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JamesHuntington-5211 avatar image
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JamesHuntington-5211 asked julia555-9256 answered

Is the latest version of Excel 365 blocking HtmlHelp??

We use compiled html help (.CHM files) and the HtmlHelp API to provide help for users of our Microsoft Excel add-in. But this this week we've suddenly had a few customers complain that the help doesn't open. They click the link and nothing happens.

Testing this, I can see calls to the HtmlHelp function now return a HWND of NULL. This still works fine in older versions of Excel that we support, the help appears and we can the HWND of the help window. So, because it works in older versions I can only assume this is a change in Office 365, rather than a Windows 10 change. The CHM files themselves can still be opened using Windows File Explorer and the same API calls in a standalone application works fine.

Are any other add-ins developers having this problem? Is this to prevent security flaws in the browser used by HtmlHelp? I would move to standard html help and display it in a browser, but we have a few interactive tutorials that send messages back to our application to demonstrate certain steps. That wouldn't be possible with browser based help. Anyone else having this issue? Is this an official change from Microsoft?

office-addins-dev
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Hello,

We have this problem too. There is no help in excel addin but net application is working well.

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julia555-9256 avatar image
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julia555-9256 answered

Yes, we have the same problem!

We have been using HtmlHelp function to call Help file for a long time and have never had any problems.
Suddenly, as you mentioned, HtmlHelp function returns a HWND of NULL!

Can anyone from Microsoft help?

Thank you,
Julia

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KevinCarpenter-2214 avatar image
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KevinCarpenter-2214 answered JamesHuntington-5211 commented

We're having similar issues with ACCESS VBA. the hhctrl.ocx checks out as fine. NO IDEA what changed, but suddenly our context help fusing the helphtml api doesn't work.

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I guess Office 365 is intercepting the HtmlHelp API call now, to prevent it's use for security reasons. It would be nice to know, then we can make alternative plans. At the moment we've worked around this by developing a COM server that runs out of process to launch our help, then send commands to perform tutorial actions back to our application. An extremely complicated solution, that we shouldn't need to spend time on, but our users can't wait for Microsoft to have the courtesy to inform their developers.

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KevinCarpenter-2214 answered julia555-9256 commented

rolling back office to a Feb 16 version fixed the issue for our Access app. using 365.
from command prompt as administrator....."C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\OfficeC2RClient.exe" /update user updatetoversion=16.0.12730.20236 rolled it back - then be sure and turn off automatic updates. worked like a charm.

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Kevin, thank you!!

Unfortunately our clients can’t ask their IT to roll back Office...

Please, can anyone from Microsoft confirm that this issue will be fixed in the next update?





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julia555-9256 avatar image
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julia555-9256 answered

Context help via HtmlHelp( ) has suddenly started working on at least few computers in our company!

Quiet Windows/Office update??

Does anyone know any details?

Anyway, many thanks to Microsoft!

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