Help+Manual News

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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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Black Friday Offers in 2021

We are happy to announce that this year our Black Friday offers start early on November 19 and will last until November 30! This is 12 days of really big savings for you: We’re offering a 30% discount on all products, upgrades and services.

Black Friday Offers

The promotion starts at midnight on November 18 and applies to:

  • New product purchases
  • Upgrades from older versions of Help+Manual
  • Maintenance extensions for current licenses
  • Add-on purchases like Help+Manual Premium Pack

Renew your maintenance now for savings later

Please note that you can renew your maintenance now even if you currently have an active license with valid maintenance. By renewing before expiration, the maintenance extension will simply extend the previous expiration date and save you 30% compared to a purchase after the Black Friday promotion (or more, if you extend for 2 or more years).

Black Friday Promotion New Orders:

Help+Manual Online Store

Black Friday Promotion Upgrades and Maintenance Renewals:

Help+Manual Online Store (Upgrades)

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Help+Manual 8.4.1 – Important Bug Fix for 8.4

This is an important update to the recent release of Help+Manual 8.4. If you are using version 8 already and your maintenance plan includes updates until September 29, 2021, just download the setup and run it to update your current installation.

If your maintenance has included version 8.4.0 (August) but does not include version 8.4.1 (September), please contact us.

Bug Fix in v8.4.1

Version 8.4 introduced a updated XML parser that properly reads 4-byte unicode characters. This update had an unwanted side effect: it doesn’t write Asian characters properly. A project with content in Japanese language might load correctly, but when saved and re-opened, the Japanese characters in the TOC can be missing.

We are still working on a fix of this problem, but for the time being, the XML parser has been reverted to the previous version (without support for 4-byte Unicode chars).

 

Miscellaneous Changes

  • Publishing dialog: the dropdown-gallery for skins adds a button to clear the last recently skins from the gallery
  • New IFDEFs for Templates: <IF_ISDEFAULT_PAGE> and <IFNOT_ISDEFAULT_PAGE> are true if the current page that is being exported is the default topic or not, respectively.
  • Equations as inline SVG: the <svg> tag did not include an xmlns= attribute, which is required in XHTML (but not in HTML5) to display the content correctly. This is relevant for ePUB ebooks, which are exported as XHTML

 

Download

Help+Manual 8.4.1 is available from our download page:

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

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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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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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Help+Manual 8.3.1 Maintenance Update

We are glad to announce the release of Help+Manual 8.3.1. To find out if this update is included in your maintenance plan, please start Help+Manual and click the “Updates” icon in the welcome screen.

Updates

 

Changes in v8.3.1

This update corrects several minor issues, most of them UI related.

  • PDF Export: in the manual designer, the Tables section had a “new page” break option only. All Table sections now support “new odd page” and “new even page” as well.
  • PDF Export: some Unicode characters were not recognized as “unprintable” (which means that these characters are automatically exported as glyphs). Depending on the font (e.g. Calibri), some characters from the upper Unicode range were exported as text though and ended up being displayed as question marks in the PDF.
  • Robohelp Import: Help+Manual now supports multiple Robohelp-TOCs and multiple keyword files.
  • XML Code: the LastEditedBy attribute in topic files was empty if the Windows user name was too long.
  • DeepL Translation Plugin: the <list> and <li> tags were defined as DeepL-non-splitting-tags. This may have caused translation errors with lists.
  • Workspaces: when opening a workspace with multiple projects, the projects no longer open with a fully expanded TOC, but are just expanded on project level. You can rearrange the order of multiple projects within a workspace by drag & drop and the Save All button (available on the quick-access toolbar at the top of the main window) now saves the workspace configuration as well, if it has changed.
  • Equations: if the font color for an equation was set to “auto”, it was converted to black (#000000). Now, the “auto” font color is preserved and picks up the font color of the current text style.
  • Insert Picture Gallery: if an image in the picture gallery was also included in the baggage list of the project, Help+Manual unnecessarily asked to add the search path every time.
  • Impict (.ipp) Images: we added a global option in the Program Options dialog to treat IPP images as transparent by default. This will re-render IPP images against a transparent background during the export and save them as transparent PNGs.
  • Publishing Tasks Editor: optical glitches fixed when scrolling through very long task lists, duplicate task names are now tested for and not permitted.
  • ePUB Export: the HTML page templates for ePUB received a “lang” attribute by default.
  • Webhelp full-text search: we fixed an XSS vulnerability in the “zoom_search.js” script. This vulnerability occurred when date range search was enabled. Which wasn’t an issue in Help+Manual directly, but was a potential issue when using the full version of the Zoom search engine with Help+Manual.
  • History foward/backward: this is the least obvious change but perhaps the best addition in this update – when using the back/next buttons to page through topics in your project you had just accessed, Help+Manual saves the text editor position with the history. In other words: when you go back to the topic you just came from, it remembers the vertical scroll position.

Download

Help+Manual 8.3.1 is available from our download page:

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

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