SmartHelp 1.01

by Gorin Mitrovic

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. However, there is one additional feature - you can also recall other types of documentation you use, such as CHM, Win Help and simple text files, Microsoft Word ) Documents, Adobe Acrobat ) Portable Document Files and HTML. You can also open Browser Database files (.bsc) from there - for example, I find it useful to quickly load MFC.bsc.

Known issues:

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.

After exiting Visual Studio, don't close MSDN Library by yourself - let Visual Studio do it for you (it should take up to ten seconds).

One of the criteria for detecting MSDN Library is it's window caption. If your version's window title doesn't begin with MSDN Library, you'll have to specify it in registry - add HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Utilities\SmartHelp\MSDNTitle String value, and set it to few first letters/words of MSDN window's caption. Also, please notify me by EMail, so I could add support for your version.


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

SmartHelp Version History:

    1.1 : March 28, 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 than
  • 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 February 16, 2000
  • Added support for at least one more version of MSDN Library

    1.0 February 13, 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

This article was originally published on Saturday Aug 26th 2000
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