Import a WinHelp HLP file into an HTML project

1)In the Starter pod, click More under Import.

2)Select WinHelp (*.hlp) and click OK.

3)Click Browse, navigate to the HLP file, and open it.

4)Click Next. Set up File options:

Desired Result


Specify a hard drive and folder for saving the HTML project and image (GIF) files (use the same folder for both).

Click Browse browsebut.png and navigate to the drive/folder to select it. Or enter the name of the folder in the text box.

Limit the length of the HTML files to eight characters.

Select Short Filenames. (Enter the first three characters in Prefix if you want the filenames to use similar naming conventions.)

Distribute the HTML project as uncompiled HTML Help (not using Adobe WebHelp)

Enter the name of the start page in Start Page Name.

Distribute the project as compiled Microsoft HTML Help or cross-platform Help using Adobe WebHelp, JavaHelp, or Oracle Help output.

Do not enter information in Start Page Name.


Desired Result


Format HTML topics without attaching style sheets to them.

Select <No Stylesheet>. All topics use default HTML styles, gray background, black serif font.

Format HTML topics to look exactly like the WinHelp topics.

Select <Embedded>. Style sheets are not attached to topics. All formatting is embedded in individual topics. The topic title is Heading 1 style. All other text (regardless of the styles used in WinHelp) is in Normal style.

Attach a custom style sheet to all HTML topics.

Click Browse and navigate to the drive/folder where the style sheet file (CSS) is located to select it.

6)Click Next. Set up HTML Help options:

Desired results


Specify where the Contents, Index, and Search tabs are displayed in the viewer.

Select Top, Side, or Bottom.

Convert your WinHelp pop-up windows into standard HTML links.

Deselect Display Popups In An Active pop-up window.

7)Click Finish.

Version-control projects may have more options.


If you link a style sheet to your HTML topics, a generic style sheet file called StylesCSS is created and added into your project folder. You can modify the styles in this style sheet at any time.

If you select Convert Numbered lists, all WinHelp topics that use numbered lists retain the numbered list formatting in the HTML topics.

HTML limitations with HLP files


Make sure that the WinHelp topics do not use bitmap references as bullets. You can select an option to keep bulleted lists. This option applies only to topics that use bullet characters and not images. If you use images, the HTML output might not include hanging indents.

HTML jumps

Jumps to HTML pages are not converted. You can easily re-create the links in the Design Editor after the HTML topics are created.

Jumps to external WinHelp topics

Jumps to external WinHelp topics are stripped out of the HTML topics. If you are using WinHelp projects (especially master projects) that include external jumps, use the HPJ file instead of the HLP file.

Macros, buttons, and shortcuts

These macros convert: Jump Context, JumpId, and PopupId. Other macros are not converted. Jump Context macros that send output to a window do not convert because links that send output to custom windows are not supported. Only buttons convert for Popup Context macros. Graphic buttons retain their images, but the button is not included.

Microsoft Word HTML styles

Microsoft Word HTML styles are not used to format the HTML topics.

Microsoft Word templates

Word templates that are used to format RTF files in WinHelp are not converted to HTML style sheets.

Mid-Topic jumps

Mid-topic jumps are converted to bookmarks. The bookmark name does not use the mid-topic jump topic ID that was created in WinHelp. Instead, it is assigned a sequence of numbers so that it can be read in the HLP file.

Multimedia files (AVI and WAV)

These files cannot be converted with HLP files. You can add sound and video to HTML topics in the Design Editor. HTML topics can use AVI, AU, MID, RMI, WAV, and other files.

Non-scrolling regions

HTML-based output does not support non-scrolling regions.

Numbered lists

Numbered lists use a 12-point serif font by default. You can create a numbered list style and use it to reformat numbered lists.

Related Topics buttons

Related Topics keywords are translated into Related Topics terms. You see customizable buttons when you view the topics.

Secondary windows

WinHelp secondary windows are not translated. Unlike WinHelp topics, HTML topics do not support links that display information in secondary windows. You can design custom windows in RoboHelp and use them to display topics selected from Related Topics buttons, Keyword Link controls, See Also controls, the table of contents, and the index.

Table of contents

The HTML TOC file (HHC) does not support WinHelp pages that link to external WinHelp topics or reference macros or that contain link statements. You can link HTML TOC items to HTML topics, web and e-mail addresses, FTP sites, newsgroups, and multimedia.

What's This? Help

Context-sensitive Help is not converted. What's This? Help-style topics or dialog topics are converted into regular HTML Help topics. You can import map files and assign map IDs for the window-level Help topics. For What's This? Help, you can re-enter the text from these HTML Help topics into a text-only dialog box and create text-only topics. You can also import context-sensitive Help created with the What's This? Help Composer into your HTML Help projects. If you use the HPJ file, you can transfer the context-sensitive Help topics into HTML Help.

Microsoft Word formatting

Formatting that is not converted in the HTML topics includes underlining, paragraph spacing, indents, alignments, table borders, spreadsheets, background colors, and watermarks.

Tips for creating HTML projects with HLP files

HTML topics cannot use styles and formatting from the WinHelp project. All topic titles are formatted to the Heading 1 style and the rest of the topic is formatted to the Normal style.

Embed the formatting when selecting style options. Instead of attaching a style sheet, the HTML topics are formatted to closely resemble the formatting used in the WinHelp topics.

A style sheet is not required. It can be created after generation.

If the entire WinHelp project is available, create the HTML project using the HPJ file rather than the HLP file.

September 30, 2016

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