Help+Manual News

Fast-Help Converter Released

In our effort to support the FastHelp user community and provide a smooth transition from FastHelp to Help+Manual, we have released a converter application for FastHelp.

The converter takes a FastHelp database and fully converts it into a Help+Manual project. The software retains all details including topics with conditional text, variables, links, images, hotspots, etc.


FastHelp to Help+Manual Converter

 

Click here to download the FastHelp converter

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SnipSVG 1.2 Update

We are glad to announce the second update of SnipSVG, our new free screen capture and image editing tool for Windows and macOS!

SnipSVG uses SVG vector images as its primary format. SVG images can be used directly in HTML and many other applications. They give you the same sharp quality at all zoom settings, and unlike JPG or PNG images you can always edit all the elements of the image separately.

Changes in Version 1.2

  • Picture crop: Border trim function implemented. The border trim crops an image by a fixed amount of pixels. This function is particularly useful to remove the visible 1-pixel border from Windows 11 screenshots. Windows 11 displays borders with a translucent color,  so that the window background may shine through, resulting an a thin border line with mixed colors.
  • File menu: the Close command got a keyboard shortcut – CTRL+W. This shortcut closes the current tab. To quickly close the current tab without being asked to save the changes, you can use the keyboard shortcut SHIFT+CTRL+W.
  • Bugfix in Save-to-SVG: the plain text version of text objects and shapes with text exported the wrong text color. It had written the color code as “BGR” instead of “RGB” and this has affected all text that was not black, white or green.

 

Download

Please download SnipSVG from the SnipSVG homepage.

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EC Software Acquires Fast-Help.com

We great pleasure we announce the acquisition of fast-help.com to continue support for the FastHelp user community. FastHelp is a software for multilingual technical documentation, originally developed by IT Training Academy Ltd in London, UK. EC Software strives to provide ongoing support for the FastHelp user community and a smooth transition of existing multilingual documentation projects. Read the rest of this entry »

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SnipSVG 1.1 Update

We are glad to announce the first update of SnipSVG, our new free screen capture and image editing tool for Windows and macOS!

SnipSVG uses SVG vector images as its primary format. SVG images can be used directly in HTML and many other applications. They give you the same sharp quality at all zoom settings, and unlike JPG or PNG images you can always edit all the elements of the image separately.

SnipSVG for Windows and macOS
SnipSVG for Windows and macOS

 

Changes in Version 1.1

  • Windows version, minimize to tray: the option to save all tabs has been changed to “close all tabs”
  • Load from SVG: bug fixes when reading numbering tags and text objects from SVG
  • Share with numbering tags: numbering tags with labels use the label text for the description table
  • Share as RTF with numbering tags: numbering table descriptions are black text (they had picked up the color of the numbering tag before)
  • Paste from HelpXplain: paste of entire slides disabled, all pasted objects become unlocked and visible.
  • Paste file link to an SVG file from clipboard created an error
  • Toolbar Select button now not just ends insert mode, but clears selection as well

 

Download

Please download SnipSVG from the SnipSVG homepage.

 

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Maintenance Updates: HelpXplain and Help+Manual

We are glad to announce the release of HelpXplain 1.8.2 and Help+Manual 9.4.2. If your maintenance plan includes the release date (March 11, 2024), this is a free update. The quickest way to find out, is to start HelpXplain/Help+Manual and click Help > Check for Update.

Help+Manual 9.4.2

  • Picture Toggles: right-click context menu offers a “Picture >” entry with the commands Edit with external editor, Show in Explorer and Reload.
  • HTML Export: role and scope attributes for table headers added. Single-cell tables such as toggle tables include the attribute role=”cell”. Table headers <th> tags include the attribute scope=”col” or scope=”colgroup” for multiple columns.
  • HTML Export: compilation of .SNIPX prefers the local xplainCmd.exe over any installed version of HelpXplain.
  • Screen Capture: SNIPX added as native save format for screenshots.
  • Windows 10/11 long path names (> 260 characters) enabled in manifest file. Updated Webhelp export and updated HM2Go to support long path names.

 

HelpXplain 1.8.2

  • Image Crop Tool: new rounded corners button implemented
  • Powerpoint Import: German umlauts and some special characters were not converted correctly

 

Download

All updates are available from our download page. Download and install the update over your existing version.

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Premium Pack 5.2 Update

This was originally planned to be a relatively small maintenance update, but the changes and improvements kept piling up so we have turned it into a full point update after all.

How to get the update:

You can download and install the update with the link and credentials you received when you purchased. If you no longer have these, just contact support by email and we will help you out.

See the rest of this post below the fold for full details on the update.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Get a Picture of SnipSVG!

We are glad to announce the official release of SnipSVG, our new free screen capture and image editing tool for Windows and macOS!

SnipSVG uses SVG vector images as its primary format. SVG images can be used directly in HTML and many other applications. They give you the same sharp quality at all zoom settings, and unlike JPG or PNG images you can always edit all the elements of the image separately.

