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…


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…


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…


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…


Known Issues

There are a handful of “known issues” with Help Viewer 1.0 that we will be shipping with at VS 2010 RTM. I will be maintaining a list of these issues and any updates via a page off the Links page.


Known Issues with Help Viewer 1.0

·         No ‘.’s allowed in .mshc/.cab file names; i.e. abc.mshc = good, abc.123.mshc = bad ·         No character entities allowed in content – workaround is to use Unicode values; i.e. © = bad, © = good ·         HelpContentSetup.msha – only this filename is supported; i.e. MyProduct.msha will not work with Help Library Manager ·         Fully…


Which IVsHelp Interface methods are supported in Visual Studio 2010?

Confirming with the VS Platform team, I have the following information. The following methods are supported in VS 2010: DisplayTopicFromId() DisplayTopicFromURL() DisplayTopicFromF1Keyword() The following methods are not supported in VS 2010: DisplayTopicFromURLEx() DisplayTopicFromKeyword() DisplayTopicFrom_OLD_Help() DisplayTopicFromURLEx2() The methods that are listed as supported above enable integrators who have previously used these methods to keep their code…



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…