NDoc User's Guide NDoc 1.3

Html Help 2 Deployment

[This is preliminary documentation and subject to change]

Deploying Html Help 2

The Html Help 2 system maintains a registry of all help collections and titles currently installed on a machine. This registry determines what help titles are included in each help collection as well as maintains references between help collections.

In order to view an Html Help 2 title or collection it is required that it be registered. This makes deploying Html Help 2 documentation more complex than simply delivering a single file as with CHM based help.

Windows Installer

It is possible to create Windows Installer packages to deploy and properly register help collections and titles. VSHIK includes detailed instructions on how to go about this as well as a set of merge modules that contain the registration actions. Unfortunately, it is a rather involved process that includes a number of manual steps to create the proper records in the installer database. There is currently no way to automate the generation of Windows Installer packages for Html Help 2 files.


Another option is to use the shareware tool H2Reg.exe from helpware.net. H2Reg is a command line utility that will register help collections and titles during installation. It can be included in scripted installer as well as Windows Installer packages as a custom action.

If the setting GenerateCollectionFiles is true, NDoc will create an H2Reg compatible INI file that contains the proper values to register the generated help title, as well as plug it into the VS.NET help collection.

In order to deploy the NDoc generated Html Help 2 files with H2Reg, follow these steps:

  1. Set GenerateCollectionFiles to true
  2. Include all of the generated help files as well as the generated INI file in your installer.
  3. Include the H2Reg executable as well as the file H2Reg.ini (located in the directory where you installed H2Reg) in your installer.
  4. During installation copy the help files as well as the generated INI file to there final location.
  5. Execute H2Reg with the following syntax:

    H2reg -r "CmdFile=<full path to the generated INI file>"

  6. During uninstallation, before the help files are removed, execute H2Reg with the following syntax:

    H2reg -u "CmdFile=<full path to the generated INI file>"

See Also

The VS.NET Documenter, GenerateCollectionFiles, VSHIK Deployment Instructions, H2Reg online