Help Viewer 2.0 + Visual Studio 11/Windows 8 Developer Preview

I’ve been rather quiet lately – but for good reason! (We’ve been really busy!) Hopefully, by now, you’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about what is coming in Windows 8 and some great developer experiences coming in Visual Studio 11. Lots of this has been demo’d at the //build conference this week. You can view the //build…


Help Viewer 1.0 SDK now available!

It’s been a long time coming, but we have finally released the Help Viewer 1.0 SDK. It can be downloaded here. Feedback is welcome!


Installing Content From Downloaded Help Viewer 2.0 cabs

Today I have a guest post from my good friend and co-worker in the Help Viewer team, Malcolm Dickson. Malcolm describes how you can create a ‘local’ means of installing content for scenarios behind firewalls or where there is no Internet connectivity. It still requires the ability to download content as the initial starting point, but…


Working with signed .cab files

There’s been a fair amount of discussion both in private emails and on the MSHelp3 Yahoo! group about the pros and cons of requiring signed .cab files for silent installs with the new Help system. As anyone who’s been using Vista and Windows 7 knows, security is a pretty big deal these days despite all…


Help State of the Union (October 2010)

Periodically, questions come to Microsoft via a variety of avenues regarding our current guidance on Help systems and formats. And they usually end up in the Help Guy’s inbox. 🙂 What is Microsoft’s guidance regarding: WinHelp (.HLP files) HTML Help (.CHM files) Assistance Platform 1.x (.H1S files) Microsoft Help 2.x (.HxS files) Help Viewer 1.0…


VS 2010 SP1 Beta now available – including new client Help Viewer!

Please check out my boss Jeff Braaten’s blog regarding our new client help viewer now shipping with VS 2010 SP1 Beta. You can find some info there on installing the SP1 and how best to explore the new viewer experience if you’ve been using some other alternatives, like Helpware’s H3Viewer. You can download and install…


What are we trying to accomplish with code signing content?

Help file content and web content have historically been significant attack vectors that hackers and viruses have utilized quite a bit over the last decade. We’ve seen significant issues with .CHM security issues since HTML Help 1.x was released. HTML based attacks in general are huge – we had a hack against our TechNet site just yesterday. So…


Help Authoring Tool (HAT) support for Help Viewer 1.0

As we’ve been ramping up the new the Help Viewer and its associated Help file format (MSHC), we’ve also been working closely with a few vendors to ensure that we have a good Help Authoring Tool (HAT) story for Visual Studio 2010. We have been working principally with the vendors that have historically been supporting Visual Studio’s help…



Hello and welcome to “The Help Guy” blog! Why “The Help Guy?” I was aiming for just “Help Guy”, but it was already taken, though not accessible for some reason. Hmmm. Not very helpful. For me, THE Help Guy will always be Ralph Walden. I call him “The Father of Help” – primary driver and…


How to sign your .cab files

(see highlighted section below for the specifics of creating a Test certificate)    ·         Generate a .cab (using Cab SDK): o   Simple command line approach:               §  make sure desired mshc file exists (copy to) in same folder as makecab.exe (simplified command line for this example) §  cd into directory where makecab.exe lives, example: C:\cabsdk\BIN §  issue…