This is a family of classes by which applications may invoke a help viewer to provide on-line help.

A help controller allows an application to display help, at the contents or at a particular topic, and shut the help program down on termination. This avoids proliferation of many instances of the help viewer whenever the user requests a different topic via the application's menus or buttons.

Typically, an application will create a help controller instance when it starts, and immediately call Initialize to associate a filename with it. The help viewer will only get run, however, just before the first call to display something.

Most help controller classes actually derive from wxHelpControllerBase and have names of the form wxXXXHelpController or wxHelpControllerXXX. An appropriate class is aliased to the name wxHelpController for each platform, as follows:

The remaining help controller classes need to be named explicitly by an application that wishes to make use of them.

There are currently the following help controller classes defined:

Derived from


Include files

<wx/help.h> (wxWidgets chooses the appropriate help controller class)
<wx/helpbase.h> (wxHelpControllerBase class)
<wx/helpwin.h> (Windows Help controller)
<wx/msw/helpchm.h> (MS HTML Help controller)
<wx/generic/helpext.h> (external HTML browser controller)
<wx/html/helpctrl.h> (wxHTML based help controller: wxHtmlHelpController)

See also

wxHtmlHelpController, wxHTML



Constructs a help instance object, but does not invoke the help viewer.



Destroys the help instance, closing down the viewer if it is running.


virtual void Initialize(const wxString& file)

virtual void Initialize(const wxString& file, int server)

Initializes the help instance with a help filename, and optionally a server socket number if using wxHelp (now obsolete). Does not invoke the help viewer. This must be called directly after the help instance object is created and before any attempts to communicate with the viewer.

You may omit the file extension and a suitable one will be chosen. For wxHtmlHelpController, the extensions zip, htb and hhp will be appended while searching for a suitable file. For WinHelp, the hlp extension is appended.


virtual bool DisplayBlock(long blockNo)

If the help viewer is not running, runs it and displays the file at the given block number.

WinHelp: Refers to the context number.

MS HTML Help: Refers to the context number.

External HTML help: the same as for wxHelpController::DisplaySection.

wxHtmlHelpController: sectionNo is an identifier as specified in the .hhc file. See Help files format.

This function is for backward compatibility only, and applications should use wxHelpController instead.


virtual bool DisplayContents(void)

If the help viewer is not running, runs it and displays the contents.


virtual bool DisplayContextPopup(int contextId)

Displays the section as a popup window using a context id.

Returns false if unsuccessful or not implemented.


virtual bool DisplaySection(const wxString& section)

If the help viewer is not running, runs it and displays the given section.

The interpretation of section differs between help viewers. For most viewers, this call is equivalent to KeywordSearch. For MS HTML Help, wxHTML help and external HTML help, if section has a .htm or .html extension, that HTML file will be displayed; otherwise a keyword search is done.

virtual bool DisplaySection(int sectionNo)

If the help viewer is not running, runs it and displays the given section.

WinHelp, MS HTML Help sectionNo is a context id.

External HTML help: wxExtHelpController implements sectionNo as an id in a map file, which is of the form:

0  wx.html             ; Index
1  wx34.html#classref  ; Class reference
2  wx204.html          ; Function reference

wxHtmlHelpController: sectionNo is an identifier as specified in the .hhc file. See Help files format.

See also the help sample for notes on how to specify section numbers for various help file formats.


virtual bool DisplayTextPopup(const wxString& text, const wxPoint& pos)

Displays the text in a popup window, if possible.

Returns false if unsuccessful or not implemented.


virtual wxFrame * GetFrameParameters(const wxSize * size = NULL, const wxPoint * pos = NULL, bool * newFrameEachTime = NULL)

wxHtmlHelpController returns the frame, size and position.

For all other help controllers, this function does nothing and just returns NULL.


This defaults to "netscape" for wxExtHelpController.

This defaults to wxHELP_NETSCAPE for wxExtHelpController, indicating that the viewer is a variant of Netscape Navigator.


virtual bool KeywordSearch(const wxString& keyWord, wxHelpSearchMode mode = wxHELP_SEARCH_ALL)

If the help viewer is not running, runs it, and searches for sections matching the given keyword. If one match is found, the file is displayed at this section. The optional parameter allows the search the index (wxHELP_SEARCH_INDEX) but this currently only supported by the wxHtmlHelpController.

WinHelp, MS HTML Help: If more than one match is found, the first topic is displayed.

External HTML help, simple wxHTML help: If more than one match is found, a choice of topics is displayed.

wxHtmlHelpController: see wxHtmlHelpController::KeywordSearch.


virtual bool LoadFile(const wxString& file = "")

If the help viewer is not running, runs it and loads the given file. If the filename is not supplied or is empty, the file specified in Initialize is used. If the viewer is already displaying the specified file, it will not be reloaded. This member function may be used before each display call in case the user has opened another file.

wxHtmlHelpController ignores this call.


virtual bool OnQuit(void)

Overridable member called when this application's viewer is quit by the user.

This does not work for all help controllers.


virtual void SetFrameParameters(const wxString & title, const wxSize & size, const wxPoint & pos = wxDefaultPosition, bool newFrameEachTime = false)

For wxHtmlHelpController, the title is set (again with %s indicating the page title) and also the size and position of the frame if the frame is already open. newFrameEachTime is ignored.

For all other help controllers this function has no effect.


virtual void SetViewer(const wxString& viewer, long flags)

Sets detailed viewer information. So far this is only relevant to wxExtHelpController.

Some examples of usage:

  m_help.SetViewer("netscape", wxHELP_NETSCAPE);


virtual bool Quit(void)

If the viewer is running, quits it by disconnecting.

For Windows Help, the viewer will only close if no other application is using it.

ymasuda 平成17年11月19日