Component Help Installer

Release: 3.0.0
Date: 10 May 2010
O/S: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server, Windows Vista, Windows 2008 Server



Development of Component Help Installer is frozen.

This program works with Delphi versions 3 to 7 to help in installing OpenHelp compatible WinHelp files. Since WinHelp is no longer supported by Windows, and since Delphi 7 is now an old compiler, it has been decided not to develop CHI any further.

If you want to take over development, please do so. The source code of v3, along with a dump of a Subversion repository containing the code, is available from the Download tab. If you do take over the project, please let me know.

Component Help Installer (CHI) installs Delphi-compatible help files into Delphi's OpenHelp system in such a way that the help files are integrated with Delphi. Context sensitive help for components, classes and routines installed by CHI is accessible from the Delphi code editor, form editor and property inspector. CHI works with Delphi versions 3 to 7.

CHI comes in two flavours:

  1. A stand-alone Windows application (CHI.exe). This detects which versions of Delphi are installed on the system and allows any available version to be chosen from the main interface.
  2. A command line application (CHInst.exe) is provided mainly to enable installation of help files from batch files. The program can also be called from install programs. It provides all the functionality of the GUI based application through a command line interface. The CHI help file provides an example of using the command line application.

When used with Delphi 6 and 7 CHI will merge any .als a-keyword files found in the same directory as the help file into Delphi's master .als file. This feature works only with Delphi 6 and 7, since .als files are not supported in earlier versions of Delphi.

WinHelp and Windows Vista and later
The WinHelp program required to display help for Delphi 3-7 is not included with Windows Vista and later OSs by default but must be downloaded and installed separately. See Microsoft Knowledge Base article KB917607 for details.

How it works

If you are interested in how CHI works then please download and examine the source code.

For information on what goes on behind the scenes please see my article "How to integrate help files into the Delphi 3-7 IDE".