Popular formats


Opening cnt files

Have a problem opening a .cnt file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what cnt files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .CNT file type?

The .cnt filename extension is primarily bound up with the Help Contents (CNT) file format and file type, and is appended to such CNT files. CNT is part of the now obsolete proprietary WinHelp format earlier developed and maintained by Microsoft (MS) as the standard online help format for Windows applications (Windows 3.x through Windows XP).

In WinHelp, the actual help data would be contained in an .hlp file, with a CNT file providing a list of contents of the HLP file. A typical .cnt file is an ANSI-encoded plaintext file with a definition of contents and a link to the main .hlp file.

If an .hlp file is opened, WinHelp searches for a .cnt file with the same name in the same directory and opens it first. CNT files are never meant to be opened directly, they are always used paired up with .hlp files. If a .cnt file is absent, an .hlp help file can still be opened in most cases, however, it may not be displayed correctly.

With WinHelp deprecated since 2006, WinHelp readers for Windows 7/8 are still available from MS. Although used by WinHelp, the .cnt extension has no association in Windows by default.

Software to open or convert CNT files

You can open cnt files with the following programs: