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how to create a help file?

Posted on 2000-05-05
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Last Modified: 2013-11-27
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
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Question by:sopheak
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13 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:GivenRandy
ID: 2782005
File -> New Project -> Application Wizard.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:GivenRandy
ID: 2782013
The VB Application Wizard is a wizard that will lead you through it.  Hit the "Help" button often!
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LVL 9

Accepted Solution

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GivenRandy earned 50 total points
ID: 2782026
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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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Joe_Griffith
ID: 2782076
We use RoboHelp.  It runs on top of MS Word and is an excellent (if somewhat expensive) tool.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:wsh2
ID: 2782198
GivenRandy writes: "Hit the "Help" button often!"

He ain't kidding either.. MS's Help implementation really suggz.. <sheesh>.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:PaulHews
ID: 2782215
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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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:PaulHews
ID: 2782217
Sorry, I should have mentioned that that information is for DevStudio Version 5.0!
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:wsh2
ID: 2782241
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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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:GivenRandy
ID: 2782259
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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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:dreamvb
ID: 2782438
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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Expert Comment

by:razor111
ID: 2783710
Download "Help Maker Plus"

It is created for the task you need
It is a Microsoft product I think
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Author Comment

by:sopheak
ID: 2798246
I ended up using GivenRandy's answer
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Author Comment

by:sopheak
ID: 2798252
after all testing all the suggestions, I  ended up using winhelp's whd.  thanks
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