MS Help 3 Viewer by The Helpware Group. Replace the VS 2010 help viewer or run stand-alone. Download and try it out (see attachments section below). The viewer is free for personal use. Contact us if you need to distribute it.


  • VS 2010 help in a traditional help viewer (similar to VS DExplore) with full TOC and Index.
  • Multiple document tabs. Ctrl+click to open links in new tabs. Shift+click for new window.
  • The embedded topic navigation (LoBand experience) can be removed (See Ctrl+Shift+T command main menu). We use simple Browser DOM calls to hide the DIV section 
  • Debug window displays URLs of all API calls made (so you can learn from it).
  • TTS (Text to Speech) reader (F9).
  • Set as default VS 2010 help Viewer.

About the project 

Using Help 3 API calls it's very easy to access help data and build traditional help navigation. The new H3 API is IMHO the best Help API MS have ever released. Fast and simple to use.  The technique is simple - Use a type API call to ask the help engine for data. I used basic WinINet HTTP calls to receive the returned XML data into a string and parsed out the data. Open the H3Viewer debug window to see which API calls were used.


       Current Version: 30-Aug-2013, 1.21 Build 119 - See Change Notes

Go to Visual Studio Gallery (H3Viewer main download page)

If you like H3Viewer please leave a Rating or Review. If not, tell us why so we can fix it.


Current Translations:  English, Brazilian Portuguese, CzechDanish, German, Hebrew, Italian,
                                   Japanese, Polish, 
Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese. Russian, Spanish, Swedish.

       Don't see H3Viewer in your language? Check translation status. Help translate, it's easy.

Beta build. Try new features or translations. Grab the Beta from the end of this page.
  • No Beta available


This application is free to download and use for personal use.
To distribute this software please Contact Helpware.

When distributing our software please add the following copyright notice to your application About Box or with your other copyright notices:

<Your-Product-Name> includes H3Viewer by The Helpware Group, distributed with permission.
© Copyright 2009-2015 Robert Chandler, www.helpwareGroup.com. All rights reserved.

Common Distribution Questions

Does H3Viewer work on PCs without a VS 2010 install?
No.  Just like the Microsoft VS 2010 help viewer, H3Viewer requires the help API (runtime files) installed with VS 2010. 

Does H3Viewer work with VS 2012?
No. Microsoft wrote a new help API (runtime) for VS 2012 help.  
So although the help file format is the same, the help viewer runtime files have changed.

Will H3Viewer be updated to support VS 2012?
We would like to. But there are currently no firm plans to support VS 2012 help and beyond.

Support and feedback

We love to get feedback from our users. If you like H3Viewer please leave a Rating or Review. If not, then please Contact Helpware and tell us why, so we can fix it.

BTW telling us our software sucks because it has no filtering wont help anyone. This is feature still lacking in the Microsoft Help API and is beyond our control. This kind of feedback should be directed towards Microsoft via http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio.

Public discussion groups:
Here you will find not only peer-to-peer help, but participation from both the Helpware and MS Help teams.
You can also send us feedback directly: - Contact Helpware.
    Robert Chandler,
    Aug 5, 2011, 9:24 PM
    Robert Chandler,
    Aug 29, 2011, 3:21 PM
    Robert Chandler,
    Sep 3, 2011, 4:03 AM
    Robert Chandler,
    Sep 6, 2011, 6:34 PM
    Robert Chandler,
    Nov 15, 2011, 6:34 PM
    Robert Chandler,
    Oct 29, 2012, 8:46 AM
    Robert Chandler,
    Mar 13, 2013, 2:05 AM
    Robert Chandler,
    Mar 16, 2013, 3:25 AM
    Robert Chandler,
    Aug 29, 2013, 12:29 AM
    Robert Chandler,
    Aug 29, 2013, 1:46 PM