Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

HelpXplain is the exciting new animated infographics and screencast tool that integrates with Help+Manual.

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Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Steve Gill » Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:56 am

Hi,

I create a lot of video tutorials for my software so I'm trying out the trial version of HelpXplain to see how it works.

I can't seem to get the Screencast option to work with any modern Delphi VCL applications - I haven't tried it with FireMonkey. The mouse clicks aren't registering and so nothing is captured. It doesn't work with the Delphi IDE either, ie. RAD Studio 10.2.3 Tokyo.

I tried it with some really old Delphi applications I wrote and it worked fine with them, so I'm a bit perplexed.

As a test, I tried it with some non-Delphi software. I do animations as well as programming. I found that HelpXplain doesn't work with Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 4 either. It also doesn't work with Xara Designer Pro X 16, but works fine with Affinity Designer 1.7.

= Steve
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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Stewart Edgell » Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:16 am

I tried this out with old Delphi 7 and current Delphi Rio 10.3. Screencast mainly works well with the older version but capture of mouse clicks is erratic with the current version.

On both versions, there is an issue if the capture rectangle overlaps the HelpXplain screen controls (even just at the margin). In this scenario, the screen controls disappear once the screencast starts.
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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Alexander Halser » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:41 am

Do you use a remote desktop? We are aware of capture problems on remote desktops with Windows Server 2008 R2. Not with Server 2012/2016.

I can't seem to get the Screencast option to work with any modern Delphi VCL applications

Please tell me more about your system. Which Windows version do you use? A single monitor or multiple monitors? Which screen resolution and DPI do these monitors have and which one - if multiple - is the main monitor?

What you say is quite puzzling. HelpXplain is written with Delphi Berlin 10.1 and the screencast/capture function in particular has been excessively tested with different programs (including Delphi apps and Delphi itself) on all monitor setups you can imagine. HelpXplain is "per-monitor-dpi-aware-v2", it scales itself at runtime when being moved from one monitor to the another with a different DPI value.

mouse clicks is erratic with the current version.

How does this look like when the mouse clicks are erratic?

In this scenario, the screen controls disappear once the screencast starts.

This is normal, yes. The controls hide itself when they overlap with the capture rectangle in order to not include the controls in the screen capture. When you move the mouse to the upper end of your display, somewhere in the middle, they will reappear.

This is intentional behavior. The screencast simply captures what is on the screen, it doesn't attempt to capture a particular window. Both is possible, but some windows can be invisible to a program. If HelpXplain is run with a restricted user account and you start a single program as admin, the window of the program with admin rights might be invisible to HelpXplain (or any other program not running in this security context). This would manifest itself in that way that you cannot automatically fit the capture rectangle to such a window. But you should still be able to get a picture/capture from the screen that includes it.
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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Stewart Edgell » Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:33 pm

Thank you for your guidance for display of the capture menu when the capture rectangle overlaps the capture menu.

I described the capture of mouse clicks on Delphi 10.3 Rio as erratic. Clicks to top level menu items are captured but those to sub items are not always captured. For example, if I click the View menu that is captured. However, if I then click either the Project Statistics sub item or the Configuration Manager sub item that is not captured. This behaviour is not consistent - a click on the Welcome Page sub item is captured.

I note that I am using Delphi 10.3 Rio Community Edition.
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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Alexander Halser » Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:24 pm

The View menu in Delphi is pretty long. Is the Project Statistics menu item still inside the capture rectangle?

Clicks outside the green capture frame are intentionally not registered at all. That makes it easier to arrange Windows during a screencast.

However, it doesn't explain Steve's problem.
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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Steve Gill » Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:19 am

Hi Alexander,

Alexander Halser wrote:Do you use a remote desktop? We are aware of capture problems on remote desktops with Windows Server 2008 R2. Not with Server 2012/2016.


No.

Please tell me more about your system. Which Windows version do you use? A single monitor or multiple monitors? Which screen resolution and DPI do these monitors have and which one - if multiple - is the main monitor?

What you say is quite puzzling. HelpXplain is written with Delphi Berlin 10.1 and the screencast/capture function in particular has been excessively tested with different programs (including Delphi apps and Delphi itself) on all monitor setups you can imagine. HelpXplain is "per-monitor-dpi-aware-v2", it scales itself at runtime when being moved from one monitor to the another with a different DPI value.


Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit Version 1809. Dell XPS 8910 Tower. Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6700 3.40GHz, 24.0 GB RAM. 1920x1080 screen resolution, Scaling 100%, 96dpi, single monitor. NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX745 with 4GB DDR3 Graphics Memory.

= Steve
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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Stewart Edgell » Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:13 pm

Alexander Halser wrote:Clicks outside the green capture frame are intentionally not registered at all. That makes it easier to arrange Windows during a screencast.


Thanks, I see now that if the capture rectangle is big enough to cover the entire menu dialog everything works. However, if part of the menu dialog is outside the capture rectangle the click may not be captured (even where the click is inside the capture frame).
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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Alexander Halser » Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:14 pm

if part of the menu dialog is outside the capture rectangle the click may not be captured (even where the click is inside the capture frame).

Can anyone duplicate this? Works perfectly fine for me.

The screencast registers all mouse clicks on the screen. It just ignores them if the click is outside the capture frame. But it doesn't matter if a menu is fully visible inside the capture frame. In fact, the screencast has no concept of menus at all. It just takes what's visible on the screen.
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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Stewart Edgell » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:02 am

Alexander Halser wrote:The screencast registers all mouse clicks on the screen. It just ignores them if the click is outside the capture frame.


Thanks for your patience. What you say is exactly correct - unlike my previous comments about HelpXplain and Delphi 10.3!
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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Steve Gill » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:00 am

Steve Gill wrote:Hi Alexander,
Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit Version 1809. Dell XPS 8910 Tower. Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6700 3.40GHz, 24.0 GB RAM. 1920x1080 screen resolution, Scaling 100%, 96dpi, single monitor. NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX745 with 4GB DDR3 Graphics Memory.

= Steve


Any ideas on why HelpXplain doesn't work with some applications?

= Steve
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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Alexander Halser » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:02 pm

Any ideas on why HelpXplain doesn't work with some applications?

No, completely puzzled here and I cannot duplicate it in any way.
My system is pretty much the same as yours (Win 10/64 1803), Intel(R) Core(TM) i5, main monitor 2540 x 1080 @96 dpi.

You said "The mouse clicks aren't registering". Did you click inside the capture rectangle? Clicks outside the green rectangle are ignore. Which Delphi/other application don't work for you and can you descript the symptoms with more details?
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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Steve Gill » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:09 am

Hi Alexander,

Here's a video showing what I mean: http://www.stevegill.com.au/video/helpxplain/XDP%20Issue/XDP%20Issue.html

I believe XDP is written in Visual C++.

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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Steve Gill » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:32 am

Hi Alexander,

He're an example of HelpXplain not working with a Delphi application: http://www.stevegill.com.au/video/helpxplain/Delphi%20App%20Issue/Delphi%20App%20Issue.html

I can't think of what the issue could be. By the way, it can take single screenshots ok (option 3).

= Steve
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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Steve Gill » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:57 am

Hi Alexander,

Ok, I worked out what the problem is.

If the program you are screencasting is running in administrator mode (ie. the user selected Run as Administrator or if it's set to Run this program as an administrator under Properties/Compatibility) then HelpXplain is unable to capture the mouse clicks.

If HelpXplain is run in administrator mode, it can capture the mouse clicks of programs that are run normally and run in administrator mode.

So the solution would be to always run HelpXplain in administrator mode so it has the elevated privileges.

= Steve
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Re: Does HelpXplain Work With Delphi VCL Apps?

Unread postby Steve Gill » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:30 am

Steve Gill wrote:Ok, I worked out what the problem is.

If the program you are screencasting is running in administrator mode (ie. the user selected Run as Administrator or if it's set to Run this program as an administrator under Properties/Compatibility) then HelpXplain is unable to capture the mouse clicks.

If HelpXplain is run in administrator mode, it can capture the mouse clicks of programs that are run normally and run in administrator mode.

So the solution would be to always run HelpXplain in administrator mode so it has the elevated privileges.


Now that I've got HelpXplain working with everything, I purchased it today. Looking forward to creating a lot of cool stuff with it. :-)

I love the fact that you can add hyperlinks, which makes it great for promotional sliders on a website! 8)

= Steve
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