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File Format
Name HotHelp
Extension(s) .txt, .hdr
Released ca. 1992[1]

HotHelp is a documentation format for the Commodore Amiga. It seems to have originated as the online documentation system of the "Hisoft C++" compiler[2] (maybe also called the "Maxon" C++ compiler[3]), but then extended so that users of that compiler could write their own HotHelp-based documentation to distribute with their programs. Much of the early history of HotHelp is in German.

HotHelp files were probably distributed with the interpreter, "HotView". HotHelp files appear to be usually be found in a directory "hothelp/projecte".

HotHelp should not be confused with the similar but more widely-used AmigaGuide format[3], nor with the use of the term "hothelp" to refer to what are more commonly known as "tooltips"[4].



HotHelp appears to be a multi-file format, consisting of a file with extension ".hdr" and another with extension ".txt", which is, despite the extension, not a plaintext file.[5] The .hdr file is much smaller than the .txt file, which suggests that it is an index.


Both the .txt and .hdr files appear to start with the ASCII magic number $VER: HotHelpHeader , followed by a version and a date (presumably the date that the version was published), such as $VER: HotHelpHeader 3.00 (14 Feb 94)[5].

Sample Files


See also the references section. Even more information, especially in German, can be found with an Internet Archive full-text search for "HotHelp".


  1. is the earliest reference to HotHelp (the heading translates as "Online Help: Hothelp") that is easily told apart by the non-German-speaker from earlier references in Amiga magazines in the Internet Archive that do not make clear whether or not they are discussing the format that this page discusses.
  3. 3.0 3.1
  5. 5.0 5.1 → mipric_basic/hothelp/projecte
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