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…

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Help-related resource pages

Since starting this blog, I’ve had a few requests to post links to various software products and resource pages for Help related authoring tools and services. I think this is a great idea. My posting these is explicitly not any kind of Microsoft official endorsement, but just giving a shout out to a variety of…

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EC Software’s Help & Manual now supporting Sandcastle

This just in from Tim Green @ EC Software, GmbH: Just saw your posts and the announcements about the new Sandcastle developments, that’s great to hear! We also have some big Sandcastle news: As of version 5.4 Help & Manual now supports Sandcastle. You can import a Sandcastle project to Help & Manual directly. When…

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Partner Content Discoverability Options in Visual Studio 2010, Part II: Shortcuts

One of the side benefits of the F1 feature I wrote about the other day is that vendors can effectively create VS IDE Help menu and Start menu shortcuts to their own documentation that will always work, regardless of the end-user’s online/offline preference.   The VS 2010 Documentation shortcut looks something like this:   ms-xhelp:///?method=f1&query=msdnstart&product=vs&productVersion=100&locale=en-us…

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Some updates

I added a few more items to the Known Issues page. Also, a new page added: Calling Help Viewer 1.0 from VS add-in code. If you’re developing add-ins for Visual Studio 2010 (or earlier actually), you may find this information handy. It describes the references necessary and basic steps for launching F1 help, whether with Help…

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Calling Help Viewer 1.0 from Visual Studio add-in code

The Visual Studio interface for launching Help using an F keyword (context sensitive help keyword) has not changed since 2002, but I had the hardest time finding some sample code for it recently *anywhere*. (See this page for some additional detail on what has changed in the IVsHelp interface in general for VS 2010.) Below…

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