13-April-2009 - Original document
This document provides a guide to editing Microsoft Help Viewer projects using FAR HTML version 5.
Creating an MS Help Viewer help file is relatively easy:
That's it. Past versions of MS Help required you to compile your help source.
With Microsoft's help we have developed a migration tool that will convert any HTML Help or MS Help 2 project or help file, into MS Help Viewer 1.0 help.
Ignoring the nifty migration tool (MshcMigrate.exe) for now let's talk through the steps required to manually produce Microsoft Help Viewer 1.0 help.
Each HTML topic file must be XHTML 1.0 compliant HTML.
Create your help topics in HTML as you have done in the past, but be careful to format in XHTML.
XHTML syntax rules are pretty easy to follow
Note that FAR HTML 5 contains a file utility called "Convert to XHTML" used to convert HTML topics to XHTML format. This is the same code as used in the migrate utility.
Each topic file must contain the following 2 tags.
The Title tag is nothing new to most of us. It must be in the <head> ... </head> section of your topic.
Every topic must have a unique help ID string. MS often use GUIDs, since these 128-bit integer numbers have a very high degree of certainty of being unique. These identify each document and are used to build TOC and Index structure
Use the new FAR HTML 5, Tag Editor to quickly add/remove help tags. See main menu: Authoring > Tag Editor.
In MS Help Viewer there are no TOC and Index "files". Table Of Contents, Visible Index and F1 Keywords are instead stored in HTML topics as meta tags.
Even though TOC and Index entries are now declared using meta tags in topic file headers, FAR still allows you to edit these using the FAR TOC & Index Editor. To do this use the new Import/Export commands to read/write TOC and Index meta tags.
Also see the "Help 3" page tab in the TOC Editor.
The process is as follows
When you import TOC or Index meta tags you will be editing in .HxT or .HxK file format. We recommend maintain your TOC & Index using the .HxT/.HxK files, Exporting as required (import not required). This would be a more reliable way to maintain your TOC otherwise deleting a single topic could break your TOC.
To make the final help file you just need to ZIP your content to a .MSHC file (MS Help Container) using whatever ZIP program your prefer.
To do this using FAR:
That's it. You can now test the help file.
The migration utility has a page where you can test that you your help installs correctly.
Go to the Manifest page, enter the required information and click the "Create Manifest" button. You must ship this .msha file with your .mshc help files. For version 1.0 the .msha file must have the name HelpContentSetup.msha.
For Help Viewer 1.x your installer must run HelpLibManager.exe with the following switches
For Help Viewer 2.x your installer must run HlpCtntMgr.exe, or run the VS Help Viewer and install using the Manage Contents page.
You will probably need to create a small help application to help the installer find HelpLibManager.exe and run it.
You can find the location of the EXE in the registry...
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Help\v1.0 (for HV1 -- VS 2010)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Help\v2.0 (for HV2 -- VS 2012)
To Uninstall you use the /uninstall command line switch
MS Help Viewer >