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Re-using 'old Windows .HLP files

TonyRichards
Novice
416 Views
For those of you who, like me, are adapting legacy Fortran applications to the latest VS IDE/Intel Fortran compiler installation and whose sole remaining documentation consists largely of the .HLP files created back in the day, along with the comments in the Fortran code, will be no doubt dismayed by MICROSOFT'S withdrawal of WinHelp32.exe functionality from Windows versions later than Windows 8.
However, I have been able to recover use of my .HLP files by following the advice given in the site whose address I attach. The usual caveats about security apply, as the writer of the advice points out.

https://www.winhelponline.com/blog/view-winhelp-hlp-files-windows-10-with-winhlp32-exe/

By using the Method 1 described there, even F1 help works.
I hope this helps.
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6 Replies
andrew_4619
Honored Contributor II
404 Views

As you realise WinHelp is really old and has a number of security vulnerabilities. You have to jump through increasing higher hoop to get it to work on systems after Windows XP. Given the base data is RTF which opens in Word there are a number of not two difficult things you can do.  For example you can convert it to a pdf with a hyperlinked table of contents. You can make it into a series of html files with and index page or indeed you could pack the html into  .chm (HTML help) all of those work and are supported.

TonyRichards
Novice
388 Views

OK, thanks.
1) links to how to convert to what you recommend would be appreciated though, and
2) whatever file it becomes, can it be used in the following way from within a Windows dialog application with minimal disruption to app visibilty:

if ( WinHelp (dlg%hWnd, lpszHelpFilename, HELP_FINDER, OL) .EQ. 0) then.....

or not?
If not, I will try and stick with WinHelp.
regards

AlHill
Super User
403 Views

You can still use the old help.  All you need is a copy of winhlp32.exe from an XP system.

 

to install it, here is a long-running thread regarding this issue:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/all/winhlp32-do-we-have-to-go-through-this-again/d...

 

Doc (not an Intel employee or contractor)
[Windows 11 is the new Vista]

andrew_4619
Honored Contributor II
397 Views

Yes indeed you can still get it to work, if you jump through the necessary hoops and any users of your code will be equally impressed. I can still do my accounts on an abacus and then inscribe them on a slate. Happy days.

TonyRichards
Novice
352 Views

Where do you get your slate chalk from?

or indeed slates?

regards

andrew_4619
Honored Contributor II
337 Views

On the original topic the htmlhelp Api is very similar to the old winhelp api. It is just the technology for viewing and storing the help data is changed. If you use the .chm format ( a html files wrapper) you use Help Workshop to make  teh chm  file from youd html file sources. You can get html workshop as a downloaded from MS (or is bundled in the windows SDK  stuff also).

HWND HtmlHelpA(
  [in, optional] HWND      hwndCaller,
  [in]           LPCSTR    pszFile,
  [in]           UINT      uCommand,
  [in]           DWORD_PTR dwData
);

See https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/api/htmlhelp/nf-htmlhelp-htmlhelpa 

 

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