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Deploying HTML Help

This content is no longer actively maintained. It is provided as is, for anyone who may still be using these technologies, with no warranties or claims of accuracy with regard to the most recent product version or service release.

You can deploy the files that make up your HTML Help online Help system in any of the following ways:

  • As a set of HTML files compiled into one or more locally installed compiled HTML Help files (.chm)
  • As a set of locally installed HTML files to be accessed through the Windows file system
  • As a set of HTML files to be accessed through an intranet, an extranet, or the Internet
  • A combination of these formats

The advantage of using compiled HTML Help files is that you can install a single file or small set of files on each user's local drive that can be accessed without a network connection. Additionally, compiled HTML Help files use disk space much more efficiently than uncompiled HTML files, particularly on hard disks that have been formatted with the FAT file system.

The advantage of supplying the Help topics as a Web site is that you can update and add new Help topics from a single central location; however, providing Help this way requires that users have network access to your Web site. Moreover, certain features of HTML Help, such as full-text search, are available only when you are using compiled HTML Help files.

You can also provide Help topics through a combination of both standard and compiled HTML formats, most typically in the form of a locally installed compiled HTML Help file with jumps from individual topics or the table of contents to Web pages on an intranet, an extranet, or the Internet. In addition, you can display an HTML page contained in a compiled HTML Help file from Internet Explorer by using an appropriately formatted URL.

See Also

Using a URL to Open a Page in a Compiled HTML Help File | Adding Help to Your Custom Application | What Is Microsoft HTML Help?| HTML Help Tools and Features | What Kinds of Help Systems Can You Create? | Displaying HTML Help | Working with the HTML Help ActiveX Control