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The Index

posted Feb 7, 2013, 4:52 PM by Robert Chandler   [ updated Feb 7, 2013, 8:10 PM ]
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.

Index Source

I've created this index using the FAR TOC/Index Editor...

HTML Help (.CHM)

Compiling to a .CHM I see pretty much the same as in my editor...  Just been sorted for me by the compiler

  • The Popup item Titles come from my document <title> tags not the editor labels (not my editor text)

MS Help 2 (.HxS) -- VS 2002/2003/2005/2008 Help

Compiling to .HxS Help. Everything works much the same. 
  • My experimental links to 3rd level Keywords and to popup Keyword items failed (in fact the compiler didn't even include them).
  • In MS Help 2 the popup items show up in the "Index Results" pane. Even my 3rd level popup showed OK.

MS Help Viewer (.mshc) -- VS 2010, 2012

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.
  • KeyWord Links -- Not supported by HV
    Clicking the Links to Keyword items take you directly to the topic instead of moving the list selection to the target keyword. This is because HV does not support Linking to Keywords. And mshcMigrate does a work around by turning the Keyword Link into a normal link.
  • Popup Items -- The VS 2012 viewer shows a popup with current page checked.
    Again the popup items are populated by the topic <title> tags.
    Popups buried more than one level deep are not supported. The existing popups work OK.
  • 2 Levels Only 
    HV only supports 2 levels of index.
    You can see mshcMigrate has had to do some work in getting the Level 3 item to display at Level 2.

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.

Robert Chandler,
Feb 7, 2013, 7:30 PM