HOWTO: Open an HTML Help File to a Specific Topic

HOWTO: Open an HTML Help File to a Specific Topic

Document ID: IR04009
The information in this article applies to:
  • AutoPlay Media Studio 4.0


This article explains how to open an HTML Help file to a specific topic using AutoPlay Media Studio 4.0.


HTML Help files are now the industry standard for Windows help files. HTML Help files are compiled collections of individual HTML documents and the images and other resources that they need. These compiled HTML Help files are viewed with the Microsoft HTML Help Executable. This executable is called "hh.exe" and is usually located in the system's Windows directory (usually "C:\Windows" on Windows 9x or "C:\WINNT" on Windows NT/2000/XP). This viewer has shipped with Windows since Windows 98, Internet Explorer since version 4.0, and Microsoft Office since Office 2000 as well as many other Windows applications.

To open a .chm file to the default help topic, you can simply perform a File.Open action with the path and filename of the help file in the File to open field. However, to open a help file to a specific topic a different method must be used. In this case, you need to run hh.exe directly and pass the path to the help file along with a topic path on the command line. The help file path and the topic path need to be seperated with double colons ("::"). For example: "C:\Program Files\My Program\User's Guide.chm::/User's_Guide/Getting_Started/Chapter_1_Getting_Started.htm".

Here are the specific steps needed to open a help file to a specific topic:

  • Create a File.Execute action.
  • In the File to execute field, enter "%WinDir%\hh.exe" (no quotes).
  • In the Command line arguments field, enter the path to the help file along with the internal path to the topic. For example, "%SrcDir%\User's Guide.chm::/User's_Guide/Getting_Started/Chapter_1_Getting_Started.htm". Make sure to include the quotes in the field in case there is path or filename that has spaces in it. This will force the text to be passed as one command line argument.


KEYWORDS: HTML Help, hh.exe, File.Open, File.Execute

Last reviewed: October 1, 2002
Copyright © 2002 Indigo Rose Corporation. All rights reserved.