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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Older WinHelp files

    Somewhere around XP, MS changed the help file format. They used to have a conversion where older help files would open with winhlp.exe (?). That seems to have disappeared with Windows 7.

    But I have a copy of winhlp.exe that will open the older help files, but I'm not able to set it as the default for that type of file -- associate the hlp files with winhlp.exe. So I can open the files manually, but not inside a program that relies on them. When I try to set it as the default, the checkbox for "default is grayed out.

    Is there a way to fix this?

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  2. #2
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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    What program or tool are you using to try to set the default?

    Joe
    Joe

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    It's a tutorial that is in the old help format - lessons.hlp.

    Regards,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    Have you tried Control Panel | Programs | Default Programs | Set Associations?

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    Joe:

    It's the strangest thing: When I do that, the association is to winhelp.exe, which I'm showing as 256,192 bytes, dated 9/18/06.

    Once I set that, from within the specific program, the help file loads. Outside of that program r oldies I presume), I get "Cannot open Help file" when double-clicked, but right-clicking and Open With" works.

    Very strange.

    Too bad there's not an easy (and cheap) way to update the help files to chm...but then I suppose the program that uses them wouldn't be able to read the new one anyway...

    Oh well...

    Thanks Joe.

    Regards,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    Sounds like these programs need to be updated, <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    Dave:

    Wishful thinking...a couple in particular are "out of print", or I would in a heartbeat.

    Regards,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    And you have to keep relearning the same stuff <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    You need to keep a older machine around just for these type of programs.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    Now that's no way to problem-solve Dave!

    If they had thought like that back in the 70's and 80's they would have said "What we need is is a couple thousand more accountants so that we can get the numbers added up faster!"

    In reality, this boy is on both a cash and a space budget, so that's not a terribly workable option. Actually, I just don't like the idea of something working that I can't understand "why".

    I couldn't associate the hlp files with winhelp.exe. It kept giving me errors. Then it started working *inside* the program, but when I try to open the file *outside* the program, I get the error.

    I think it's a conspiracy!

    And why in Hades did they change it anyway, as the "fix" was working just fine? What did they gain from the switch, 'cause there seems to be little difference from a user standpoint.?

    Or is it just one more way to get users to decide to "upgrade"?

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    In the regsitry editor does HKEY_CLASSES_ROOThlpfileshellopencommand exist? In the right pane, does the command line have " " around the %1 ?

    Joe
    Joe

  11. #11
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    Joe:

    It didn't, but it does now, but still won't open the files outside of the program. The right pane for command shows:

    %SystemRoot%winhlp32.exe "%1"

    Regards,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  12. #12
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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    <hr>And why in Hades did they change it anyway, as the "fix" was working just fine? What did they gain from the switch, 'cause there seems to be little difference from a user standpoint.? <hr>

    They (who ever that should be) did NOT change a thing, YOU did.
    You changed the OS from XP which this program was designed for, to Vista and now Windows 7.
    You have been around long enough to KNOW that when it comes to a NEW OS, then ALL bets are off.

    What is (Are) these program(s) that have this OLD help systems?
    Give us some REAL program names!

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  13. #13
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    Now Dave, let me grumble a bit!~

    Some came from as far back as Win 98, and I was happy just applying the MS KB to my setup each time. MS themselves put out the "fix" for the older help files, so they made a decision to not do that any more...that's OK, I'll survive.

    **
    I do think it's strange that in older (programs and ) help files, you can get the association to winhelp.exe to work -- inside the older program, but not outside, just clicking on the help files...strange -- at least to me.
    **

    And yeah, I sometimes have to remind myself that beta O/S's can be a bit "different", but it IS too bad the MS gave up (sort of) on the backward compatibility of the help files.

    One of the programs is called PSA Cards. It's a phone/index card program that I haven't found a good substitute for -- in flexibility or versatility. And I have a couple tutorials that were constructed in the old help file format. I thought of trying to upgrade these to chm files, but I couldn't find a [cheap/free, easy] way to accomplish this.

    Regards,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  14. #14
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    Dave,
    This refers to ANY program that used the old WinHlp32.exe program (older versions of software that will still run on Vista - with the exception of the Help function).

    Chuck,
    If you read this article , a NEW version of this will be available for Windows 7 WHEN Windows 7 is finalized.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  15. #15
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    Re: Older WinHelp files

    Make sure you read the KB article to which Rebel linked in <post#=759,014>post 759,014</post#>.

    Joe
    Joe

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