Virtual Developer Workshop: Containerized Development with Docker

Environment: Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0 with MSDN Library installed


You probably discovered how complex MSDN Library is - there are thousands of articles nicely sorted in its Contents Tree. However, have you noticed how hard is it to find articles you used, every time you resume work on your project? If you had, I believe you'll find SmartHelp (very) useful.


  • It memorizes MSDN Library Contents Tree layout for every Workspace.
  • Favorites Topics list is now available from Visual Studio, not only MSDN. Using it, you can also recall other types of documentation you use, such as CHM, Win Help, simple text and source code files, Microsoft Word © Documents, Adobe Acrobat © Portable Document Files and HTML. You can also start tools and open Browser Database files (.bsc) from there. Finally, you can have all your favorites nicely sorted in folders.
  • It integrates MSDN Library's window into Visual Studio IDE.


E-Mail: gmit@fly.srk.fer.hr
New versions: http://fly.srk.fer.hr/~gmit/smarthelp.htm
Snail Mail: Goran Mitrovic
            Trg kralja Tomislava 5
            48000 Koprivnica


2.0  (20. Aug 2000) - added Visual Studio Integration feature
                    - Maximum favorite name enlarged from 64 to 256 chars
                    - Both slash and backslash characters are now allowed
                      in favorites names
                    - 'Add Favorite' dialog will make up default name for
                      all new items
                    - Added new types of favorites - Source files and Tools
                    - Hierarchy of favorites can be significantly extended
                      using folders
                    - Bug fixed - favorite article can be recalled if tab
                      other than 'Contents' is selected
                    - New configuration GUI; hopefully, this one won't have
                      problems with small fonts
                    - Help is now integrated in GUI
                    - Bug fixed - hopefully final fix for 'using
                      Workspace's Help.layout file after closing Workspace'
                    - Added 'Always refresh MSDN Contents' option (probably
                      uninteresting for most users)
                    - MSDN window cannot be closed any more while
                      configuration is storing or restoring
                    - Added proper installer and uninstaller
                    - Added SmartHelp-aware version of WndTabs 2.5 with a
                      bonus feature - tab order remembrance for each
1.1  (28. Mar 2000) - In Add Favourite dialog, Expand item option is now
                      disabled in meaningless situations
                    - 'Always open MSDN' option changed to much more useful
                      'Open MSDN with Workspace'
                    - If the MSDN isn't opened, and you pressed F1-key or
                      selected MSDN Favourite, after opening, MSDN's
                      Contents tree layout will be restored. This feature
                      won't work if you have Visual Assist version earlier
                    - Added Advanced dialog (probably uninteresting for
                      most users)
                    - Bug fixed - crashing while opening Workspace
                    - Bug fixed - using Workspace's Help.layout file after
                      closing Workspace
                    - Some minor internal changes
1.01 (16. Feb 2000) - Added support for at least one more version of MSDN
1.0  (13. Feb 2000) - Initial release


I simply cannot and won't be responsible for any damage made with SmartHelp. I can only hope such scenarios are impossible.


Download add-in - 878 Kb
Download source - 279 Kb


  • msvc/msdn combination locks up sometimes on multiple context help hit

    Posted by Legacy on 09/07/2000 07:00am

    Originally posted by: Pete Story

    First of all, this is a really nice add-in, I have missed the old MSVC / MSDN integration in recent VC versions.

    However ... my trial version of SmartHelp sometimes locks up the MSVC/MSDN combination when context help (F1) hits multiple items, and thus puts up the dialog for me to choose the relevant hit. I just get the hourglass, and that's the end. Task Manager is the only way out, which kinda spoils my day. I can't see what provokes the problem, though it seems to happen consistently with CString -- just open a new file, type cstring, put the cursor on it and hit f1. Anybody else see the same?

    NT 4 SP 5
    VC++ 6.0 Enterprise, SP3 (I think, I can't remember how to make VC tell me what service pack is installed)
    MSDN July 2000


  • International support?

    Posted by Legacy on 09/04/2000 07:00am

    Originally posted by: Michael Denzlein

    I've installed SmartHelp 2.0, MSDN July 2000 (German) and VStudio 6.0 ServicePack 2.
    If I'm trying to "Get from MSDN Library" nothing happens. There are two entries in my MSDN favorites list (name of the dialog register: "Favoriten").

    Any hints? Is it possible that SmartHelp isn't capable to work with a German MSDN?


  • What about SHORTCUTS

    Posted by Legacy on 02/23/2000 08:00am

    Originally posted by: Michael DAVID

    Thank for your add-in, it looks nice and usefull.
    1)Can we use it to make a search on another 'chm' file instead of F1 for MSDN it will be ALT-F1 for MyHelp.CHM

    2) Do you know maybe how to add and merge personal 'chm' to the MSDN ?

    Thank you very much

  • Missing File?

    Posted by Legacy on 02/20/2000 08:00am

    Originally posted by: Steven Carleton

    How can I get a copy of "AddInComm.h"?
    Your stdafx.h is trying to include it and
    its not in your zip file.

  • Win 2000 bug? no...

    Posted by Legacy on 02/16/2000 08:00am

    Originally posted by: Jesse Ezell

    "On Win2000, after MSDN is started, sometimes Visual Studio's window won't be brought to foreground. I think this isn't bug but feature of SetForegroundWindow() function."

    Correct...in a way... New Restrictions have been placed on certain commands in Win2000. A bunch of rules are now in place on when a window can make itself the foreground window (eliminates problems with start menu collapsing just because an app. loads). For a complete, detailed list, check MSDN.

  • Problems adding MSDN help

    Posted by Legacy on 02/15/2000 08:00am

    Originally posted by: Stu


    This is very useful addin! However, I can't seem to add any MSDN items to the favourites.

    This is what I did:
    I chose "Options" and then "Add".
    Selected MSDN and entered a name for the topic.
    Clicked "Start MSDN library".

    This brought up MSDN and I navigated to a topic and displayed it. I returned to the addin, but the button was still showing "Start MSDN" and not "Get from MSDN".

    I've also tried closing MSDN, selecting the tree, selecting the contents pane, but no luck. Am I doing the right thing?

    I'm using Visual Studio 6 sp3 and the MSDN July 99 library.
    The HTML help control (from MSDN Help->About) is version 4.73.8474.

    Also, when I restart a workspace, MSDN appears, but is not expanded to the previously selected topic.


  • You must have javascript enabled in order to post comments.

Leave a Comment
  • Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

Most Popular Programming Stories

More for Developers

RSS Feeds

Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date