What is CHM ?
Let’s have a look at Wikipedia:
Microsoft Compiled HTML Help is a proprietary format for online help files, developed by Microsoft and first released in 1997 as a successor to the Microsoft WinHelp format. It was first introduced with the release of Windows 98, and is still supported and distributed through Windows XP and Vista platforms.
“.chm” is one kind of headache for Linux users so let’s find the best useful CHM viewer for Ubuntu/Linux. I have some great eBooks but in CHM format, so I have been always finding a good and useful CHM Viewer for my system.
My requirements of a CHM Viewer program include:
- Be able to read .chm file (of course)
- Good looking
- Support non-English language
- Still under development since by time new Ubuntu version releases, so it may have some bugs when we upgrades our systems.
Let’s go to Applications, Ubuntu Software Center and type chm you could see there are 5 available CHM viewer apps in Ubuntu server:
They are all active projects, but I did have a look at all features and tried all but only KchmViewer can satisfy me. Let’s have a look at its features
Kchmviewer is a free, open-source chm (MS HTML help file format) viewer written in C++ for Unix, Mac and Windows systems. Unlike most existing CHM viewers for Unix, it uses Trolltech Qt widget library, and could optionally be compiled for better KDE integration. It does not require KDE, but may be compiled with full KDE support, including KDE widgets and KIO/KHTML.
The main advantage of kchmviewer is the best support for non-English languages. Unlike other viewers, kchmviewer in most cases is able to correctly detect the chm file encoding and show it. It correctly shows the index and table of context in Russian, Spanish, Romanian, Korean, Chinese and Arabic help files, and with new search engine is able to search in any chm file no matter what language it is written.
kchmviewer is written by George Yunaev (see the contacts page for details), and is licensed under GNU GPL license. It uses chmlib, and some ideas and code from xchm.
You can have a look at here in more detail. I can give you some reasons why I love this app more than others:
- Written by using QT Library which is the best cross-platform library. You will feel that each button and edges are very smooth and clean.
- Support non-English languages
- Can view .chm files in tabs. I am always tired of managing a lot of opened files in desktop, so this feature helps me a lot then 🙂
How to install KChmViewer
Just open Terminal:
sudo aptitude install kchmviewer
and type your super user password, and enjoy the program by going to Applications >> Office