Help+Manual News

HelpXplain 1.0.2 Feature Update

We are glad to announce the first feature update for HelpXplain. This update implements several bug fixes and two completely new features.

Pause after Animation

Object animations now have an optional pause field, in addition to duration and delay. This pause field is of special interest for cursor animations, that are played before a slide advances to the next (a typical situation for screencasts). Normally, when the slide advances to the next, you see the cursor move, then click. And right after the click animation, the slide changes. If you have set a slide transition that visually pans from one slide to another, it could be distracting, so that the cursor click animation is not really recognized. That’s exactly what the pause is for: the animation pauses after it has been played and before the next thing happens (another animation or a slide transition).

Animated Spotlights

Animated spotlights are a pretty cool new feature that work tremendously well for explaining larger screenshots. We’ve published an example Xplain in the last news post – please check it out if you haven’t seen it.

Additional Animations

The animated spotlights come with 5 new animations that were implemented for spotlight objects in particular. Spotlights can zoom in or out, they can move and change their size, they can be chained together or you may choose to combine them with an animated cursor object, which the spotlight follows.

Furthermore, we have implemented a new animation for texts: a counter animation that implements a visual counter that runs from [start value] to [end value].

Extended Style Settings

HelpXplain has global style settings that define the defaults for all objects in a particular project. You set the fill and outline for shapes, line options for arrows, font sizes for text, etc. This dialog has received additional settings: callout shapes are now separated from normal shapes to be style independently. And the new spotlight objects have got their own settings. This makes it easier to change multiple spotlights in a project, if you find them too dark or not dark enough.

Miscellaneous Changes and Bug Fixes

  • New examples included for custom scripts, custom object animations
    and spotlights
  • Screencast: the dialog to specify the screencast layout has additional options to add a pause after every cursor animation and to optionally add spotlight objects.
  • Project file is now locked during editing
  • Improved file handling when opening projects from cloud storages
    like OneDrive or Dropbox
  • Customize Theme dialog, error with color change fixed
  • Undo/redo error fixed when the canvas background image was changed
  • Grouping and ungrouping: improved handling of z-index
  • Group animations: Show and FadeIn did not work for groups
  • Group animations: when ungrouping objects that had both, a group animation and invididual object animations, the animation numbers were not updated
  • Bug fixes in PowerPoint import
  • Xplain loader script: the JavaScript xploader.js has been updated, this script created an error in IE8 and older. (IE8 does not work, we need IE9 or newer. But the script must not trigger an error, it should display a meaningful message.)


This is a free update for all HelpXplain users! Please download the update and install it over your existing installation of HelpXplain.

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