System Compatibility Notes

If you're experiencing a problem with HTML TADS or TADS Workbench, please consult the notes below. We've found a few situations where different Windows system configurations can cause problems. The notes below explain how to fix the configuration problems we know about.

If you can't find a solution to your problem here, you might try checking the Usenet newsgroup to see if anyone else has run into the same problem, or you can go to for information on how to contact us.

Workbench on Windows 95/98: "SHELL32.DLL:SHGetFolderPathA" Error

If you're running TADS Workbench on Windows 95 or 98, launching Workbench might show the following error messages:

Error Starting Program
The HTMLDB3.EXE file is linked to missing export SHELL32.DLL:SHGetFolderPathA.

If you get this error, you should be able to fix it by installing Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5 or later. The issue is that Workbench depends upon a newer version of a certain Windows system DLL than what comes with 95 and 98 by default. IE 5 and later automatically upgrade this DLL as part of their installation process, so updating the DLL is simply a matter of updating IE.

Crash running HTML TADS

If HTML TADS crashes, particularly when you select the "Options" item of the "Edit" menu or "Customize" on the "Themes" menu, you probably have an out-of-date version of a Windows system file called COMCTL32.DLL. If you encounter this problem, you can fix it by downloading this file from the Microsoft web site:

After downloading the file, double-click it to run the installation program, which will install the upgraded DLL for you. Note that HTML TADS automatically checks to make sure you have the correct version installed and warns you at startup if you don't. Although you can choose to continue running if TADS displays this warning, we strongly encourage you to upgrade your COMCTL32.DLL before running HTML TADS.

Crash using Wine (Windows emulator for Linux)

If you're running HTML TADS in the Wine environment (a Windows emulation environment for Linux/Unix systems), you might need to use the "-noalphablend" command-line option when running htmltads.exe. Some versions of Wine have a bug that causes the program to crash immediately after startup. This has been reported in particular on the version known as WineX. If you're running on Wine, and the interpreter crashes immediately when you run it, try running it from the command line like this:

htmltads -noalphablend
Western European characters on localized (Non-English) Windows systems

If you're running a Windows system that uses a character set other than US/Western Europe (such as Windows Eastern European or Cyrillic), please read this note.

If you have any problems with HTML TADS displaying characters that are supposed to be from the US/Western Europe character set, but are instead displayed as characters from your system's default character set, you might need to adjust your system configuration to remove "font substitutions." Many non-US/Western Europe systems use font substitutions as a way to work around older applications that don't have proper localized character set support, but the substitutions can interfere with applications like HTML TADS that do properly support localized character sets.

To check for font substitutions, look at your WIN.INI file (usually in your C:\WINDOWS directory). Look for a line that starts with "[fontsubstitutes]", then look for lines like this:


(The second number might be something other than 238.) If you find any lines like this, you might want to try deleting them or commenting them out (by putting a semicolon, ";", at the start of each line). You might need to reboot your system before your changes take effect.

Windows NT users: On NT, the font substitutions are specified in the registry rather than in WIN.INI. Run REGEDIT and look for a registry key with this path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes