Navigation: Learn About All Features > Application Output >
HTML Executable is a powerful tool that allows you to transform your websites and ebooks into a stand-alone Windows programs in EXE format.
HTML Executable is designed to generate stand-alone Windows programs. Your website is neatly packed into a single .EXE file, ready to be shared with others. What's more, this .EXE file does not require any third-party software (no Microsoft .net framework nor DLL files). However, the code necessary to run stand-alone EXE files takes about 15 Mb uncompressed. If size is not a concern for you, stick with the stand-alone option.
Planning to distribute your publication .EXE file on the Internet? We recommend compressing it to reduce its size and download time. Here are some ways to do it:
✅ Compress the final .EXE file with UPX: UPX is a free executable packer available at https://upx.sourceforge.net HTML Executable can call UPX itself if you enable the option.
ℹ Note: For legal reasons, UPX is not shipped with HTML Executable. You have to download the program from https://upx.sourceforge.net and unzip the archive in the "UPX" subfolder, for instance in C:\Program Files\HTML Executable XXXX\UPX
✅ Distribute the final .EXE file in an installer: you can use the installer creator Paquet Builder to compress your .EXE file into an installer or Setup program, optimized for online distribution.
👉 See Create Installer.
✅ Protect your EXE file with a third-party EXE compressor or protector: Stand-alone executable files made with HTML Executable can be secured with third-party software protection systems.
HTML Executable creates a single EXE file by default. However, if you have large source files, you can easily reach the EXE size limit (4 GB). To bypass this limit, you can enable Keep publication data outside the EXE file. HTML Executable will create two files: your EXE file and a second file with the same name, but a different extension (.hedata).
⚠ Warning: The companion data file (.HEDATA extension) is bound to the primary publication EXE file. If you try to replace the .HEDATA file by another one, you will get an error and the program will close.
If you have a large amount of source files, the search index data can easily reach the free memory limit available for 32-bit programs (2 GB). To sort this problem, enable Keep the search index data outside the EXE file. HTML Executable will store the search index in two companion files with the same name as your publication EXE, but different extensions (.searchi.dat and .searchx.dat).
⚠ Warning: The two companion files are bound to the primary publication EXE file and they must be distributed with it. Otherwise, the search engine will not work.
HTML Executable will not compile the mandatory Chromium Embedded Framework runtime files into your application EXE file (saving 70 Mb in size). However, the latter will not work on a computer if these files are not found. The following error message will be shown: `missing CEF3 files!`
You can use this option only if you are sure to install these files yourself. For instance, these files can be set up automatically if you use the `hecefruntimeXXXX.exe` installer available in the `Redist` subfolder of HTML Executable. Or, you can also find them in the `CEFRuntime` subfolder of HTML Executable. The files must be made available in the shared cache folder.
Since the Chromium Embedded Framework runtime files have a huge size (about 240 Mb uncompressed), it normally takes several seconds for the application to decompress them to memory at startup. To avoid this decompression step, and gain time in loading, the application will decompress and store Chromium Embedded Framework runtime files in a shared cache folder the first time it is run. If the runtime files already exist, they are directly used and no decompression is necessary.
If you do not want your application to store Chromium Embedded Framework runtime files (for instance, to save disk space) on the end user's computer, you can enable "Do not cache CEF files locally". However, the application will take longer for loading each time it is run.
The cache folder is the same for all applications made with HTML Executable. By default, the following cache folder path is used: `C:\ProgramData\GDG Software\HTML Executable App Cache\CEFXXXX` where XXXX represents the version number of the Chromium Embedded Framework used in HTML Executable.
Another name will be used if you configured a custom name for the storage folder.