Component Help Installer



This is a beta release and should be used with caution. The software is used at your own risk and there is no warranty whatsoever.

Component Help Installer can be used as both a stand-alone application and as an add-in expert for Borland Delphi 3 and later. The is also a command line version of the program.

In either case the program integrates a given component help file into the Delphi help system. (providing that the help file conforms to Delphi OpenHelp standards). The program can also be used to uninstall help files.

The functionality of the software is provided by various source and executable files:


Command line application - calls into CHInstLib.dll to do installation


GUI application - calls into PJCHI.dll to provide GUI front end

Add in expert

Calls into PJCHI.dll to provide GUI front end. This add-in class is provided in the source file PJCHIExpert.pas which should be added to a Delphi package and installed into the IDE.


Provides GUI front end for CHI.exe and Delphi add-in. This DLL calls into CHInstLib.dll to perform actual installation. It also calls CHI.hlp to display help topics and pop-ups.


Performs actual installation / uninstallation of help files


The GUI program's help file called from PJCHI.dll


The program requires Windows 9x or NT (inc 2000 and XP). Beta testers are required for various combinations of operating systems and Delphi.

Installation and removal


Using the installer

The software is distributed in one of two ways:

  1. as the self-extracting installation program chi2b2.exe -- which is the install program or
  2. as a zip archive or that contains chi2b2.exe -- if you got the program this way then unpack chi2b2.exe from zip archive into a folder of your choice.

To install the software using chi2b2.exe proceed as follows:

  1. Navigate to where you downloaded/unzipped chi2b2.exe and execute the program. This is installer is a console application that will display in a terminal window.
  2. When the program pauses either
  3. A license dialog box will then be displayed. Read the license. Click the Accept button to agree to the license and continue with the installation. Click Decline to halt the installation.
  4. The installation will continue and a message will be displayed when it completes. Press return to halt the installation.

Using the stand-alone applications

The applications -- CHI.exe and CHInst.exe -- are now ready to use.

Installing the Delphi add-in expert

To install the add-in expert do as follows:

  1. Copy the file PJCHIExpert.pas to wherever you store your Delphi add-ins and components: often this is in the Lib subfolder of the Delphi installation (or in a subfolder of that folder).
  2. Start Delphi 3 or later
  3. Choose the Component | Install Packages menu option.
  4. In the resulting dialog box, choose the package into which you wish to install the expert. Click the Edit button and choose to display the package editor. This package must be a design time package in later versions of Delphi.
  5. In the package editor, click the Add button and select the Add Unit tab in the dialog box.
  6. Enter (or locate using the Browse button) the full path to PJCHIExpert.pas. and click OK.
  7. Now compile the package. (Under Delphi 7 some warnings about the use of depracated code will be displayed -- these can be safely ignored).
  8. A new menu option: "Install Component Help" should now have appeared on Delphi's Components menu. Click this menu option to display the expert.
  9. For help on using the expert, display the help file by clicking the Help button and choosing the Contents option on the drop down menu.

You may wish to install the expert it its own package. In this case start a new Delphi project and select "Package" from the object repository. Add PJCHIExpert.pas to the package and save it. Open the package's options dialog and ensure the package is a design time package. Then add the new package using Delphi's Components | Install Packages menu option.

Example files

A sample component and help file has been included in the distribution to assist with testing. Instructions for how to test with this component are included in chitests.htm which is included in the download.

System changes

Installing Component Help Installer will make the following changes to you system.

The following files will be stored in the folder where you installed the software (this will be C:\Program Files\DelphiDabbler\Experts\CHI2 by default):

In the installation folder:

In the Sample subfolder of the installation folder:

The following new registry keys will be created:



HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\CHI2 - used by the Windows uninstaller.


Before uninstalling the software ensure that the expert is uninstalled from all version of Delphi.

The program can be un-installed via "Add/Remove Programs" in Control Panel.

The un-install manually you must:

  1. Delete the folder C:\Program Files\DelphiDabbler\Experts\CHI2 (assuming you accepted the default installation path) including all files in it.
  2. Remove the registry key "2.0" from HKLM\Software\DelphiDabbler\Experts\CHI
  3. Delete any empty subkeys of HKLM\Software\DelphiDabbler and HKCU\Software\DelphiDabbler\Experts\CHI\2.0

Known Issues

In Beta 1 the Delphi add in expert crashed when activated from the Components menu, with a DLL not found error. This was fixed in Beta 1 Patch 1.

There are no known issues in Beta 2.

Up to date information on bug reports and fixes will be posted on the CHI homepage.

Update History

Release 1.0
CHI.exe v1.0 of 06/04/2001
PJCHI.dll v1.0 of 06/04/2001
PJCHIExpert.pas v1.0 of 06/04/2001

Release 1.1
CHI.exe v1.0 of 06/04/2001
PJCHI.dll v1.1 of 09/06/2001
PJCHIExpert.pas v1.0 of 06/04/2001

Release 1.1.1
CHI.exe v1.0 of 06/04/2001
PJCHI.dll v1.1.1 of 23/06/2001
PJCHIExpert.pas v1.1 of 23/06/2001

Release 2.0 Beta 1
CHI.exe v1.1 Beta 1 of 06/01/2002
CHInst.exe v1.0 Beta 1 of 06/01/2002
CHInstLib.dll v1.0 Beta 1 of 06/01/2002
PJCHI.dll v2.0 Beta 1 of 06/01/2002
PJCHIExpert.pas v1.2 Beta 1 of 06/01/2002

Release 2.0 Beta 1 Patch 1
CHI.exe v1.1 Beta 1 Patch 1 of 13/01/2002
CHInst.exe v1.0 Beta 1 Patch 1 of 13/01/2002
CHInstLib.dll v1.0 Beta 1 Patch 1 of 13/01/2002
PJCHI.dll v2.0 Beta 1 of Patch 1 13/01/2002
PJCHIExpert.pas v1.2 Beta 1 Patch 1 of 13/01/2002

Release 2.0 Beta 2
CHI.exe v1.1 Beta 2 of 24/05/2003
CHInst.exe v1.0 Beta 2 of 24/05/2003
CHInstLib.dll v1.0 Beta 2 of 24/05/2003
PJCHI.dll v2.0 Beta 2 of 24/05/2003
PJCHIExpert.pas v1.2 Beta 2 of 24/05/2003

License & Copyright

This software is copyright (C) 2001-2003 - Peter Johnson, Llanarth, Wales, UK.

The executable file, help file and source code can be freely distributed on a not-for-profit basis providing that:

By not-for-profit I mean that you may recover out of pocket expenses incurred in distributing the code, but you should not make any profit from this.

If you discover any bugs in this implementation, or if you have any update suggestions, please contact me via my website.

Please do modify the source code for you own use providing it is not re-distributed (see above). I'd like to see any changes you make - I could incorporate them into future versions. Please notify me of changes on at the above e-mail address.

This software is provided as is - no warranty is given as to its suitability for any purposes to which you may wish to put it.

All relevant trademarks are acknowledged.

About the Author

I'm Peter Johnson - a hobbyist programmer living in Ceredigion in West Wales, UK. I write mainly in Delphi. My programs are available for download on my web-site: