Class HelpBuilderHelpProvider

Customization of the Windows Forms HelpProvider class that provides the additional ability to pop up Help Builder from a running application via a hot key, popping up in the context of the current Help topic. This feature is extremely useful as you can then edit topic information in a context sensitive manner at runtime when the application is running. It allows developers to hook up help topics to controls and forms, and then let the content creation staff handle creating the actual content for the application while they are running the application.

The functionality is hooked up simply by using this component on a form instead of using a standard .NET HelpProvider component and enabling the the static EnableHelpBuilderHelpProvider property which globally enables the HelpBuilder provider to pop up Help Builder on a hot key. With the property set to false, this component behaves just like a standard HelpProvider object.

The Component also provides a couple of useful helper methods to bring up Help Builder at runtime dynamically. OpenHelpBuilderWindow() will open Help Builder with a specified topic passed based on a Pk. ShowHelpBuilder will pop up Help Builder based on the currently selected control on a form given the form includes a Help Provider. You can use it to provide custom Help Builder functionality to your own applications. Source code is provided so you can customize this functionality even further if you choose.

For more information on setting up the HelpBuilderHelpProvider in your own applications, please see Using the HelpBuilderHelpProvider.



This class is available as source code and compiled binary and can be downloaded from here:

Class Members




Opens a Help Builder Window by HelpString Id. This Id maps to a

public Void OpenHelpBuilderWindow(String HelpId)


This method figures out what the selected control on the form is, retrieves its HelpString value and tries to display Help Builder in a context sensitive manner.

public Void ShowHelpBuilder()


Static field that determines whether the event hooks are established. If false no events are hooked and the Help Provider acts just like the standard Windows Help Provider component.


Optional Key for the key combination you want to capture for a key combination.
This value is the key following a modifier. Default: Alt-F1,
this value is F1.


Optional HotKey Modifier (Keys.Alt/Keys.Menu/Keys.Ctrl)


The hosting form for this HelpBuilderHelpProvider. This property must
be set as it acts as the 'hook' that hooks up the hot key trapping for
the form.


Namespace: Westwind.Windows.Controls
Assembly: helpbuilderhelpprovider.dll

See also:

Visual Studio .Net Integration | Importing .NET Types and Assemblies

© West Wind Techologies, 1996-2019 • Updated: 04/04/18
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