Help Wizard doesn't install generated .hxs files

Topics: General Questions, Help 1.x/2.x
Nov 14, 2007 at 4:22 PM
Hello,
I have installed the VS SDK on my machine and have run through the instruction on http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb165415(VS.80).aspx to create a setup project to install my help system in Visual Studio.

The wizard created 2 projects, but neither had any visible reference to the .hxs file that I selected using the wizard. The above link doesn't mention the second merge module project and doesn't show what a successful project should look like. There also doesn't seem to be any dependency between the setup project and the merge module project.

My help file is 20MB, but neither project is more than about 85K, so I can pretty much guarantee that it doesn't include my help file. When I install it, nothing shows up in Visual Studio Help, nor does it recognize that a new collection has been added.

Can anyone shed some light on this problem? I really want to get my DocProject-generated .hxs help file into an installer so that I can deploy it to users. I really don't want to go back to .chm files.

Thanks!
Shan
Coordinator
Nov 14, 2007 at 5:11 PM
Hi Shan,

In step #5 of the tutorial that you cited you must select the .HxS that was generated by DocProject and not the files in the example. If you've done that then I'm not sure what the problem is because my tests have worked fine.

Check out the following article for more information about Help 2.x:

FAR: MS Help 2 Primer
http://www.helpware.net/FAR/help/msh2_primer.htm

FAR also provides a registration utility that does not use an .MSI or the VS wizard:

FAR: H2Reg Home Page
http://www.helpware.net/mshelp2/h2reg.htm

- Dave
Nov 14, 2007 at 6:50 PM
yes, I selected my docproject's .hxs file in the wizard. It found the file and presented me my documentation root. The only setting that I customized was the name of the collection.
Coordinator
Nov 14, 2007 at 8:07 PM
Hi Shan,

Problems with the VS wizard and Help 2.x integration in general seem to be quite common. I recommend trying the H2Reg utility if the wizard is not working for you.

One of the main problems is that the setup and deployment wizard seems to be dumb, in that it only knows how to install the collection but will not check for issues. It doesn't display errors or warnings during installation about invalid configuration or missing content, so you may think the installation was successful but the collection just doesn't show up in Document Explorer.

Personally, I find the whole Help 2.x situation to be only half-baked, but I'm certainly no expert ;)

- Dave