H2Compile - MS Help 2 Compile for Author-it 5


Latest Version: H2Compile 1.0 (build 04) - see change notes below.

H2Compile brings MS Help 2 output to Author-it 5. MS Help 2 is the help system used by Visual Studio 2002\2003\2005\2008 and compiles to a .HxS help file.

H2Compile takes the Author-it HTML Help project output and converts this into an MS Help 2 project then compiles the project to a .HxS help file.

Collection level files + H2Reg script are also generated so you can test and ship your help.


  • Visual Studio 2002\2003\2005 or 2008 
  • Visual Studio SDK (contains the MS Help 2.x compiler) -- A free download from the Microsoft web site.

Licensing & Purchase

H2Compile.exe is shareware. Download the full version (see attachments section below) and if you like it you can buy it.
Legally you should not run past 30 days without a license.

Please contact Helpware for more information.


See the end of the page for the download file.

For local installs we recommend installing to the Author-it compilers folder  

C:\Program Files\Author-it 5\Compilers\MSHelp2\ 

For Server installs we recommend installing to the Templates or similar shared folder 


Once installed import the Author-it XML file "MSHelp2 - Publishing Profile.xml" into Author-it using the import XML option.

  • By default the Publishing Profile will be imported into the standard Publishing Profiles folder in Author-it i.e. “Standards\Publishing Profiles”.
  • The publishing Profile has been configured to allow publishing of any books in the Author-it library.
If you have put the “H2Compile.exe” into a non-default location then once the import has completed you will need to modify the Publishing Profiles after publish action to use the correct paths.

Note: If you change the path ensure you replace it with a fully qualified local or UNC path.

You will now be able to publish books to MS Help 2 format, and the compiled output will be placed into a sub-directory of the publishing folder named “HxS” as per the afterpublish action argument 2.

If the MS Help 2 content is not compiled correctly ensure that you content can publish to HTML Help without error first.

Change Notes

Robert Chandler,
Aug 5, 2010, 9:32 PM
Robert Chandler,
Oct 27, 2010, 8:39 PM