MYOB Help files

October 11, 2007

Update December 2008: This is all fixed in MYOB Accounting Plus v18! The Help opens in a new tab in your default browser window and doesn’t resize anything.


I’ve been using MYOB for my business and personal accounts for some years now. And it does what it’s meant to do, though there are times the user interface is frustrating. Anyhow, as with most software, you eventually learn to live with it and work around it.

Some versions ago they made all their Help browser-based. Which is a good thing (even though it takes up most of the installation time of upgrades!).

What’s NOT a good thing is how these MYOB Help files resize your default browser window on opening. To hell with whatever your browser has open right now, or how you’ve resized your window to fit how YOU work – no, MYOB ‘knows better’ and resizes your browser for you… to a ridiculously small size!! (350 px wide, 600 px high for those of you who know what these dimensions mean; and 350 px wide and 500 px high for the Search window—which opens in a new browser window too, by the way)

I put in a complaint to MYOB’s support team about this a couple of years ago in January 2006 and suggested that users get the option to set their own browser window size, or, even better, for MYOB to open in the browser window size you currently have set (<sarcasm>now, that’d be novel!</sarcasm>). I got the most ridiculous answer (reproduced here with typos and all):

Although the code supplied would generate a new browser if you where using it in the HTML code of a website, when asking a program to open a website the program has no HTML code and simply asks Windows to open a web browser.

It is infact windows that is fiinding an open browser and using this.

All programs when opening a web page will simply ask Windows to load the webpage and Windows finds an already open page.

For example i selected Help and then Online help in Microsoft Word and it used my Browser that was already open.

However that beinig said we only support the operation of MYOB not its interaction with other programs and this information may need to be checked with an IT Professional.

Even after trying to figure out what it meant (!) it still didn’t answer the question or address the problem.

So today I opened MYOB Help looking for how to do something, and the browser resize p***ed me off that much I decided to find the cause and fix it myself if it was something I could do.

A little bit of digging into the Help file code and I found the culprit – and fixed this window resizing once and for all (until the next upgrade anyway, when I’ll have to spend one minute changing these settings again).

For those who want to do this themselves, here’s how:

  1. Go to where your MYOB program files are stored (e.g. C:\MYOB16).
  2. Open the Help folder.
  3. Find the webby4menu.js file and open it in a text editor. (NOTE: I use EditPlus but any text editor will do; I just prefer text editors with colour coding as the syntax is easier to read.)
  4. Find the text that starts with self.name in the Exposed Menu Events section. NOTE: Make sure you’re at the real code, not the commented out ‘self.name’ bit above it. For those unfamiliar with JavaScript, any line starting with // is a ‘commented out’ line – ignore those lines.
  5. Change the values in self.resizeTo(350,600);self.moveTo(450,25) to something more reasonable, like self.resizeTo(950,900);self.moveTo(250,25). The first set of values specify the browser width and height; the second set the position of the browser window from the top right (?) edge of the screen – these aren’t as annoying so you can leave them if you want.
  6. Go down a couple of lines to the search window specifications, and change the height and width (500 and 350 respectively) to something like 900 and 750.
  7. Save your changes.
  8. Refresh your MYOB Help window (or open MYOB Help if it’s not already open) and you should see the contents in a decent-sized window. Yay!
  9. Adjust the height and width settings to suit, if the ones I’ve documented here aren’t quite what you want.

Hopefully this will help someone else who is as equally annoyed with this ‘feature’ of the MYOB Help. Let me know how you go!


  1. […] MYOB Help files 11 10 2007 Another thing I don’t like about the MYOB Help is that only 10 items per page get displayed when you do a search. This means a lot of clicking if […]

  2. Hi Rhonda,

    I really don’t like this ‘feature’ either. However, there is a preference that restores the browser to your ‘defualt’ setting.

    To select this preference, open MYOB Help > Site Tools and click Custom Size. Once selected, “You can then use the browser’s controls to resize the browser window to whatever size you want.”

    MYOB Help will be totally overhauled for the 2008 release. In addition to rewriting much of the content, we’re improving the navigation, changing the search facility (no hits-per-page limit) and adding an index.

    As an MYOB user, I welcome your input into our redesign. If you want, I can send you a preview copy (well, it’s really just our new 2008 US help). If possible, I’m happy incorporate any reasonable suggestion!

    BTW, great workarounds!

    Best regards,
    John Wilson
    MYOB Technical Communications

  3. Oh, and future releases won’t control your browser size;)

  4. Thanks for your very prompt feedback, John! I had that reply from someone in support back in Jan 2006,and my response back then is the same as now – why isn’t my existing browser window size used to display MYOB’s Help?

    Here’s my an excerpt from my email back then:

    “My issue isn’t that you can set the Help window size in MYOB – it’s that the Help takes over your existing open window, tosses out what you had, and then resizes it. If MYOB opened the Help in a SEPARATE browser window (using target=”_blank” or similar in the code), then I’d be OK with it and would be happy to set the Help window size via MYOB under those circumstances.
    It’s when it totally dominates whatever else I was doing at the time that p***es me off. I’d appreciate it if the developers could look at a solution whereby the Help opened a separate instance of the browser, NOT overwrote the existing one.”

    I am VERY pleased to hear than future releases won’t control the browser window size. One small step…

    And while you’re at it, could you PLEASE change the OK/Cancel buttons around to be like every other Windows app that I use? I’m always getting caught on some of the MYOB message boxes where Cancel is on the left and OK is on the right, whereas in most other apps OK is on the left and Cancel is on the right. Pretty please??

  5. You hacker you.

  6. LOL! Well, these files are local on my machine, and they’re just plain HTML and JavaScript – nothing fancy. I guess I wouldn’t have done it had it not p***ed me off every time I opened the MYOB Help. Of course, the MYOB Help leaves a lot to be desired too – there’s LOTS there, but there never seems to be what *I* want…

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