Delphi Help Expert

 Delphi  Comments Off on Delphi Help Expert
Feb 032013

Back when Delphi 2005 was released everybody and his brother complained about the new help system. While up to Delphi 7 it used WinHelp the new version used the Microsoft Document Explorer. The new system was not only slow and buggy, the content also wasn’t up to par with that from Delphi 7. The content issue has been resolved in recent versions, but it is still very slow and at least in some of the Delphi versions the DExplorer task tends to hang after the window is closed preventing Windows from shutting down.

But I digress… I got so annoyed by the new help system, that I wrote an expert for the IDE that opened the old Delphi 7 help when pressing Shift+F1. Later on, I added more options like opening any WinHelp or HtmlHelp file and also open a web browser with the results of various search engines. I also made experts for all Delphi versions from Delphi 2005 to XE3. The latest addition was inspired by the superb Delphi Praxis Help Booster: The expert no longer opens a browser window in a separate task but uses the Delphi welcome page instead.

The project is now on OSDN (and no longer on SourceForge). To compile your own expert, use (Tortoise)Svn to download the sources, open the package for your Delphi version and just hit compile and install. A new entry in the Help menu will let you configure what to do on Shift+F1, Ctrl+F1, Alt+F1 and Ctrl+Alt+F1.