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Command Line Interface

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HelpSmith supports command line parameters that you can use to automate the compilation process of a help project.


Command Line Format

The format of the command line to compile a help project is as follows:


HELPSMITH <ProjectFile> <Format>[=<Output>]





HelpSmith's executable file.


For example: "C:\Program Files (x86)\HelpSmith\HelpSmith.exe"


Specifies the project file to compile.


For example: "C:\My Projects\Sample.hsmx".


Specifies the output help format to which you want to compile your help project.


Supported values:

/hh for HTML Help

/wh for Web Help

/pdf for Adobe PDF Document

/word for MS Word Document

/epub for ePub eBook

/md for Markdown


An optional parameter that specifies the output directory or filename depending on the output format.


If this parameter is omitted, the default output directory for the specific output format will be used.


The value can contain either the full path such as "C:\My Output Dir\", or a directory (folder) relative to the <ProjectFile>, for example "WebHelp".


The HTML Help, PDF, Word, and ePub formats allow you to specify either a directory path, or a filename of the output help file or document. For example: "c:\Files\MyHelpFile.chm".


For the Web Help and Markdown formats, you can specify only a directory path.

Additional switches:



An optional parameter that specifies a build tag or a list of build tags (separated with the comma character) to apply to the compilation.


If this parameter is omitted, a system build tag that corresponds to the output format will be used.


An optional parameter that specifies a file that contains alternative values of text variables.


You can use this switch if you want to compile your help project with variable values different from the values defined in the help project.


<file> is a plain text file that stores each variable on a separate line in the following format:



You can create such a file manually or by exporting the variables from the Text Variables dialog.


Closes the console window if no errors or warnings are found during the compilation process.


You can also use the optional /nc=ignorewarn parameter, so the console window will be closed even if there are warnings.


Includes only the topics with the Complete status to the compiled help system.


Displays quick help on the command line parameters.



Below are examples of the command line using different parameters:

"C:\Program Files\HelpSmith\HelpSmith.exe" "C:\My Projects\MyProject.hsmx" /hh

HelpSmith.exe "c:\Help\Work.hsmx" /wh=WebHelp "/tv=C:\Helps\my vars.txt"

HelpSmith.exe "c:\Help\Sample.hsmx" /hh /bt=HTMLHelp,Custom1

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