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We first started working on FAR in the late 1990's, when HTML Help was first shipped with IE4 and Win98. Since then it has expanded and become an indispensable tool to many users. Companies like IBM, Intel, Microsoft, ESRI, Sony, Component One, Borland, HP, Agilent, Boeing, Exceed (the list goes on) all use the tool. We get a lot of fan mail encouraging us to maintain the tool.

FAR is clever in that it fills many of the gaps left by other main stream tools. Yet FAR is capable of holding its own when it comes to creating and maintaining industry standard documentation and help. Many of our clients, sick of the cost and problems associated with some large help authoring tools (HATs) , have dumped them for FAR and are now very happy (and not so poor).

Some of these other tools are more than 10x the cost of FAR but do less and are less reliable. 

We hope you are more productive in your day because of FAR Tools. 

See also 


FAR HTML is a toolbox full of various authoring, file and HTML utilities. Version 5.x now fully supports Unicode
  • Help Authoring:
    • HTML Help 1.x (.chm help files).
    • MS Help 2.x (.HxS help files for Visual Studio 2002/2003/2005/2008 help).
    • MS Help Viewer 1.x/2.x (.mshc help files for Visual Studio 10/11+ help).
    • Web Help (Uncompressed Help) - Put your Help (with TOC/Index/Search) on the web, server, disk or USB key.
    • All help is non-proprietorial, royalty free & fully compatible with Microsoft Help SDKs/Workshops.
    • Advanced TOC & Index editor / Help Wizards / plus many other useful utilities.
  • Fast multi-file features:
    • Advanced Find & Replace (can operate in batch mode).
    • Set File Encoding (Unicode/UTF-8/ANSI - With/Without BOM).
    • Set File Date.
    • Set File Attributes.
    • File Copy (flat or hierarchical).
    • File FTP Copy.
    • File Zip/Unzip (.zip/.cab).
  • Batch mode (unattended mode).
  • Many more time-saving features.
FAR requires you have a HTML Editor to create your help web.
We recommend Microsoft Expression Web; Microsoft FrontPage or Adobe Dreamweaver (really anything that produces clean HTML -- Not MS Word).
Wikipedia: HTML Editors > List of HTML Editors

Version 5.x

FAR HTML 5 is a significant improvement for this popular tool. See revision history for a full list of changes and fixes.

  • Full Unicode support, Windows 7 support, + many other new features.
  • FAR HTML 5 now runs on Windows 2000/XP/7 and greater (which all support Unicode). 
  • Support for Visual Studio 10/11 help - MS Help Viewer 1.x/2.x.
  • The mshcMigrate.exe application is now covered by your FAR HTML 5 license.
Unicode support means that on an English PC you can natively work in any foreign languages. For example:
  • Enter say Japanese characters as if you were on a Japanese PC. 
  • Find and Replace Japanese text.
  • Open and save files with Japanese file names and directory names.
  • Author Japanese help projects.. including MS Help 2.x, MS Help 3.x and Web Help (FAR Uncompressed Help).
  • All this on a non-Japanese PC. No need to change Windows region settings. 
Note: MS HTML Help 1.x is ANSI technology and must still be authored on the correct language PC (a limitation of MS HTML Help not FAR).


FAR HTML 5 requires Windows 2000/XP/2003/2008/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8.

For Authoring HTML Help (.chm) For Authoring MS Help 2.x (.hxs) -- Visual Studio 7.0/7.1/8/9 (2002/2003/2005/2008) help.
    • Download the MS Help 2 Workshop (VS SDK) see the H2 Info Page.
For Authoring Help Viewer 1.x/2.x (.mshc) -- Help system for Visual Studio 10/11 (2010/2012).


Note that you create\maintain your help web (a collection of HTML pages) using your favourite HTML editor. 
Once you have a help web, use any of these commands to create and maintain your help.

Express Help

Express Help - Select your help web folder, click "Create help" and you have a .HxS or .Chm help file.

Alternatively right click your help folder in Explorer and select "Compile to HTML Help with FAR"

Help Wizard

Help Wizard - More control. Guides you step-by-step. Create either .HxS (MS Help 2 for VS help integration) or .Chm (for your application help).

Advanced TOC & Index Editor

Edit .hhc\.hhk HTML Help project files, or .HxT\.HxK MS Help 2 project files. Also edit MS Help 3 (VS 2010 help) TOC and Keyword files.


FAR Uncompressed Help (Web Help)

Create help to run in your browser. Add JavaScript based TOC, Index, Search to your HTML files.


Press Generate and you have web help -- See example on our web site.

Also checkout ESRI's web help created using FAR HTML (German) (English) (Spanish) (French) (Japanese) (Simplified Chinese)

intel online documentation

FAR HH Project Editor

Advanced .HHP project editor. Take full control over your help project.

Help Utilities

For .Chm and .HxS help files. View help file contents; Decompile help files; Test help API calls; Insert HH ActiveX code snippets; Check help file links.

Help Explorer

Explore the insides of your .Chm and .HxS help files.

MS Help 2 Project Editor

Maintain your VS 2002\2003\2005\2008 compatible help. Creates .HxS help, TOC, Index files. Test your help. Wizards for creating support files.

MS Help 2 Utilities

Manage the registration of MS Help 2 help files. Decompile ,HxS help files. Plus more.

Help 2 Viewer

VS 2002\2003\2005\2008 DExplore alternative Viewer. H2Viewer is also available as a free standalone viewer.


VS 2010 Help Integrations

Migrate HH and H2 help to .mshc help for integration into VS 2010 help. This is not application help.


HTML Tag Editor

Add, remove & modify HTML tags across hundreds of files at a time. First drop your help project onto the FAR (main window) file list.

Batch Decompile

Decompile many .Chm & .HxS help files in one pass. All ITS help files in the FAR file list will be decompiled to the selected folder.

Batch Compile

Compile all your help projects in one pass. All output is sent to a single log file.

File Report

Create advanced reports on all files dropped on that FAR file list. This is a fast way for writing batch files that work on 1000's of files.

FAR Find and Replace

Powerful Find and Replace command. Safely update 1000's of files in a single sweep.


FAR Copy

Copy all files in the file list to another location while maintaining folder structure. Handy since you can filter out files first.


Create and View Industry standard .ZIP and .Cab files. Now Unicode friendly.

Other File Commands

The Commands menu contains a lot of handy file commands that work on the files in the file list.

  • Set file create and modify time stamps.
  • Set file encoding - UTF-8, Unicode (UTF-16), ANSI.
  • Set file attributes.
  • Batch rename files.
  • Line breaks - Count line breaks. Convert between CRLF <-> CR <-> LF line breaks.
  • Convert all HTML files to XHTML.
  • etc


Batch Mode

FAR can also run many of the above commands in batch mode (from the command line).

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