Nowadays, people cannot live without software, which provides a great convenience to our business, entertainment, and other walks of life. We exchange emails, send documents, and watch videos on the various software platforms. They are time-saving and easy to operate, but how does the software work?

Have you ever been curious about the mythical works of those engineers did to let the software operates? Then, we must get to know what is CHM.

What Is CHM

CHM is short for Microsoft Compiled HTML Help, and has the file extension of .chm. It is a proprietary online help format developed by Microsoft in 1997, which is applied to save the documents that help software or system use. These files can contain hyperlinks, images, and text, and are compressed and saved in a binary format.

This file format is commonly used in software documentation, a piece of written text embedded in a software program, that instructs the software on how to work. CHM supplemented Microsoft WinHelp as an improved version of the help format, and is supported by diverse documentation tools.

A CHM file consists of HTML pages that redirect the engineer to different areas of the help materials. HTML is a hypertext markup language that contributes to the building of a web browser. Thanks to its small size and strong search capability, the CHM file format is still popular among offline documentation.

Is It Safe to Use CHM

Before downloading a CHM file, users have to ensure that the CHM file is safe to use. It is inevitable that CHM files can be infected by a virus. People with malicious intent will take advantage of the vulnerabilities of CHM files to allow arbitrary code execution, resulting in harm to your computer and sensitive documents. Therefore, it is recommended to scan the CHM file you have received before opening it.

How to Open CHM Files

Although a number of help authoring tools have emerged and provided various outstanding services for their users, the CHM file format can yet cater to several demands on the market. For Windows users, you can just double-click the CHM file and open it. But for Mac users, it is better to download a CHM reader for a smooth reading experience.

Or to convert CHM files into PDFs is a good choice, for the PDF format is one of the most widely supported document formats, and you can open it by a PDF reader. There are different PDF readers, and you can choose your favorite one.



Lydia is an English columnist for AWZware. She is familiar with different technology products such as office software, location changers, and video software applications. Focused on tech blog writing, she is willing to solve your problems with up-to-date information.