Document status: archived

WinHelp WinHelp is not used for new help projects. But, some legacy systems use WinHelp. WinHelp was an early type of online help for software. WinHelp runs only on Windows.

WinHelp can include graphics, multimedia, hyperlinks, and pop-up windows. Therefore, for topics, there are no disadvantages compared to the current help formats.

Navigation is a problem in WinHelp. The navigation is difficult to use, because a reader cannot easily view both the table of contents and the content at the same time.

Windows Vista and WinHelp

According to Microsoft Knowledge Base article 917607 (, Windows Vista partly supports WinHelp. WinHelp has two formats:

Although 32-bit WinHelp files can be viewed in Windows Vista by downloading and installing WinHlp32.exe, Microsoft recommends that software developers change the online help to an alternative help file format, such as compiled HTML Help, HTML, or XML. For more information, see 'Help Engine Support' in 'The Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Developer Story: Application Compatibility Cookbook' on the MSDN website (

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