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Help System

JJ
Do you all use HTML help workshop to create your help system. I am finding
it quite clumsy to use. Mayeb because I am not used to using it.

Do any of you use any other techniques to create help for your progs? Whats
the current popular approach to creating help?

I am only wanting a straight help file accessible from a menu - no context
sensitive stuff.

TIA
Mar 20 '06 #1
9 2208
Hi JJ,

Try Pocket CHM Pro, which can be found at http://www.flyskysoft.com/ .

I find it quite helpful in this matter.

Regards,

Cerebrus.

Mar 20 '06 #2
JJ
Thanks Cerebus. I will take a look, but ideally wanted to use a 'free'
method initially as this project is already well over budget and is coming
out of my pocket(!)

JJ
"Cerebrus" <zo*****@sify.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@e56g2000cwe.googlegr oups.com...
Hi JJ,

Try Pocket CHM Pro, which can be found at http://www.flyskysoft.com/ .

I find it quite helpful in this matter.

Regards,

Cerebrus.

Mar 20 '06 #3
Hi,

No problem, there are lots of CHM makers available, but most are
shareware. You might consider searching these newsgroups. I recall
others having asked the same question often, but didn't follow the
threads.

Personally I don't find the HTML help workshop that tricky to use. It
*does* take some getting used to, though.

Regards,

Cerebrus.

Mar 20 '06 #4
Take a look at free HelpMaker from http://www.vizacc.com/

--
Peter Macej
Helixoft - http://www.vbdocman.com
VBdocman - Automatic generator of technical documentation for VB, VB
..NET and ASP .NET code
Mar 20 '06 #5
JJ
I did try searching but maybe used the wrong criteria - sorry. I will do
that but do have one more question.

I wanted to know, before going down one path or another, what people were
currently tending to adopt for their help systems.

For instance, I notice Microsoft seems to be going away from the help menu
containing the 'search', 'contents and index', etc, typical chm help, and
more towards the single 'Help System...' entry in their menus. For example
see the help on Outlook 2003 (not Outlook express). This contains a search
only and link to relevent HTML pages.
Others, like adobe for instance, seem to use HTML pages with their own
search and index.

Either way it seems the old chm 'search', 'contents and index' menu entries
style is on its way out, doesn't it?
Whats your view?
"Cerebrus" <zo*****@sify.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@t31g2000cwb.googlegr oups.com...
Hi,

No problem, there are lots of CHM makers available, but most are
shareware. You might consider searching these newsgroups. I recall
others having asked the same question often, but didn't follow the
threads.

Personally I don't find the HTML help workshop that tricky to use. It
*does* take some getting used to, though.

Regards,

Cerebrus.

Mar 20 '06 #6
"JJ" <ab*@xyz.com> wrote in message
news:uU**************@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
I did try searching but maybe used the wrong criteria - sorry. I will do
that but do have one more question.

I wanted to know, before going down one path or another, what people were
currently tending to adopt for their help systems.

For instance, I notice Microsoft seems to be going away from the help menu
containing the 'search', 'contents and index', etc, typical chm help, and
more towards the single 'Help System...' entry in their menus. For example
see the help on Outlook 2003 (not Outlook express). This contains a search
only and link to relevent HTML pages.
Others, like adobe for instance, seem to use HTML pages with their own
search and index.

Either way it seems the old chm 'search', 'contents and index' menu
entries style is on its way out, doesn't it?
Whats your view?


Butting in here.... out of order, to boot <g>

Pocket CHM Pro is an excellent utility. Since it's under 100 bucks, the time
you'll save by using it will far outweigh (by a mile) the cost involved in
messing with MS Help Workshop (which is an antique, no matter how you look
at it). It supports everything html help has to offer. If you want something
that'll generate "MSDN looking" help files and integrates with dotNet
(iirc... I'm pretty sure it's written in dotNet anyway <g>), check out
http://www.west-wind.com/. It has a bunch of dotNet specific stuff built in
so it may save a pile of time too. iirc, it generates html help 2.0 files
(it's been a while since I've looked real close <g>)

Personally, I like the "little tool" (Pocket CHM) better but ymmv. Note that
anything<< is better than using the workshop directly.


Finally, if you ask me, MS help has gone to the dogs. The very best help
system of all time shipped with VB5. Immediately afterwards, (right before
VS6) MSDN hit the streets and "help" has been going down hill since. The
help system in VS.Net is ridiculous imo. Repeat after me.... it should NOT
take 2 full minutes to open MSDN on a 3 ghz PC with 1.5gigs of ram...
repeat... It should NOT take.... well, you get the drift... and, once it's
open, it's rarely showing you a page that makes sense. I'm about ready to
jam a paperclip under my F1 key so I quit accidentally hitting it (yes... I
think it's >that< bad)

--
Ken Halter - MS-MVP-VB (visiting from VB6 world) - http://www.vbsight.com
Please keep all discussions in the groups..
Mar 20 '06 #7
Well said!

"Ken Halter" <Ken_Halter@Use_Sparingly_Hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
"JJ" <ab*@xyz.com> wrote in message
news:uU**************@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
I did try searching but maybe used the wrong criteria - sorry. I will do
that but do have one more question.

I wanted to know, before going down one path or another, what people were
currently tending to adopt for their help systems.

