HTML Help (secondary) window size auto-adjustable?

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HTML Help (secondary) window size auto-adjustable?

Unread postby chfrmeyer » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:17 am

In my help Projects I use secondary Windows for HTML Help and am trying to get the height of a secondary window to automatically adjust to the amount of Content - so that the window would automatically take less space if there were less to Display, and more height (as Long as the Screen Limits are not exceeded) with more Content.

I have vintage Winhelp files where that worked and finf it a pity if that Feature got "lost in Migration".

As to "Project Configuration / Export Settings / HTML Help / Help Windows / General OPtions / Size and Position":

What effect should it have if size or Position Parameters were set to -1 or Zero? The Help on Help&Manual does not explain this.

Christoph (chfrmeyer)
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:07 pm

Re: HTML Help (secondary) window size auto-adjustable?

Unread postby Tim Green » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:37 am

Hi Christoph,

There isn't a setting for this because, unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't provide it in the HTML Help API. Actually, CHM is also effectively a legacy help format that has been abandoned by Microsoft, just as they have abandoned all the other help formats they have ever created. It has not been changed, updated or even bug-fixed since it was originally released with Windows 98. It is what it is, and it's not ever going to get better. To the best of our knowledge all the team members who developed CHM left Microsoft many years ago, and since nobody there now is familiar with the code they're not going to touch it. All they have ever done is to make changes and patches to Windows so that the existing CHM viewer and compiler will continue to work in new versions. :roll:

That being said, you shouldn't really need to worry about this too much. The window sizes and positions of the CHM viewer set by the user are stored automatically by Windows and restored when they open the help again, unless you disable it in Configuration > Publishing Options > HTML Help (which you should never do). So the sizes you set are basically irrelevant anyway -- at best, they will only ever be seen once, the first time the user opens your help.

What effect should it have if size or Position Parameters were set to -1 or Zero? The Help on Help&Manual does not explain this.

The -1 settings mean simply that nothing is set and that the Windows default for the CHM viewer will be used. Here too, only on the very first use. After that the user's settings are saved and used. To be honest, I've never tried setting it to zero and wouldn't. The position coordinates would just be the top left corner of the screen, and the dimensions would just reduce the viewer to its minimum size, since it cannot have zero dimensions. Here too, only for the first view ever -- so setting it for an existing help file that you have already compiled once will make no change.
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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