted to the official version)
See Also Post: Language Packs for VS 2010 help.
PackageThis.exe can be found in the \PackageThisGui\bin\Debug folder of the downloaded zip file.
Unzip all files and run PackageThis.exe -- it takes a several seconds to connect to the server.
Make sure MSDN Library is selected (if that's what you want to package).
I like to first find the MSDN section (or sections) I need using the browser.
Here I'm interested in "Windows User Experience Interaction Guidelines".
In Package This, you can either manually check each required page,
or right+click a topic and choose "Select This Node and All Children...".
I've selected "Select This Node and All Children...". The download will take some time so go and have a coffee.
Finally your TOC branch items are now checked. The right side displays a log of pages downloaded.
Before packaging make any final selections.
Specify the .mshc help file name and package install info.
Product name and Book name will be displayed in Help Lib Manager when you install and uninstall.
Important: For Vendor name don't use "Microsoft" as from this has a special meaning (see debugging below).
Install the new help package using Help Library Manager.
PackageThis 1.3.2 (or greater) can launch Help Lib Manager from the File menu.
PackageThis allows you to override the default catalog (EG. For VS English the catalog name vs/100/en-us).
When Help Library Manager opens, find your book and select "Add" then click the "Update" button.
Important: You must first "uninstall" any old help first. Otherwise installation will appear to work OK but when you view help you will only see the old help.
To view the help.... I'm going to use the Helpware H3Viewer (free app) to view VS 2010 Help.
All .mshc help created with PackageThis appears under a toc node called "Package This".
If you can view it then we are done!
Not all installs go smoothly. Syntax errors in the help will result in an exception during installation.
To view the details of the error I use the Helpware tool mshcMigrate.exe (free app) to read the error. Or you can open Windows Event Viewer.
I got this error when I used a Vendor name = "Microsoft". Don't use this name as it expects a signed file.
Unfortunately MS Help Viewer 1.0 reports errors but not the name of the HTML file that contains the error.
So we must unzip the help file and use a XML syntax checker.
You can use the Helpware tool mshcMigrate.exe to syntax check the files.
On the second tab specify:
a) the folder of files you want to check...
b) the .mshc to zip the files to once checked.
If you have .mshc help package & HelpContent.Setup.msha manifest file (used to install) we use Help Library Manager to install help.
Note: For Help Viewer 1.0 the install manifest must have the name "HelpContentSetup.msha".
Open HelpContentSetup.msha in notepad.
Here we see the installation instructions. Notice in the "package-list" section, you could add more packages. Feel free to edit this file.
Note: The .mshc help file is just a renamed ZIP file and contains all the topic HTML and images files.
If you need to fix a bug in help you can rename to .zip and decompress this file (just like you can with
Word .docx files).
Run Help Lib Manager as administrator.
When Help Library Manager appears, select "Install content from disk".
Select your help manifest file and click Next
The rest of help install is as listed above.
H3Viewer 1.4 contains many user requests (If you have a feature please contact us).
Download H3Viewer 1.4
Sept-2010 - Microsoft have release Help Viewer 1.0 SDK
In the SDK you will find documentation on the workings of MS Help Viewer 1.0. Also some undocumented C# source code to help you do things like get the session number for a help URL etc.
This site contains extra info not found in the SDK.
And see also http://kb.helpwaregroup.com/ms-help-viewer
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