Reading DOS Help Files

Hi all,

I've been asked to use an old DOS based C compiler to update some legacy code.  The compiler is called the "Microsoft(R) C Professional Development System, Version 6.0".

With the installation came a bunch of help files with a '.hlp' extension.  I can't get the QuickHelp utility to work - it seems to cycle through every directory in the PATH environment variable saying it can't open it, then says that my help file isn't found.

I can't open the help files from Windows - I get an error message saying that they're DOS Help Files and I can't open them with a text editor like Notepad because they come out garbled.

Does anybody know of a utility that will let me read the $&$#&^% files?

Thanks in advance,

Stephanie
SPEGGAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
MoondancerConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Thanks.

100 points refunded, question moved to our PAQ at zero points and closed.

Moondancer - EE Moderator
0
 
dimitryCommented:
You can try to use DOS help viewer that is based on QBASIC
utility.
Take it from: http://www.powerload.fsnet.co.uk/msdos.htm
0
 
pleasenospamCommented:
Try Quick View Plus and/or SPF.  Worth a try.
0
Cloud Class® Course: Amazon Web Services - Basic

Are you thinking about creating an Amazon Web Services account for your business? Not sure where to start? In this course you’ll get an overview of the history of AWS and take a tour of their user interface.

 
pleasenospamCommented:
Also, try VIEW.EXE from 1dirPlus and/or PCTOOLS.  They are both obsolete, but might work.

The full menu of 1dirPlus won't run from Windows, but the VIEW.EXE program will.
BOURBAKI, that produced 1dirPlus, is now out of business.

PCTOOLS is now owned by Symantec, so there may be a current version.

The SPF text editor shown above is probably the most powerful text editor available.

Quick View Plus is supposed to read most anything.
0
 
oldgreyguyCommented:
depending on the size of those files, you could try the EDIT command at the prompt, ie

EDIT booger.hlp

see if it is just a good old asci file
0
 
pleasenospamCommented:
Both SPF and the VIEW.EXE from 1dirPlus will read enormous record length files.
Both allow reading different formats, as does the VIEW.EXE from PCTOOLS and Quick View Plus.
0
 
kiranghagCommented:
dos help exe would read only DOSHELP.HLP file, you might try to rename ur file and use DOS HELP
0
 
SPEGGAuthor Commented:
Thanks to everybody for your help.  I'm sorry for the delay in replying.

My problem is now solved - apparently I was missing an environment variable that should have been set and wasn't.

My help files were in some kind of compressed format so ASCII readers weren't able to look at them.  Quick View Plus wasn't either (sigh) but is a really handy utility.

Again Thanks,

Stephanie

0
 
pleasenospamCommented:
There is an option in Quick View Plus that will allow reading of ZIP files.
0
 
SPEGGAuthor Commented:
They seem to be some weird format that isn't ZIP and isn't ASCII.  Trying to view them in text view or as hexadecimal gives me a few words but not enough to be helpful.

Stephanie
0
 
EricWestboCommented:
** PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER **

It appears that this question has been abandoned.  Please take a moment to finalize the question & reward your points as appropriate.  If this question is not finalized within 7 days, Community Support will be requested to force close it.  Unless there is objection or further activity,  it will also be requested that points be awarded to the following expert(s) for their comments:

n/a; self-resolved

If you feel that your question was not properly addressed, or that none of the comments received were appropriate answers, please post a request in Community support (with a link to this page) to refund your points.  The link to the Community Support area is: http://www.experts-exchange.com/jsp/qList.jsp?ta=commspt


/EW

** PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER **
0
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.