Help+Manual News

Archive for category Documentation Authoring

Premium Pack 4.2.1 Maintenance Update

We have just updated Premium Pack 4 to version 4.2.1. This is a minor maintenance update that adds one important new feature to the Toolbox utility, which can now edit HMXR style repository projects as well as Help+Manual projects and skins.

How to get the Premium Pack update

You can download and install the updated version with the download link and personal installation password you received when you purchased. If you no longer have these details please contact support@ec-software.com and we will help you out. See the Premium Pack product page for more details on Premium Pack 4 and visit our online store to purchase if you do not yet have it.

Main changes and new features

The main change in this otherwise minor update is the addition of the ability of Toolbox to edit style repository projects (.hmxr). This makes it possible to use the new import/export styles tool on these projects as well. You can also use the other topics tools on these projects.

In addition to this, it was found that Help+Manual continues to maintain outdated XSD schema files in some old HMXP projects. This happens when backup or other tools are used that update the XSD file timestamp to the current date, which prevents HM from identifying an outdated file. When Toolbox encounters XSD validation errors it now automatically backdates the XSD, forcing HM to update it next time the project is updated.

Toolbox changes

  • Support for editing HMXR projects
  • Check for read-only TOC and topic and files in otherwise accessible projects
  • Add/Remove prefixes: Error if a topic ID was shorter than the prefix
  • XSD validation: Force Help+Manual to update outdated XSD schema file

Skin changes

  • The variable for the “Copied!” text in the new code sample boxes was inactive in some skins.

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DeepL machine translation now available free of charge!

DeepL Plugin

We’re delighted to announce that DeepL machine translation is now available free of charge in both Help+Manual and HelpXplain. The new free API developer subscription from DeepL allows you to translate up to 500,000 characters per month at no cost. This will almost always be enough for HelpXplain projects, which typically contain very little text, but it will also cover most Help+Manual projects. Read the rest of this entry »

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Premium Pack 4.2 Update

We have just updated Premium Pack 4 to version 4.2.0. This is a significant update with several new features, along with a number of minor fixes and corrections.

How to get the Premium Pack update

You can download and install the updated version with the download link and personal installation password you received when you purchased. If you no longer have these details please contact support@ec-software.com and we will help you out. See the Premium Pack product page for more details on Premium Pack 4 and visit our online store to purchase if you do not yet have it.

Main changes and new features

Version 4.2 includes a general overhaul of a lot of code, also for the update to the latest version of jQuery. Because of this, please don’t try to backport this version to older skins — use the new skins instead. It also brings three major new features:

Code Sample Box

All skins now include a Code Sample Box feature. This enables you to add programming code samples to your documentation in a box with a Copy to Clipboard link that copies the sample code directly to the Windows Clipboard. This even works in CHM files.

Import/Export Styles

The Toolbox utility has a new Import/Export Styles feature, with which you can import individual text, paragraph and table styles to Help+Manual projects from other projects and style files created with the tool. (In Help+Manual itself you can only replace an entire project stylesheet with another one.)

Validate XML against XSD

The Toolbox utility now validates XML against the XSD schema file included with every Help+Manual project. This prevents the accidental creation of invalid HM XML when working on the XML source code, for example with the search and replace tool.

jQuery Update

All skins have been updated to the latest 3.6 version of jQuery. This includes quite a lot of low-level code changes in the scripts, so please don’t try to backport the changes in these skins to older versions. Use the new skins instead.

Toolbox Utility Changes and Fixes

  • XML validation against XSD: This checks all projects and skins you open and prevents the creation of invalid XML (see above).
  • Import/Export Styles tool: Import individual styles to Help+Manual projects from other projects or style files exported with the tool.
  • Normalize Styles: Corrected an error that could incorrectly reset Bold/Underline/Italics formatting when processing some projects.
  • Edit Preferences: A message is now displayed in Edit Preferences explaining that all current projects and skins need to be closed to change some options.
  • Complex Search & Replace: On some projects the search and replace tool could only be used once if the Autosave feature was active.
  • Complex Search & Replace: An error could be generated when replacing in invalid topic files because they were not automatically excluded from searches.
  • TOC \Maps folder in uncompressed HMXP projects: Toolbox would crash silently on opening an HMXP project if there were non-TOC files or invalid secondary TOC files in the \Maps folder.
  • Plus a number of cosmetic changes, like showing a red explanation that you need to close all projects to be able to edit the disabled preferences in Edit > Preferences.

