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Helix Diagnostics
Integrated Structure Check Basics

Helix 6.2 and later feature an integrated version of the Update Collection application. When a collection is opened, Helix checks the structural integrity of the collection. This check is also done before every save, so you are always warned before introducing structural errors to a collection.

Collections for use withe Helix 6.x must be updated with the Update Collection application before they can be opened in Helix 6. Update Collection is a “PowerPC-only” application, and can not run in macOS 10.7 or later. If you have an older collection that needs to be updated to Helix 6.x, but do not have access to a machine capable of running Update Collection, contact us and we will assist you with the updating process.

Helix 7.0 and later can automatically update collections from Helix Express 3.5 or later. When you open the collection, a dialog warns you when updating is required. Once a collection is updated, it can not be opened with older versions of Helix.

Integrated Structure Check Results

When a collection is checked and found to be without any problems, Helix continues without presenting a dialog. (This is in contrast to the old Update Collection application, that informed you that there were no problems.)

The integrated structure check tests the collection according to a predefined set of rules. It is possible that errors can be introduced into a collection that are not recognized. It is impossible to predict every possible ‘wrong answer,’ but the vast majority of issues are covered. (Actually, we do not know of any errors that Update Collection fails to catch, but we have to put these disclaimers in.)

The “minor maintenance” dialog appears when ‘clean up work’ was performed on the collection. You should not worry when you see a message like this; minor maintenance is simple housekeeping that was not done during the normal operation of Helix, probably because the engineers determined that the performance loss required to do the housekeeping during operation would be noticeable.

Structural Errors

When a more serious situation is detected, the dialog on the right informs you that the integrated structure checker has found problems it is not able to correct by itself. If you see a message like this, write down the Object ID and Error Code displayed. (Object ID: 71, Error: 15/003A in the sample.) This information can be used to identify and correct the part of the collection where the error was detected.

Helix 7.0 version of this dialog is sometimes is able to identify the icon that contains the error, in which case that information is displayed in the second line of the dialog text.

After noting the error, you have three choices:

  • Cancel the process (probably a save attempt) and Revert to the most recent save, prior to when the error occurred.
  • Cancel the process, correct the error, and continue working.
  • Proceed and save the collection with the error in place.

Note: if you do not revert, the dialog will be repeated every time the structure is checked until the error is corrected.

QSA ToolWorks provides a free script on our scripts page that can usually identify the icon corresponding to the reported Object ID. Download the “Error Identifier” script and follow the instructions provided there. By identifying the icon that contains the error, it is often possible to resolve the error by reworking or deleting (and recreating) that icon.

If you are unable to isolate the error and effect a repair on your own, contact our technical support department. We offer collection repair services under our standard User Support Unit (USU) policy. See this page for more information on collection repair.

Diagnostic Logs

Whenever an integrated structure checker is performed, a diagnostic log file is written to your computer. The diagnostic log file is stored in the ~/Library/Logs/Helix/ directory. The file is named “SC_” followed by the name of the collection. There is one file for each collection that is opened with Helix. These files can be deleted if desired: they will be recreated automatically any time the integrated structure checker runs.

The diagnostic log is rewritten each time a collection is checked, so it is important to duplicate the file immediately after the structure check is done, if it is needed for diagnostic purposes.


The integrated structure checker is fully scriptable via AppleScript. These capabilities enable us to provide a more comprehensive suite of repair options, and enable you to potentially repair your collection without our assistance. In addition to the script (mentioned above) that helps to identify the icon behind the reported error, scripting can assist further in repairing the error.

We will provide documentation when somebody reminds us that this page is incomplete.