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VSTO Outlook - I need help with Help Application RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am developing an add-on for Outlook 2007with VSTO and Visual Studio 2008, I want the application to have a help feature and I think I can go several routes with this. I already have the help button created.

    My question is how do I create a help file/window that pulls its contents from a webpage? I want to have something similar to the native Outlook 2007 help file (i.e. what you get when you hit the F1 key)

    I have tried using a CHM file but I was unsuccessful in including it in the published application package. Also the CHM file is a static file and the help file might get updated regularly. I want to be able to pull up a help window that loads a web page. Also it is important to know that I do not want to open a browser. Is it possible to extend the current outlook help application somehow.
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 2:28 PM

Answers

  • when you add the .chm file to the solution, you can change two properties in the Properties window to get the file included in your installer package.

    1. change the Build property to Content.
    2. change the Copy to output directory property to Copy always.

    it is not possible to extend the Outlook Help to add third-party help content.

    m.
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 6:16 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • when you add the .chm file to the solution, you can change two properties in the Properties window to get the file included in your installer package.

    1. change the Build property to Content.
    2. change the Copy to output directory property to Copy always.

    it is not possible to extend the Outlook Help to add third-party help content.

    m.
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 6:16 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Mary for your response. So can I assume that the only way you can have a help functionality with a custom add-on is by using a CHM file? My follow up question then is; apart from using CHM files, are there other ways to programming a help functionality (i.e. display help content in an outlook generated window) .

    Something else I ran into. What tab in the properties window do I find the two steps above, I have checked all of them and I don't seem to see the Build Property. I am Using Visual Studio 2008 Professional.
    • Edited by B. Man Thursday, February 19, 2009 7:08 PM Forgot to ask another question
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 6:49 PM
  • there is always more than one way to complete a task.  i'm really only answering your deployment questions about including the .chm file with your installer.  for an outlook specific way of showing help, you can review the following topics:
    Outlook Object Model Overview
    Creating Outlook Form Regions

    as for the Properties window, i only see one tab in VS2008 Pro.  did you add the .chm file to the project, and can you see the file in Solution Explorer?

    m.

    Thursday, February 19, 2009 7:35 PM
    Moderator
  • I found the properties (I think I had a slow moment)... Thanks. I will look at what the other two links have to offer. Thanks again for your help.
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 8:16 PM