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Style and Behavior of Links 

Help links must be associated with the cascading style sheet file, HxLink.css, which is embedded in the file that is installed with the Help run-time components. By linking to HxLink.css, you guarantee that your Help links will function properly. To associate HxLink.css with a topic, add the following markup to the <head> tag of the source file for the topic:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"

This markup creates a link to


HxLink.css is required for link functionality in the compiled Help file. Standard HTML-based links are not affected by this style sheet.

You can use your own style sheet instead of HxLink.css. To do so, add a link to your own style sheet after the link to HxLink.css, as in the following example:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="ms-help://Hx/HxRuntime/HxLink.css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="../local/customstylesheet.css">

You can also add a reference to an alternate .htc file that implements equivalent behavior. For more information about .htc files, see the HTML Components (HTC) Reference on MSDN.

You can use standard style mechanisms to redefine the look and feel of links. This example demonstrates how to apply alternate styles to a link.

MSHelp\:link { text-decoration: underline;

HxLink.css and are part of a compiled Help (.hxs) file that is installed and registered on your computer in one of two ways:

  • When you install Microsoft Help Workshop.

  • The first time you run HxComp.exe.

This .hxs file uses the namespace ms-help://hx.

If this .hxs file is installed, you can view HxLink.css,, and other files by clicking the the following links:


You can also save these files elsewhere on your computer by right-clicking one of the links and then clicking Save Target As.

See Also