Michalis Kamburelis edited this page Mar 2, 2017 · 13 revisions

HTML Help is a file format for documentation. The final documentation can be a single file with an extension .chm (for "compiled html"). It was designed by Microsoft, along with some proprietary tools to create and view it, but a number of cross-platform open-source viewers also exist now.

As the name suggests, the format is based on HTML. Internally, a .chm file is just a collection of HTML files, with some extra information. See Wikipedia and Microsoft documentation for more information.

PasDoc can generate all the files necessary to create the HTML Help documentation. We do not produce a ready .chm file — but we generate all the prerequisites necessary, so that you can create the final file using the Microsoft HTML Workshop (free download).

How to use HTML Help output:

  1. Generate htmlhelp documentation with pasdoc with --format=htmlhelp. In addition to normal html files, pasdoc will also output files docs.hhc, docs.hhk and docs.hhp. You can change the names of these files to something else with --name option.

  2. Download HTML Help Workshop

  3. Make docs.chm file:

    • Interactively: run the hhw program from the HTML Help Workshop, (by default in C:\Program Files (x86)\HTML Help Workshop), open generated docs.hhp file, and run "Compile HTML file" from toolbar.

    • Or in batch mode: run hhc docs.hhp (make sure that the program hhc is on your $PATH first).

That’s it! You have docs.chm file, that can be viewed with HTML Help viewer.

Custom help contents

Optionally, if you wish to use a custom help-contents file, you can specify a file name with the --html-help-contents option for PasDoc. Each line of the file specifies an entry in the help contents. Each space or tab character at the beginning of a line increases the level of the item in the contents by 1. The remainder of the line comprises a title for the item, an "=" character, and the link to which the item should be connected. For example: An Item = MyPage.html

PasDoc, documentation generator for Pascal:
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