For instance, I notice Microsoft seems to be going away from the help
menu containing the 'search', 'contents and index', etc, typical chm
help, and more towards the single 'Help System...' entry in their menus.
For example see the help on Outlook 2003 (not Outlook express). This
contains a search only and link to relevent HTML pages.
Others, like adobe for instance, seem to use HTML pages with their own
search and index.

Either way it seems the old chm 'search', 'contents and index' menu
entries style is on its way out, doesn't it?
Whats your view?


Butting in here.... out of order, to boot <g>

Pocket CHM Pro is an excellent utility. Since it's under 100 bucks, the
time you'll save by using it will far outweigh (by a mile) the cost
involved in messing with MS Help Workshop (which is an antique, no matter
how you look at it). It supports everything html help has to offer. If you
want something that'll generate "MSDN looking" help files and integrates
with dotNet (iirc... I'm pretty sure it's written in dotNet anyway <g>),
check out http://www.west-wind.com/. It has a bunch of dotNet specific
stuff built in so it may save a pile of time too. iirc, it generates html
help 2.0 files (it's been a while since I've looked real close <g>)

Personally, I like the "little tool" (Pocket CHM) better but ymmv. Note
that
anything<< is better than using the workshop directly.


Finally, if you ask me, MS help has gone to the dogs. The very best help
system of all time shipped with VB5. Immediately afterwards, (right before
VS6) MSDN hit the streets and "help" has been going down hill since. The
help system in VS.Net is ridiculous imo. Repeat after me.... it should NOT
take 2 full minutes to open MSDN on a 3 ghz PC with 1.5gigs of ram...
repeat... It should NOT take.... well, you get the drift... and, once it's
open, it's rarely showing you a page that makes sense. I'm about ready to
jam a paperclip under my F1 key so I quit accidentally hitting it (yes...
I think it's >that< bad)

--
Ken Halter - MS-MVP-VB (visiting from VB6 world) - http://www.vbsight.com
Please keep all discussions in the groups..

Mar 20 '06 #8
JJ
Thanks guys.

I have to say, in agreement with you, that there appears to be quite a lot
of inconsistency in the way products provide help.

On this occassion I have finally managed to use the HTML help workshop to
create my CHM files. But it took a lot of hand coding and messing about, and
next time I will look at the software you mention.

I don't know whether VS2005 deals with help any better. Why on earth this
type of thing isn't integrated into the development environment. Why should
you have to add each help fiile to your distribution by hand? Seems odd that
you can't add a new 'help project' to your solution to me. But I am just a
newbie in this software.....

JJ
"Martin" <x@y.com> wrote in message
news:uX**************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
Well said!

"Ken Halter" <Ken_Halter@Use_Sparingly_Hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
"JJ" <ab*@xyz.com> wrote in message
news:uU**************@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
I did try searching but maybe used the wrong criteria - sorry. I will do
that but do have one more question.

I wanted to know, before going down one path or another, what people
were currently tending to adopt for their help systems.

For instance, I notice Microsoft seems to be going away from the help
menu containing the 'search', 'contents and index', etc, typical chm
help, and more towards the single 'Help System...' entry in their menus.
For example see the help on Outlook 2003 (not Outlook express). This
contains a search only and link to relevent HTML pages.
Others, like adobe for instance, seem to use HTML pages with their own
search and index.

Either way it seems the old chm 'search', 'contents and index' menu
entries style is on its way out, doesn't it?
Whats your view?


Butting in here.... out of order, to boot <g>

Pocket CHM Pro is an excellent utility. Since it's under 100 bucks, the
time you'll save by using it will far outweigh (by a mile) the cost
involved in messing with MS Help Workshop (which is an antique, no matter
how you look at it). It supports everything html help has to offer. If
you want something that'll generate "MSDN looking" help files and
integrates with dotNet (iirc... I'm pretty sure it's written in dotNet
anyway <g>), check out http://www.west-wind.com/. It has a bunch of
dotNet specific stuff built in so it may save a pile of time too. iirc,
it generates html help 2.0 files (it's been a while since I've looked
real close <g>)

Personally, I like the "little tool" (Pocket CHM) better but ymmv. Note
that
>>anything<< is better than using the workshop directly.


Finally, if you ask me, MS help has gone to the dogs. The very best help
system of all time shipped with VB5. Immediately afterwards, (right
before VS6) MSDN hit the streets and "help" has been going down hill
since. The help system in VS.Net is ridiculous imo. Repeat after me....
it should NOT take 2 full minutes to open MSDN on a 3 ghz PC with 1.5gigs
of ram... repeat... It should NOT take.... well, you get the drift...
and, once it's open, it's rarely showing you a page that makes sense. I'm
about ready to jam a paperclip under my F1 key so I quit accidentally
hitting it (yes... I think it's >that< bad)

--
Ken Halter - MS-MVP-VB (visiting from VB6 world) - http://www.vbsight.com
Please keep all discussions in the groups..


Mar 21 '06 #9
Hi,
Seems odd that
you can't add a new 'help project' to your solution to me.
I think the answer is in your first statement :
I have to say, in agreement with you, that there appears to be quite a lot
of inconsistency in the way products provide help.


The amazing amount of variation in the type of help implemented would
discourage any 'standard' Help project template.

Regards,

Cerebrus.

Mar 21 '06 #10

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