Thursday, January 28, 2010

StExBar Regular Expression File Renamer

I use the free utility StExBar on all my computers.  It is a toolbar that adds useful utilities to Windows Explorer.  This is a sample of its regular expression file renaming capability.


Another variation.


Note:  On some computers StExBar was not available to Windows Explorer until I added it to the Windows Taskbar and/or Internet Explorer.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Help & Manual Publishing Detail

My documentation partner discovered a detail worth knowing about Help & Manual Topic IDs and their corresponding names in HTML Help.  He wrote about it here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Easier Dr. Explain to Help & Manual #1 of ?

The default Dr. Explain “Generate HTML” and Help & Manual “Import” settings leave each imported topic in a bordered table.  The table looks fine as Dr. Explain output, but it does not look good inside the Help & Manual generated pages with their navigation system.

The easy way to get rid of the table border is to get rid of the table on import.  It is a single-column table so this import option works great.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Using ESET Smart Security 4

If Interactive Mode is on and a new program requests to use the internet this dialog will appear.


Select the desired checkboxes if the program is expected and click Allow.  If Administrator rights are needed and you are not running with them a dialog will appear.  Enter the appropriate administrator info and continue.


Win7 Install on a Dell Latitude E5400

A Custom install (not Upgrade) from WinXP.  Installing Win7-64 Home Premium.  Initial install and updates went fine.  I used an admin user for install to save work later.  Next steps.

  • Created & tested the User account.
  • Radmin for working on the laptop from my desktop.  Not only is it a better screen and keyboard, I can take screenshots and blog them here.
  • Fences.  I drag the install programs into their own fence for ease of deleting later, without the risks of deleting a wanted shortcut.
  • Activated Windows.
  • Firefox.
  • ESET Smart Security.  As expected it shut down Radmin remote access.  Setting the UI to Advanced and turning on the Firewall’s Interactive Filtering Mode brought up a dialog to let Radmin work.
  • Opera.
  • Chrome.  No shortcut for the User account.  Installed also in User account.
  • SnagIt
  • TortoiseSVN
  • Office
  • Acrobat

How Fences Installation Handles the .NET Framework


Using Live Writer with Posterous provides an easy way to post to a blog: email.  I am trying to figure out how to use Windows Live Writer with posterous since I already use it for blog posting.  Googling brought up some links. 

But I don’t see mention of which Blog Provider to choose.  Posting this for emailing the link to posterous help.


User Name for VMware Easy Install

I used the default user “Mark” for the “Easy” VMware installs of Win7-x86 and Win7-64On the install that worked this led to extra steps:  Creating “Admin” as an Administrator and converting “Mark” to a Standard User. 

In the future use user name “Admin” for the Easy Install.  Don’t use “Administrator” because it may conflict with the built-in Administrator account, if that still exists in Win7.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Win7 32 Bit VMware Install



Using key:  VVXYB-xxxxx-…


Installed fine, and the Downloads box never did anything.


After Shutdown & Snapshot, Updates.


… just one issue.  Apparently after the VMware “Easy Install” is still trying to log on to account Mark every boot.  After creating Admin and User accounts, and giving user Mark a password, this shows up on boot.





After the Admin logon “Log off” shows the expected screen.  Going to ignore this for now.


Win7 64 Bit VMware Install


Using this key: VTQB4-xxxxx-…


This never did anything…  Killing it.  (ESET didn’t block it.)




Can’t find anything in vmware kb or communities.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Firefox Add-on for Google Docs

Update:  Try clicking on the image a couple times before installing the Add-on.  The built-in zoom feature is working on my test computer.  Was it a bug or operator error?  ;-)

This Firefox Add-on …


… has a right-click option that lets large images be zoomed in Firefox.  Otherwise many largish images have to be downloaded to be zoomed large enough to read the text.


Google apps Setup Snips

The Admin Control Panel

From Google Apps Admin Help Section 3

You can always access your account with the URLs below:

  • Control Panel:
  • Mail:
  • Calendar:
  • Docs:
  • Sites:

In each case, replace "" with your actual domain name.


Create custom URLs and web address mappings

For more convenient access to Google services and sites, you can create a custom URL or a web address mapping. In this section, both will be covered.

  • A custom URL provides an easily remembered URL that redirects to the actual URL for the service login page.
    For example: redirects to
  • A web address map actually changes the URL for a given site. Web address maps do not redirect.
    For example:


Do these colored items later if needed.

Do you want to set up web address mapping?

Web address mapping allows you to host Google Sites at specific URLs.
For example, you can use


From Help Section 4

Do you want to set up a domain alias?

When creating a domain alias, mail addressed to and will be delivered to the inbox of
Many organizations need to allow users to send and receive mail from additional domain names. For instance, you may also own a .org or .net version of your domain.

In Google Apps these additional or alternate domain names are called domain aliases. If you own the domains, and, you can create a primary Google Apps account for and add and as domain aliases to


If you're interested, new labs will be posted to the Gmail Blog as they're released.

The best option to receive notifications and configure mailto links is to use Google Talk. By default, you'll be alerted to incoming messages.

  1. Download and install Google Talk. Download it now.
  2. To have Google handle mailto links, click Settings in Google Talk.
  3. In the General section check Open Gmail when I click on email links.
    Note that not all mailto links will be handled by Google Talk, such as links outside of a web browser. For further integration with the Windows desktop or alternative options for maillto links, consider a third party product in the
    Google Solutions Marketplace.


From Help Section 5

Do you want to set up calendar resources?

Calendar resource scheduling allows users to reserve shared spaces or devices, such as a conference room or a projector.


Understand shared contacts

In order to collaborate with users at your domain more easily, you can turn on contact sharing. This creates what is commonly referred to as a global address list. By default, once enabled, all users in the domain are included in shared contacts. The next step in this section discusses the process of adding additional addresses to shared contacts.


From Help Section 10

To learn about new features and tips and tricks for using Google Apps, subscribe to these resources:


hi mom

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dr. Explain “Single Pages”

Dr. Explain technique for updating & adding individual topics in Help & Manual.

Export Options

Make the DrE output as close as possible to the desired layout in H&M.


The Key: DrE’s Topic Property

If the Topic is set the .htm and all the .png’s begin with the Topic.



Import Into H&M


I was surprised that the images automatically went into the Topics subfolder I wanted them in.  In my test H&M project I had to move them from the project’s root folder.  Yet another area of H&M I haven’t figured out yet…  ;-)

Next DrE / H&M Project

Before first import into H&M set up DrE topics logically.  Include a # in the Topic to make it easier to delete obsolete images.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dell M6400 Win7 Sewell USB Video

Installed driver, reboot, first connect fine.  (Via 7-port hub.)


Plugged in another.  As expected won’t run 1920x1200.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

9-Monitor Desktop Monitor #s Update

Previous Monitor Numbers:

After DisplayLink update Win7 Monitor #s match UltraMon’s.


Going to install UltraMon 3.0.9 RC.

After UltraMon RC Install, Shutdown, Unplug USBs, Startup, and Deliberate One-At-A-Time-After-Fully-Up USB Connects

  • Win7 Monitor #s match UltraMon’s
  • UltraMon Hotkeys work quickly
  • UltraMon Profiles work w/o modification because UltraMon’s monitor #s did not change

Friday, January 15, 2010

H&M Modular Projects

A modular help system is one that is made of separate modules at "runtime", i.e. when the user is viewing it. Modular help systems are only possible in HTML Help (CHM) and the obsolete Winhelp (HLP) format.

A modular help system consist of a "master" module containing the main TOC, which must always be present, and one or more "child" modules, any of which may or may not be present.

Th: Disclaimer as master module ??

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 Test

Need a simple way to get files to a customer.  Trying

The Free Lite Plan

  • Signed up.
  • Created a folder, copied two files into it, invited another of my email address to collaborate.
  • Other email required to create a box account to download either file.
  • Other email can comment.
  • Trying “Link to this file”.  (Need Pro to password protect.)
  • Other email able to download.  Trying with a 3rd email…  Works.
  • Make a new Web Document & sent link to 4th email.  The link sent to 4th email opens the doc.
Looks like a winner.

Monday, January 11, 2010

To Do Items



Outlook: Email to Calendar

In Yahoo webmail it is easy to add an email to the calendar.   Figure out how to do this in Outlook.



Friday, January 08, 2010

Help & Manual Publishing Issue Suggestions

Note to readers:  I really like Help & Manual.  It is an outstanding help-authoring tool.  I have been a satisfied user since January 2002.  Their technical support is excellent.

This post is part of a technical support discussion.  I’m trying to be clear.  No offense intended!  I highly recommend Help & Manual to anyone looking for a help authoring program.


Recommended Changes

1. Explicit Notification of Topics Not In The TOC

While I now understand that the ability to have different Builds for the TOC and .xml “flavors” of a given topic is considered a feature, I suggest that is appropriate only for advanced users.  If someone’s primary job is writing documentation it’s probably useful and powerful.  But I think it is a bug for novices and occasional users like me.  The default behavior had me publishing unseen, unwanted content.  For me, this is the definition of a bug.

