Back to MS Help 2.x Info
Last update: 17-Nov-2006
The main components of MS Help 2.x engine are: hxds.dll and hxvz.dll
Installed to: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Help\
Both files are COM so require registration.
Hxds.dll - Microsoft Help Data Services
Hxvz.dll - Microsoft Help Visuals (Visual components such as TOC and Index)
DLL Versions Release Date Released with Products 2.0.9???.0 Mar-2001 First public disclosure of Microsoft Help 2.0 by Shane McRoberts (MS) at WinWriters 2001 conference. MVP Paul O'Rear (now MS) and MVP Cheryl Lockett Zubak also gave presentations on MS Help 2. There were several Alpha and Beta drops throughout 2001. 2.1.9466.0 Jan-2002
- Visual Studio .NET 2002 (v7.0)
- .NET Framework 1.0
- Office XP (Developer edition)
- MSDN Library - Updated to Help 2.1 with the release of VS 2002
Note that 9466 is also the same build number for VS and DExplore (H2 viewer).
- Visual Studio NET 2003 (v7.1)
- .NET Framework 1.1
- BizTalk Server 2004 Standard Edition (I've never seen this)
- MSDN Library - Updated to Help 2.2 with the release of VS 2003
Appears to fixed some of the disappearing TOC problems.
- Visual Studio 2005 (v8.0)
- MSDN Library 2005 - Updated to Help 2.5 with the release of VS 2005
- Microsoft Document Explorer 2005 **
This version now supports plug-in order. See "TOC Update Whitepaper" H2 FAQ.
Also MS now advise we plug our 3rd party collections into MS.VSIPCC.* instead of MS.VSCC.* (with VS 2005 ms.vsipcc.v80 collection is plugged into the ms.vscc.v80 base collection). This keeps the 3rd party plug-ins together so they can be easily isolated.
Also HxConv.exe (used to convert HTML Help projects to MS Help 2.x projects) no longer supports conversion of .CHM files (converting .HHP files is still OK). See H2 FAQ for more info.
** Although this item appears in Add/Remove Programs, DExplore can still only be installed by installing a product such as MSDN Library 2005. Note if you wanted to repair H2 corruption you could go to this item in Add/Remove Programs, run it and select REPAIR. Note also that to uninstall H2 completely you need to uninstall all products that use H2 as well as this item.
Note: Later versions of Technet also install MS help 2.x engine.
MSDN Library ships quarterly (Jan, Apr, Jul and Oct).
The Jan 2005 MSDN shipment states: This edition of MSDN library is the last edition that will automatically integrate in VS .NET 2003 and last edition that includes documentation for both VS 2003 and .NET Framework 1.1. Subsequent editions of MSDN Library will be designed to integrate with VS 2005. Also future editions of MSDN Library will install side-by-side. ie. Jan 2006 MSDN Library will install for VS 2003, and April 2006 MSDN Library will, or later, will install for VS 2005.
One user found that instabilities with Help 2.1 (disappearing TOC) were fixed by updating to Help 2.2 (ie. by installing .NET Framework 1.1 SDK or latest MSDN Library). However the MS Help team don't recall fixing any major bugs in 2.2. Hey if it works that's the main thing.