Configuring a Web Browser to View Help Topics

The AccuRev help system is JavaScript-based to provide advanced search and navigation capabilities. Invoking help automatically launches a web browser , or opens a new tab in an existing web browser window, depending on which browser you use. Any JavaScript-enabled web browser is capable of displaying AccuRev GUI help topics, although you may need to adjust some security settings in more recent browser releases (see below).


By default, AccuRev tries to launch the operating system’s default web browser. However, you can tell AccuRev which browser to launch by setting a preference that specifies the complete pathname of the web browser you which to use. Each user can do this either in the GUI or through the Command Line Interface (CLI).

In the GUI, click Tools > Preferences and enter the full pathname of the browser in the Online Help Browser field on the General tab:

Or, use the setpref command from the CLI. For example:

accurev setpref AC_BROWSER "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe"

Either method updates the AC_BROWSER setting in preferences.xml in the .accurev subdirectory of the user’s home directory.

Note: If you are upgrading from AccuRev 4.9 and are having difficulty getting the Help to work, particularly on a 64-bit Windows system, check to see if you have an old browser preference set. If so, clear out this setting and let AccuRev use its default value to get going.

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Notes on Internet Explorer

Allowing "Active Content" with Internet Explorer 7

The first time you use AccuRev Help with MS Internet Explorer, you may get a pop-up blocker. We have placed instructions on the default screen that appears with the pop-up blocker to guide you through the Advanced Settings of MSIE that will allow it to work with AccuRev help. These instructions are:

  1. In MSIE, click Tools > Internet Options.
  2. In the Internet Options window, click the Advanced tab.
  3. Scroll down to the Security settings, and ensure that Allow active content to run in files on My Computer is checked.
  4. Exit and restart MSIE.

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Notes on Google Chrome

Recent Chrome browsers have introduced a new security model which by default prevents them from working with Javascript-based web content residing on a local file system rather than on a server (see This has caused several companies’ help systems to stop working with these browsers.

Possible workarounds include:

  • rolling back to an older version of Chrome
  • using a different browser
  • disabling the security feature in the AccuRev preferences
  • disabling the security feature system-wide

Google has provided a command line switch to disable this new security feature. You can try disabling this feature just for AccuRev Help, by using the following procedure:

  1. In the AccuRev GUI, go to Tools > Preferences.
  2. In the On-line Help Browser field, specify the start-up command line for Chrome with the “--allow-file-access-from-files” argument (Windows example shown):

    "C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --allow-file-access-from-files "%1"

If this does not work for your installation, another option is to try using this switch as the default for all instance of Chrome on your system. The following example shows how to use this fix in Windows. Adjust appropriately for other operating systems.

The following procedure assumes that you have Chrome set as your default .htm/.html browser:

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Navigate to Tools > Folder Options > File Types
  3. Select "HTM" or "HTML", then click Advanced.
  4. Select Open, then click Edit...
  5. In the "Application used to perform action:" field, you should see a line similar to:

    "C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" — "%1"

  6. Replace the empty "--" with "--allow-file-access-from-files":

    "C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --allow-file-access-from-files "%1"

  7. Click OK, OK, and Close to save your changes and exit out of the dialogs.

Of course, if this line has already been customized at your site, you will need to adjust the above instructions as needed.

Also, note that implementing this fix will disable a security change introduced with Chrome, so the security policies of some organizations may prohibit them from doing this.

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