help file question

yup, another help file question for the forum!

i’ve searched and tried the various solutions offered, but just can’t seem to make it all work. close, but i always get the standard mac help instead…

for my project named “NEED”, i’ve got a folder inside English.lproj named NEED HELP which contains an simple html page with a few anchors to itself, and the required meta data statement inside the head tag: . i used the Help Indexer which seems to work fine. the Unarchive utility shows that the anchors were indexed.

in the info.plist file for my project, i added the key “Help Book directory path” from the pulldown, plus it’s content as “NEED HELP”, and then added the “Help file” key, with the same content.

when i run and build (with cleaned targets), and select Help in the menu, i DO get a help viewer window, but it goes to the standard “Mac Help” index.

changing the “Help File” key content to anything else gives the same results, making me think i’m not referencing the file correctly somehow.

any hints?

many thanks, for this, and for all the useful things i’m learning from the forum!


Model: iMac dual
AppleScript: ASS v.3.1.3
Browser: Safari 531.9
Operating System: Mac OS X (10.5)

an example:

my info.plist (Xcode) says:


inside the app, I have a folder named “myHelpFolder”
inside this folder, I have a file “index .html” which contains:

bla bla bla [...] [...]

this html page must contains your CFBundleHelpBookName in its meta
and (don’t ask me why) your page must be encoded as iso-8859-1 (utf-8 does not work at home)

last, a tip:
if you have an error on your page, Helpviewer will tell to you “internet connexion requiered” (even if it’s not true)
so you cannot leave an error inside an html page from help, it will not be displayed :frowning:
(use safari and its “developpement” menu item (or Firefox and a plug-ins) to eradicate errors first !)



thanks, but that doesn’t work either, for me.

i duplicated everything you did, with the exception of the Info.plist…

i’m not sure we’re using the same version of Xcode (i’m using 3.1.3) , or i’m looking in the wrong place. my Info.plist (not InfoPlist.strings) does not have your


but instead, from inside Xcode’s plist editor, there’s a pulldown key type selector. from those there are three that look like they’re valid, and i’ve got them set like this:

Help Book directory path myHelpFolder
Help File myHelpIdentifiant
Help Book main page CONTENT attribute myHelpIdentifiant

in this case, “myHelpIdentifiant” is now the name of my page, and the meta tag inside reflects that change.

i moved my help code out of English.lproj, cleaned the targets and re-built, then ran the Help Indexer. still get the same mac help page. if i changed the name to index.html or kept it myHelpIdentifiant.html, it gives the same results. if i change the Help File key to index, i get a generic mac help search results page for “index” …

most all the examples i’ve seen in the forum have a different plist than mine. is it the version of Xcode or am i using the wrong thing?

thanks for your help!

I’m using the 3.1.2 (I didn’t notice the upgrade!)

If you select “Help Book directory path”, the key written by Xcode will be “CFBundleHelpBookFolder” (so no concern, it’s just a more readable way to write it in Xcode ;))

maybe, I don’t know equivalences. Open your plist inside a text editor (I use Text Wrangler)
add these keys, save your file and you will see in Xcode what are the equivalences.

sorry but I don’t use localizations for Help location. I use a generic html home page file that redirects the user depending on his language (this page contents the help id).
In Xcode I add a folder, in this folder I have all my html files. So after build, my folder is on the first level of /Contents/Ressources/.
(and I’m too lazy to use Help Indexer :P)

just an info (web language): you don’t need to specify the file, just specify the folder (and the web client will add a “slash”, will search for an index.php / index.html / index.htm file)
maybe you write a too “full” path?

For a full example, DL my app and take a look to my plist and help folder (the first index.html will be the intersting one for you).



hmm. yes, thanks! i copied your example html meta data and removed the “Help File” key. both of those changes and it now works.

thanks for letting me download your app - looks nice, a lot of quality work there.



Hi Guys,

The difference you’re seeing in the info.plist keys is because one is the raw key and one is the human readable form of the raw key. I’m not sure when, but recently in xcode the human readable form has become the default for viewing the keys.

If you open the info.plist in the Property List Editor (PLE) application you can easily see both forms. Right-click on the info.plist in the source list of your project. Select “Open With Finder”. Info.plist will open in PLE. Under the View menu of PLE select “Show Raw Keys/Values” and the keys will change back and forth between the raw keys and the human readable form of the raw keys.

Select one of the keys in PLE. Next to the key name you’ll see an up-down triangle. You can click on that and a popup list is displayed showing many of the possible keys that you can add to the info.plist file… it’s an easy way to see what’s available to add to it.

I don’t know of any way to switch between the 2 forms in xcode. If anyone knows how to switch between the 2 forms in xcode please let me know.