3 Replies Latest reply on May 12, 2008 3:13 PM by Pete Lees

    Web vs Win vs Win Help formats

      right now we want to create the classic chm file, but when would we want to create the other Help file formats? our application runs on Won OS, including Vista, the RH help is not clear about this
        • 1. Re: Web vs Win vs Win Help formats
          Pete Lees Level 2
          Hi, Colin,

          The type of application for which you're supplying help usually dictates the format in which to deliver that help.

          For a standard Windows desktop application, compiled HTML Help (.chm) continues to be the obvious choice.

          A browser-based format such as WebHelp is typically used when you need to deliver your help content over the Web, or store it remotely on a network drive, or support more platforms than just Windows.

          The article below contains a lot of information that you may find useful:


          • 2. Web vs Win vs Win Help formats
            AcolinFlood Level 1
            thanks for the quick response, what about WinHelp 2000 vs WinHelp 4? we want our Help files to work with Vista, do we just use classic chm for now? I read the link about using chm format, are they abondoning their own format?
            • 3. Re: Web vs Win vs Win Help formats
              Pete Lees Level 2

              Yes, definitely HTML Help in preference to WinHelp. In fact, the WinHelp engine (winhlp32.exe) doesn't even ship with Vista and Windows Server 2008, although anyone wanting to view .hlp files can still get it from the Microsoft Download Center. Here is a Microsoft Knowledge Base article on the subject:

              "The Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) program is no longer included in Windows operating systems starting with Windows Vista"

              WinHelp 2000 is a dressed-up version of WinHelp that the makers of RoboHelp introduced in the very early days of HTML Help, at a time when not all Windows computers were equipped with the components required to view HTML Help files. The idea was to deliver something that looked roughly like HTML Help but had a more readily achievable set of system requirements. This format is still essentially WinHelp, however, so it suffers from the same issues as far as running on Vista is concerned.

              For the time being, Microsoft continues to recommend HTML Help as the most appropriate help format for Windows applications. See:

              "Which Version of Help do I Need?"