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Posted 8 Feb 2004


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CHM Reader for Pocket PC 2003

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4.91/5 (65 votes)
29 Feb 2004CPOL3 min read
Allows the reading of CHM files on a Pocket PC2003.

Sample Image - pic004.jpg


I have started to study for the MCAD. So after getting the books (I cannot afford the training courses), I started to read. However, as life is busy, I either had to carry a number of heavy books around, or sit in front of a PC which is not always possible. I was then lucky enough to get a Pocket PC for Christmas. But Pocket PCs do not come with a CHM Reader, and the ones available on the web are not free, or do not handle large CHM files well. So I decided to write my own and this is the result. A free CHM Reader which can handle large CHM files (Tested up to 14Mb in size). This program has only been tested on the Pocket PC 2003 on an IPaq 5550.

The Code

This CHM Reader is a MFC Doc List application, which uses a number of good libraries.

  • Virtual Office Systems Incorporated - VOImage, VOString & VORegistry classes
  • Vassili Philippov - CSTHtmlDialog
  • Jed Wing - The CHMLib Library
  • João Paulo Figueira [] - General Help

Thanks to all these people for the great code they have contributed to the web.

CHMReader first displays a DocList (MFC's) of all the CHM files in the selected directory of the PocketPC. When the user selects one of them, MFC creates a new CCHMReaderDoc instance which will then use CCHMFile class. This class handles the CHMLib library. The CHM file is then opened, and the CCHMFile class will build a list of all the files contained in the CHM file. It also builds a Tree list of the contents. This is then displayed in the CCHMReaderView class. This shows the contents of the CHM File. The user can then select one of the items in the contents, and a new dialog is displayed. This dialog contains the Pocket PC Internet Explorer control. The HTML file is extracted from the CHM file using the CCHMFile class & the CHMLib library. The HTML is also scanned for any Style Sheet entries. These are then also extracted from the CHM file. Then the IE control is initialized with the HTML for display.

One thing to note is that the images are extracted from the CHM file as the IE control needs them. When the IE control loads the HTML, it will ask for each image in turn by way of a notification message. When I handle the notification, I simply extract the image from the CHM file into a buffer. It is then uncompressed using the VOImage class. It is then passed back to the IE control.

Sample screenshot

Sample screenshot


I also added a few simple extras like the ability to change the text size, toggle 'Clear Text' & 'Fit to Window' as these are all implemented by the IE control. I also added '<' and '>' buttons to the toolbar to allow the user to navigate back and forth in the contents list easily.

Also note: If one CHM file requires files from other CHM files (Windows CHM Help Files) then if the files are present, CHMReader will try to get the files required, but it does not always.


Just copy the CHMReader.EXE & any CHM files to your PocketPC, and run.

Build Environment

To build the CHMReader, I used embedded Visual C V4 SP2.


  • V1.0 - 9 Feb 2004 - First release
  • V1.01 -11 Feb 2004 - Bug fixes - Incorrectly handling images which where not found in CHM file.
  • V1.03 - 18 Feb 2003 - Bug fixes - Pocket Internet Explorer does not handle script or XML tags, so I removed them from the HTML code before I pass it to the HTML code. Also links to other parts of the CHM file did not work correctly. Now fixed.
    • 24 Feb 2003 - Added download for PocketPC2002 OS

Extra Downloads

For the most current downloads, please download from here.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Peter Tewkesbury
Software Developer (Senior)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: Just what I needed, but... Pin
Peter Tewkesbury18-Feb-04 21:33
professionalPeter Tewkesbury18-Feb-04 21:33 
GeneralRe: Just what I needed, but... Pin
fingermouse19-Feb-04 1:24
Memberfingermouse19-Feb-04 1:24 
GeneralWin CE 2002 (3.0) support Pin
Anonymi16-Feb-04 8:46
sussAnonymi16-Feb-04 8:46 
GeneralRe: Win CE 2002 (3.0) support Pin
Peter Tewkesbury16-Feb-04 21:21
professionalPeter Tewkesbury16-Feb-04 21:21 
GeneralI can't read.... Pin
HuuQuynh12-Feb-04 1:38
MemberHuuQuynh12-Feb-04 1:38 
GeneralRe: I can't read.... Pin
Peter Tewkesbury12-Feb-04 2:56
professionalPeter Tewkesbury12-Feb-04 2:56 
GeneralRe: I can't read.... Pin
HuuQuynh12-Feb-04 14:30
MemberHuuQuynh12-Feb-04 14:30 
Generalcan't find htmlctrl.h Pin
Ward11-Feb-04 20:21
MemberWard11-Feb-04 20:21 
I have a problem in finding this file on my PC.
What could be missing in the installation on my PC?
GeneralRe: can't find htmlctrl.h Pin
Peter Tewkesbury11-Feb-04 22:13
professionalPeter Tewkesbury11-Feb-04 22:13 
QuestionFor Smartphone 2003? Pin
ponian11-Feb-04 18:04
Memberponian11-Feb-04 18:04 
AnswerRe: For Smartphone 2003? Pin
Peter Tewkesbury11-Feb-04 22:07
professionalPeter Tewkesbury11-Feb-04 22:07 
GeneralSuper! Pin
dimcus10-Feb-04 21:30
Memberdimcus10-Feb-04 21:30 
GeneralRe: Super! Pin
Peter Tewkesbury11-Feb-04 22:01
professionalPeter Tewkesbury11-Feb-04 22:01 
Generalgreat Pin
.dan.g.10-Feb-04 0:49
professional.dan.g.10-Feb-04 0:49 

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