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H2Compile Help

Using H2Compile with Author-it 

H2Compile is an MS Help 2 compiler plug-in for Author-it 5. You normally won't see the H2Compile.exe main window since Author-it runs H2Compile.exe in quiet mode via it's command-line augments.

Here are the default command-line augments. See Author-it "After Publishing" settings for plug-in "Compile MS Help 2 File".


  • The first parameter <SYS_PUBLISH_FOLDER> tells H2Compile where the input directory is.
  • The second parameter <SYS_PUBLISH_FOLDER>\HxS tells H2Compile where the output directory is.
  • The third parameter /q tells H2Compile to run in quiet mode (main window hidden).
H2Compile copies the files from <SYS_PUBLISH_FOLDER>  to <SYS_PUBLISH_FOLDER>\HxS, then converts the files (in the HxS folder) to an MS Help 2 project and finally compiles the project to a .HxS help file format.

You need to manually go to the <SYS_PUBLISH_FOLDER>\HxS folder to check and retrieve the output.

At the end of conversion & compilation... 
  • the \HxS\ folder will contain your MS Help 2 project source files.
  • the \HxS\Ship\ folder will contain the log file (check for errors) and the final .HxS help file.
  • the \HxS\Ship\ folder also contains COL_*.Hx? collection level files you will require if you want to test or ship your help.

H2Compile WIndow

You can also run H2Compile.exe in standalone mode.

The first page allows you to convert a HTML Help project (Input directory) to a MS Help 2 project (Output directory). You can optionally add version and copyright information (since MS Help 2 .HxS help files support this meta data). When you press Start, your HH project is copies from the Input directory to the Output directory and converted into a MS Help 2 project. Then the project is compiled into a .HxS help file.

The Compile page is just for compiling an existing MS Help 2 project.
For example you may find your MS Help 2 project (in the output directory) contains compile errors.
You can try and fix the errors then attempt a recompile.

The About page tab simple displays version and license information.