Location of VCVS 2013 help files

I've been trying to run down why the Micro Focus product help for Visual COBOL for Visual Studio 2013 displays as raw HTML in the Windows Help Viewer 2.1 on my domain-joined Windows 7, IE 11 PC for a month now.  So far I've been told/have read that it has something to do with my account "inheriting" enablement of IE ESC from the servers on our network.  Since the **ONLY** symptom of enabled IE ESC on my PC is the display of the VCVS help content in Help Viewer as raw HTML, no pop-up dialogs about blocked sites or IE ESC warnings, I wanted to try the commonly suggested work around of adding the location of the help files to either the Local Intranet or Trusted Sites zones in IE.  But all I can find are the HTML help files for Enterprise Server.

So where are the HTML help files for the rest of VCVS put when you do a default install?

  • Hello,

    I suggest downloading the Visual COBOL's online help directly from the Micro Focus Documentation page:

    1. Go to http://supportline.microfocus.com/productdoc.aspx
    2. Select "Micro Focus Developer - COBOL and Software Developer Tools" for --Product family--
    3. Select "Visual COBOL" for --Product--
    4. Select "2.3" for --Release--
    5. Scroll down to the the Online Help (HTML Help format) section
    6. Click Visual COBOL for Visual Studio 2013 to download the help file, which is VC_23_for_VS2013.chm

    If you click the link that says "Having problems opening these files?" right above the list to download the help files, you will find the following instructions:

    If you cannot open HTML Help (CHM) files after downloading them, use one of the following methods:

    Method 1

    1. Double-click the .chm file.
    2. In the Open File-Security Warning dialog box, click to clear the Always ask before opening this file check box.
    3. Click Open.

    Method 2

    1. Right-click the .chm file, and then click Properties.
    2. Click Unblock.
    3. Double-click the .chm file to open the file.

    For more information, refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base article 902225.


  • Unfortunately, this is a US Navy PC and is locked down tight.  The program that reads .chm files is physically blocked from execution by a Host-Based Security System.  I've tried this and I get an "access denied" dialog (referencing the program, not the file).

    We also don't have the privileges or permission to install the programs to our PCs that use the other type/format of documentation on the same page you referenced, so that's not an option.

    Windows Help Viewer 2.1, executed from either the Start button or from Visual Studio Help menu, finds the installed MF documentation.  It just displays it as raw HTML.  While my command's Systems and Information Assurance staff are (still) trying to figure out how this supposedly server-only IE ESC is affecting my Windows 7 PC, I figured I would try this other work around.  I won't have to get permission for somebody to install anything.

    So, where are the HTML help files installed on my PC so that I can add the path to one of the IE zones?

  • Hi. The product documentation for Visual COBOL for Visual Studio will be installed into a help subfolder of the Visual COBOL installation folder. If you have installed into the default folder structure, this would be as follows:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Micro Focus\Visual COBOL\help

    Note that the product documentation isn't supplied in HTML or HTML Help format, but as a Microsoft Help Viewer format file with an associated manifest file, so in the help subfolder you should find the manifest (helpcontentsetup.msha)
    and the product documentation (MicroFocusVisualCOBOL.cab). Depending on the version of Visual COBOL for Visual Studio that you are using, you might have an additional documentation file, MicroFocus_COBOL_RuntimeServices.cab.

    To load the contents of MicroFocusVisualCOBOL.cab:

    1. Open the documentation for Visual COBOL by clicking Start > Micro Focus Visual COBOL > Documentation. The exact options on the Start menu could be different from this, depending on the version of Visual COBOL for Visual Studio that you are using.
    2. In the right-hand pane click the Manage Content tab.
    3. Check the Disk radio button.
    4. Click the "..." button next to the entry field.
    5. Navigate to the folder containing the MicroFocusVisualCOBOL.cab and helpcontentsetup.msha files.
    6. Select helpcontentsetup.msha and click Open.
    7. In the content list, click Add next to the Visual COBOL entry.
    8. Click the Update button in the bottom right corner of the window.
    9. Click Yes on any dialog boxes that ask for permission to continue.

    When the process has finished, the left-hand pane should include the top-level entry for the Micro Focus Visual COBOL product documentation.

    I hope this resolves your problem.

    Mike Wilkin

  • Verified Answer

    Thank you for explaining the components of this new(er) help system, but no.  The documentation was properly installed on disk and had already been added to the content tab.  The only problem is that it displayed in the Help Viewer as raw HTML.

    One of my office mates with admin privileges on workstations and more knowledge of these things either got tired of listening to me whine and complain, or took pity on me, and started poking around on the internet and my machine.  He saw something in some forum about an "Enable MIME sniffing" policy, and found that it was enabled on my PC.

    He had our Systems shop disable this policy on my machine and everything is GOOD!

    God knows what other policies were enabled or disabled by the Navy along with this one, or what they were trying to accomplish, but disabling this one fixed my problem.

    Thanks, everyone, for the input.