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Help with Help Center problems System
One the one hand, the Help Center in Jaguar is greatly improved. There's much more information on nearly every topic, searching seems faster, you can zoom the text, etc.

On the other hand, myself and numerous others have found that Help Center can be unresponsive, crashy, or simply non-functional. Based on my experiences, submitted hints, and reading elsewhere on the net, here are some things to try if you're experiencing a recalcitrant Help Center. Please keep in mind that these are just suggestions and may or may not solve your particular problem.
  • If you open Help Center by itself in the Finder (Help -> Mac Help) and notice you have an empty entry in the drawer at the right listing the available help topics, try this. Look in /Library/Documentation/Help for a file and remove it (or possibly just remove the extension). This tip first appeared on the Macintouch Reader Reports, submitted by Dave Gomme.

  • When I experienced the spinning Aqua blob when launching Help Center, I went to ~/Library/Preferences and trashed anything with "apple" and "help" in its name. The next time I launched Help Center, it worked perfectly (and has ever since, amazingly enough).

  • An anonymous tipster suggests deleting the folders ~/Library/Documentation/Help and ~/Library/Caches/ (the entire folders) to force Help Center not to read from these cached files. I have no idea of the functionality of these folders, so use this one at your own risk.
Hopefully, improvements to Help Center are on the list of things to be addressed in the first Jaguar update.
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Help with Help Center problems | 8 comments | Create New Account
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
help was crashy because of...
Authored by: hangon on Aug 31, '02 10:54:15AM

launching the help command from the finder leads me to a 100% chance of crash.
instead, when i launch it from an app, it works perfectly....

i thought that the first item in the help app drawer (automaticaly selected when launched from the finder) was buggy...

so, i removed from my system and now it works like a charm and never crash....

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help was crashy because of...
Authored by: bcfpa on Aug 31, '02 10:14:59PM

help was crashing, so i moved to the desktop.
now it still crashes from the finder, but if i open the,
it works fine.

any ideas for a fix of that?

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Works ! Thanks...
Authored by: Drogoul on Aug 31, '02 11:51:59AM

The trick with the Virex 7 file has worked for me -- and finally enabled the Help Center. BTW, there two folders : Virex 7 help and Virex 7.1 help (I'm a .mac subscriber), and I just had to remove the first one.

Thank you very much !


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Works ! Thanks...
Authored by: stevetech on Aug 31, '02 03:31:00PM

Yep, removing the virex folder did the trick!


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Help cache files
Authored by: BobVB on Aug 31, '02 12:06:00PM

According to the Help Manager documentation at the Developer's site the Help Viewer will cache any files it downloads from the internet for 3 days, so that's what's probably in those cache files.

Actually when you read about the system it is pretty good. Ease of helpbook creation, ability to have more extensive or seldom used information available over the internet, dynamically extensible without needing a update release. Some of the anxiety might be relieved if they just had a better indication of what is actually happening other than merely the word 'retrieving'.

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A Clean Install fixed it
Authored by: oculos on Sep 01, '02 08:22:00AM

When I first installed Jaguar, I did an upgrade install. Help Center was way crashy, so I did a clean install with the Archive option, which seems to be a great way to install jaguar. And then everything runned smoothly here.

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A Clean Install fixed it
Authored by: calroth on Sep 02, '02 06:27:21AM

When I got 10.2, I reformatted and installed clean. Now I get all sorts of Help lockups. Spinning beachball, etc.

Will try cleaning out the abovementioned folders.

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Help with Help Center problems
Authored by: Stupid on Nov 17, '03 11:06:38AM

Thanks for the <<>> trick, worked a treat. Onwards and upwards :-)

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