Making It Happen:
Distribution & Installation
Even after the Help author has completely finished the HTML Help system
itself, there are a few elements that must be in place on the usersí systems.
While Microsoft Windows automatically includes the components required
to display Windows Help, Windows versions prior to 2000 require a few
additional components before they can display HTML Help.
First, users must have Internet Explorer 3.02 or higher installed on
their system. IE 3.x and above supplies shdocvw.dll, which works
with HTML Help components to display the topics in their windows. If the
HTML Help system uses DHTML, users need IE 4.x or higher to access the
dynamic content. Internet Explorer need not be the default browser on
their system; in fact, they need never use IE itself as a Web browser
but only have its components available for the HTML Help Viewer.
Second, in addition to Internet Explorer, these users must have four
core HTML Help-specific files installed and registered (plus files for
language support, if necessary). The HTML Help-specific files include
an executable program as well as the ActiveX control that the executable
calls to open the .chm and provide navigational facilities. Two
additional dynamic link libraries (DLLs) provide the functionality
required for the compiled HTML Help format and for search capabilities.
These issues do not arise on Windows 2000 systems, where the operating
system installation includes the core IE components and the required HTML
Help elements in support of their own internal help systems. (Windows
2000ís method of automatically installing Internet Explorer and HTML Help
1.3x brings up a new set of challenges, as described at the end of this