Conceptual Content Designer window empty

Sep 10, 2008 at 5:11 PM
I've been using Sandcastle Help Builder for about a month, off and on. It's a great tool, but I've encountered a strange problem.  The Conceptual Content Designer window is now coming up completely empty -- no panes or panels, just a big grey rectangle. (The Conceptual Content properties in the main Help File Builder window shows "0 tokens, 0 images, 6 topics" as usual.)

I've used this window in the past to create and add conceptual topics, and I've successfully built the output Help2 for them.

Just before discovering this problem, I edited one of the topics in a separate editor, and unknowingly saved it as invalid XML (there was a </localUri> closing tag with no opening tag).  Sandcastle Help Builder warned me about the invalide XML when I opened the project, and then the Designer window began exhibiting the problem.

I plan to reload an older version of the project from our source control database. Meanwhile I am posting here in case it might be something else (and also just to log the behaviour).

Sep 10, 2008 at 5:20 PM
Edited Sep 10, 2008 at 5:57 PM
(follow-up) -- Resynching to the old project does not help.
Using the Repair option of the Sandcastle Help File Builder installation wizard does not help.
Using the Uninstall option of the installation wizard, and then re-installing, does not help
Using Add/Remove Programs to uninstall, and then re-instaling, does not help.

Further observations:

Starting a new project makes no difference.

I compared the window with a working Designer window on another system. The blank window has a "Content" item in the menu bar, but no menu appears when the "Content" item is clicked. The toolbar items to the right of the "Help" question-mark icon (a Topics text-box with dropdown, and a series of icon-based controls) are missing.

(Sorry, I guess this thread should be in Issue Tracker.)
Sep 10, 2008 at 8:18 PM
SHFB is separate from Sandcastle and has it's own project site (  Please post issues about it over there rather than here.

Regarding this issue, see the following thread for the solution:

It's caused by the window settings not getting saved correctly.

Sep 11, 2008 at 3:28 PM
Thanks, and noted.  In that thread, you asked for the configuration file. Do you still need a copy?
Sep 11, 2008 at 4:19 PM
No, thanks.  I've got a workaround for the next release.  Holding down Shift when the GUI starts will ignore the saved window settings.