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CHM stands for Compressed HTML but it is much more than that.


[edit] Overview

CHM is a container for multiple HTML files and provides a mechanism to rapidly access data in this format. It is largely used for reference documents and Help documents. This is a handy way to keep reference manuals close at hand for easy access. Microsoft includes a CHM Help reader in its Microsoft Windows operating system called hh.exe. When you click on help in a Microsoft application and some 3rd party applications you will find yourself in the CHM Reader. It can also be used directly by providing the CHM file as the argument for the command on a command line or in a shortcut.

CHM has limited Unicode support. For best results, one file should not contain multiple languages.

[edit] Exploded .chm

[edit] Windows utility

For those using Windows, you can use the free chm --> html tool provided by Microsoft, as follows:

 C:\> hh -decompile Destdir Source.chm

Then proceed from there, by manually editing/converting any .hhc to resemble an index/TOC.

For Linux users you may want to try the ViCHMethod approach to produce HTML and then PDF.

[edit] CHM decompiler

chmdeco a CHM decompiler - free converter.

[edit] Running HH on Windows

The following files are needed to use the HH command.

HH.EXE         (Windows or WinNT directory)
HHCTRL.OCX     (System or System32 directory)
ITSS.DLL       (System or System32 directory)
ITIRCL.DLL    (System or System32 directory)

[edit] CHM Readers for other platforms

For Unix (Linux/MacOS X) users there is the open source

For Windows Mobile

For MacOS X

FBReader has chm support but generally works best with small files.

Hanlin eBook Readers have native support for CHM files but have similar limitations to FBReader.

[edit] For more information

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