how to create a help file?

I would like to create standard windows help file for my application.  Never did it before.  Can someone point me in the right direction.  Any wizards, documentation, or programs that can assist in this would be great.

Thanks
sopheakAsked:
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GivenRandyCommented:
Ohhh, so you want a HELP file?  Okay, start at:

http://www.winhelp.gr/docs/whd.html

The Windows Help Designer isn't top-drawer (like, say, RoboHelp lol), but it works great on small projects.  I have released several products using it.
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GivenRandyCommented:
File -> New Project -> Application Wizard.
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GivenRandyCommented:
The VB Application Wizard is a wizard that will lead you through it.  Hit the "Help" button often!
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Joe_GriffithCommented:
We use RoboHelp.  It runs on top of MS Word and is an excellent (if somewhat expensive) tool.
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wsh2Commented:
GivenRandy writes: "Hit the "Help" button often!"

He ain't kidding either.. MS's Help implementation really suggz.. <sheesh>.
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PaulHewsCommented:
If you don't want to spend money ...

I don't know if the MS Help Compiler is part of the stand alone VB package, but it is in the D:\DEVSTUDIO\VC\BIN\Hcw.exe folder on the Dev Studio CD that has Visual C++

The help file Hcw.hlp explains to some extent how to set up a help file in MS Word.  (You can use other word processors, but they have to be able to export RTF and it is pretty painful to get all the same commands.  I once did a help file in WordPerfect 7, but I don't recommend it.)

I think these files are also available for download through MS Platform SDK, but I am not sure as it has been a long time since I checked their offerings.

Hope this helps  ;)

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PaulHewsCommented:
Sorry, I should have mentioned that that information is for DevStudio Version 5.0!
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wsh2Commented:
Paulhews:
The HLP file compiler is a thing of the past.. HTML is currently the standard.. <groan>. Still, in the HTML Help Wizard there is an option to convert HLP files. I really don't know how viable this conversion is, still it could provide a bridge from HLP to CHM.
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GivenRandyCommented:
Yes, a big <groan>.  At my last company we used RoboHelp.  We went from compiled Help to HTML.  What a royal pain in the butt.  You can see how Microsoft's online help went to h*ll in products like Microsoft Money.  Oh sure, it looks pretty, but it doesn't tell me anything!

If you talk to the Help developers (last company had people who did this as their full-time job), they will curse at HTML help.  Still, it's probably here to stay.

Keep in mind, if you do decide to go to HTML (not advised for small projects or low cost), you will have to add IE to your shipment -- another 20MB or so.
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dreamvbCommented:
Hello you might want to try here

http://www.sonic.net/~villalon/vbaha/downloads.html

This is a great little program for building help files and very easy to use great for pepole that are just starting to write help files.
 I hope this helps
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razor111Commented:
Download "Help Maker Plus"

It is created for the task you need
It is a Microsoft product I think
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sopheakAuthor Commented:
I ended up using GivenRandy's answer
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sopheakAuthor Commented:
after all testing all the suggestions, I  ended up using winhelp's whd.  thanks
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