5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 13, 2009 12:44 PM by PKMikeMc

    Missing TOC icons in MMC snap-in


      Working on the help for a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in application. The merge goes well, and the help itself is fine. The interesting/perplexing part is that if you click on a Help button inside the application, the default TOC book and page icons do not appear. Pressing F1 brings the help up, with the appropriate icons. As required by the MMC, the TOC is binary compiled.


      Here's what the TOC looks like when called from a Help button:



      Not certain if this is relevant, but this issue was first noted in the company bug database back in 2005, where it was noted that "A binary table of contents is populated based on user demand. For example, in a table of contents where a book is located within another book, the second level book will not be populated until a user clicks it. (Microsoft)"


      I am using RoboHelp 8, and the project was imported with settings intact. Is there anything to be done, either inside RH8 or by the developer?


      Thanks in advance for all suggestions.



        • 1. Re: Missing TOC icons in MMC snap-in
          Pete Lees Level 2

          Hi, Mike,


          I think this may be something for your developers to investigate, as, to my knowledge, the TOC of your Help file should display properly when a binary TOC is used. This is probably the page that you should refer the developers to:




          If it's any help to you, the TOC settings in the MMC 3.0 Help file are as shown below. Perhaps choosing the same TOC settings in your own Help file will resolve the problem.





          • 2. Re: Missing TOC icons in MMC snap-in
            PKMikeMc Level 1



            Thanks for the idea, and the graphic. As you may know, selecting Binary TOC in the TOC Styles settings grays out all the other options, but they become available again when you uncheck Binary TOC. I edited the settings to match the Help Workshop items, then checked Binary TOC again. Interestingly, the Plus/Minus Squares checkbox was cleared each time I checked the Binary TOC box (See below).


            Since this particular setting would seem to set up the appropriate icons, is this a bug in RH, since MMC allows Plus/Minus Squares in Help TOCs? Can I edit some configuration file manually (I checked the HHC and HHP files with nothing obvious to fix)?


            Hope this sheds some additional light on the problem.



            • 3. Re: Missing TOC icons in MMC snap-in
              Pete Lees Level 2

              Hi, Mike,


              When I open the .hhc file for the MMC 3.0 Help file in Notepad, I see that none of the TOC styles is explicitly set there. In other words, the five TOC styles that are checked in my screenshot are simply the defaults that are implemented when the Help author has not selected any of the available styles. For what it's worth, this is what you would see at the start of your .hhc file if you have explicitly set the same five TOC styles:


                 <OBJECT type="text/site properties">
                   <param name="Window Styles" value="0x800025">


              where 0x800025 is the sum of the five selected TOC styles (each one has a unique hexadecimal value). In the .hhc file for the MMC Help file, this line is missing.


              Here is an old message in which I explained what the hexadecimal value is of each style:




              As you probably know, the binary TOC format supports a very limited set of authoring features, compared to the non-binary TOC format. When you switch to a binary TOC, most of the styles that you might use in a non-binary TOC are unavailable. Still, the binary TOC format does support book and page icons.


              Perhaps it might help to test your MMC snap-in with a different Help file, created with a tool other than RoboHelp (FAR in this case). I've uploaded a Help file with a binary TOC to the following location:




              If you were to give this file the name of your own file and drop it into the location where MMC expects to find it, you may be able to determine whether the fault lies in the Help file or in the code that your snap-in uses.



              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Missing TOC icons in MMC snap-in
                PKMikeMc Level 1



                Many thanks! I will share this file with my developer, and see what happens.



                • 5. Re: Missing TOC icons in MMC snap-in
                  PKMikeMc Level 1

                  Just to tie a bow on this for posterity: We looked into this a little further and discovered that the icons for our application appear consistently under Windows 7 (Release Candidate and RTM). The problem only occurred under unusual conditions in WinXP and Vista (One had to first open the help from a main screen, close it, then open the help from a button in the UI), so the consensus was not to try to fix it in the other operating systems.


                  Thanks again, Pete, for your help (and for telling me indirectly about the MS HelpAuthoring newsgroup).