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Our software installs a package of legacy software for the client, some of it has old hlp file from 3rd party vendor requiring winhlp32.exe (note: we have no legal right to modify the hlp). Those client may only have cd/dvd and might not have internet access, etc. So I need a free 'WinHlp32.exe compatible' replacement for our redistribution under vista and windows 7.

Background of problem: -Microsoft stopped including the 32-bit Help file viewer in Windows releases beginning with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. -Starting with the release of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, third-party software developers are no longer authorized to redistribute WinHlp32.exe with their programs. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917607

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I think that since you're not the developer of the application you can package the downloadable versions of the winhlp32.exe and include it in your normal installation routine. –  tony roth Jul 19 '10 at 18:31
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Can you convert the WinHelp files to CHM? There's a few tools out there to do that, believe that MS even provides one. The existing HLP file would not be modified, but you'd have a Vista/Win7 compatible copy in a current/maintainable format.

Here's a Yahoo! groups that (surprisingly) still looks busy and focuses on WinHelp tips/techniques/discussion: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HATT/

Also, any chance that these .hlp files are 16-bit? Apparently (reading your link) Win7/Vista still ship with winhelp.exe.

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Nope (sorry I was not clear), we have no rights to extract and/or recreate the hlp in a new format. Moreover the legacy program itself, looks for the hlp to launch as help. –  richardboon Apr 8 '10 at 1:11
    
You might have to write one yourself; there's a couple of utilities and libs on Freshmeat.net that can extract the contents of the .hlp files; it's GPL, you could re-use a good chunk of it: freshmeat.net/search?q=hlp&submit=Search –  gravyface Apr 8 '10 at 2:24
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