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Component Help Installer

Installs component help files for Delphi 3 to 7

Obsolete

Version 3.0.0
Released 10 May 2010
O/S Windows 2000 to Windows 8.1

Obsolete

Development of Component Help Installer is frozen.

This program works with Delphi versions 3 to 7 to help in installing OpenHelp compatible WinHelp files. Development stopped in 2010 because, even then, WinHelp support was being deprecated in Windows. Further, Delphi 7 is now a very old compiler.

No Support For Windows 10

There is no point in using this program on Windows 10 because the OS does not permit the use of WinHelp.

I strongly discourage anyone from continuing to develop this program – it's had its day. Having said that if you want to look at the code you can download a copy of the final version below.

There is no support available for CHI. Please do not report any bugs.

Overview

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.

Using WinHelp with Windows Vista through to Windows 8.1

Starting with Windows Vista, WinHelp is not installed by default. It must be downloaded and installed separately. See Microsoft Knowledge Base article KB917607 for details.

As noted above, Windows 10 does not support WinHelp at all.

How it works

If you are interested in what goes on behind the scenes in CHI the please see my article "How to integrate help files into the Delphi 3-7 IDE".

Download

The following downloads for CHI are hosted on GoogleDrive:

  • The executable program: chi-exe.zip.

    This zip file includes a standard Windows installer which should be extracted from the zip file and run. The installer needs administrator privileges to run and will ask permission on Windows Vista and later.

  • The source code: chi-src.zip.

    This download includes the source code of the final version of CHI. Create a new folder to hold the source code and then unzip the file into it, preserving the directory structure.

  • Subversion repository dump: chi-svndump.zip.

    This is aimed at anyone wanting to take over development of the program. The repo stores all changes to the source code from CHI v2.2.1 to v3.0.0.

    To use the repository first extract chi-svndump from the zip file, then import it into a clean Subversion repository. See the Subversion documentation for details of how to do this.

    The repository contains branches off the tags branch that contain the source code of releases 2.2.1 and 3.0.0. The trunk branch contains the current development tree which, as supplied, is the same as the v3.0.0 tags branch. You should use trunk to make any changes. The tags branches should be left unchanged. Snapshots of any new releases should be added there.

Some DelphiDabbler library projects are required to build CHI from source. They are:

License

CHI is open source.

Most of the source code is released under the Mozilla Public License v1.1, a copy of which is included in the source code downloads.

The executable version of CHI has its own license. This can be viewed on GoogleDrive.