How to Convert CHM Files to PDF Files

Written by amy dombrower
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How to Convert CHM Files to PDF Files
Convert CHM files to PDF using the Windows HTML Help program. (laptop image by Angie Lingnau from

The CHM file extension stands for compiled help file. The file format is used for Microsoft HTML-based help files that provide documentation and instructions for technical tasks. The files are structured with a series of topics, list of contents and a search bar, making it easy to navigate a particular help topic. The problem is you can't directly save a help file for later use because there are no saving capabilities in the HTML Help program. Your best option is to print to a portable document format (PDF) file that you can save on your hard drive and send to others electronically.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Adobe Acrobat
  • CHM file

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  1. 1

    Open a CHM file. If you previously downloaded the file from the Internet, it will be stored in your download files on your computer.

  2. 2

    Click the "Print" button. The "Print Topics" dialogue box will appear.

  3. 3

    Click to either print the selected topic or the selected heading and all subtopics. Click "OK."

  4. 4

    Select "Adobe PDF" from the list of printers. This will only appear if you have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer.

  5. 5

    Click "Print." The "Save as" dialogue box will appear. Click "Save" to save the PDF.

Tips and warnings

  • If you don't own Adobe Acrobat, you can alternatively download free shareware that will convert CHM files to PDF, such as the Universal Document Converter or the CHM2PDF Pilot (see Resources).

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