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I have a python toolbox and the client wishes to have the side help pane show help. The only way I know of to do this is reference a chm help file. That option is grayed out for python toolboxes (.pyt) but not for toolboxes with scripts (.tbx, the route I don't want to go).

Does anyone have any insight or have accomplished such a feat?

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In a Python Toolbox you can create help for the side pane by editing the Item Description for the tool. To do this you can right-click on the tool in your toolbox

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Click Item Description which will open a new dialog. Click on Edit and you can edit the details.

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These details you add to the Summary will be shown in the help side pane.

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The other details will be shown in a browser when you click on Tool Help, or when you open Item Description

Item Description:
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Browser shown after clicking "Tool Help" from the tool:
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The help for the toolbox and for each tool is stored in .xml files. There is a separate .xml file for each tool.

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For more info see Documenting a tool in a Python toolbox

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