How to Convert Compiled HTML to PDF

By Amy Dombrower

Compiled HTML files have a .chm file extensions and are often used for Windows-based instructional guides (also known as Help files). When you download a compiled HTML file, you can’t save on your hard drive for later use. The Portable Document Format (PDF) is often more useful for viewing information and sending files electronically to others. If you have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer, you can simply print the file to PDF. Otherwise, you’ll need a 3rd-party conversion tool to do it.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Conversion tool
  • Internet access

With Adobe Acrobat

Step 1

Open the compiled HTML file in Windows. If you downloaded the file from the Internet, it normally will be stored in your Downloads folder.

Step 2

Click “Print” at the top of the window. A “Print Topics” dialog box will appear.

Step 3

Select to either print the selected top or the selected heading and all subtopics. Click “OK.”

Step 4

Click “Adobe PDF” under “Select Printer” in the “Print” dialog box. You must have Adobe Acrobat installed for this to appear as an option.

Step 5

Click “Print” to convert the file to PDF.

With a Converter

Step 1

Download and install a conversion tool, such as the Universal Document Converter, that will form a PDF from a compiled HTML file (see Resources).

Step 2

Open the compiled HTML file you want to convert. Click “Print” in the toolbar, or right click and select “Print.”

Step 3

Select “Universal Document Converter” from the list of printers in the “Print” window. Click “Preferences.” Click “Load Settings.”

Step 4

Click “Text Document to PDF.xml” in the “Open” dialog box. Click “Open.”

Step 5

Click “Print” to convert the document. It will be saved under “My Documents\\UDC Output Files.” View the file in a PDF viewer, such as Adobe Reader.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are other shareware programs, such as CHMMagic, that will convert CHM files to PDF. CHMMagic is available for $29 as of 2010 (see Resources).