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Tech: Windows HELP Files

JohnInKansas 10 Mar 11 - 12:37 PM
JohnInKansas 11 Mar 11 - 01:15 PM
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Subject: Tech: Windows HELP Files
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Mar 11 - 12:37 PM

When Vista first appeared, a few people may have noticed that Help files in older programs (file extension .hlp) could no longer be viewed. Neither Vista nor Win7 includes an executable file for displaying .hlp files, and there apparently is no intention to provide such a file automatically in any future version.

At the time, Microsoft warned of EXTREMELY DIRE CONSEQUENCES if the required .exe file was transferred to the Vista computer.

Quite a few of the older programs run just fine, but the Help files accompanying them were "invisible" and hence useless.

(This is different than the Vista Help files that are visible but completely useless by design - apparently.)

Microsoft has now produced and released "Vista & Win7 Compatible" .exe files that you can use to view the old .hlp help files. The new .exe files apparently disable certain kinds of macros that were the reason for concern with the older XP and earlier versions, and all the old screaming and yelling has subsided.

On the extremely remote possibility that someone here who's using Vista or Win7 might want to actually RTFM for one of their older programs, information about the "new" WinHlp32.exe files can be found at KB Article 917607.

There are separate downloads for 32-bit and 64-bit OS versions, and separate ones for Vista, Win7, and Windows Server 2008. The actual download sites are linked at the above KB article.

The download pages do ask permission to run a "validation" on your Windows installation, but it's quick and painless - if you're legal.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows HELP Files
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 01:15 PM

OK - I concede.

I was pretty sure when I posted the information that there wasn't gonna be anybody here that wants to RTFM.

John


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