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eWriter eBooks for Windows

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flag_green        Key Information

Help+Manual Windows eWriter eBooks require MS Windows to display. Use ePUB, PDF or Word RTF if you want to generate eBooks that can be read on electronic eBook readers.  


This is a proprietary Help+Manual format that packages WebHelp into a single file that can be displayed on Windows machines without installation, additional files or software. It uses Windows' own HTML rendering engine to display the content, with full support for CSS3, HTML5 and JavaScript. You can distribute a single EXE file combining the viewer and the documentation, or a separate EXE viewer and documentation data files that do not need to be digitally signed.

The better alternative to CHM

eWriter eBooks can be an attractive alternative to CHM files for documenting software applications on Windows machines. The format combines the benefits of CHM and WebHelp and eliminating the disadvantages of both. It also allows you to execute operations in your application with hyperlinks for the creation of interactive help tutorials.

Format with WebHelp skins

You can use WebHelp skins for eWriter to get all the layout and formatting options available in WebHelp, including integrated search and a keyword index. At the same time, it is a compact single file like a CHM and supports context help calls from applications. Unlike CHM files, it can be accessed on networks, and unlike WebHelp, repeated application calls to the same eWriter eBook all open in the same window. It is stored in a single, compact binary file.

Unique benefits of eWriter eBooks

Viewer and distribution options

Viewer compatible with all Windows versions from Windows 95

A single EXE file with combined integrated viewer and documentation


Separate viewer and help files (EXE viewer and help files with an extension of your choice)

General Features:

You can package any HTML files or websites as an eWriter eBook, complete with all the layout and dynamic features supported by HTML.  

Consistent presentation, always using the same HTML rendering engine. No nasty surprises because of different displays in different browsers.

Perform operations in your application with links in the help for interactive documentation and tutorials

Advanced security: provides levels of protection impossible in CHM files or WebHelp.

Supports Flash and other videos, JavaScript, CSS etc.

Context help support – use eBooks instead of CHM files or WebHelp for software documentation.  

Make advanced eBooks with rich features not possible in conventional, plain-text eBooks.

Kiosk mode for interactive demonstrations and presentations.

Security features

Password protection.

Prevent copying and printing.

EBooks with expiry date that can automatically open a specific web page when opened after expiry.

Support for digital signing for added validation and protection.

Prevent access to the source code of your HTML pages.

Allow eBooks to be opened only by Administrator Windows accounts.  

Benefits for software documentation

Security and access control features not available in CHM and WebHelp.

Can be accessed on a local network, unlike CHM.

EBook and viewer combined in a single compact file. WebHelp must be stored in a folder containing many files and requires a web server to work properly.  

Unlike WebHelp, every call from your application to the eBook is opened in the same window. Every call from an application to WebHelp opens a new browser window.

Full support for context help with complex URLs. You can interpret all the components of the URL command line just as you would in a normal web browser, but the user never sees the command line.  

Features and pros and cons of eWriter eBooks:

File extension:



A single executable file containing the viewer functionality and all data


Separate EXE viewer and help files, only the viewer needs to be signed


Full MS Windows only, Windows RT and Windows CS not supported

Typical use:

Windows software documentation, computer and Windows tablet based eBooks, stand-alone documentation, time-limited subscription and demonstration books, kiosk applications (includes a kiosk mode)

Table of contents:


Keyword index:


Full text search:


Context-sensitive help:

Full support context-sensitive help. It is possible to make direct calls to specific topics and anchors in the help. Combines the functionality of CHM and WebHelp in a single compact file.


Yes, same formatted popup functionality supported as WebHelp.


Same as WebHelp

Printable by user:

Printing by topic, as in WebHelp. We recommend providing a PDF version for printing.


Combines benefits of CHM and WebHelp, eliminating the disadvantages of both formats. Reliable HTML rendering because the same Windows HTML engine is always used. Same layout and skinning flexibility as WebHelp. Supports performing operations in your application from links in the help for interactive documentation and tutorials. Full context sensitive help support. Single compact file. Accessible on local networks. Excellent security and access control features.


Full version of Windows only, not available on Linux, OS X, iOS or Windows RT. Not compatible with hardware eBook readers (but can be used on Windows tablets running full Windows 8).

See also:

Configuring eWriter eBooks

eWriter project configuration settings reference