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In an experimental Python AddIn that I've created using ArcPy from ArcGIS 10.3.1 for Desktop I have put some test help into my config.xml for a button called Button4:

<Button caption="Button4" category="Experimental Addin" class="ButtonClass6" id="Experiment_addin.button4" image="" message="Button4 Message goes here" tip="Button Tip goes here">
    <Help heading="Button4 Help Heading goes here" Content="Button4 Help Content goes here" />
</Button>

When I make and install my Python AddIn, the message and tip show up by mousing over the button as expected.

However, I have not figured out how to invoke the Help Heading and Content mentioned in Creating a Python add-in tool:

The final section of the tool is the help heading and content. These properties allow you to supply information that appears when a user invokes context-sensitive help. These are pop-up topics that remain on-screen until the user clicks somewhere else.

Prior to 10.1 I know that this could be done using the now deprecated What's This button, but how is context-sensitive help invoked since 10.1?

I thought it might have been by mousing over the button and hitting F1, but that does nothing. If I mouse over anything but a toolbar and hit F1 it brings up the ArcGIS 10.3.1 Help.

  • Have you used python addin wizard? – GeoStoneMarten Nov 28 '15 at 18:00
  • Yes - to author this Python AddIn project. – PolyGeo Nov 28 '15 at 20:56
  • Ok Description can be see in Customize > Commands. Click on Description. This is the same for other Button. If you mousing over the bouton there is tooltips and message. if help is confugured you need pres F1 after mouseover. – GeoStoneMarten Nov 29 '15 at 23:06
  • @GeoStoneMarten When I go to "Customize > Commands. Click on Description" what I see is what I configured as the message (i.e. "Button4 Message goes here") and not the Help Heading ("Button4 Help Heading goes here") and/or Help Content ("Button4 Help Content goes here"). Pressing F1 after mousing over Button4 only brings up the ArcGIS 10.3.1 Help and not the strings I configured for Help Heading and Help Content. – PolyGeo Nov 29 '15 at 23:14
  • Ok. I test on my computer and i have same problem to see my help content. I don't inderstand why in Arcpy addin it doen't look like .Net config look at this – GeoStoneMarten Nov 30 '15 at 9:39
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I create an addin to test your help problem. I have same result as you.

I think this is a Bug in Python and latest doc doesn't respect XML schema structure. I don't understand why... Or the scheme must be different, and in this case, it is the assistant tool who is out of date.

ESRI.Configuration use same XML schema. You can look arcobject addin schema and help button element

You can compare config files use for addin with .Net and Python

a Python sample (config.xml):

<ESRI.Configuration xmlns="http://schemas.esri.com/Desktop/AddIns" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
    <!-- Name,AddInID,Description,Version,Image,Author,Company,Date,Targets -->
    <!-- Declare addin language and library -->
    <AddIn language="PYTHON" library="FirstToolsAddin_addin.py" namespace="FirstToolsAddin_addin">
        <ArcMap>
            <Commands>
                <Button caption="Test Help" category="Python Addin 1" class="ButtonClassTestHelp" id="FirstToolsAddin_addin.button" image="Images\button1.png" message="check help but no action" tip="Help exist or no">
                    <Help heading="Help Heading?">Content of my Help</Help>
                </Button>
            </Commands>
            <!-- Other Element Toolbars, Extensions, Menus -->
        </ArcMap>
    </AddIn>
</ESRI.Configuration>

a .Net sample (Config.esriaddinx):

<ESRI.Configuration xmlns="http://schemas.esri.com/Desktop/AddIns" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
    <!-- Name,AddInID,Description,Version,Image,Author,Company,Date,Targets -->
    <!-- Declare addin language and library -->
    <AddIn language="CLR" library="FirstToolsAddin.dll" namespace="FirstToolsAddin">
        <ArcMap>
            <Commands>
                <Button caption="Test Help" category="DotNet Addin 1" class="ButtonClassTestHelp" id="FirstToolsAddin_MyBtn" image="Images\button1.png" message="Check help but no action" tip="Help exist or no">
                    <Help heading="Help Heading?">Content of my Help</Help>
                </Button>
            </Commands>
            <!-- Other Element Toolbars, Extensions, Menus -->
        </ArcMap>
    </AddIn>
</ESRI.Configuration>

In Dot.NET, there's this image showing Help context (Look at F1)

Create a tools

And XML code part with Help context Create tools code

There is Dot.Net sample and you can test if Help context work with this language and edit this message after test to specify if it work or no.

You can start with custom UI elements using Addins

  • I'm not the downvoter but I am a little confused by your answer. Are you saying that the config.xml file produced by either ArcObjects or Python flavours of AddIns is the same structure, and neither enable context sensitive help to be invoked? – PolyGeo Nov 30 '15 at 23:08
  • Thanks for that precision. In fact this is the same shema xmlns="schemas.esri.com/Desktop/AddIns and xml key elements are already the same. Schema is added to validate structure. Python use ArcObject same as other language. There is no reason to add different element key or structure. Explain here and next details. If it work on dot.net it should work the same way in python – GeoStoneMarten Nov 30 '15 at 23:31
  • But can you access context sensitive help for buttons installed using an ArcMap (ArcObjects) AddIn? If so, how? I would expect that it would work for both or neither type of AddIn. – PolyGeo Nov 30 '15 at 23:36
  • Normally yes but i don't have an addin compiled in C#.Net or VB.Net there is sample if you want test it. I have check validity and remove image in my previous exemple in Help Element. But there is sample in [Building custom UI elements using add-ins](resources.arcgis.com/en/help/arcobjects-net/conceptualhelp/…. Look at title "Using the ArcGIS Add-Ins Wizard" The .6 shows image with F1 context – GeoStoneMarten Dec 1 '15 at 9:41
  • @PolyGeo i have edit previous message and invite you to edit content if it not sufficiently clear – GeoStoneMarten Dec 1 '15 at 10:40

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