Converting a help file (chm) to PDF

The following tutorial explains how to convert a .chm (Microsoft Compiled HTML Help) file to a PDF document by using the novaPDF printer driver. To be able to make the conversion, download and install novaPDF from the Download page available on the website.

On this page: How to convert a chm to a PDF from Help Explorer Viewer How to convert a chm to a PDF from xCHM How to convert a chm to a PDF from Microsoft HTML Help control

The .chm file format stands for Microsoft Compiled HTML Help and it is a proprietary type for the online help files. It was produced and released by Microsoft and it is similar with the LIT format as LIT is basically a modified version of chm and adapted for e-books. All the documentation is saved in a compressed HTML format and includes images, text and links. Some chm files can also be viewed in a web browser with or without additional add-ons.

Chm files are specially optimized for reading and are heavily indexed. However the format also contains a couple of flaws, a big one representing the ability to contain and execute custom code which in regards to security can be considered a threat. This is why Microsoft wants to replace the format starting with the Vista systems with Microsoft Assistance Markup Language. Also another downfall is the limited support for Unicode.

This is why choosing a different format for day to day handling or archiving such as the PDF one can be very useful. With the help of a PDF converter such as novaPDF for example, a PDF can contain enhanced security, high quality elements, full Unicode support with font embedding, signatures, on the fly mail sending and more.

How to convert a chm to a PDF from Help Explorer Viewer

The Help Explorer Viewer is a small, freeware application used for chm file viewing. To convert the chm to a PDF:

  1. Click File>Open and browse for the chm file you wish to convert to a PDF
  2. After opening the file, search for the page you need converted and click on the Print button
  3. In the Printer window select novaPDF as the printer name
  4. Click OK then OK again in the Save PDF File As window and the page will be converted.
  • help explorer viewer

How to convert a chm to a PDF from xCHM

To be able to convert the chm to a PDF from xCHM follow these steps:

  1. Click File Open or pres the Ctrl+O combination to find the file and open it
  2. Click on File->Print Page (or Ctrl+P) or click directly on the Print button in the interface and in the Print window select novaPDF
  3. Click on Print and after selecting after save actions if needed click OK to convert the file
  • xchm

How to convert a chm to a PDF from Microsoft HTML Help control

The Microsoft HTML Help application is the native .chm handler and this is what you have to do to convert chm to PDF from it:

  1. Double-click on the chm file to open it or right click on it, select Open with and choose MS HTML Executable
  2. Click on Options -> Print or press the Print button directly from the interface
  3. Choose between printing the selected page/topic or print the topic with all the subtopics included and click OK
  4. In the Print window select novaPDF for the printer and click OK
  5. In the Save PDF File As window click OK again and the conversion will start
  • ms html help

Applies to:

  • novaPDF Printer 1.x - 7.x
  • Help Explorer Viewer
  • xCHM
  • Microsoft HTML Help control

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