This is a screenshot from your homepage.


Like a word processor and thousands of pages?  Looks great!  Let’s do it!  I set up the project carefully and logically, separating content in both the TOC and the Project Files.  I now understand that I was wrong but I don’t apologize for my initial expectation.  “Like a word processor” and “Thousands of pages”, plus the fact the navigator is called “Explorer”, had me expecting that it would be impossible for the files under
to in any way influence anything in, say
It was a shock to me to realize that as far as publishing goes, there are no Topics folders.  They are meaningless for controlling content.  This is quite different from all other Windows programs I can think of that use folder organization.

Did you read the help?”  “Not much, until I had problems.  What I needed to know isn’t in there anyway: ‘Our folders are not like most every other Windows program you have ever used.’”

But previous versions worked like this too.”  “That was centuries ago in internet time.  I don’t recall.  My help projects were simpler anyway.  I probably never ran into an issue.”

While I think that the “different Builds for TOC and xml topic feature” should be disabled by default for the benefit of novices and occasional users, that is a significant change.  An acceptable temporary/permanent solution is notification to the user something like this.


A notification like this probably would have saved me many hours.  Clicking on “What does this mean?” should bring up the following.

2. Build & Folders Overview in Help

Maybe pointing to existing Help topic(s) is enough, and maybe not.  The notification of non-TOC topics may have been enough for me to figure out what was happening.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Help & Manual Publishing Issue

H&M version information.


Two people are working on the same H&M project on two computers.  Subversion syncs our work. The project has 10 Custom Builds for the different documents we will publish.  I want to make a .chm of my Overview document (OVERVIEW Build) to view my latest work …


… but I get a bunch of compiler messages.



This never happened before.  The other person tried it and it happens on his computer too.  Hummm…  Investigating, yes the offending topic Test Files is only in the USERGUIDE build.  No problem here.


The other person recently added the topic Test Files.  If it is in the wrong Topics folder, could that be a problem?  No, it is in the expected folder.  No problem here.


Then I noticed it didn’t have a Custom Build, and neither do a lot of other topics in this folder.



Huh???  I confirm that the Builds for topic Test Files are different in the Table of Contents vs the Project Files.  The Builds are also different for the topic Viewing Output Types.  (I would like to check more topics but it is difficult to do because H&M does not provide TOC / Project Files mapping.  The feature request is already in the Wish List.  See



Looking around and thinking, I may have an idea how this happened.  We initially populated this H&M project with imports from Word, XML Spy and Dr. Explain.  Next we figured out how to make the separate final documents we need, assigning the Custom Builds.  Since then we have been editing.  It looks like all the Build-out-of-sync topics were created in H&M.  In the TOC they “inherit” the Build but they don’t as XML files in Project Files.  Of the topics we have added in H&M it looks like topic Test Files is the first containing links.

Getting rid of the Compiler Message errors is not hard:  Right-click Test_Files.xml and change “Include in Builds” from “All Builds” to “USERGUIDE”.  But IMO this bug should be fixed for two reasons.

1. As a H&M user it seems impossible to me that TOC topics are in any way different from Project Files topics.

2. So far the Build difference has not affected the final output; I have just seen warnings in Compiler Messages.  But when our 30 documentation products (10 Builds @ 1 each CHM, PDF and HTML) are part of our auto build process, how do I have confidence that SomeRandomTopic.xml, Build USERGUIDE in the TOC but “All Builds” in Project Files, won’t suddenly decide to show up in all 30 products?  I have been writing software a long time and have made a lot of mistakes.  ;-)  On the surface this looks to be a “Multiple Sources of Input” error, a technique I have used to create intermittent, hard-to-debug errors…   ;-)


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Help & Manual 5 Suggestions

A. “Insert new Topic or Chapter” Dialog Box

1. Change title from “Insert new …” to “Insert New …”

2. Increase “Create in:” dropdown size to cut down on scrolling.


3. Fix focus after invocation by Shift+Alt+Ins.  The dialog box looks like it is ready for input because the Topic Heading is selected.  But keystrokes don’t go to the dialog box.

This focus problem doesn’t happen all the time.  I have not noticed a pattern yet.


B. Customize Quick Access Toolbar

I like to add frequently-used commands to programs’ Quick Access Toolbars.  For example this is my Word 2007 environment.  I would be more productive using H&M if any command could be added to H&M’s Quick Access Toolbar. 

Live Writer 400 Bad Request

By googling I found out Blogger doesn’t like special characters in Categories.


There is a log file available from the About box.