RH2020 Is it possible to import WinHelp (for converting to HtmlHelp)?

New Here ,
Nov 25, 2020 Nov 25, 2020

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Hello!

 

We have an very old desktop program with WinHelp help that we want to update. Is there a way to import either the *.hlp or the *.hpj into RH2020? We consider to produce a CHM from it but are open to alternatives. We're using the trial ATM, if that matters. 

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Adobe Community Professional , Nov 26, 2020 Nov 26, 2020
I think you are completely out of luck here.   I believe you created the project using Help Compiler Workshop. That would create a winhelp file from RTF files created in Word. Actually the way I created my first help file over twenty years ago. I would be amazed if anyone else is still doing that for the simple reason they will not run on later versions of Windows. I see there are some hacks but I have never seen anyone ask about them or report on them in this forum.Classic versions of RoboHelp ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 25, 2020 Nov 25, 2020

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Do you have the original project files or just the old output? If you've got the trial version downloaded, make sure you're all patched up & try opening them.

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New Here ,
Nov 25, 2020 Nov 25, 2020

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- I have the HPJ project file (plus all the RTFs and whatnot), and the HLP file.

- Updating right now 🙂

- How do I open them? "Open project" wants RH project files, and I found no "Import" option.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 25, 2020 Nov 25, 2020

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There isn't an import option. The source files in your existing project contain a file to open the project in the version you have. In more recent years it is the XPJ file, before that it was the MPJ file. 

 

In 2020 you can upgrade projects with the XPJ file but upgrading from much old versions is not an option. So the key question is which version of RoboHelp do you have and does it have an MPJ or XPJ file in it?

________________________________________________________
See www.grainge.org for free Authoring and RoboHelp Information

 

 

Please use the blue Reply button at the top to help me help you. The black Reply link nests replies and they sort out of order.

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New Here ,
Nov 25, 2020 Nov 25, 2020

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We don't have XPJ or MPJ files. Are these RoboHelp project files? We only have the WinHelp project (i.e. an *.hpj file plus the referenced assets like RTFs and bitmaps) and the output (*.hlp file). We never used RoboHelp before – I’m just exploring if we can use it to do the WinHelp-HtmlHelp conversion because I read it can do that.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 25, 2020 Nov 25, 2020

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Can you share the what you have? If you can, then see the Contact page on my site and zip and send the file as instructed there. Do make sure you include a link to this thread and please do not email the project direct.

________________________________________________________
See www.grainge.org for free Authoring and RoboHelp Information

Please use the blue Reply button at the top to help me help you. The black Reply link nests replies and they sort out of order.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 25, 2020 Nov 25, 2020

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Ok, so all you have are output files - now you're into "reverse engineering" - not sure if anyone has a tool out there to get a RH project out of those old old WinHelp files.

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New Here ,
Nov 25, 2020 Nov 25, 2020

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For us, the HPJ & Co is the source files. 🙂

But yes, that's what I thought I could do using RH. Based on reading posts like https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/SECURITY/en-US/548fbff8-9e5d-4aa5-a498-8a7aca98d2b9/html-he... mentioning RoboHelp.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 26, 2020 Nov 26, 2020

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I think you are completely out of luck here.

 

  1. I believe you created the project using Help Compiler Workshop. That would create a winhelp file from RTF files created in Word. Actually the way I created my first help file over twenty years ago. I would be amazed if anyone else is still doing that for the simple reason they will not run on later versions of Windows. I see there are some hacks but I have never seen anyone ask about them or report on them in this forum.
  2. Classic versions of RoboHelp allow you to import WinHelp to create a new project. I tried a number of options but everyone resulted in RoboHelp crashing. To be precise it closed without importing and did not create a new project.
  3. I then thought about RoboHelp for Word and seeing if importing the RTF files would provide a solution. RoboHelp for Word last shipped with RoboHelp 10, five versions back. Even if I had a copy it would not help as XP is the last version of Windows that was supported on.
  4. There is a program called FAR. It stands for Find and Replace but is a collection of many utilities and I believe but am not sure that it can create a CHM file from what you have. It used to be a paid for product but it is now free. www.HelpwareGroup.com
  5. With a CHM you could reverse engineer that into a RoboHelp project as described at Reverse Engineering (grainge.org). That would create a RoboHelp Classic project that you could then upgrade in RoboHelp 2020.

 

That's about all I can offer. Is there anyone supporting this forum who is familiar with using FAR or the Help Compiler Workshop who can add more?

 

ATM = At the moment?

 

The thread you pointed to suggests you may also be able to create a CHM using the Help Compiler Workshop. If that is what you are using that could be worth a try. If that works then reverse engineer that.

 

Finally given how long it is since WinHelp worked, how have you managed to keep this going?

 

Sorry it's not better news. Basically you have left the car in the garage and neglected it for too long, no surprise it won't start.

 

Please use the blue Reply button at the top to help me help you. The black Reply link nests replies and they sort out of order.

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New Here ,
Nov 26, 2020 Nov 26, 2020

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Re 1: Yes, the project probably has been created with HCW. It hasn't been maintained for some time and I'm trying to revive it.

 

Re 2: I have no experience with help authoring, but I guess our help project has a few specialties that might cause hickups for RoboHelp.


Re ATM – yes, it’s “At the moment”.


The *.hlp is still working on Windows 10. I’m not sure what hoops we had to jump through to get a working WinHlp32. I followed https://www.help-info.de/en/Help_Info_WinHelp/hw_converting.htm and got a CHM that way but lots of pictures were missing (probably https://www.betaarchive.com/wiki/index.php/Microsoft_KB_Archive/267959) and the context sensitivity was lost. Most of the links there a dead by now which is telling, I guess (car in the garage ;-)).


In the meantime, I was able to import our WinHelp project and produce a decent CHM (as far as I can tell) with a trial version of Help+Manual . I’ll have to investigate that further but there’s hope.


Thanks a lot for your efforts, Peter and Jeff. It’s much appreciated.

 

Uli.

 

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Resources
RoboHelp Documentation