F1 leads to "Cannot find requested topic on your computer"

It has happened on several occasions that Help Viewer doesn't recognize the word I have selected. Instead, I come to the Search tab in Help Viewer where the text "Cannot find requested topic on your computer" is shown.

But if I enter the word in the Index tab, TALLYING e.g., the word is recognized and information is shown.


  • Which version of Visual Studio, Visual COBOL product and Patch Update level are you using?

    I tested this against the latest Visual COBOL for Visual Studio 2019 5.0 PU7 and it seems to work fine.

    Example: If I click on inspect and press F1 it will display the help for the Inspect statement. If I click on tallying and press F1 it displays the help for Unstring, because that also uses the tallying phrase.

           working-storage section.
           01 my-field    pic x(20) value "12345".
           01 my-count    pic 9(5) value zeroes.
           procedure division.
               inspect my-field tallying my-count for characters before "3"
               display my-count
  • I have VS 2019, VC version 5.0.00077 (which should include patch update 7).

    If I set Help preference in VS to "Launch in browser", then it works, but if I change it to "Launch in Help Viewer" then it doesn't work.

    If I choose "Add and remove help content" from the Help menu in VS I see that Visual COBOL is installed. The only strange thing is that it is Micro Focus Visual COBOL 4.0, and not 5.0. On the other hand, I can't see any option to download and install help for 5.0.

  • Verified Answer

    You can download the help for 5.0 from the Product Updates web site where you download the Patch Updates from.

    Each Patch Update has its own Help file called, vc50docsvs2019.zip.

    Download and unzip this file into the folder C:\Program Files (86)\Micro Focus\Visual COBOL\Help and then follow the instructions in the docs under the section for Local Help here: