VSX Arcana

Covering the many topics of Visual Studio Extensibility

Debugging F1 Help Context with the Debug Help Context ToolWindow extension

Every once in a while I have a need to watch what’s being pushed as the active F1 context to debug or troubleshoot F1 Context Help.  The Debug Help Context ToolWindow is quite useful for diagnosing possible issues with your F1 help context keywords, but requires a bit of insider knowledge or bing/google super powers to dig up the magic registry key to reveal the menu item that displays the toolwindow.

With VS 2017’s changes to use a privateregistry.bin, file adding this magic registry value is even more painful.

So without further adieu, I present the “Debug Help Context” extension. This is a very simply extension that adds a “Show Help Context” menu item to the bottom of the IDE’s “View” menu. Invoking this menu item will display the hard to find “Debug Help Context” toolwindow.