none
No help viewer on F1 in VS 2019 Community 16.1.0

    Question

  • It is about Help Viewer for VS 2019 Community. OS is Window 7 Pro SP1.

    I have installed Update 16.1.0 for VS 2019 Community Edition. I used Notification/Update/Install/... - auto installation

    After successful installation I see changes in Menu/Help.

    Before 16.1.0 there were three submenu items: "View Help", "Add and Remove Help Content", and "Set Help Preferences."

    Now only "View Help" stays. As a result, on pressing F1 I saw Help Viewer 3.1. Now I see the Help Topic in my default browser, online.

    How to restore  previous Help Settings?

    Friday, May 24, 2019 10:55 PM

Answers

  • If that is true then your system can't have been using Microsoft Help Viewer in its current form as your help system.

    All official and unofficial sources state that Microsoft Help Viewer 2.3.28917 is the latest version. Also, according to the time stamp of the digital signature used to sign the executable, this was built 9 days ago.

    What's more, I have gone through the installation packages of Visual Studio dating back to 2012, and none of them has had a version newer than 2.3.

    So unless you kept a very old beta version of help, since Help Viewer started off as Microsoft Help 3, then I have no idea where that came from. It is definitely not the version packaged with Visual Studio 2012 (comes with Help Viewer 2.0), 2013 (comes with Help Viewer 2.1), 2015 comes with Help Viewer 2.2), 2017 (comes with Help Viewer 2.3) or 2019 (comes with a newer build of 2.3).

    I have also gone through the currently available bug database, and Visual Studio 2017 bug reports for Help Viewer only reference 2.3. What's more, for 2019 there are barely any bug reports involving Help Viewer, but again, the only version number mentioned is 2.3.

    You are welcome to search the internet yourself if you wish, but I have been unable to track down any hint of a Microsoft Help Viewer 3.1.


    This is a signature. Any samples given are not meant to have error checking or show best practices. They are meant to just illustrate a point. I may also give inefficient code or introduce some problems to discourage copy/paste coding. This is because the major point of my posts is to aid in the learning process.

    • Marked as answer by Geoyar Monday, May 27, 2019 8:51 PM
    Monday, May 27, 2019 2:23 AM

All replies

  • Well, according to this, there was an oversight in help viewer in which it was accessible from installs of Visual Studio that you didn't install it for.

    As an example, if you had an instance of Visual Studio 2017 installed with help viewer selected for it, and Visual Studio 2019 without help viewer selected for it, then the instance of Visual Studio 2019 would appear to have help viewer.

    You should confirm that you have help viewer selected for Visual Studio 2019. You should:

    1) Run the Visual Studio installer.

    2) Select modify for the version of Visual Studio that you want help viewer on.

    3) Go to Individual Components

    4) Scroll down to Code Tools and locate help viewer. If it isn't selected, select it.

    5) If you did select it, click the modify button in the bottom right of the installer window.

    This will register help viewer properly for that instance of Visual Studio and add those menu options to the help menu.


    This is a signature. Any samples given are not meant to have error checking or show best practices. They are meant to just illustrate a point. I may also give inefficient code or introduce some problems to discourage copy/paste coding. This is because the major point of my posts is to aid in the learning process.

    Saturday, May 25, 2019 10:22 AM
  • First, thank you for replay.

    Second, when I installed VS 2019, Help component (Help Viewer) was installed also. I used it. The VS 2019 was keep it all through Updates 0; seems like Update 1.0 removed it.

    I have it check with Installer now. The Help Component is unchecked. Checking it promises some 18 MB  to install.

    What will happen with already installed work load if I click "Modify?". Will they stay installed or be modified too?

    Saturday, May 25, 2019 4:27 PM
  • The Visual Studio Installer will leave them alone. The 18MiB is basically the difference between your install before the modification and after the modification.


    This is a signature. Any samples given are not meant to have error checking or show best practices. They are meant to just illustrate a point. I may also give inefficient code or introduce some problems to discourage copy/paste coding. This is because the major point of my posts is to aid in the learning process.

    Saturday, May 25, 2019 10:25 PM
  • I did as you recommended: Started VS Installer, selected VS 2019  Community Modify, selected Help Viewer component and click Modify. Help Viewer was installed, menu items restored. But to my surprise, the Viewer version was 2.3. This version I saw when was using VS 2017 and VS 2019 did not exist.

    Before VS2019 update 16.1.0 VS2019 responded to F1 with Help Viewer 3.1

    Monday, May 27, 2019 12:20 AM
  • If that is true then your system can't have been using Microsoft Help Viewer in its current form as your help system.

    All official and unofficial sources state that Microsoft Help Viewer 2.3.28917 is the latest version. Also, according to the time stamp of the digital signature used to sign the executable, this was built 9 days ago.

    What's more, I have gone through the installation packages of Visual Studio dating back to 2012, and none of them has had a version newer than 2.3.

    So unless you kept a very old beta version of help, since Help Viewer started off as Microsoft Help 3, then I have no idea where that came from. It is definitely not the version packaged with Visual Studio 2012 (comes with Help Viewer 2.0), 2013 (comes with Help Viewer 2.1), 2015 comes with Help Viewer 2.2), 2017 (comes with Help Viewer 2.3) or 2019 (comes with a newer build of 2.3).

    I have also gone through the currently available bug database, and Visual Studio 2017 bug reports for Help Viewer only reference 2.3. What's more, for 2019 there are barely any bug reports involving Help Viewer, but again, the only version number mentioned is 2.3.

    You are welcome to search the internet yourself if you wish, but I have been unable to track down any hint of a Microsoft Help Viewer 3.1.


    This is a signature. Any samples given are not meant to have error checking or show best practices. They are meant to just illustrate a point. I may also give inefficient code or introduce some problems to discourage copy/paste coding. This is because the major point of my posts is to aid in the learning process.

    • Marked as answer by Geoyar Monday, May 27, 2019 8:51 PM
    Monday, May 27, 2019 2:23 AM
  • Thank you for reply.

    Yes, Internet has no Help Viewer 3.1. Last version is now 2.3. The only place I see 3.1 now is the file in Program Files (x86\Microsoft Help Viewer\v 2.3\MSHelp3_1_en-us.cab. The file's time stamp is 3/19/20115. The time stamp of the folder 'v. 2.3 is 5/26/2019, the time I modified my installation of VS 2019 to include Help Viewer.

    Thank you for your help to understand issues with Help Viewer. I will mark your last post as an answer.

    Regarding the MS Help Viewer itself, well, it seems it has not very good topics on C++ 17 (Am I wrong?), and it is better to use cppreference.com.

    Monday, May 27, 2019 8:51 PM