How to install a vb 2005 application along with a manual

Is there a one step method or any way to install a pdf manual in behind the scenes when you install an vb 2005.net application?
I am trying to find a way to tie in the application install with installing a manual at the same time for reference.

Thanks in advance!
cmdolcetAsked:
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plusone3055Commented:
why not just include it in the package of your application IE
put a menu button in your application for File -- > manual and attach it inside your application.
then when somoene installs your applicaiton they have a menu that takes them to the PDF you stored in your application
cmdolcetAuthor Commented:
Great idea I didn;t think of it like that.....OK how do I store the manual inside my application?
plusone3055Commented:
put the PDF file inside your source Folder for the application and link to it with this code

Visual Basic .NET Tutorial 25 - How to open and show a PDF file inside VB.NET Form
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRHUSgngjUY
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Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger)PresidentCommented:
Do you already have some kind of installation to which you want to add the manual, or are you looking for the whole thing: application + manual.

There are many ways to install an application, and instructions on how to incorporate your manual with the application would be different for each

If you already have some kind of installation, which one do you use? ClickOnce, Setup and Deployment Wizard, InstallShield, custom installation, other?

If not, do you need to install for many users? On the network, from a CD, from the Internet or a combination of these? What kind of application: Windows Forms, WPF, Web, Windows Store (Windows 8), mobile, other?

From your reply to the first answer, you also do not seem to have defined a way for the user to access the manual. This might also have an impact on how you install the manual. Do you intend the user to access the manual from inside the application, from a shortcut, something else?
cmdolcetAuthor Commented:
James, I already have an application created and I build the application and put it onto a DVD along with the manual.  We use the Setup and Deployment Wizard.

an idea I was to have the manual install off the DVD when the application was installing and having the manual placed in the created sub folder based off the application installation.

Let me know if I missed anything.
Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger)PresidentCommented:
This can be done with the Setup and Deployment wizard. I cannot give you the exact steps, because the only versions of VS that I have now are 2013 and 2015, and they do not provide the wizard anymore. What I will tell you is from memory... and I unfortunately do not have IntelliSense on my very bad memory. I'll do my best.

To make things easier, if it is not already the case, make the pdf part of your project in VS. Put the pdf in the project directory or a subdirectory. There is a button in the Solution Explorer to show all files. If you activate it, you should see your pdf. Right click on it and there is an option to add it to the project.

Once this is done, click on the pdf in the Solution Explorer, and go into the Properties window. Mark it as Content in the Build Action property. When a file is marked as Content, it can be easily incorporated in the installation. There is an option to do that when you run the wizard. However, because you already ran the wizard, it's too late for that, unless you rerun the wizard to create a new installation. So let's try another way.

In the wizard in the window where you see the folders for deployment, if you right click on the application folder, you can add a custom folder. This custom folder will be automatically created under the application folder when the user installs the application.

Now, the part where my memory might be failing the most, so I might be wrong about how to do it, but I know it can be done, I was doing it regularly 10 years ago, before I switched to ClickOnce for my installations.

I think that you can drag the pdf from the Solution Explorer to that custom folder, so that it will be included in the custom folder when installing the application. If this does not work, try right clicking on the custom folder, there might be a button to add a file.

You can even add a shortcut to the pdf in the Start menu if you want. Simply add a folder for the Start menu with a right click in the panel that list the deployment folders. Then right click on that Start menu folder and there should be an option to create a shortcut. Point it to your pdf.

Now, a little suggestion. The Setup and Deployment wizard becomes obsolete in 2008 or 2010. You will have to move on to a newer version of Visual Studio eventually, so I would suggest that you try to find an alternative. This will make you upgrades easier when you will be forced to leave VS 2005 behind.

The options that are provided with Visual Studio nowadays are ClickOnce deployment and a light version of InstallShield. I do not remember if they were already available in 2005, but if they were, you might want to switch. InstallShield is relatively similar to the wizard, and ClickOnce helps a lot with the distribution of updates, but cannot be used in all situations because you do not have as much control over the installation.

You might want to explore these approaches in order to prepare for the future.

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