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Component Help Installer

Installs component help files for Delphi 3 to 7


Version 3.0.0
Released 2010-05-10
O/S Windows 2000 to Windows 8.1


Development of Component Help Installer is frozen.

This program works, with Delphi versions 3 to 7 only, to help in installing OpenHelp compatible WinHelp files. Development stopped in 2010 because, even then, WinHelp support was being deprecated in Windows. Further, Delphi 7 is now a very old compiler.

No Support For Windows 10

There is no point in using this program on Windows 10 and later because the OS no longer permits the use of WinHelp.

I strongly discourage anyone from continuing to develop this program – it's had its day. Having said that if you want to look at the code you can download a copy of the final version below.

There is no support available for CHI. Please do not report any bugs.


Component Help Installer (CHI) installs Delphi-compatible help files into Delphi's OpenHelp system in such a way that the help files are integrated with Delphi. Context sensitive help for components, classes and routines installed by CHI is accessible from the Delphi code editor, form editor and property inspector. CHI works with Delphi versions 3 to 7 only.

CHI comes in two flavours:

  1. A stand-alone Windows application (CHI.exe). This detects which versions of Delphi are installed on the system and allows any available version to be chosen from the main interface.
  2. A command line application (CHInst.exe) is provided mainly to enable installation of help files from batch files. The program can also be called from install programs. It provides all the functionality of the GUI based application through a command line interface. The CHI help file provides an example of using the command line application.

When used with Delphi 6 and 7 CHI will merge any .als a-keyword files found in the same directory as the help file into Delphi's master .als file. This feature works only with Delphi 6 and 7, since .als files are not supported in earlier versions of Delphi.

Using WinHelp with Windows Vista through to Windows 8.1

Starting with Windows Vista, WinHelp is not installed by default. It must be downloaded and installed separately. See Microsoft Knowledge Base article KB917607 for details.

As noted above, Windows 10 and later do not support WinHelp at all.

How it works

If you are interested in what goes on behind the scenes in CHI the please see my article "How to integrate help files into the Delphi 3-7 IDE".


The Component Help Installer source code is archived in the ddab-archive/chi repository on GitHub. The read-me file of that project explains how to get the final source code and binary release.

See BuildNotes.txt in the GitHib repo for details of how to compile the program and its dependencies.


Component Help Installer is open sourced. It's license can be downloaded in RTF format. Much of the original source code is available under the Mozilla Public License v1.1.