Help+Manual News

Archive for category Documentation Authoring

Premium Pack 5.0.3 Maintenance Update

We are please to announce the release of version 5.0.3 of Premium Pack 5. This maintenance update corrects a number of minor issues discovered and reported since the original release and is recommended for all users.

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.

Important note for Cool Max skin users

This update includes improvements in both the standard and megamenu header menu systems in this skin. If you have made your own changes to these menus, please don’t overwrite the menu HTML and CSS files with your own ones this time, as that would eliminate the improvements.

Changes and improvements since 5.0.0

  • Premium Pack installer:
    Now also supports “only for me” option to allow installation without administrator mode, if Help+Manual 9 has also been installed in the same way.
  • Cool Max skins:
    Small HTML error in Classic Header source corrected
    The mobile logo image was referenced without a variable in one location
    OPT_NOHEADERLOGO option added to the skin options
    OPT_NOBREAD option was not enabled
    Fine tuning in the MEGA MENU header menus system
    Breadcrumbs were displayed in phone mode
  • All V3, V4 and V5 skins:
    Additional filter to prevent conflicts with external code and browser extensions using PostMessage functions
  • Google Analytics support:
    Removed a couple of irrelevant debug messages from the console log interface
  • Skins with project title in the TOC:
    PROJECTTITLE_COLOR, PROJECTTITLE_FONT and PROJECTTITLE_SIZE variables now available
  • V5 Modern eWriter skins:
    Corrected internal server reference added to the EMail feedback option
  • V5 Flexible Keyboard skins:
    Focus switched to TOC when selecting the Previous / Top / Next buttons in the topic header
  • Both keyboard control skins:
    A bug in the Chromium web engine made the focus outline for keyboard navigation in the TOC invisible after clicking in the TOC with the mouse. This has been corrected with a CSS workaround.
  • Multiple skins:
    Improvement of CSS for formatting in the TOC
  • V4/V5 Flexible skins:
    Tooltip text variables were not connected to the left/right and up/down button tooltips
  • Help update:
    More flexible options for using WebHelp in SharePoint

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Hidden Gems: Standalone Screen Capture Tool

Standalone Screen Capture UtilityHelp+Manual is so powerful and multi-faceted that there’s always something new to discover. Even though I write the documentation, I still continue to find things that our developers have added that I didn’t yet know about. This morning I was looking in the program directory and I noticed a file called ScreenCapture.exe. What? I started it, and lo and behold it opened a completely stand-alone screen capture utility:

A quick call with the developers revealed that this behavior is intentional. Yes, you can use Help+Manual’s ScreenCapture.exe as a standalone tool for creating screenshots. It stores the images it creates in the Windows Clipboard, from where you can then insert them in any other application with CTRL+V or the right-click Paste command.

Tip: The same tool is also available in the HelpXplain program directory.

Features of the standalone utility

This standalone capture utility has now been updated with the version  8.4.4 release of Help+Manual. It can do everything that Help+Manual’s integrated screen capture can do, with the exception of creating HelpXplain-style screencasts:

  • Capture the full screen
  • Capture a selected area (click and drag)
  • Capture multiple selected areas in a single screenshot (SHIFT+Click and drag)

When you complete the capture in stand-alone mode you will be asked whether you want to copy the captured image to the Windows Clipboard or save it to a file.

Transparent images in the Clipboard

Multi-part captures need a transparent background in the areas between the captured screen elements. When these captures are saved to the Windows Clipboard, they are stored in two versions: A 32-bit PNG image with transparency, and a regular bitmap without transparency, which is necessary for programs unable to handle transparent PNGs. Which version is inserted from the Clipboard is automatic and depends on the program in which you are inserting the image.

How to use the stand-alone capture utility

If you want to use it, just create a shortcut to ScreenCapture.exe and you’re ready to go.

 

 

 

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Premium Pack 4.4.0 Update

Sandcastle Tidy, Caret Browsing, Update Skin Config Tool

We are happy to announce the release of Premium Pack 4.4.0 with three new features and a wide range of other improvements and fixes. Sandcastle Tidy puts your Microsoft Sandcastle documentation import fully under the control of the project stylesheet. Caret browsing support for tabbed navigation in the TOC and header has been added to the V3 and V4 skins. The Update Skin Config tool for transferring your settings from old to new skins has been significantly improved, now showing you only the settings in your old skin that are different from those in the new skin.

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.

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Online Course: Technical Writing with Help+Manual

New beginners course in technical writing with Help+Manual

Longtime Help+Manual expert and technical writer Subash Sarath Lakshmi is offering an online course in which you can learn technical writing skills with Help+Manual.

The course is offered directly on the SkillShare site.

A software developer before he took up technical writing, Subash has been active in the IT industry for nearly three decades.

He has offered in-person trainings in technical writing and Help+Manual, but with the onset of the Covid pandemic he has now switched to online-only courses, which is also making them accessible to a more international audience.

Website: https://learntechwritingfast.com/
Course on Skillshare: https://skl.sh/30yadg5

User feedback on Subash’s courses

Users who have completed the course have praised it in comments:

“The only course you’ll ever need if you want to learn Technical Writing or become a Technical Writer. From start to finish the course was like an exciting road trip.”

–David Ebenezer (Project Manager)

“I’ve just finished the Technical Writing course. I am from Austria and I’ve just started my new job as a Technical Writer at the Aescudata company. I liked the course very much, everything was explained clearly and with the assignments there was possibility to practice. I was really satisfied with your course and it is helpful for my daily work as a Technical Writer.”

–Julia Maderthaner (Technical Writer)

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New Help+Manual Full-Service Reseller for Switzerland

Naef Learning offers sales combined with training and localized documentation in Switzerland

EC Software is delighted to welcome Naef Learning, our new full-service reseller for the Swiss market. In addition to selling the full range of EC Software products, Naef Learning backs this up with extensive support, training and maintenance services, plus documentation in German.

Services include:

  • License sales
  • Training, both for team leaders and team members
  • Individually customized workshops for best software use
  • Support in German, including German documentation

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Premium Pack 4.3.0 Update: SharePoint Embedding

We have just updated Premium Pack 4 to version 4.3, with a couple of major improvements and some minor fixes and fine-tuning.

SharePoint embedding

The main change in this update is support for embedding WebHelp in SharePoint using the V3 and V4 skins. SharePoint administrators can now host WebHelp created with these skins on SharePoint site pages. This will also work on the SharePoint iOS and Android apps on tablets and smartphones. See Embedding in MS SharePoint in the Premium Pack documentation for details and instructions.

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.

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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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