Author Topic: .HLP file viewer.  (Read 2129 times)

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RobbeK

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.HLP file viewer.
« on: October 12, 2014, 10:12:59 AM »
Hi all,

Found a viewer  (for win 7 in my case)

From the Wayback Machine :
http://web.archive.org/web/20060220041434/http://www.kamasoftware.com/helpexplorerfeatures.php

go to Download -> Win32 (and also Linux)

best, Rob

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Mike Lobanovsky

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Re: .HLP file viewer.
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2014, 06:45:27 PM »
Rob,

Does Index work in this viewer?

Do popups work in this viewer?

Do non-scrolling areas work in this viewer?

And, most importantly, can you set up context-sensitive help and bind your own apps with this viewer?


No (?), no (!), no (!), and no (!).

Otherwise, looks nice for a palliation.

Thanks! :)
Mike
(3.6GHz Intel Core i5 Quad w/ 16GB RAM, 2 x nVidia GTX 650Ti w/ 2GB VRAM, Windows 7 Ultimate Sp1)

John

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Re: .HLP file viewer.
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2014, 07:32:47 PM »
Nice job on the Win32 API CHM file Mike!



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Mike Lobanovsky

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Re: .HLP file viewer.
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2014, 08:12:58 PM »
Thanks John,

In fact it was a heck of a job doing so many things by hand. Otherwise it wouldn't perform as expected in its CHM implementation. The 16 thousand constituent .HTM files were making Windows Help Workshop almost unusable. :)
Mike
(3.6GHz Intel Core i5 Quad w/ 16GB RAM, 2 x nVidia GTX 650Ti w/ 2GB VRAM, Windows 7 Ultimate Sp1)

Mike Lobanovsky

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Re: .HLP file viewer.
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2014, 10:41:36 PM »
Here's an ancient .HLP file decompiler that can decompile reliably old help files of any size into a .HPJ project. .HPJ projects are also outdated but they are easily converted by MS HTML Help Workshop into newer .HHP projects compilable with the Help Workshop into modern .CHM files.

Please scroll to the bottom of HELPDECO.C to see the command line options that HELPDECO.EXE supports. Be sure to have the .CNT content file decompiled for the .CHM help to have a usable Contents pane. Note that it will require a separate run of HELPDECO.EXE with the /c command line option.

SPLITMRB.EXE is claimed to be able to split old .MRB multi-resolution bitmaps into separate BMP's but this app fails too often to actually do it for you. You'll be much better off using your MS Paint to copy-paste such bitmaps directly off screen.

Note also well that HELPDECO.EXE is incapable of coping with a .HLP file's popups and/or non-scrolling areas should they appear in the .HLP file that you're trying to convert.

The only freeware program that claims being able to restore the popup functionality (no non-scrolling areas though) is HHPMod that you can google for in the net. Be forewarned however that it is painstaikingly slow (on the order of hours for multi-megabyte files) to do its job and you can never know if it is going to succeed or not. Do not believe the over-detailed and somewhat narcissistic manual that comes with it -- the proggy just doesn't do what the author claims.

The only other application that claims to resolve both non-scrolling area and popup issues is Adobe RoboHelp that will come to you eagerly in exchange for a few hundred bucks.

Happy conversion! :D

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Mike
(3.6GHz Intel Core i5 Quad w/ 16GB RAM, 2 x nVidia GTX 650Ti w/ 2GB VRAM, Windows 7 Ultimate Sp1)

John

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Re: .HLP file viewer.
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2014, 11:22:44 PM »
Can you provide the original Win32API .hlp file or link to it? Where did Rob get his copy he was demoing in Win7?


Mike Lobanovsky

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Re: .HLP file viewer.
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2014, 12:01:33 AM »
Rob's GFABasic must be some ancient BASIC dialect that shipped with the .HLP file depicted in his snapshot.

The original Win32.HLP file that I converted came with the free MASM32 installation package I downloaded from http://www.masm32.com/ some 10 years ago or so. I am not sure if the same package is still available from there. Perhaps they have even upgraded their help system to .CHM themselves in the meantime.

Do you want me to upload the original for you here?
Mike
(3.6GHz Intel Core i5 Quad w/ 16GB RAM, 2 x nVidia GTX 650Ti w/ 2GB VRAM, Windows 7 Ultimate Sp1)

John

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Re: .HLP file viewer.
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2014, 12:25:36 AM »
Quote
Do you want me to upload the original for you here?

For me, no. I'm more than happy with what you have already provided and viewable under Linux. Maybe someone more Windows centric would find value in the original format.