Calling Context-Sensitive WebHelp from Microsoft Access.

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Calling Context-Sensitive WebHelp from Microsoft Access.

Unread postby Steve Gill » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:11 am

I don't normally do Microsoft Access but I picked up a project that had to be written in Access. As it will be residing on a network, CHM files are out so I'm going to use Webhelp. Calling the index file in VBA is no problem:

Code: Select all
Call Shell("explorer.exe " & CurrentProject.Path & "\Help\Index.html", vbNormalFocus)


Does anyone know if it's possible to call specific topics from Access, keeping in mind that the Webhelp files are located in a sub-directory and not on a webserver (which would have been a cinch)?

Thanks.

= Steve
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Re: Calling Context-Sensitive WebHelp from Microsoft Access.

Unread postby Tim Green » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:58 am

Hi Steve,

keeping in mind that the Webhelp files are located in a sub-directory

That is a no-go. WebHelp is für the Web, and if it's not on a web server it's not functional, so just don't do it. 8)

If you need local help use either CHM or eWriter, which is WebHelp packed into a single file with its own viewer and mini web server and context help API that you can use in a similar way to a CHM file, but with the same skinning as WebHelp. Start here for information on eWriter:

https://helpandmanual.com/help/hm_whatsnew_ewriter.html
https://helpandmanual.com/help/hm_worki ... s_exe.html
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: Calling Context-Sensitive WebHelp from Microsoft Access.

Unread postby Steve Gill » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:07 am

Tim Green wrote:Hi Steve,

keeping in mind that the Webhelp files are located in a sub-directory

That is a no-go. WebHelp is für the Web, and if it's not on a web server it's not functional, so just don't do it. 8)

If you need local help use either CHM or eWriter, which is WebHelp packed into a single file with its own viewer and mini web server and context help API that you can use in a similar way to a CHM file, but with the same skinning as WebHelp. Start here for information on eWriter:

https://helpandmanual.com/help/hm_whatsnew_ewriter.html
https://helpandmanual.com/help/hm_worki ... s_exe.html


Hi Tim,

Either of those are no good. The database will be located on a network drive so CHM files won't work. And eWriter can't be used because of security restrictions imposed by the organisation that don't allow executables to be installed.

The only other thing I can think of is to locate Webhelp on an external web server and they can access it that way. Maybe. There are also restrictions on which websites they can access too.

= Steve
Steve Gill
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 4:49 am
Location: Canberra, Australia

Re: Calling Context-Sensitive WebHelp from Microsoft Access.

Unread postby Tim Green » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:30 am

Hi Steve,

If you can guarantee that Firefox is being used as the web browser then it can still handle local complex web pages properly, but it is the only browser that will do that without additional programming. Alternatively you can use the V3 skins from the Premium Pack, which have a special mode for this:

http://www.it-authoring.com/info/pp3hel ... local.html

Here too, however, there is a restriction: Depending on its mood of the month, the current version of Edge on Windows 10 will sometimes work with this and sometimes not. That may be OK because almost nobody actually uses it, and it will soon be replaced by ChrEdge anyway (the new, Chromium-based version of Edge, that is effectively Chrome with all Google services removed).

The bottom line is that Windows just doesn't have a functional help delivery technology at the moment. Microsoft abandoned integrated help almost immediately after releasing the CHM system with Windows 98. It is still pretty much unchanged since then, including all the original bugs, and nobody who actually worked on it is at Microsoft any more. Both the alleged replacements for CHM were terrible from the start and were also abandoned almost immediately instead of being developed further (they now only work within Visual Studio). The only reason CHM still works on Windows 10 is because they have been programming around it, not because it has been changed in any way to cater to Windows 10.

All that remains if you don't want to put up with CHM or install an alternative is really web-based help. :?
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: Calling Context-Sensitive WebHelp from Microsoft Access.

Unread postby Steve Gill » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:49 am

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the detailed explanation and background. If I had my way it would have been written in Delphi instead of Access, and the help would be in eWriter. :( But I'm limited by what the client wants, and they're the one paying for it.

I'll have to have a talk with them and see how they want to proceed. I have already finished the Access app (with a huge amount of VBA code - shudder).

= Steve
Steve Gill
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 4:49 am
Location: Canberra, Australia


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