Importing WinHelp Projects
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You can access this screen by selecting "File | Import | WinHelp Project". This wizard will import a .HPJ or a .HLP file and create a new project from it. You can expect all your text to be imported and all your links and images to appear as you would expect. However, any import depends on the original tool that created the help file. Imports are rarely perfect, so you may have to tidy up some formatting.

Import .HPJ File

A .HPJ file is the source project file for a WinHelp project. If you have used a different help authoring tool then you will likely have the source files for that project. Importing the source files is generally the best way to import a file. Use the ellipsis button [...] to select the .HPJ file and then click the [Next] button.

De-compile your .HLP File

If you do not have access to the original source files then you can de-compile the .HLP file. When you de-compile a help file the original context strings and HelpIDs are generally not retrievable. Fast-Help will assign HelpIDs for all those topics that do not have HelpIDs, and all context strings will be re-generated.


Popups are stored separately from Topics in Fast-Help. During import, pages that have no search keys or nonscroll regions are determined to be Popups, as generally a Topic will have search keys. After import you can convert Topics to Popups, if required, from the right-click menu in the Contents.

New Project Name

This field will be automatically filled from the file name within the .HPJ or .HLP file, but you can change it to anything you wish.


Again, this will be filled from the original help file but can be changed.

Project Folder

Fast-Help will create a .mdb project in the folder you specify here. It will also create an Images folder and attempt to populate it with the images from the original help file.

Note: Fast-Help uses the excellent HelpDeco decompiler from Manfred Winterhoff to de-compile .HLP files and we are very grateful for his permission in distributing it with Fast-Help.

Tidying up after Importing

The import process will try to reproduce your old help file as precisely as possible, but the nature of conversion means that not everything will be perfect. You may have some formatting to tidy up etc. To help with this there are some tools that you might find useful: