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Integrating DotNetZipLib-v1.8.chm into VS2008

Dec 1, 2009 at 6:38 PM

How do you integrate the DotNetZipLib-1.8.chm file into the VS2008 help system?  The Help file references instructions within the FAQ but there are no instructions there.

Dec 2, 2009 at 3:54 AM
Edited Dec 2, 2009 at 4:10 AM

Randy, I don't remember putting anything in the FAQ describing how to integrate the DotNetZip help into the VS2008 help system.

In fact, it was news to me that this was possible. 

I looked into it, and from what I learned, it's not hard to do. It requires a separate help file format - .HxS, not .CHM - which I have not, up until now, produced or included into the DotNetZip Devkit download.



Dec 2, 2009 at 4:07 AM
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Dec 2, 2009 at 6:43 AM

I've implemented "integrated help" in v1.9.0.31.  (se the workitem)  It's not in v1.8.  This means when you press F1, you will get the DotNetZip help to open up from within Visual Studio. 

I looked in the devkit and in the readme, there is a note about using the DotNetZip intellisense in Visual Studio.  Maybe this is what you meant by "integrated help."  This is done with the intellisense file, the DotNetZip .XML file.   To use intellisense for DotNetZip within Visual Studio, just add the DotNetZip.xml file into the same directory where you've installed the DotNetZip .DLL file.

Dec 2, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Thank you, I will try that and let you know if I have any problems.  How close is v1.9.0.31 to release?

Dec 2, 2009 at 7:43 PM

It's available now.  I posted v1.9.0.31 just before posting the answer to you yesterday.


Dec 7, 2009 at 8:17 PM

Thanks for the update.  I downloaded v1.9.0.31 and put the Ionic.Zip.Reduced.dll and Ionic.Zip.Reduced.xml at the root of VS2008 Solution.  I referenced the Ionic.Zip.Reduced.dll in my project.  When I highlighted a Ionic.Zip object and pressed F1 the windows help opened up with an error saying - "Information Not Found" in the right hand window where you would normally see help for what you had highlighted.  Do you have any suggestions or thoughts for what I am doing incorrectly?  One thing that I wasn't sure of was your reference from above where you say - "To use intellisense for DotNetZip within Visual Studio, just add the DotNetZp.xml file into the same directory where you've installed the DotNetZip.dll file." What do you mean by installed?  Do you mean litterally installed as in running an installation program or do you mean installed as in copy the file to your project folder and reference it from within your application?

Thanks for your help and assistance,

Dec 8, 2009 at 5:12 AM

Hey - by "installed" I mean "put" or "copied."  You need to put the XML file in the same directory where you put the file.

To get the F1 help, you will need to run the new "integrated help" MSI, that is included with the devkit download for v1.9.0.31.    Within the devkit zipfile that you can download, look in the folder called  VS2008-IntegratedHelp .   There is an MSI file in that folder called DotNEtZip-HelpIntegration.msi .   Run it to install the F1-help for DotNetZip.


Dec 11, 2009 at 6:51 PM

I was missing the fact that I needed to run the "integrated help" MSI that was included with the devkit for v1.9.0.31.  Once I had it installed everything worked like a charm.  It took quite a while for the help to come up the first time that I highlighted one of the DotNetZip library objects and then pressed F1, but after the first time ever since the help has come right up.  Thank you for taking the time to figure out how to create a VS2008 integrated help file and include it with the DotNetZip library.  Could you point me to the reference you used that explained how to do it?  I took a look at the solution for creating the "integrated help" MSI that was include with the source files, but I was quickly, hopelessly lost.  Thanks for creating a great Open Source Library for processing zip files it has saved many hours of work.

Dec 11, 2009 at 7:14 PM

Yeah, the integrated help projects in visual studio are a little hacky.  Very simple to set up though: 

Within Visual Studio. . .
File > New Project.
Select Other Project Types > Extensibility > Help Integration Wizard
Leave “Setup project” selected
Choose your Visual Studio version.  Click Next.
Add the Html Help 2 file (*.hxs).  For DotNetZip, this was the output of the Sandcastle Helpfile Builder.
Configure the last two steps as you wish.
Build the project.

This produces an MSI.

Each developer then needs to run the MSI to install your help file into Visual Studio.