Easy Step: How to Create Context Sensitive Help

Dean ChesterExecutive
Dean Chester - a cybersecurity expert in Cooltechzone.Com who highlights security services and finds ways to be safe online.

When it comes to write a Context Sensitive Help (an online help that is obtained from a specific point in state of software to provide help with that state)first we need to make the file that contains all topics, which are given exclusive IDs. Later on, the header file lists symbolic IDs and Numeric IDs for control and dialog boxes in the program. However, before you start writing, you need to take note of following points:


  • Depending on the program, you can compile hundreds or thousands of topics. If you succeed to develop a good tracking system, it will safe to talk with software developers or test the files
  • In case you use an IDH as prefix for the topic ID. HTML help workshop will automatically check the topics in project actual exits in the compiled help file. It will also ensure that the context sensitive topics are made in project file
  • You have to make sure the develop maps assists to add labels and controls in dialog box.  Users can just click on control in dialog box  including button or text box to get help while others just click on label for control, therefore you may want same help topic to appear in both situations
  • If there are more than one item in a group box, you need to separate help topics for each item. Doing this lets you assign group box a generic topic that tells user to click each and every item in-group for relative information. If there is only one item in-group box label, related the group box label with topic of item
  • You can map a topic ID to a number. However, numeric values defined in help file needs to be irreplaceable. You can specify numeric values in decimal and hexadecimal format. The software develop can develop mapping for you in head file

With the given basic guidelines for creating context help, we will help you understand it better. Yes, we are giving you an example of how to create a Context Sensitive Popup Help.

Creating Pop Up Help

Context-Sensitive-Help.jpgThe Context sensitive helps lets the user to find information about a specific user interface element. The pop up help appears in a pop up window instead of help viewer, this example is just a four step process which details how to creative context sensitive help pop up.

To suffice, you better make a text file for the header file and help topics so you can add them in the project file

  • Your text file should enlist important topics curated for pop up help; each topic id in text file needs to match a symbolic ID in header file
  • Header file has the numeric and symbolic Id for all dialog box and respective commands in the program. The software development team should provide a list of ID for the Header file

Making the Text File for Pop up on Help Topics


  1. First Open the HTML Help Workshop
  2. in File menu, click on New and then click on Text
  3. Create an entry point for each pop up help topic and use the following format:
  4. . topic <i>topic ID</i>
    <i>help topic</i>
  5. in here, “topic ID” is  symbolic ID of a dialog box control where “helptopic” is help text for control
  6. Save the File

Creating the Header File


  • Open Notepad
  • Create specified entries for every symbolic ID, this is followed by the equivalent numeric ID which uses the following format
  • #define IDH_symbolicID 1000
  • in here, the “symbolicID” is symbolic ID for part of program (including dialog box or control) and “1000” is numeric ID. The Numeric ID in header file are used only by HTML help compiler as it maps numeric ID in header file to help topics
  • when done, save the context sensitive help Header file with a.h extension

Create [Text Popups] segment in Project file


  • Open a project file and click on HTML Help API Information
  • On Text Pop Ups, click on Header File and locate the header file which you previously create and Click Ok
  • Save the Project when Done

Add  the Header file into your Project File

  • Exposed Project file and click on HTML Help API Information
  • On Map Tab, Click the Header File
  • Locate the Header file that you want to add
  • Save your Project
Dean ChesterExecutive
Dean Chester - a cybersecurity expert in Cooltechzone.Com who highlights security services and finds ways to be safe online.

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