V3 and V4 WebHelp Skins

  • Embedded Help: A new option enables you to leave the WebHelp header visible when opening help embedded in another web page.
  • Local without Web Server: Changes in the security features of current browsers caused a number of errors when using these skins in local mode without a web server. These errors have been corrected, along with others caused by some Google Analytics features not being disabled in local mode.

All V3 and V4 Skins

  • Image toggle close mode: The Click Inside option for closing image toggles caused an error in some skins.
  • Image toggles: Image toggles were inactive when published with Help+Manual 7.
  • Search results: Some V3 WebHelp and eWriter skins showed only the project title in the search results instead of the topic title. The incorrect topic title was sometimes shown in the search results in the Advanced skins.

All Skins

  • A potential cross-site scripting vulnerability has been corrected in the Zoom Search component. The vulnerability was only available when date range searching was activated. This is only supported the full, standalone version of Zoom, so it was not an issue in WebHelp generated with the version in Help+Manual.

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Premium Pack 4.1.0 Maintenance Update

We have just updated Premium Pack 4 to version 4.1.0. This update introduces a large number of both minor and major improvements. The most extensive change is an overhaul of the embedded and field level help system for both regular WebHelp and WordPress sites to support multiple WebHelp collections and WebHelp collections on remote servers.

How to get the Premium Pack update

You can download and install the updated version with the download link and personal installation password you received when you purchased. If you no longer have these details please contact support@ec-software.com and we will help you out. See the Premium Pack product page for more details on Premium Pack 4 and visit our online store to purchase if you do not yet have it.

Code certificate updated

The code signing certificate used for the Premium Pack installer and Toolbox utility has just been updated. Because of this you may see a dialog asking you to confirm that you want to trust the publisher before installing. This is normal with “fresh” certificates until they have re-established their trust level.

Remote and multiple domains in embedded & field-level help and WordPress:

It is now possible to use embedded and field-level help from multiple WebHelp documentation systems on the same web page. In addition to this you can also embed WebHelp hosted on other web servers, not only on the same server as the HTML pages on which you are embedding and displaying the help. These new features are supported both in regular WebHelp and in the WordPress plugin.

See the updated Embedded and Field-Level Help chapter for full details.

V3 and V4 WebHelp Skins

  • Print Topic functionality: Improvement of topic printing in local no web server mode, both with the hamburger menu function and directly via the browser’s own print function.
  • Printing only first page: In some browsers only the first page of multi-page topics would be printed.
  • Print breadcrumbs: There is now an option to include the breadcrumb trail above the topic title when the user prints topics.
  • Inline toggle icons: Inline text toggles with icons are now also supported in these skins.
  • TOC autohide in mobile mode: When the TOC is folded over the topic content on mobile devices it now automatically slides out of view when a topic is selected. This new option is configurable.
  • Buttons as popup links: These are now supported.
  • Magazine skins: Calling context IDs via the URL didn’t work in the magazine skins because of a small internal error.
  • Magazine skins: TOC width was sometimes too narrow when opening/closing.
  • Flexible skins: The icon for page header open/close in the divider between the TOC and topic panes was hidden on the first load when the help was embedded.
  • Modern Standard skins:
    These skins have been generally overhauled and tidied up for better appearance and easier editing.

    • Maximum width setting: These skins now also have a HELP_MAXWIDTH setting for limiting the width of the help window in large browser windows.
    • iPad and iPhone behavior: The TOC pane could be narrower than the tabs above it on first access on some iPhone and iPad devices.
    • Swipe to change TOC pane width: Did not work on older iPad Mini devices.
    • General layout: A large number of minor tweaks and improvements to the layout in these skins.

V3 eWriter Skins

  • Title bar display in eViewer: You can now configure the title bar display in eViewer in the same way as in WebHelp. Options: Current topic title, current project name, current project name and current topic title.
    Print breadcrumbs: There is now an option to include the breadcrumb trail above the topic title when the user prints topics.
  • Inline toggle icons: Inline text toggles with icons are now also supported in these skins.
  • Buttons as popup links: These are now supported.

Toolbox Utility

  • Variables without names and unregistered baggage files: Toolbox now checks for the existence of variables without names and unregistered files in the baggage section and can correct this. (This can sometimes happen when the XML of your project file is generated programmatically or edited manually.)
  • Baggage files incorrectly shown as edited: Sometimes baggage file listings would be highlighted red as edited when this was not the case.
  • RTF build option removed: This option is no longer relevant in Help+Manual 7 and 8, which now generate Word DOCX by default.
  • Context and Edit menu updating: Sometimes the right-click context menu and Edit menu for Baggage files would not update correctly after adding a Baggage file to the current skin or project.
  • Baggage file handling: General handling of Baggage files improved, including better distinction of the differences between the processing of Baggage files in projects and skins when writing back to the project.

