Help+Manual News

Help+Manual 8.4 Released – DeepL, Equations, Link Lists

We are glad to announce the release of Help+Manual 8.4. If you are using version 8 already and your maintenance plan includes updates until August 9, 2021, just download the setup and run it to update your current installation.

Changes and Additions in v8.4

DeepL Translation Plugin

This update comes with a revised version of the DeepL Translation Plugin. DeepL has recently started to offer free API keys, that you can use to auto-translate a certain amount of text per month (the free contingent is a generous 500.000 characters). The  free API keys, however, require a different API address and Help+Manual 8.4 now works with both, the paid and the free translation API.

If you always wondered about the semi-automatic translation but could not wrap your head around purchasing a DeepL subscription, take a look at this upgrade and sign up at DeepL for a free API key to give it a try.

Another modification concerns the translation glossary terms. This sorted list is now applied in reverse order. Before, multiple terms like “MyFace” and “MyFace Player App” would exclude one another. By applying reverse order, “MyFace Player App” takes precedence over “MyFace”.

And lest we forget: the updated DeepL plugin has added 13 new languages.

Equation Editor

The LaTeX-based equation editor introduced with Help+Manual 8.0 has been updated and now supports a much wider range of LaTeX commands.

The biggest improvement about equations, however, is the SVG export of equations in HTML. Version 8.4 exports all equations as scalable vector graphics, which significantly improves the display quality on high resolution display. Before, Help+Manual exported equations as enlarged transparent PNG files. So for all HTML-based outputs we use embedded SVG instead of PNG, for MS Word/DOCX output we write SVG with a PNG fallback for older Word versions.

Link Lists

The link list object has a new option to display the topic description of the target topic below the link. You can activate the topic description in the link list dialog box. In HTML, all links produced by a link list object, have an additional title tag sporting either the description or the title of the target topic as mouse hint. Internally, that is in the HTML code, link lists are marked with the class name “hmlinklistitem”.

PDF Problem Fixes

We have changed the automatic hyphenation rules for PDF and print manuals. Automatic hyphenation is no longer applied to styles which are excluded from spell checking, according to your styles skip-list. So the auto-hyphenation is similar to the spell checker and the excluded project-depended styles.

Furthermore, automatic hyphenation is not applied to Internet links, if the link caption (partly) matches the target address. For weblinks, the caption is tested against the string “.//” and for email links the caption is tested against “@”. If found, the caption is assumed to represent a web address or an email, respectively, and not hyphenated.

To summarize it, auto-hyphenation in PDF/Print is not applied if:

a) Word wrap is turned off for this paragraph style (this has always been the case)
b) The text style matches a style from the spell-exclude-list
c) The text item is an Internet link and the caption matches the address

Bugfix 1: Text with math symbols from upper Unicode ranges was printed as glyph. The problem here was that the entire text containing the symbol was printed as glyph, not just the math symbol. Now the text is split by words and only words that contain a math symbol are printed as glyphs.

Bugfix 2: Links in tables with a vertical text orientation were misplaced – the click hotspot was in the wrong place as if the text was horizontal. Page referrer page numbers were also misplaced in this case.

Bugfix 3: Figure tables – if the figure number was made up from a prefix + .figurenum, the figure number wasn’t properly removed from the text that is displayed in the figure table.

Miscellaneous Changes and Bug Fixes

  • eWriter eBooks: updated viewer application with memory optimizations while compiling e-books to avoid out-of-memory issues on very large e-books.
  • Baggage files: the images preview pane adds support for SVG, WEBP and XPLAIN images.
  • SVG images: better error handling for invalid SVG images (often created by MS Visio) implemented.
  • Project Overview: chart legend includes absolute values (numbers of topics changed in that particular time frame)
  • Webhelp: List items were exported to HTML without a final CRLF in the HTML  code. This is merely a cosmetic change to improve the readability of the HTML source.
  • Webhelp: bugfix in lightbox script, lightbox now closes with ESC.
  • Webhelp: Extended HTML5 named entities for Greek letters and mathematical operators (replacements for “Symbol” font symbols) have been replaced by their Unicode decimal character values. The theoretical benefit of named entities is that old browsers not capable of Unicode might be able to display them though. The theoretical disadvantage of named entities is that some browsers might not recognize them.  This change is merely cosmetical, though the popular Calibre eBook editor issued a warning for these entities in ePUB ebooks.
  • Webhelp: font names that start with a digit are now put in quotes (as well as font names with spaces)
  • Webhelp: in DEFAULT.CSS, the CSS for image maps was changed and the string “filter:alpha(opacity=1)” has been removed. This was an old MSIE-specific setting.
  • Webhelp: Internet links with type “button” – if the link specified to open a new window when clicked, this option was ignored.
  • Webhelp: YouTube and Vimeo videos did not play automatically (after click) in the current version of Google Chrome. This worked in other browsers.
  • Equation editor: the selection dropdown for symbols displayed lowercase Greek symbols in the uppercase Greek symbols group.
  • Topic Editor: when sorting tables or moving rows within tables, the operation could not be reversed with the undo function.
  • Topic Editor: clicks on topic links with anchor now scroll the anchor to the top of the editor instead to the bottom.
  • Topic Editor: mouse hints for inline snippets restricted to 300 characters to avoid excessive mouse hint sizes.
  • Topic Editor: when editing a figure caption, the editor selected all text until the end of the paragraph as caption part. If the paragraph ended with an IFDEF, for instance, that IFDEF got deleted after editing the caption. This behavior has been changed: it treats all text following a figure caption object as caption, but stops at non-text elements.
  • Spell Check / Automatic Hyphenation: if a project used a project-dependent spell checker setting and the automatic hyphenation was turned off for the project, the hyphenation setting reverted to the global value instead instead of using the project-dependent “off” value.
  • Publishing tasks: build events with a relative path to the executable did not work  in some cases.
  • License dialog: maintenance for floating licenses could have been wrong if floating licenses were added via license manager.


Help+Manual 8.4 is available from our download page:

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