Create a PDF from a CHM
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Software tested: Acrobat Professional 5.0, Acrobat Professional 6.0
Date created: ~2002
A client wanted to know if the CHM file could be 'printed' to PDF. I had a small CHM file (~100 topics) and knew that individual HTML pages and entire web sites can be done as PDF, but wasn't sure about a CHM. Here are the results of my testing.
- I tried dragging and dropping the CHM file onto the Acrobat 5.0 desktop icon, but got an "unsupported file type" message.
- From within Acrobat, I tried File > Open and File > Open Web Page - neither worked.
However, the Print option from the CHM does work, in a limited fashion. Here is the (revised) procedure for Acrobat 6.0 and some notes:
- Open the CHM.
- Select the highest level book (see Notes below).
- Click Print.
- Select the option to print this topic and all subtopics. Click OK.
- On the Printer dialog, select Acrobat PDF as the printer and change any settings, as required. Click OK.
- When asked, type the filename and location of the PDF (there may be some problems with this on some systems - see Notes below). Click OK.
Acrobat does its thing and eventually you get a PDF displayed (the time taken depends on how may topics are in the CHM).
- If you want to print the entire CHM, you must have only ONE book set as the highest level in the CHM's Table of Contents (TOC); everything else must be under this book. Otherwise, just select the highest level you want to print from.
- Topics are NOT separated into separate pages at the Heading 1 style - they run from one to the next. However, you can use your CSS to set these page breaks. If you use a special print CSS, its settings will apply to the printed output.
- Bookmarks (i.e. TOC) are NOT created.
- Hyperlinks are NOT created.
- Despite any filename or location you may specify for the PDF, it may save as some weird name (e.g. ~Hh31edh.pdf) and be saved to the Desktop.
- The CSS seems to be recognised - the appearance of the text, headings, hyperlinks in the PDF followed the CSS I had assigned. If you use a special print CSS, its settings will apply to the printed output.
- HTML Help uses the headers and footers defined in Internet Explorer > File > Page Setup, so if you don't want them, check these settings first.