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HTML Help Tools and Features

This content is no longer actively maintained.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 create an HTML Help online Help system by using the tools provided with HTML Help Workshop. To download and install these tools, go to the HTML Help Web site at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa155110.aspx. Third-party tools are also available for authoring and compiling HTML Help files. Information about third-party tools is also available on the HTML Help Web site.

HTML Help consists of the following tools:

  • HTML Help Workshop (Hhw.exe), a Help authoring tool with an easy-to-use graphical interface for creating Help project files, HTML topic files, contents files, index files, and everything else you need to put together a Help system or Help Web site.
  • The HTML Help ActiveX control (HHCtrl.ocx), for inserting features such as Help navigation and secondary window functionality into an HTML file.
  • The HTML Help JScript applet (HHCtrl.class and associated .class files), for inserting Help navigation and secondary window functionality into an HTML page when you want to use a JScript applet instead of an ActiveX control.
  • The Microsoft HTML Help Image Editor (Flash.exe), a tool for creating screenshots; converting, editing, and viewing image files; and browsing thumbnail images.
  • The HTML Help Authoring Guide, an online guide for using HTML Help Workshop and designing a Help system, plus a complete HtmlHelp API reference for developers and an HTML tag reference for authors.
  • The HTML Help Viewer program (Hh.exe), which displays and runs your Help system. Topics displayed in the HTML Help Viewer can use the HTML Help ActiveX control so that any navigational elements such as a table of contents, index, full-text search, or related topic jumps specified by the author will be part of the Help system.

Along with these tools, HTML Help provides two important features:

  • The ability to convert existing Windows Help files to HTML Help files.
  • The ability to compress your HTML files while compiling them into a single file. This feature greatly reduces the amount of disk space required for your HTML files and simplifies distribution. A compiled HTML Help file (.chm) plays the same role as a compiled Windows Help file (.hlp).

See Also

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 | Deploying HTML Help

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