XamlHelp for WPF

XamlHelp is a new XAML-based help format and runtime for WPF applications. See also SilverlightHelp (XamlHelp for SL) and PhoneHelp for Windows Phone 7.

RoboHelp Support ???

A XamlHelp help system is managed by our freely redistributable WPF Help Runtime. We are thinking about adding support to this runtime to support help systems generated by RoboHelp - please take our quick-poll

Latest News - MetroHelp - XamlHelp for Windows 8 Metro

See also MetroHelp - our new Help Engine for Windows 8 Metro apps!

The XamlHelp Survey

Help us improve - take the XamlHelp mini survey!

Highlights

  • Single file solution, help system contained in one file package file (.xamlhelpz)
  • XAML-based. Your help system will use the same look and feel as the app itself
  • Two authoring solutions - Twister4Word and Twister
  • Built-in support for Google Analytics to get stats on which help topics are viewed, topics that are never viewed, what users search for etc. See the HelpStats app by Web-Analysis.net. The Google Analytics support for the help system also enables it for the SL or WPF app hosting the help, enables you to quickly get usage reports for your app using the Google Analytics site or the AppStats tool by Web-Analysis.net
  • Single assembly solution, link to the help runtime assembly and you’re good to go
  • Supports the usual help system features: TOC, Search, Index as well as a Favorites page
  • Ranked search support
  • Context-sensitive help support
  • Variables - Support for both compile-time and run-time variables
  • Conditional text - both at compile-time and at run-time
  • Page transitions - use different page transitions to make the help more interesting
  • DocViewer - we recently released a standalone Windows app, the DocViewer, for viewing both regular WPF help and help systems embedded in Silverlight and WP7 "XAP files.

Using XamlHelp in a WPF app

Using XamlHelp in your SL app is quite trivial. See this for more details.

Why use XAML for Help?

  • One single XAML resource file can control both the app UI and the help system
  • The Help blends in with the rest of the UI since it’s using the same renderer. Since the help files are XAML they are rendered by the same rendering pipeline as the rest of the UI and can be part of XAML clipping and animations
  • The XAML renderer is smaller and faster than the Web Browser control
  • Runtime variables, you can use variables in a help topic that is replaced at runtime with any XAML, for example you can at runtime update the help with UI controls that mimic you regular UI. For example, a help topic can refer to a button in the UI and actually host a working copy of that button for the user to click. Live charts would be another example candidate for runtime variables
  • Support for advanced XAML graphics such round borders and gradient brushes etc, which are not part of HTML/CSS
  • You can use XAML controls within topics to make them more “interesting”, for example “Expander controls” for “Drop Down Text blocks”
  • Use of XAML animations to make topics look more interesting

How to deploy

Deploying XamlHelp is pretty straight forward. Click here for how to deploy in an WPF App