There exists a particular kind of help file in Windows that has been in use for many years, but the name and the way to access them is not clear to me. These files usually consist of a lot of text and are structured in a hierarchical manner.
They have a consistent graphical user interface (GUI) that is the same across all programs. I have included an image below to illustrate what I am referring to. I think these files may be associated with DLLs, but I’m not completely sure.
What is the official term for this type of help file, and how can I access them outside of the program?
Windows is an operating system that is widely used throughout the world, and it comes with a variety of features and tools that can be used to troubleshoot problems and improve the user experience. One of the most important features that is often overlooked is the help files that are included with many programs.
These help files are designed to provide users with information about how to use the program, troubleshoot problems, and more. However, finding these help files can be a challenge, especially if you are not familiar with the Windows operating system.
In this blog post, we will discuss how to find help files in Windows, including the official term for this type of help file and how to access them outside of the program.
The Official Term for this Type of Help File
The type of help file that we are referring to in this blog post is called a Windows Help File, or a .hlp file. These files are structured in a hierarchical manner and contain a lot of text that is organized into sections and sub-sections.
Windows Help Files have been in use for many years and are still used today, although they are less common than they once were. They are typically associated with Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs), which are used to provide additional functionality to programs.
How to Access Help Files within Programs
The easiest way to access help files within a program is to look for a Help menu or button within the program itself. This will usually be located in the top menu bar or in a toolbar somewhere within the program.
Clicking on the Help menu or button will usually open the help file within the program, allowing you to browse through the various sections and sub-sections to find the information you need.
How to Access Help Files Outside of Programs
If you need to access a help file outside of a program, there are a few different methods you can use. The first method is to use the Windows Help and Support Center, which is a built-in feature of the Windows operating system.
To access the Windows Help and Support Center, click on the Start button and then click on Help and Support. This will open a window where you can search for help files by keyword, browse through the help topics, and access other support resources.
Another method for accessing help files outside of a program is to use the Windows Help Viewer, which is a standalone program that can be used to view .hlp files. To use the Windows Help Viewer, follow these steps:
1. Click on the Start button and then click on Run.
2. Type “winhlp32.exe” (without the quotes) into the Run box and press Enter.
3. This will open the Windows Help Viewer, where you can browse through the various help files on your computer.
Note that the Windows Help Viewer is no longer included with newer versions of Windows, but it can still be downloaded and installed from the Microsoft Download Center.
How to Open Help Files with Third-Party Programs
If you prefer to use third-party programs to open help files, there are a variety of options available. One popular program is Help Explorer Viewer, which is a free program that can be used to view .hlp files.
To use Help Explorer Viewer, simply download and install the program from the official website, and then open the .hlp file within the program. You can then browse through the various sections and sub-sections to find the information you need.
Another popular program for viewing help files is HelpNDoc, which is a more advanced program that can be used to create and edit .hlp files as well as view them. HelpNDoc is not free, but it does offer a free trial version that can be used to test out the program’s features.
In conclusion, help files are an important resource for Windows users, and they can be accessed in a variety of ways. Whether you prefer to use the built-in Windows Help and Support Center, the Windows Help Viewer, or third-party programs, there are plenty of options available to help you find the information you need.
By understanding the official term for this type of help file and how to access them both within and outside of programs, you can make the most of this valuable resource and troubleshoot problems more effectively.
The type of help files you are describing are called “Windows Help” files, and they typically have the file extension “.hlp”. These files were used in older versions of Windows, such as Windows 95, 98, and Me.
To open a Windows Help file in a newer version of Windows, such as Windows 10, you will need to install a program that can read these files. One option is a free program called “HelpNDoc”, which can be downloaded from the internet. Once installed, you can use HelpNDoc to open and browse Windows Help files.
Alternatively, you can use a web search engine to find online resources or tutorials that provide information about a specific topic. This can be a good option if you do not have access to the specific program or DLL that the help file is related to.
You can refer to the Wikipedia page about “Microsoft Compiled HTML Help” for more information.
It’s worth noting that the “HH.exe” (html-help) utility is still available on Windows 10. You can use this tool to access or run compiled Windows help files that have the file extension “