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Microsoft HTML Help 1.x Target

In 1996, Microsoft announced that HTML Help would replace WinHelp as the standard desktop online Help delivery mechanism, a radical departure from the WinHelp .rtf format. With its debut in 1997, HTML Help became the first widely accepted online Help system to use HTML as its underlying language.

HTML Help 1.x builds on the popular feature set in WinHelp 4.0, and improves upon it, providing the author greater flexibility and additional opportunities for customization.

HTML Help introduced the tripane viewer, which combines navigation and content in one location. This tripane model has since become the standard for most HTML-based Help technologies. In addition to the familiar Contents, Index, and Search tabs, HTML Help supports a Favorites tab, allowing users to add topics for ready reference.

The second-generation, auto-synchronizing Help contents, the multi-level Index, the advanced full-text search function, and the Favorites options improve on the WinHelp model.