Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Microsoft Help2 Plugin Feature

There have been a couple of requests for a way to plug third-party help into CodeGear's help. There is actually a very easy way of doing this with the new plug-in feature that Microsoft introduced to the Help2 system in .NET 2.0. All you need to do is register your help to it's own namespace and then there is one line that says plug-in your namespace into ours (borland.bds5). This will make your help show up under our namespace and our IDE will treat it just like it was ours.

If you use h2reg like we do, all you need to add is two lines. For example, if your namespace was called Foo, then add the following line in the "[Reg_Plugin]" section of the ini file:


The same line goes into the "[UnReg_Plugin]" section.

There is an annoying feature of dexplore.exe (Microsoft's Help2 viewer) that rears its ugly head when you go to register help that you should be aware of. Dexplore doesn't allow you to change any namespace registration while it is running. This wouldn't be a bad thing, except sometimes when you close dexplore, it decides it wants to run in the background without telling you. So check your task manager for it before you change any registration.

If you don't have a registration tool already, you can use our copy of h2reg that we install with our products, but if you do this you cannot redistribute h2reg with your own product. You can buy your own license for $100 dollars.

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