What is “.CHM” File ?

Most of the windows users are already familiar with .chm files. Okay, If you are not familiar with them then don’t wory In this article I am going to tell you what they are. Chm files are the files having an extension “.chm” and CHM stands for Microsoft Compiled HTML Help. This is a Microsoft proprietary help format, so in most of the windows applications you can see a standard help file with a .chm extension.

What is a chm file

Chm files are simple binary files which contain hyperlinked (HTML) pages along with a content table generally called as “index”. On the Index page, hyperlinks are present that help in direct and quick navigation between the internal pages (content).  The index page is the main or start page and it contains the links to all the other HTML pages that are bundled with it. This forms a closely knit structure which is very user friendly and easier for navigation.

Chm files were introduced by Microsoft with Windows 98 and are still supported in Windows 7. Previously, Microsoft used to have a different help file mostly called “Microsoft Winhelp” with an .rtf extension.

Features of .chm files:

  • Data compression is supported (compression algorithm used is LZX compression)
  • Build in search capabilities
  • Ability to add and merge more documents.
  • Extended character support.

How to read chm files on non windows system:

If you are using some non windows system then you can use the below mentioned resources to read .chm files:

  • You can convert .chm files to .pdf files with this online tool. You can use the tool here.
  • You can also use this firefox add-on to read .chm files in firefox. You simply need to install the extension and  then open the file with firefox.
  • If you are using Linux then you can use KchmViewer to view .chm files.



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Ankit is the founder of Geek Revealed. He is tech Geek who loves to sit in front of his square headed girlfriend all day long. :D   You can find Ankit on FaceBook or Google Plus

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