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Soluling: A Translation Tool for Help+Manual and More

Translate Help+Manual projects and localize your software

Soluling is a powerful new translation tool for Help+Manual projects, software user interfaces, web content and much more. It offers a unique combination of support for multiple machine translation services with human translators, along with translation and terminology memory. The most important points for Help+Manual users are:

  • Supports Help+Manual projects (HMXP) directly
  • Also supports translation of software user interfaces, including most current IDEs
  • Help+Manual is just one of the many formats supported — over 100 in total
  • Supports machine translation with DeepL and many other services (Amazon, Google, IBM etc.)
  • Machine translation is very flexible, allowing combination of multiple services and human translators
  • Also supports translation by human services, crowd sourcing, direct manual translation and more
  • Translate by paragraph, multiple paragraphs or in bulk for entire topics and projects
  • Directly generates translated versions of the originals — no conversion necessary
  • Includes translation memory so that unchanged texts and phrases in your projects get translated automatically
  • Includes terminology memory to build consistency for your terminology translations
  • Both translation and terminology memory have cloud versions for simultaneous access by teams
  • All services and translation options are highly configurable, allowing fine-tuning of performance and results

For more information and downloads visit the Soluling website at

Translating Help+Manual projects

Translating Help+Manual projects in Soluling is a simple process. Basically, you point the program at a HMXP project and it loads the project tree and its content in a spreadsheet-like interface. You can translate manually directly in the right column. Or if you are using machine translation you right-click in the empty target language column and choose your configured translation service. Similarly, you can also use your translation memory there once it has been set up. Any XML tags within the paragraphs are shown, but this doesn’t trip the system up. Sentences are always handled as entire units, no matter how many sub-tags they contain. This is a pleasant contrast to some other XML-based translation tools.

Soluling user interface

Translating a HM project in Soluling

Bulk machine and memory translation

The spreadsheet paradigm makes bulk translation very simple. For a topic you select the topic file, press CTRL+A in the target column to select everything, then right-click and select your translation service or your translation memory. Translating the entire project with a single click works in the same way: Selecting the project name at the top of the tree on the left displays all the translatable elements in the entire project on the right. Then you just select them all and choose your translation service or your translation memory.

Translation memory and terminology features

The integration of translation and terminology memory is another major feature of Soluling. Once you are satisfied with your translation you can save it to the integrated translation memory database for your project. When the Help+Manual project is updated you just need to apply the translation memory to get perfect translations for all the text that hasn’t changed. Then you only need to work on what is new and changed.

By default, translation memory works with sentences as the basic unit, but you can also configure Soluling to handle phrases and other meaningful language units in the translation memory. It is extensively and minutely configurable, like everything else in this impressive tool. And in addition to your own translation memory database, Soluling can also integrate the Microsoft Terminology Service and the MyMemory translation memory service.

Similarly, you can also configure a terminology database that will automatically translate any defined terms in the predefined way for maximum consistency. And here too, you can combine your own database with the Microsoft Terminology Service.

Teamwork and cloud features

Soluling supports working on your translation projects in teams. You can generate Soluling packages to send to multiple translators and then integrate their results into your main project. And the translation memory and terminology databases can be maintained as cloud-based versions so that all translators can access them directly.

Software user interface translation

This goes beyond the scope of this review, but as already mentioned, Soluling isn’t only for translating Help+Manual projects, web content and a total of over 100 other different input formats. It is also a full software localization tool, with a complete set of powerful and configurable features for translating and localizing the entire user interface of your application. Visit the Soluling website for more information on this.

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eWriter Viewer 4.0 with Ziphelp Support

We have updated eWriter Viewer to version 4. Both, the Windows and MacOS versions are available from the eWriter download page. Viewer redistributables have been updated as well:

About Ziphelp

On the surface, Ziphelp is HTML5 in a zip archive. Pack any folder with HTML pages into a regular zip file, rename the extension to “.zhelp” and the eWriter viewer will open it. This not just works for Help+Manual’s Webhelp output, but for any HTML.

But Ziphelp is more than that, it is a protocol based on the standard sitemap protocol, designed to give a help viewer extended information about the content of the help system, in order to provide context-sensitive help to an application. Locally, on the web, and mixed.

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Help+Manual 9.2 and Translation Assistant 9.2

We are glad to announce the immediate availability of Help+Manual 9.2 and Translation Assistant 9.2!

This maintenance update is mostly about convenience functions. Take the Find & Replace dialog as an example: the selection of the search range are now 3 buttons instead of a combo box and for text searches in the current topic, a “wrap around” option has been added.


