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Not finding words that are in UTF-8 seems to be a HTML help feature, when talking about non-Western character sets.
I just tried a help that used Russian in UTF-8 but could not get it to work before I converted everything (.htm, .hhc, .hhk) to Windows-1251. I needed to convert the .hhc and .hhk to display ToC and Index right and converting the .htm files was needed to make Search work. Before conversion, searching for a "Western" word would also give me a list of "garbled" Russian topic titles. Actually, I mainly compile my non-Western languages with MS HTML Help Workshop and always change the Windows Regional and Language options to match the language of the help.
I am not aware of a Kazakh or Ukrainian encoding that would work :(
... does anybody have a neat way to convert a lot of files from UTF-8 to a "Windows" encoding?...
You are in an area I am not familiar with. However, EditPadPro is a text editor that appears to have the converter you require.
There is a free Lite version but I don't know if that has the converter. The Pro version can be trialled so you can check before you buy.
I don't know if that is what you want but hope the information is of some help.
EditPadPro seems to make it easy to change (find/replace) the charset definition in a lot of files, e.g from
<META http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<META http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=Windows-1251">
but I have not yet found a way to make it convert a number of files in one go.
Converting files one by one does not seem too hard in EditPadPro but if I have hundreds of files... I am not sure if I will have all those files to convert but, in the worst case, I might eventually.
(sorry for highjacking this thread)