Help update

  • The Premium Pack help has been updated and extended with more detailed information for version 4.

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Premium Pack 4.0.4 Maintenance Update

We have just updated Premium Pack 4 to version 4.0.4. This update contains a large number of basically cosmetic updates. There is no urgency to install it if everything is already working OK for you. Just read through the descriptions and decide for yourself if and when you want to update.

How to get the Premium Pack update

You can download and install the updated version with the credentials you received when you purchased. If you no longer have this please contact support@ec-software.com and we will help you out. See the Premium Pack product page for more details on Premium Pack 3 and visit our online store to purchase if you do not yet have it.

Help update

  • The Premium Pack help has been updated and extended with more detailed information for version 4.

Skin changes and fixes:

  • Image toggle close mode (V3 & V4 skins): You can now choose whether image toggles close on a click inside or outside the image. This is set with the new IMGTOGGLE_CLOSEMODE variable in the General Settings variable group in the V3 and V4 skins.
  • Image toggle closing: Image toggles will now also close on the ESC key in desktop mode and on tablets with hardware keyboards.
  • Image toggle closing on smartphones: Image toggles closed too slowly in smartphone browsers.
  • Image toggle clickable area: In some skins clicking to the right of some image toggles would also trigger the toggle. This has been corrected.
  • Image toggle positioning: In some skins image toggles with captions would position at the top of the browser window when expanded. In the Advanced Compact and Advanced TOC skins image toggles could be positioned incorrectly when fully expanded in mobile browser mode.
  • Google Analytics: When the path was included in topic references the slash between the last folder and the topic name was sometimes missing. Two slashes instead of one were sometimes shown at the beginning of the path. This was dependent on the configured settings and the number of path levels.
  • Google Analytics: Search terms entered by the user were not tracked in the V4 Advanced Compact and V4 Advanced Full TOC skins.
  • Index keywords containing special characters: Clicks on index keywords containing special characters like slashes (/) failed in some skins.
  • Social sharing in V2 WebHelp skins: The social sharing popup in the still very popular V2 WebHelp skins has been updated to the latest version used in the V3 and V4 skins. The social sharing now uses scalable SVG icons and simple hyperlinks instead of the widgets that had to be loaded with every page. This means that the social sites now only get a ping when the user actually uses the icons.
  • V2 WebHelp skins language files: The English, French, Dutch and German language files for these skins have been updated with the variable changes for social sharing.
  • Video lightbox: Videos configured to open in a lightbox played inline with the V4 Advanced Compact and V4 Advanced Full TOC skins. Videos playing in a lightbox now close when the user presses the ESC key.
  • Topic top margin setting: All V3 and V4 skins now include a TOPIC_TOPMARGIN variable with which you can adjust the margin between the top of your topics and the top of the topic window. This variable is in the Main Layout variables group in the V3 WebHelp and eWriter skins and in the General Layout variables group in the V4 skins.
  • Closing videos in V2 WebHelp and CHM skins: Videos are now effectively closed automatically when stopped without having to reload the current page, even if they are in popups or toggles. The POP_KILLVIDEO option is now on by default and does not need to be turned off.
  • Keyword index search highlights: In some V4 skins the highlight of keywords found with Search in the keyword index was not displayed. This is now set to a dashed underline in the same color as the index keyword text. This is not configurable directly, but you can change it by editing the .idxhilite class definition in the hmwebhelp_index_xxxx.css files in the skin baggage.
  • Search highlight colors in V3 skins: The options for configuring search highlighting colors in the older V3 WebHelp and eWriter skins are not color options because they use a combined setting for text and background colors. This has been made clearer by defining these settings as Layout options. See the Configuring for Use > Other Settings section in the V3 WebHelp and V3 eWriter chapters.
  • Topic and web link hotspots in CHM: Links to topics and web pages in image hotspots now function more reliably in the CHM skins.

Toolbox Utility

  • Changing filter: When you change a variables filter (Colors, Layout Settings etc.) in Toolbox the currently selected variables group is now redisplayed automatically with the filter if the group contains variables of the selected type. Otherwise the first available group is displayed. In previous versions this always switched to the first available group.
  • HM version: Projects created with HM 7 or 8 are now both identified as 7/8 in the Project Information. This is necessary because there is no identifying difference between the versions in the XML headers of version 7 and version 8 projects.
  • Baggage files: The names of Baggage files added to skins or projects by the user are now checked for strict HTML compatibility. Filenames must use only the standard ASCII characters a..zA..Z0..9_, and $, no spaces.
  • Projects with missing TOC: If the TOC of a HM project is completely missing Toolbox now reports this explicitly instead of just saying that the TOC is invalid.