SnipSVG for Windows and macOS
SnipSVG for Windows and macOS

More about SnipSVG

https://www.helpandmanual.com/snipsvg/

 

SnipSVG at a glance

  • Use on Mac and Windows. Copy between the two when running Windows in a virtual machine.
  • Unique screenshot capabilities on the Windows version. Make additive screenshots with diverse components in a single operation.
  • Works hand-in-hand with Help+Manual (see below).
  • Scores of shapes, arrows and highlighters. Apply shapes to images and rounded corners to screenshots.
  • Number the steps in your images with auto-incrementing numbering tags.
  • Single-click styling for elements with multiple themes and variants.
  • Hide sensitive information in your screenshots with pixelate and blur.
  • Effects for selected areas include magnifying glass, skew, sharpen, plus drawing and paint effects.
  • Share your pictures with other applications fast as files and by copying, also between Mac and Windows.

Using SnipSVG with Help+Manual

SnipSVG is already tightly integrated into Help+Manual and is designed as a replacement for the old image editor Impict. H+M version 9.4.1 understands the native .SNIPX file format, so you can use this image format in topics as you can use Impict’s .IPP file format. Older versions of Help+Manual can still use SVG and PNG images created by SnipSVG. By the way, SnipSVG is able to open .IPP images and convert them into its new vector format.

For detailed information about SnipSVG and Help+Manual, please refer to this documentation page. Here is a quick getting-started guide:

  1. Download and install SnipSVG for Windows
  2. Get the latest update to Help+Manual 9.4.1
  3. If you are using HelpXplain on the same computer, please update to HelpXplain version 1.8.1 (HelpXplain is not required, but if installed, please update to 1.8.1)
  4. Open Help+Manual and click “Program Options“, choose SnipSVG as the default image editor:
    SnipSVG as default image editor
  5. Now you are ready to go:

 

Download

Please download SnipSVG from the SnipSVG homepage.

 

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Maintenance Updates in February

We are glad to announce the immediate availability of Help+Manual 9.4.1, an updated Translation Assistant and a small update to HelpXplain 1.8.1.

New features and changes in…

Help+Manual 9.4.1

  • Confluence import has been updated. The Confluence import now recognizes more macros and skips older versions of the same page.
  • Topic Editor: support for horizontal scrolling implemented: works with 4-directional mouse and with SHIFT + mouse wheel and support for trackpad gestures (in particular left/right swipe) implemented
  • Paste function: understands the SnipSVG share format
  • Help context numbers: if a topic contains multiple help context numbers, they are now sorted automatically when the topic is saved. The background for this sort is not just convenience, but we want them to appear sorted in the XML project file as well. When a version control system compares XML source lines, it is very likely to sort them alphabetically. The sorted XML structure should prevent a VCS from mixing up two sources.
  • Insert Link dialog: checkbox added to replace the link caption with the variable <%TARGETTITLE%>
  • HTML Export: right-aligned and centered images with a fixed size and without a caption and with hotspots were exported without alignment.
  • HTML Export: if a PDF snippet was enclosed by <IF> tags, one page of the PDF was missing in the output (this affected the HTML output only, PDF export did properly include all selected pages).
  • EPUB export: if an IPP image was used for the EPUB cover picture and the IPP contained a callout object, the IPP image could not be converted.
  • General: improved support for the SNIPX image format, which belongs to SnipSVG. When creating HTML (Webhelp/eWriter/Ziphelp), it exports SNIPX images as SVG.

Help+Manual Translation Assistant 9.4.1

  • Topic Editor: support for horizontal scrolling implemented: works with 4-directional mouse and with SHIFT + mouse wheel and support for trackpad gestures (in particular left/right swipe) implemented.
  • Insert Link dialog: checkbox added to replace the link caption with the variable <%TARGETTITLE%>
  • Support for the SNIPX image format implemented

HelpXplain 1.8.1

  • Improved mouse wheel and trackpad support: mouse scroll works with 4-directional mouse and with SHIFT + mouse wheel. Trackpad gestures for left/right and up/down swipe as well as pinch-to-zoom implemented.
  • New SVG library implemented: if you add SVG images to slides in HelpXplain, the design-time display offers better support for gradients and shadows.
  • Object shadows: small modifications to match SVG shadows more closely with design time.
  • Copy & Paste operations: updated for compatibility with SnipSVG. You can copy & paste individual objects between SnipSVG and HelpXplain.

 

All updates are available from our download page.

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Sneak Preview: What’s Coming in February

For the last one and a half months, we stayed relatively quiet with news and software updates. That was the season, of course. Actually, it wasn’t so much a holiday season for us, but more a development season.

What’s Coming in February?

We are going to release a maintenance update for Help+Manual with several minor improvements, in particular an updated Confluence import. And with full support for the mysterious SNIPX image format, that you might have seen already in version 9.4. Read the rest of this entry »

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Help+Manual 9.4 with Confluence Import

We are glad to announce the immediate availability of Help+Manual 9.4. This maintenance update implements a dedicated import for Atlassian Confluence.

Confluence Import

New features and changes in Help+Manual 9.4

  • Confluence import implemented
  • SnipX file format for images enabled (.snipx is the format of our new image editor, coming soon)
  • Topic Editor: when rescaling images, the image displays the new size while the resizer is being moved
  • Topic status: when using darker colors for status indication, the text foreground color automatically changes to white

All updates are available from our download page.

We wish all our users a peaceful and happy holiday season! And… stay tuned for more news on this channel – we have a brand new screenshot editor in the making (see SnipX file format above), which you don’t want to miss. Promise!

 

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