[guispeak] CHM2TXT 1.1 released

  • From: Jamal Mazrui <empower@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: GUISpeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, ProgrammingBlind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Program-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, UAccess-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 17:25:37 -0500 (EST)


Version 1.1
March 9, 2009

CHM2TXT (chm2txt.exe) is a command line utility under Windows that
converts a file from Compiled HTML format (.chm) to structured text format
(.txt).  Combining multiple HTML and graphics files, the CHM format is
commonly used for software documentation, e.g., what is displayed by
pressing F1.  The default help viewing program, however, can be
challenging for searching globally or reading continuously.  A single,
structured text file provides an alternative, particularly when viewed
with an editor that understands a few organizational conventions.  CHM2TXT
is thus a free, open source program that seeks to fill an observed need of
many users for more convenient ways of searching and reading software

The original version was written in the Perl language.  Its source code
and executable are still included in the distribution archive.  The new
version is written in the WinBatch language, adopting code I had been
using privately for years to convert help files to text.  It is more
reliable and sophisticated, e.g., ordering topics according to the outline
view of the CHM file, rather than in simple alphabetical sequence.  It can
also convert a batch of files with a wildcard specification, rather than
just a single file with each invocation.  A similar approach could have
been developed with Perl;  I just happen to be more familiar with WinBatch
and had an existing code base that I could hone for this purpose.

Other applications may invoke CHM2TXT for conversions, possibly behind a
graphical user interface (GUI) for specifying source and target files.
For example, this capability is part of the latest version of the EdSharp
editor, available at

In EdSharp, press Control+Shift+O to Open Other Format, specify the name
of a .chm file, and find the converted text in a new document window.


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