VSdocman is shipped with small command line tools HelixoftHelpReg.exe and HelixoftHelpRegQ.exe which register and unregister Help 2 and HTML Help 1.x documentation on a target machine.

They are exactly the same, the only difference is that HelixoftHelpReg.exe is console application and thus command window is always shown and HelixoftHelpRegQ.exe is quiet - it never shows any window. The latter is suitable for those installation programs that don't allow to control appearance of external programs called from them. For example, you can add it directly to Custom Actions in Visual Studio installer.

Both tools can be found in Redist folder in VSdocman installation folder.

Syntax

HelixoftHelpReg.exe -r|-u|-cCHM_FILE|-xCHM_FILE [-q] [-fCONFIG_FILE] [-?] [-dDYNAMIC_HELP_FILE] [-lLOG_FILE] [-z]

In addition to command line parameters, the program uses also special configuration file when working with Help 2.

Command Line Parameters

Parameter

Description

-r

Register namespace and its filters, titles and plugins defined in config file. This option is used with Help 2.

-u

Unregister namespace and its filters, titles and plugins defined in config file. This option is used with Help 2.

-c

Register HTML Help 1.x (.CHM) file. Config file is ignored. This option is used with HTML Help 1.x.

-x

Unregister HTML Help 1.x (.CHM) file. Config file is ignored. This option is used with HTML Help 1.x.

-d

Register VS dynamic help XML file. This option is used with HTML Help 1.x. The F1 integration only works in VS 2005 and 2008, not in newer versions.

-e

Unregister VS dynamic help XML file. This option is used with HTML Help 1.x. The F1 integration only works in VS 2005 and 2008, not in newer versions.

-q

Quiet mode. No messages will be written to the standard output or log.

-f

Path to the config file. If omitted, default HelpRegCfg.xml will be used. Config file is used with Help 2.

-l

Path to the log file. If omitted, no logging will be performed.

-z

When this argument is used, the utility always returns 0 (OK) as exit code, even if there was an error during execution. This is useful if you include HelixoftHelpReg.exe as custom action in your MSI package and you don't want to cancel whole installation if there is some problem with help registration. MSI automatically fails if custom action returns non-zero value.

-?

Show help screen.

Configuration File

Configuration file is used with Help 2 to describe namespaces, titles, filters and plugins in detail. It has simple self-explanatory XML syntax. Again, VSdocman generates this file for you so that you can deploy your documentation to the end-user.

Example

<HelixoftHelpReg>

  <namespace>

    <name>vbdm.TestDLL</name>

    <file>TestDLL_COL.HxC</file>

    <description>

     TestDLL Reference

    </description>

  </namespace>

  <title>

    <name>TestDLL</name>

    <titleFile>TestDLL.HxS</titleFile>

    <indexFile>TestDLL.HxS</indexFile>

    <queryFile></queryFile>

    <attrFile></attrFile>

    <langId>1033</langId>

  </title>

  <filter>

    <name>TestDLL Reference</name>

    <query><![CDATA[

    "DocSet"="TestDLL"

    ]]></query>

  </filter>

  <plugin>

    <parentNamespace>ms.vscc</parentNamespace>

  </plugin>

  <plugin>

    <parentNamespace>ms.vscc.2003</parentNamespace>

  </plugin>

  <plugin>

    <parentNamespace>MS.VSIPCC.v80</parentNamespace>

  </plugin>

</HelixoftHelpReg>

Remarks

When deploying your Help 2 documentation you need to register it on the target machine. There are some methods mentioned in Visual Studio .NET Help Integration Kit (VSHIK). The method that fits our needs uses MS Installer and is quite complicated and in fact it is unusable for most developers.

Deploying HTML Help 1.x documentation is easier but still requires some additional work.

That's why we developed these two utilities that do the job for you. VSdocman itself uses this tool for registering the help.

All you need is to include and call one of them with proper parameters from your installation program. VSdocman automatically generates BAT files with correct parameters for registering and for unregistering. You can call them directly or copy the code from them.

Distribution Policy

You can distribute your documentation with HelixoftHelpReg.exe utility only if you are registered user of VSdocman. You cannot distribute HelixoftHelpReg.exe if you are using evaluation (trial) or beta version of VSdocman.

Registered users can distribute HelixoftHelpReg.exe royalty-free but only with documentation generated by VSdocman or with documentation which contains parts generated by VSdocman.

See Also