Author Topic: New Win32 help file in *.chm format  (Read 9336 times)

jj2007

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New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« on: November 27, 2016, 02:24:12 PM »
As announced by Mike in MS Win32 Programmer's Reference in CHM Format, Laurence Jackson (a POWERBASIC oldtimer) has recompiled the old Win32 *.hlp file.

It looks really good, and allows context-sensitive help, meaning: select e.g. CreateWindowEx, click menu Help/Win32LJ and see immediately the relevant help page.

Added to RichMasm's Help menu in MasmBasic of 27 November. It will work if the file downloaded from here is saved as \Masm32\RichMasm\Help\Win32.chm

Note the F1 key will remain mapped to \Masm32\RichMasm\Help\win32.hlp - you can edit \Masm32\MasmBasic\Res\menus.ini to change that, but it's one of the few files that gets updated without warnings with a new installation.

GuruSR

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 03:17:11 PM »
Wow, that is good.  Though, I've been using the WinHlp32.exe that Microsoft has in their download section, is there any vast differences to the chm over the hlp?

GuruSR.
Learned 68k Motorola Asm instruction set in 30 minutes on the way to an Amiga Developer's Forum meeting.
Following week wrote a kernel level memory pool manager in 68k assembler for fun.

jj2007

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 08:44:58 PM »
Good question. It's more a matter of taste than anything else, see screenshot below.

I find hlp more handy. Otoh, with chm you can search for words inside the found page. Judge yourself...

Both Win32 help versions are Copyright © 1992 - 1996 Microsoft Corporation

For newer stuff, I use the VS Help Library Agent. That works, but it was a huge download and clumsy to install. I also made the mistake to install VS community to get the newest assemblers and linkers etc - a giant pile of sh*t, slow like snail and full of bugs. Inter alia, it claims that no help is installed (I do have around one GB from VS 2010 installed, not including the crappy list of extras in the second screenshot below).

Ultimately, I use the VC++ 2010 Express help a bit more often, but still, the 20-year-old hlp file covers 99% of my needs.

hutch--

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 10:35:46 PM »
You must have an old version, mine is from a Borland CD dated 1997, a total of about 32 meg of Winhelp files, win32.hlp is just the biggest of them at about 12.6 meg.
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jj2007

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 11:14:34 PM »
Win32.hlp of 18.6.98, 24 804 587 bytes

jimg

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 02:09:29 AM »
I have both of those plus one dated 2/14/2005 at 28,038,216 bytes.   No idea where I got it.

jimg

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016, 04:56:16 AM »
Hutch-
Copy your 2meg win32.hlp file to another name/place so the system doesn't think it knows all about it.

Open the help and page right three times, to the topic "Finding What You Need"

On the third bullet point stating with "On the toolbar, click the"

Does a box show right there saying "Unable to display  graphic"?

hutch--

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2016, 07:49:01 AM »
Jim,

I don't understand what you have posted here as it does not match the version I have. The version I have is 5.1.2600.5512 at 12,607,331 bytes dated 2-3-1997.
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jimg

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2016, 09:09:49 AM »
Sorry Hutch, there was a typo in my previous message I didn't catch.  I meant to say 12Megs not 2Megs, somebody stole my 1.

I have that exact version and size of win32.hlp file, and it's showing the problem I tried to explain above.  Missing images.

I decompiled the file and found it only had four bmps.  The good one has 130 bmps embedded in the file.  That's why yours is so much smaller.

I wanted to recompile it anyway to add all the available options help has to offer like FIND and OPTIONS on the first page, which every version I've seen does not have.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in the version recompiled with Microsoft Help Workshop,  I'll find somewhere to post it, it's 5.6 megs compressed.

jimg

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2016, 09:36:17 AM »
JJ-

To get back on the original topic!

I just tried the version you referenced in the first post.  I was skeptical because I really didn't like the win32.chm created back in 2008.   This new one is MUCH better.  Perhaps I'll convert after all  :biggrin:

hutch--

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2016, 09:55:28 AM »
Just downloaded the new one and had a quick look at it and it works fine, a lot better than the earlier ones.
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jj2007

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 11:20:35 AM »
Missing images.

And image quality - the left one is Win32.hlp of 18.6.98, 24,804,587 bytes, the right one is Laurence Jackson's version:

jimg

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2016, 11:27:39 AM »
Now if he had just used the same font.  I really prefer the more compact version with more info in the same area.  But the big draw for the chm is the scrolling.  Always disliked the scrolling in winhlp.

jj2007

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2016, 11:33:32 AM »
I really prefer the more compact version with more info in the same area.

Try Ctrl - maybe ?

jimg

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Re: New Win32 help file in *.chm format
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2016, 01:15:54 PM »
Well, not quite like that!  The normal text font is very nearly the same, and I can see how many people would like the bigger headers and extra space between paragraphs, but not me.  I think the old was just looks more clean.  I've attached a zip of a jpeg of a screen shot because I couldn't figure out how to embed an image in the post.