Listing of July 1996 Reviews
By David W. Methvin
Two years ago, help files were hot. It seemed they'd become the
de facto hypertext standard. Then came the Web. Now, HTML is king.
Blue Sky's Help-to-HTML Kit lets sidetracked help file authors
get back on the main highway. Two utilities come in the kit: the
RoboHelp HTML Plug-in generates HTML files from a RoboHelp document
in Microsoft Word 95, and the Help-to-HTML Converter converts
WinHelp files directly to HTML without the need for original document
sources. The HTML Plug-in utility is also bundled as part of Blue
Sky's RoboHelp 95 HTML Edition and WinHelp Office 95 HTML Edition.
Help-to-HTML does a workmanlike job of converting a WinHelp file
to HTML. It converts each help file topic to a separate HTML file
and resolves links between topics into HTML hyperlinks. The program
also converts graphics to .GIF format and references them. To
create a home page, it uses the contents (.CNT) file, employing
a hierarchical view that resembles the layout of the WinHelp Contents
tab. Help-to-HTML notes unsupported Help features in an exceptions
file so you can make a manual correction.
Help-to-HTML supports only the most plain-vanilla HTML 2.0 features.
For example, it doesn't convert font colors. The program also
does not convert Help file tables to flexible HTML tables, but
instead renders them with a monospaced (Courier) font and hard
spaces. Since people who aren't HTML-savvy may be using the converter,
it should at least offer an option to generate better HTML code.
If you want to design a common style for your HTML pages that
includes a background bitmap, navigational heading or your company
logo, you'll have to edit the dozens or hundreds of files the
converter generates. Despite its drawbacks, Help-to-HTML is the
only product of its type, and it works well enough that it's still
Pros: Converts help files to HTML
Cons: No support for common HTML features
Platforms: Windows 95, NT
Disk Space: 2MB
Blue Sky Software
WinMag Box Score: 3.0