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KeyTools 1.0

KeyTools is a set of utilities for managing the HTML Help and WinHelp systems on your computer, and for optimizing those help systems for better performance. The primary focus of the KeyTools utilities is HTML Help, the Microsoft development environment for developing HTML-based help and multimedia titles. Since many people who develop HTML Help systems also develop WinHelp systems, KeyTools also includes a few tools for WinHelp development.

Because the primary focus of KeyTools is for HTML Help systems, KeyTools requires you to have Internet Explorer 4 or later installed on your machine.

The following table gives a brief description of the utilities contained in the version 1.0 release of KeyTools:




Extracts the source files from a compiled HTML Help (.chm) or compiled Internet Explorer (.its) file. Also recreates the project file (.hhp file).


Recompiles one or more .chm or .its files to further reduce its size.

HTML Help Registry

Lists all .chm files that have been registered on your computer system. You can add to or remove from the list, or modify the name or location of an entry.

WinHelp Registry

Lists all .hlp, .cnt, and other WinHelp files that have been registered on your computer system, with tools for adding, removing, or modifying entries in the list.

Find HTML Help Components

Locates all HTML Help development files on your computer system so that you can check versions and, if necessary, remove duplicates.

Find WinHelp Components

Locates all WinHelp development files on your computer so that you can manage duplicates and resolve conflicts.

Find HTML Help Files

Locates all HTML Help files (.chm, .chi, .chw, .chq, and so forth) on your computer system, so that you can review or delete them.

Find WinHelp Files

Locates all WinHelp files (.hlp, .cnt, .gid, .fts, .ftg) on your computer system, so that you can review or delete them.

Examine CHM File

Opens a special viewer, from which you can examine the contents of a .chm or .its file. You can also start this tool by right-clicking a .chm or .its file and choosing Examine.

KeyTools is free. You may download it and install it on as many machines as you want for no charge. The download size is around 300K. You must have Internet Explorer or the setup program won't run -- but you can download it with whatever browser you want. When you click the download link, you can either save it to disk and run it later, or just open it and have it run immediately.

Click download to begin.