5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 8, 2006 4:26 AM by MergeThis

    Context Sensitive Help

      Hello all,

      I'm relatively new to RoboHelp so forgive me if I'm a bit of newb at this whole thing. I'm looking to implement context sensitive help for a Visual Basic .NET Windows application in Visual Studio 2005. The problem is that VS 2005 doesn't support map files anymore, for some reason. I'm sure I could figure this out in 2003... but I'm just plain stuck.

      Thus far, I've googled this problem for the last week and I've found nothing but support for VS 2003. Could someone be so kind as to point me in the right direction for implementing Context Sensitive Help in VS 2005?

      Much obliged!

      Amanda Hoffman
        • 1. Re: Context Sensitive Help
          MergeThis Level 4
          A search on .NET on the forum retrieved one of my posts on this subject from last year:


          Our developers name all forms (windows), tabs, and controls, and they call like-named WebHelp HTM files directly in a cascading drop-off style. For example, in this call for a Name drop-down selection field on the Main tab of an Admin window:


          The app looks for admainnameedit.htm first; not finding that, it looks for admainmaintab.htm next, then finally settles on adminmainmenu.htm (we're only using window-level help right now, but with all elements named we could go more granular anytime).

          Because our help is a merged WebHelp project, we also place a comma-separated formpath.txt file at the root, with entries like these to denote the projects (folders) where the app will find the topics:

          adminmainmenu, mergedProjects\admin

          Good luck,
          • 2. Re: Context Sensitive Help
            Elenya Level 1
            Thanks Leon but I'm not sure if that's exactly what I'm looking for. I didn't word my question correctly! I blame it on the fact that yesterday was a Monday... Let's try this again.

            I'm a relatively new developer (still a student) so I've never worked with MapIDs or TopicIDs. What I'd like my application to do is when the "What's This?" question mark is clicked and then clicked on a control, I want to be able to pull up the information in the help file pertaining to that control. I've already mapped the TopicID/MapIDs to all of the different subsections that I'd like to reference in the application by using RoboHelp but it's a matter of linking everything together in a way that it makes sense.

            Right now, what I'm doing, is a crude workaround.

            HelpProvider1.SetHelpKeyword(cboCommodity, "Navigating_the_Report.htm#Filtering")

            I'm essentially taking the hyperlink and linking directly to the anchor inside the hypertext document. But that's not going to work for every control in my application (as there are many controls). So, what I'd like to know, is how to put it all together.

            How do I take the MapIDs/TopicIDs that I've created in RoboHelp and link them into my application?

            I found that most of the technical documentation I've come across was far too complicated for me to follow and was really only meant for experienced/seasoned programmers who've used this sort of technology before.

            Still think you could help me out, Leon (or anybody else out there in supportland)?

            • 3. Re: Context Sensitive Help
              MergeThis Level 4
              Why is that method not going to work for every control in your application?

              First, you assign your help call to always look for the Start Page (usually called index.htm), so that you can get the two-pane layout (TOC/Index/Search navigation pane and the topic pane).

              Then each control looks for an htm file with the same name, or a bookmark within an htm file.

              If any of your htm files are in folders (or in a mergedProjects folder), provide a map/alias file of your own (the txt file I mentioned).

              Although the formal "map file" of old is no longer used, you must still "map" or "alias" your topics to your controls, somehow.

              • 4. Re: Context Sensitive Help
                Elenya Level 1
                Haha! Success! Thank you so much, Leon. I'm sorry that I came off as such an idiot. XD
                • 5. Re: Context Sensitive Help
                  MergeThis Level 4
                  You didn't.

                  As we're all aware in this forum, RH is very complex and every one of us sometimes needs a little help getting started with a particular item of concern.

                  Hopefully, you'll be "paying it forward" just as we are.