Help+Manual News

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Help+Manual v8.4.4 Maintenance Update

We are glad to announce a maintenance update for Help+Manual 8.4. If you are using version 8 already and your maintenance plan includes updates until May 28, 2022, just download the setup and run it to update your current installation.

Changes in 8.4.4 Build 5960

  • Configuration > Misc: when changing the option for Translation-friendly XML, topic time stamps and last edited by are kept by default (option to keep it is included in the dialog). This function is particularly important for the Help+Manual Translation Assistant.
  • Project Report: extended, long and full project report now includes topic comments
  • Equation objects: vertical alignment for “top”, “middle” and “bottom” added.
  • Word/RTF import: keywords that contain a “: ” (colon + space) are separated into 2-level keywords.
  • SVG Images: improved display of SVG images created by PowerPoint
  • Screen Capture: the screen capture tool has additional functionality for stand-alone use.

Bug fixes

  • DeepL Plugin: internal bug fix when encoding UTF8 payload for translation, which may have caused DeepL to return distorted XML in some cases.
  • Figure labels: if the text line following a figure label object contained a topic-specific variable, this variable was not replaced with the current variable in the PDF table-of-figures (global variables worked). Bug fix for figure labels not included in the figure list (could have caused an endless loop and H&M crashing)
  • HelpXplain in Webhelp: on computers with system locale Chinese (simplified and traditional), the loader script for HelpXplain presentations had the wrong encoding. HTML topic pages that hosted an Xplain contained damaged HTML code.

Download

Help+Manual 8.4.4 is available from our download page:

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

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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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Help+Manual Translation Assistant – Beta Test

These days we’re really having fun at the office. For a programmer, it is utterly satisfying to watch your own software performing automated tasks that normally take hours or even days to complete. And that defintely applies to our new Help+Manual Translation Assistant .

Cut translation time and costs by over 90%

HMTA integrates the revolutionary DeepL AI-based machine translation system, with bulk translation and support for 24 languages. It can translate your entire project in just a couple of minutes, and the results are so good that they require minimum editing. This alone can save over 90% of your translation costs and time. It is, quite literally, nothing short of revolutionary.

If you translate documentation with Help+Manual, this new tool will definitely stir your interest and we want you to join the beta test (more on that after the break).

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Help+Manual v8.4.3 Maintenance Update

We are glad to announce a maintenance update for Help+Manual 8.4. If you are using version 8 already and your maintenance plan includes updates until February 4, 2022, just download the setup and run it to update your current installation.

Changes in 8.4.3 Build 5940

  • SVG images: loading of SVG images with embedded base64-encoded image data is now faster. Bugfix for images with base64-encoded embedded data that was split into junks.
  • Screen Capture tool: optical glitches fixed in screen capture UI, when Windows UI style was set to “classic” Win2000 style (this causes Windows to switch off Aero and transparent drawing, which parts of the UI have relied on).
  • The color dialogs for table color and font/background color were changed to a new dialog that supports an entry box for HTML-style color codes.

Bug fixes

  • Copy topics/TOC entries: when topics copied from another project were tagged with build tags not present in the target project, H&M asked to extend the list of build tags. This extension went wrong and the custom build list got damaged.
  • eWriter Export: icon file could not be updated when the output file was an executable (.exe).

Download

Help+Manual 8.4.3 is available from our download page:

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

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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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Help+Manual v8.4.2 Maintenance Update

We are glad to announce a maintenance update for Help+Manual 8.4. If you are using version 8 already and your maintenance plan includes updates until December 17, 2021, just download the setup and run it to update your current installation.

Sandcastle Import Revised

To write source code documentation for Visual Studio, Help+Manual can import VS libraries and build a documentation skeleton for all the classes and units found. The import tool is called Microsoft Sandcastle.

This update includes a revised Sandcastle import with better style support, larger default fonts and optional table styles.

 

Miscellaneous Changes

  • Windows Meta Files (.WMF) on high-resolution monitors: WMF images have a face value of their regular size, which is actually coined for a 96 dpi system. On high-res systems, WMF files will appear larger than they originally appeared. We have to compensate for the difference in Help+Manual, which we do with version 8.4.2. This behavior is on by default, but can be deactivated with an option switch in the Editor tab of the Program Options dialog.
    Note that the sizing issue affects old-style .wmf files only. The more modern enhanced metafiles (.emf) are not concerned.
  • Table of Contents: when copying items within the TOC, topics were always automatically created or duplicated, respectively. There is a new paste option in the drop-down menu of the Paste button, to paste TOC entries only, without duplicating topics.
  • EWriter eBooks: the default width and height of the viewer window (like 800 x 600 px) depended on the resolution of the monitor where H&M was being run. It is now treated independent from that resolution.
    Furthermore we fixed a very rare problem that could have sometimes cause the eWriter export to fail.
  • Image toggles in HTML export: the magnifier SVG symbol shown on image toggles was slightly clipped on the top and left side.
  • Project Language: “Norwegian Nynorsk” was listed twice in the language list (two times NO-NO instead of NO plus NO-NO)
  • Publishing Tasks: optical glitch fixed – the last task entry was hidden by the horizontal scrollbar if the main window was too narrow.
  • Hard page breaks with a change of print orientation at the beginning of a topic caused a parasite blank paragraph in HTML export.
  • Word/DOCX export: bugfix with Word styles
  • Batch publishing: if there is no license at all (demo version) the batch export warns about no license and exits with ExitCode 99.

 

Download

Help+Manual 8.4.2 is available from our download page:

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

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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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