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All I can tell you is that on my test machine, with XP and all the latest MS updates, the .chm Related Topics buttons work as advertised.
Or are we talking about WebHelp here?
Or (drum roll here)
A .CHM file on a network!
Thanks for the response. We are definitely talking chm, not located on a network (to answer the drumroll). The button does not appear on topics in chm file located on the local drive. I suspect it is a question of MS updates. Is there a way to determine which updates are installed?
It would appear that the HTML Help ActiveX control (hhctrl.ocx) is broken on the XP machines, as this is the control that provides the Related Topics functionality. I'm not aware of any Microsoft update that disables this control in local .chm files -- at least, not by design -- but it's quite possible that the control has been accidentally broken.
To rectify the problem, you could try running MJ's Help Diagnostics, available from http://helpware.net/downloads/index.htm#MJs. If this doesn't fix the problem, try re-registering the ActiveX control from the command line. To do this, open a Command Prompt window and enter the following two commands:
regsvr32 /u %windir%\system32\hhctrl.ocx
Edited to add: If none of the machines has the latest HTML Help security patch installed ( KB896358), it's very advisable to install it. This will bring all the HTML Help components up-to-date.
Thanks for your response, installing KB896358 worked.