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Building and Viewing the Help Content

If Nimbus created the driver help project when the driver solution was created (a setting that can be controlled via per-user preferences), the driver help project will not be built automatically whenever you build the driver solution.

Building the driver help

  1. Right click on the driver help project in the Solution Explorer.

  2. Select Build.

If you add a help project to a solution at a later time, Visual Studio will automatically include that project in the default build configuration, and the driver help project will be built each time the solution is built. To change this, right click on the root solution node in the Solution Explorer, select Configuration Manager, and exclude the driver help project from the default build configuration.

Whenever a driver help project is built, the resulting help file(s) will be located in the <solutionFolder>\build directory.

Note Note

The exact set of help files produced by the build depends on the help file formats selected on the General tab of the help project properties.

Viewing the driver help

  1. Right click on the driver help project in Solution Explorer.

  2. The following commands will appear in the context menu:

    • View Help 1.x

    • View in Help Viewer

    Only those help formats selected in the help project properties will be enabled.

  3. Select the help format you wish to view.

Special Considerations for Microsoft Help Viewer Compatibility

When the Help Viewer radio checkbox is checked in the help project properties, additional validation is performed during the build process. This validation is done to ensure compatibility with the Microsoft Help Viewer. The Microsoft Help Viewer requires XHTML content, which is stricter than HTML. Consequently, content entered using the Visual Studio HTML editor embedded in the Nimbus Help Editor may not be valid XHTML. If invalid content is supplied to the Help Library Manager when merging help into the Visual Studio content store, then the Help Library Manager will fail and send errors to the Windows Event Log. That log reports only the first error, out of potentially hundreds that could exist in an IVI driver. Additionally, the file name of the HTML file in which the error occurred is not given. Consequently, debugging help content errors can be extraordinarily difficult using only the Windows Event Log.

Note Note

The validation for Help Viewer compatibility is only performed when the Help Viewer radio checkbox is checked in the help project properties. The validation is not required, and thus not performed, when building only the Help 1 (.chm) format.

To faciliate debugging help content errors, Nimbus provides validation before the Help Library Manager is invoked. Any errors detected are reported in the Errors List and the Output window as with other types of Visual Studio projects. However, it is important to note that the file in which the actual error is reported is an automatically generated file, since driver help files are ultimately composed of HTML fragments from various pieces of the help template. To automatically navigate to the exact location of the error, you can double-click the error in the Output window. Double-clicking the entry in the Errors List will NOT open the file.

Important note Important

To navigate to help build errors, use the Output window to double-click on the specific error. The Errors List does not allow for direct navigation.

See Also

Download a complete CHM version of this documentation here.