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I need suggestions for creating a Help system for a Visual Basic Progr


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#1
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I need suggestions for creating a Help system for a Visual Basic Program.

We have a requirement to provide "on-line help" to our Visual Basic program. What I believe they mean is the sort of Help functionality that one normally sees in C++ generated program.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

I have been told that the file type is a .CHM file that the help system uses. Is there a Help Component in Visual Basic?

What I would really like to do is to have the user choose between having the help be displayed in either .CHM or .HTM format. So, is there a web browser component in Visual Basic too?
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#2
dsenette

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the last time i built a program that required a help file (school....while ago)...we just built an html page that had all the help document's and navigation buttons and what not in it...which is basically what a chm is... of course i haven't read your project requirements...but it doesn't sound as if there are too many restrictions....sounds like they just want a help menu...

in theory if you just cause the "help" button to open that html file...then you're done..cuz tehn all the navigation is done through the html file...and they can navigate the help file...while still having the program open..
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#3
warriorscot

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Back in the day(also school) i did as Dsnette did as well a simple HTML even word in the early days, with just simple hyperlinks to relevant sections, in VB things like helpful tags(i believe they call them tooltips if i remeber right) can solve alot of stupid questions. A little link to the HTML page in the form of the help button is all you need. Also it doubles as your readme file.
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#4
Hai Mac

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I beliebe there isn't any, but if you are looking for a free help authoring tool, try HelpNDoc (google it exactly as it is written here). It's free, WYSIWIG,dead simple to use and generates both CHM and HTML files. You can always use an Inet component and load the HTML pages in VB

Edited by Hai Mac, 08 February 2006 - 11:08 AM.

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#5
Krizniak

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Hi,

There is another possibility, while needing a longer learning curve, but for which you will gain access to a full featured documentation system : docbook and docbook-xsl.

Docbook is an xml/sgml dtd which allows you to 'simply' create xml files which will contain all of your docs.
With XSL, and with xsl and/or xsl-fo tools, you'll be able to create full chm help systems, rtf manuals, html on-line help and even pdf files... Only one set of source files !

Here are some links :
Dockbook main site (http://www.docbook.org)
Docbook-XSL online Definitive Guide (http://www.sagehill.net/docbookxsl/index.html)

Best regards,

Krizniak
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