Re: What's This Help and VB

Subject: Re: What's This Help and VB
From: Kris Olberg <kjolberg -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 20:00:02 -0600

-----Original Message-----
From: Walter Jones <WalterJ -at- TRITECH -dot- COM>
Date: Friday, October 24, 1997 1:38 PM
Subject: What's This Help and VB

>Question 1:
>I'm using the What's This Help Composer on VB 5 source files. I've heard
>of setting the control ID of static text to -1 in order to avoid having
>the WTHC assign a help topic to that control, and instead use the help

I'm going to assume that by "static text" you mean a VB control called a
label. Typically, labels are used to call out controls like text boxes, list
boxes, sliders, etc. on VB forms. Labels have a property called
WhatsThisHelpID. This may be the property you want to set to -1. From what I
know about the What's This Help Composer, which is practically nothing, it
automatically searches all the controls on a form and creates a What's This
topic for each control on the form. Technically, labels are controls. I'd
try setting the WhatsThisHelpID property for labels to -1 and see what
happens. Reading the online help for this property, the documented allowable
values are greater than or equal to 0. However, the online help doesn't
explicitly exclude -1, so maybe it will work.

To set the property, open the form in VB. Click a label to make it the
current control. In the properties window for the label, locate the
WhatsThisHelpID property and set it to -1.

>Question 2:
>I'm still in the planning stages of this help project, and I can't
>decide whether to create one large context-sensitive help file for every
>module in our application, or to create a separate help file for each
>project (module). From what I can determine, there are between 50 and 70
>VB projects that make up our application. Most are individual tools and
>utilities for our application, and most customers will receive nearly
>all modules. The complexity (number of controls) for each module varies
>from very simple to very complex.

Use many smaller files. You never know when you'll need to have someone help
you. It'd be hard to manage if everything is in one file. In addition,
smaller files are easier and faster to edit.

I'd suggest breaking down according to functions or logical groupings of
functions. DON'T make the breakdown dependent on the interface or code--code
and interfaces change. Envision where your product is at now and where you
think it's going to help you decide.

>The director of engineering suggested that I create a separate help
>files, although he knows nothing about creating help files. But I don't
>to manage that many help files for the same application.

If you put the files in the same directory WITH NOTHING ELSE, there's
nothing to manage. Essentially, you're managing ONE directory, which is
nearly the same as managing one file. I hate to say it, but the director of
engineering is probably right on this one. Beware the next time ... :-)

kolberg -at- actamed -dot- com
kris -at- olberg -dot- com

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