Visual Basic and WinHelp

Help from a Menu

Microsoft's user interface standards for Windows 95 help has just one entry on an application's Help menu - Help Topics. This item would lead to the contents tree. The call to the contents tree is accomplished using code like this:

lReturn = WinHelpNum(hWnd, sHelpFile, HELP_FINDER, 0&)

The first parameter, hWnd, should be the window handle of your main form. Use this same hWnd for all calls to WinHelp from this application.

The second parameter, sHelpFile, is a string containing the name of the help file. While it is legal to use just the file name, it makes better sense to use the full path. I build the file name like this:

sHelpFile = App.Path & "\myfile.hlp"

I don't personally agree with Microsoft's viewpoint that the contents tree be the only way to get help from the Help menu. Under Windows 3.1, other items were on the Help menu, including jumps to the index, the help file for WinHelp itself, and possibly other high-use topics such as keyboard shortcuts. You can do this with your help as well - essentially, those items are jumps to specific topics. Jumps to specific topics are explained in the Help from a Button page.

Copyright © 2009 by Dana Cline
Last Updated  Monday, April 06, 2009
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