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If you are just distributing eWriter books for use on their own there is nothing additional you need to do, provided your users are on Windows 10. If the user doesn't have the eWriter Viewer they will be prompted to install the free Viewer from the Windows App Store when they try to open a book with the .ewriter extension. Users on older versions of Windows can download the free installer for the eViewer application from the eWriter website.

Developers need to install eViewer.exe with their own applications

If you are using eWriter help books for documenting your own software you need to install the eViewer.exe executable together with your own application and make your help calls directly to the version you installed. In addition to this there are some considerations regarding file extensions and registration that you need to take into account. Please see the instructions further below for details.

EWriter compared to CHM and WebHelp for software help

Help+Manual's eWriter format is a fully viable replacement for the obsolete CHM format for software help. Particularly on Windows 10, where users automatically get the eViewer eWriter viewer app from the Microsoft Store as soon as they open an .ewriter file. And developers just need to include the compact Win32 eViewer application for compatibility with all versions of Windows from XP on up.

EWriter, which is really local WebHelp in a single file, can also be a good alternative to WebHelp for developers who need to install their documentation together with their applications. WebHelp can be preferable when it can be installed on your Internet web server. Then you can update your documentation at any time without having to redistribute.

Installing eViewer.exe for your software help

If you are using eWriter books as documentation for your software you will want to open specific topics in the help from your application. To do that you need to be able to reference the viewer directly, so it is best to install it along with your software. You can't be sure that the user will have it or where it will be otherwise. You should also always make your calls explicitly to the version of the viewer that you have installed.

Get the eViewer.exe executable from the Help+Manual program directory

The current version of eViewer.exe is always included in the Help+Manual program directory. You just need to include it in your own installation. It doesn't require any special installation or registry keys. It will actually run fine from a USB stick.  If you wish you can rename the viewer file and re-sign it with your own certificate so that it matches the rest of your software. That is entirely up to you and we don't have a problem with it.

Don't register the .ewriter extension

Generally speaking, we also recommend that you don't register the .ewriter extension as part of your installation. Instead, always make your calls explicitly to your installed eViewer.exe and your own help files. This guarantees that you are using the same viewer that was up to date when you generated your help.

Consider using a different extension for your own help files

It is also fine and actually a good idea to change the extension of your help files to anything you like. If you do this, you can register your extension to your installed version of the eViewer application so that your users can open your help files themselves by double-clicking on them.

Then you don't get any conflicts if the user gets .ewriter files from somewhere else. If they open .ewriter files on Windows 10 they will get the Windows Store version of eViewer automatically (and that extension is required for the Store viewer), and that then doesn't create any conflicts: The .ewriter extension is always used for the Store version and your application always opens your help files with your installed version of the viewer.