1 Reply Latest reply on Mar 13, 2008 8:33 AM by Pete Lees

    What Replaces Winhelp ?

    IainCliffe
      So, Microsoft have dumped Winhelp. The alternatives as I see it are:

      HTMLHelp:
      - Will not run over a network (without a registry hack)
      - Vastly inferior context sensitive help support (graphics, formatting etc.). Perhaps this has improved ?

      WebHelp/Flashhelp:
      - Not conducive to a local install (thousands of pages).

      New MS Help System:
      - Not published ?

      Deep joy.... anyone have recommendations on a replacement (application help system) or timescale on the MS help system being incorporated into a toolsuite such as robohelp ?

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: What Replaces Winhelp ?
          Pete Lees Level 2
          Iain,

          > So, Microsoft have dumped Winhelp.

          More or less, yes, although the WinHelp executable is still available from the Microsoft Download Center for those users who don't have it. That's just Vista and Windows Server 2008 users at the moment, I believe.

          > HTMLHelp:
          > - Vastly inferior context sensitive help support (graphics, formatting etc.).
          > Perhaps this has improved ?

          If you're happy to use a third-party solution like KeyHelp then, yes, much improved. See:

          http://keyworks.net/keyhelp.htm
          http://helpware.net/htmlhelp/how_to_whatsthis.htm

          > New MS Help System:
          > - Not published ?

          This is true for the Assistance Platform (AP) Help used in Vista. At the moment, we don't know whether a public version of this will ever be made available. I'm not even sure that there's anyone at Microsoft who is actively working on this anymore.

          Microsoft Help 2.0 is still around for those who want to integrate their help content into the Visual Studio .NET help system.

          There's a little more information on all of this here:

          http://www.winwriters.com/articles/news/news_2007_1201.htm

          For the time being, I believe the recommendation is broadly: use HTML Help (.chm) for locally installed help; Help 2.0 for .NET help integration; and browser-based help for anything that the first two formats don't suit.

          Pete