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Enable Help Viewer's debug mode System
While trying to debug a problem with Help Viewer (it's hanging with the spinning gear icon whenever I use the search field), I stumbled across this page, which includes a ton of information on debugging Help Viewer. Buried in the details is this tidbit on enabling Help Viewer's debug mode. Quit Help Viewer, then open Terminal and type:
defaults write HelpViewerDebugging -bool YES
Now when you launch Help Viewer, it will write a ton of output that you can view with Console (in /Applications » Utilities). With any luck, the information you see there may help you sort out the problem (either directly, or by running more accurate web searches). When you're done, turn off the debugging tool, unless you want your console logs filled with output. To disable logging, quit Help Viewer, then repeat the above command but change YES to NO.

Unfortunately, in my case, it didn't point me to a solution to the problem, though I now know it has something to do with an assertion failure in NSSearchFieldCell and an "invalid parameter not satisfying: aString != nil." Back to the troubleshooting...
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