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DeepL now available in the USA and Canada!

Good news for all our US customers: The API license needed to use the DeepL machine translation plugin in Help+Manual and HelpXplain is now also available in the USA for just $5.49 per month.

The license is referred to as DeepL Pro. Here is the DeepL announcement:

DeepL posting on the new license

You can order the new DeepL Pro license on this page:

Order page for the new license

In addition to the monthly fee there is also a charge for translation volume. However, the amounts here are so generous that it would be difficult to exceed $10 per month in total.

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Premium Pack 4.0.3 Maintenance Update

We have just updated Premium Pack 4 to version 4.0.3. This now includes the promised V4 Modern Standard set of skins, which are similar to Modern Flexible but with a more basic appearance and functionality. In addition to this it tidies up some color variables and style settings and corrects a couple of small issues reported by users.

How to get the Premium Pack update

You can download and install the updated version with the credentials you received when you purchased. If you no longer have this please contact support@ec-software.com and we will help you out. See the Premium Pack product page for more details on Premium Pack 3 and visit our online store to purchase if you do not yet have it.

Skin Updates 

  • New skin category: The V4 Modern Standard skin category is now included. This is a simple, functional layout similar to Modern Flexible, but without width restriction (always full width), with simple drop-down user-configurable menus in the page header.
  • General: Minor corrections in color variables and layout.
  • Modern Compact skins: New settings in Skin Options to disable the logo and link buttons.
  • Flexible and Magazine skins: The MAX_PAGEWIDTH variable in the General Settings variables section now accepts both pixel (px) and percent (%) values for setting the maximum width of the help in the browser window.
  • Magazine skins: Improvement to drop-down menu behavior in phone mode (opening one submenu now closes any other submenu to save space, as in the other skins).
  • Flexible skins: Feature images did not move up with the page header in phone mode when hiding the page header, leaving a gap.
  • V3 eWriter skins: An error caused a delay on opening WebHelp, during which context calls to the skin would fail.
  • V3 eWriter skins: The Minimalist Standard skin included some double variable references that prevented saving changes.

Toolbox utility

  • New program icon
  • New language files for Dutch for V4 skins
  • Minor bug fixes

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Office or Home Office? Floating licenses allow both.

Floating licenses are a great way to deployHelp+Manual to many users in your organization. A floating license is a concurrent license – it can be used by one person at a time, but is not bound to a particular computer.

With Help+Manual 8, they are not even bound to a local network or departement. The license pool can be shared among all users of an organization, whether they work on site, are in a different location or work from home.

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Help+Manual 8.0.1 Update: Slow Editor Solved

We are glad to announce the release of Help+Manual 8.0.1 – a small version change but one that includes an important bugfix!

Topic editor was responding slower and slower

The problem occurred with topics that contained one or more lists. It wasn’t apparent at the first look, but editing and selection speed became slower with every text change that was made. Switching to another topic and back solved the problem for a short time. This bug has been addressed and the topic editor is now significantly faster than before.

New Features and bug fixes

  • The eWriter eBook viewer has an additional command line option to put the eBook window on top of other windows (“stay-on-top”). Furthermore, the configuration for the eBook menu has an option to specify the color of the application menu button. Instead of just orange, you can select your own color. An optical viewer glitch on very large monitors has been fixed and the eBook viewer app is no longer signed – this is an intentional change, because the signature of the executable gets invalid anyway, when packed with HTML data.
  • Screen Capture: the automatic window selection did not work on Windows Terminal Server
  • German UI: translation bug in “Online Activation failed” string caused an error
  • Link lists to TOC entries that included merged projects at more than 1 level (e.g. a sub-sub-project) did not work in PDF

Download

If you have an older version of Help+Manual installed, you can use the update side by side with an existing installation. Help+Manual 8 is available from our download page:

https://www.helpandmanual.com/downloads.html

 

Upgrade Bundle Offers extended until March 4th

We offer several upgrade bundles with discounts of more than 40%! The super discounts will be available until March 4, 2020. Please hurry up to get them!

https://www.helpandmanual.com/order.html?promotion=upgrade

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Coming soon: New Screen Capture Tool

We have implemented a completely new and much more advanced screen capture tool in Help+Manual. This tool supports:

  • Captures on multiple monitors with different resolutions
  • Multi-part captures (add new captures to the existing capture to create a single image)
  • Capture animated HelpXplain screencasts for tutorials – a series of screenshots with animated transitions showing how to do something on the computer screen

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