HTML help not searchable, A-Keywords calls fail

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HTML help not searchable, A-Keywords calls fail

Unread postby Thomas Grehl » Fri May 19, 2017 12:06 pm

We have a strange issue with HTML help: on our build server (Win7, current patch level) we continuously build a large set of CHM files which worked for years, H&M is updated to the latest version.
Since a certain date in March, the CHM files created are missing the search functionality, any search term yields "Topic not found". Also, calls to the CHM file with an A-Keyword are failing, "no help topic found for <A-keyword>". We can't find anything that changed on the server, but of course we may miss something. On the other PCs the build results using the same sources and the same build script work are ok. Re-installing the Microsoft compiler does not help.

1. Any idea what might have caused this? Anyone having seen a similar issue?
2. How can we differentiate between H&M and the Microsoft compiler as a source for this problem?

Thomas Grehl
Thomas Grehl
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Re: HTML help not searchable, A-Keywords calls fail

Unread postby Tim Green » Fri May 19, 2017 1:50 pm

Hi Thomas,

Errors like this are frequently caused by a damaged or malfunctioning CHM compiler installation so I recommend reinstalling it. Even though it may have been working correctly before, this Microsoft compiler is known for occasionally "losing" its important settings for no apparent reason. You can download the correct version of the MS HTML Help Workshop compiler package here:

Before installing go to the Windows Control Panel and uninstall your current version of HTML Help Workshop and then restart Windows. Then run the installer you downloaded with the above link.


1) Install HTML Help Workshop with the same user account you plan to use when working with Help & Manual. Otherwise the CHM compiler may not have the same permissions as your user account.

2) Note that when you install HTML Help Workshop it will display a confusing message saying that your computer "already has a more recent version of HTML Help". This can be ignored. It only refers to the runtime components for *displaying* HTML Help, which are always more recent than those in the compiler package on computers running anything later than Windows 98. ;-)

After reinstalling HTML Help Workshop restart Windows. Then start H&M and go to View - Program Options - Compilers and make sure that the path to hhc.exe in the "HTML Help Compiler" field points to the directory where you just reinstalled the compiler.

If you continue to have problems first check whether the issue is associated with just a specific project: Select a different project or create a dummy project with the New Project option in the File menu. If that publishes OK, then mail us your project and we will check it for you. We don't need the graphics initially, just the project itself in single-file .hmxz format. If you're using .hmxp you can save a single-file .hmxz copy with Save As... in the File menu.
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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