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Visual Studio Toolbox: Help Viewer Enhancements in Visual Studio 11

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When you view offline help in Visual Studio, you use the Help Viewer. In this episode, Paul O'Rear shows us some significant and welcome improvements to the Help Viewer in Visual Studio 11, including

  • Default install of a minimum level of documentation [01:30]
  • Choosing between online and local help from within Visual Studio [04:45]
  • Adding additional help content [06:00]
  • Dockable windows [12:15]
  • Filtering help content [13:15]
  • Creating a list of help content favorites [16:00]
  • Filtering the help index [18:25]
  • Searching for help content [19:40]

 

 

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  • MagicAndre1981Magic​Andre1981 xperf addicted

    the new search is nice, but the videos shows me 1 issue. If I search for C# code samples why does it show the VB sample? It should only show the C# sample because I've searched for it. I've I want VB, I search for VB.

    https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=128fc518635be2dc#cid=128FC518635BE2DC&id=128FC518635BE2DC!645

     

  • Wow, I'm glad I caught this video. I was one of the complainers when VS2010 first came out and this is a huge turnaround. Well done and thank you for vastly improving the offline experience!

    I really like the integrated management experience now. Love the code: and title: search features as well as the Contains and Contents filtering. It's very nice to see the offline experience having things that online does not!  Well done! 

    I really appreciate the docking framework changes as well. Very nice. 

    Just playing with it now and it seems that the "near" keyword works again as well. Wahoo!!!

    Could you post the URL for the 2010 content? It did not show well in the video for me.

    John

  • Paul O'RearPAORear Paul O'Rear

    @schroedl:John - thanks for the kind comments!

    Please note that the new filtering features do not quite work with the VS 2010 content. Once we bring some of that content forward to VS 11, it will work. There were some index changes between VS 2010 and VS 11 that mean the VS 2010 content "as is" will not support those new features.

    In the Manage experience you can switch to "Disk" and enter http://services.mtps.microsoft.com/serviceapi/products and you will be able to access the VS 2010 content.

    Hope that helps!

    Paul O'Rear

  • Paul O'RearPAORear Paul O'Rear

    @MagicAndre1981:Hello Andre - good eyes! The only reason it was showing VB was because I had that as my most recently selected tab. As a C# dev, you will likely have selected the C# code snippet tab in your topics, and that is what you will see when you load a page.

    The search is still accurate, but we are not trying to force a specific tab when we load the page from the search results. Basically, the search operators are only filtering what is returned by the search query, and when you launch a page from the search results it is simply loading the page.

    Paul O'Rear

  • kristinakristina

    The biggest problem I got in my VS10 SP1 is I can't open pages in browser. I am not like the way to see half window for reading.Before it I am able to read the page in firefox or Ie.

    Do you thing Their should be way to open page and read them in better way (through browser). Help-viewer is not looking native nor they have good thing to easily adjusted for reader.

    Thanks
    Kristina

  • @kristina: install H3Viewer, it should be the best "help experience" for VS2010 sp1

    http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/4c360395-6afd-4087-94ed-cbcbebe04a20

  • Brian Barkeraldie_lab aldie_lab

    I've got a concern with the "no docs in the box" implementation. When I installed VS11, I had no clue that it was going to immediately download hundreds of megabytes of "default" documentation, which exceeded my Internet Service Provider's limit for the day and left me without the internet for 24 hours.

    1. If there's a minimum set of documents, they should be "in the box". This at least lets me start using the help immediately.

    2. If you are going to download something, the user needs to know in advance, the user should be told how big the download is, and the user needs to be able to approve or disapprove.

  • Hey Paul,

    The viewer is definitely coming along, but it looks like the content is still lacking.  BTW, have you thought about online use of the Help Viewer?  Where the help viewer would access on online help service instead of the local help service?  It's not something I would use very often, but it might be nice for those who don't mind the delay of using online help.  Plus, it would allow for a single experience for all viewers and allow the exact same favorites to be used both online and offline.

    Take it easy...

  • looks nice but more refinement needed

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