Help+Manual News

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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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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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Help+Manual 8.3 Released – Improved Asian Font Handling

We are glad to announce the release of Help+Manual 8.3. If you are using version 8 already, this update is included in your maintenance plan. Just download the setup and run it to update your current installation.

Changes and Additions in v8.3

Asian Font Names

This update significantly improves handling of Asian fonts. If you do not translate your documentation into Asian languages, you might never notice. Asian fonts have dual font names in Windows: their native name and an English equivalent. For instance, your Windows may support the font Microsoft YaHei, which is known to be a Chinese font. On a Chinese Windows, however, there is no Microsoft YaHei anywhere, you have 微软雅黑 instead, which means the same, just in Chinese. As long as the project stays on an English computer (or Chinese, for that matter), everything is fine. Problems may arise when the project is being edited on one PC and published on another, because despite it’s the very same font, the name strings don’t match. Read the rest of this entry »

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eWriter Viewer Update

We have updated the eWriter viewer application to version 2.5.0. The eWriter output format is supported by Help+Manual as well as HelpXplain.

Version 2.5 of the viewer does not have any functional changes, but fixes a problem with a Windows 10 system-wide option, that is rarely active but could be active on your end user’s computers. This option is in Region Settings and is called

Beta: Use Unicode UTF-8 for worldwide languages support

If this option was activate on a Windows 10 computer, the eWriter viewer did not work correctly. Content was incorrectly formatted and images were mostly missing. Viewer version 2.5 fixes this problem.

The update is available for download from our website (link after the picture) and soon in the Windows 10 store. Read the rest of this entry »

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Black Friday Offer: 30% Off for all New Purchases and Upgrades

Cyber Monday Promotion

We are pleased to announce our Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers for this year: 30% discount on any of our products between Friday November 27th and Monday November 30th.

This promotion applies to:

 

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Help+Manual 8.2.1 Maintenance Update

We are glad to announce the release of Help+Manual 8.2.1. If you are using version 8 already, this update is included in your maintenance plan. Just download the setup and run it to update your current installation.

Changes and Additions in v8.2.1

WEBP Image Format

Help+Manual natively supports the WEBP image format. You can use WEBP as regular images or toggle images. When creating Webhelp, WEBP images are exported native. For all other output formats, Help+Manual converts WEBP to 32-bit PNG images, to ensure compatibility. Please be aware that WEBP images are yet not supported by all web browsers. If you use the WEBP format, these pictures might not be visible in Webhelp in older browsers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Help+Manual 8.2.0 Released

We are glad to announce the release of Help+Manual 8.2. If you are using version 8 already, this is update is included in your maintenance plan. Just download the setup and run it to update your current installation.

This update focuses on DeepL machine translation, PDF output and proxy servers for floating licenses. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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