Help+Manual 9.2

  • Mouse wheel: Mouse wheel changed from keyboard focus to the control under the mouse pointer, making it easier to scroll any control without first clicking on it.
  • Find & Replace dialog: The selector “Current topic/All topics/All from here” has been replaced with 3 buttons. This saves one mouse click when changing this option. Plus, for text searches in the current topic, a “wrap around” option has been added.
  • Open Project: The recent files list now has a new right-click menu entry: “Show in Windows Explorer“. This will open Windows Explorer and select the project file. The function is intended for easier navigation to a project, for changes to the project folder, or for making a copy of an existing project.
  • Topic Editor, Images: the context right-click menu for images in topics has a new entry: Picture > Show in Windows Explorer. This function locates the picture file on disk and opens Windows Explorer for picture manipulations. The feature is a similar convenience function like the Show in Windows Explorer option in the Open Project dialog.
  • Snippets in Topics: the right-click context menu of the topic editor has a new entry, if the selected object is a snippet: “Locate Snippet Source“.
  • Report Tool: Repository snippet references were displayed in red, indicating a missing status. In the full project report, comments were listed with an invalid date.
  • Project Overview Page: Statistic display changed to a bar diagram, faster calculation and faster display.
  • New variable introduced for figure links: <%HMFIGURENUMBER%>
    This variable can be alternatively used instead of <%HMFIGURECAPTION%>. While <%HMFIGURECAPTION%> returns the full string of the figure reference, <%HMFIGURENUMBER%> returns the number only.
  • Word/RTF import: new option to import anchors in topics. Anchors were assigned to links automatically, but the anchor objects were not imported. Furthermore, anchors in tables were not correctly resolved and could result in dead links.
  • Markdown import: UTF-8 strings with 3 or 4 bytes per character were not imported correctly.
  • HTML Help / CHM Export: if export option “Export SVG files as PNG” is set to true, math objects (equations) are exported as PNG files, not as inline SVG. This export option originally applied to external SVG files only and is not used for inline SVG as well.
  • Conditional Text/IFDEFs: when editing an IFDEF object, everything of the IFDEF string beyond 255 characters was truncated in the dialog initialization
  • Webhelp Export: updated search script for the PHP based full-text search now supports PHP 8. Full-text search page contained an error if Google Analytics 4 was not defined.
  • PDF Export: if the “Tables” section in the manual template was not used, but the document contained figure links, the figure tables were not automatically calculated prior to export.
  • PDF Export: some printing issues with figure tables fixed.
  • eWriter Export: eViewer v3.5 included (see below)
  • User Interface: Refresh Project button was disabled for repositories
  • Temporary files folder: if a fixed location was specified for the temp files folder (CHM export, eWriter, ePUB), the temp folder name included the project name only. If more than 1 project with the same file name (e.g. multiple languages of one project) were published at the same time, the folder names conflicted.


Translation Assistant 9.2

  • Mouse wheel: Mouse wheel changed from keyboard focus to the control under the mouse pointer, making it easier to scroll.
  • Topic Editor: Table functions implemented in right-click menu.
  • Topic Editor: The copy-paragraph function moves the keyboard focus to the target editor and auto-selects the copied text. Subsequently this activates the DeepL plugin for translation of the copied text in the target editor.


eWriter Viewer 3.5

  • Small bug fix when moving viewer window from one monitor to another.
  • When the viewer was called with a command line like ‘loadpage=index.html?page.html#anchor1’, and “page.html” was already loaded, it did not refresh and did not jump to the anchor.


Build-Update August 25, 2023

  • DeepL: Due to an internal change in the DeepL API, translation with API glossaries did no longer work. The DeepL translation plugin responded with an error “400: glossary_id not valid”. The problem affected both, Help+Manual and the Translation Assistant and has been fixed with a small build update.


All updates are available from our download page.

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Premium Pack 5.1.0 maintenance update

We’re glad to announce the update of the Help+Manual Premium Pack add-on to version 5.1.0. This update includes a number of small but significant improvements to almost all the skins 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.

What’s new in version 5.1.0:

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Test: Help+Manual on M1 Macs under Parallels 18

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been testing Help+Manual and related tools on the latest version of Windows 11 for ARM running on an M1 Mac under the new Parallels 18 virtual machine program.

Conclusion first: It works. Cautious recommendation

I can cautiously recommend Parallels 18 for running Help+Manual and its necessary helper programs under the current and latest version of Windows 11 for ARM. Earlier versions of Windows 11 ARM and earlier versions of Parallels will NOT work satisfactorily, but these latest versions appear to be surprisingly good.

Warning: It is still early days, so this recommendation remains cautious. Even though everything appears to be stable, I still wouldn’t yet depend on it if I was buying a new computer as my only machine. However, I would already feel pretty good about using this as a second machine, provided I had a genuine, Intel-based Windows machine as a backup.

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Premium Pack 5.0.4 Maintenance Update

We have released a small update of Premium Pack 5 to version 5.0.4 with some maintenance changes and minor improvements.

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.

Changes and Improvements:

  • Toolbox Utility:
    A silent error could occur when closing a project with the automatic help display activated, closing Toolbox as well as the project. This was never noticed because it looked like a normal program exit.
  • V3, V4 and V5 skins:
    The base font was set to 95% by default instead of 100%, which could cause images to be displayed a little less clearly on old displays until the user adjusted the text size upwards in the hamburger menu.
  • All skins:
    • The Search field is now activated automatically when the index or search pane is selected.
    • Corrected a number of title and alt texts that did not have variables.
    • Topic title font size variable added for print mode.
    • Links in popups now open in the same window as the WebHelp on mobile devices
  • V5 Minimalist Modern skins:
    Variables for the topic title font size have been added to the Topic Pane group (TOPICTITLE_FONTSIZE_DESK / _PHONE / _PRINT / _TABLET)
  • V5 Cool Max skin:
    The “Search” display text was not updated with a variable in some places

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Help+Manual 9.1 Released

We are glad to announce the immediate availability of Help+Manual 9.1 and Translation Assistant 9.1.

Help+Manual 9.1

  • Insert Link Dialog: New checkbox implemented that indicates whether the link points to the current topic. Ticking the checkbox (if unchecked) changes to the current topic.
  • Insert Table dialog: Checkbox added to tick all border sides of selected cells at once.
  • Save Picture Dialog: The automatic unique file name suggestion (save as “clipXXXX.png”) includes the username and computer name into the suggested file name, if a project is under version control. With version control, it is otherwise very likely to generate identical file names on different computers
  • Publishing tasks: In the Variables tab, import/export buttons for publishing variables have been re-implemented
  • SVG images: Colors defined with an RGBA() color definition are now correctly rendered.
  • Export dialog: The number of recently used skins is now limited to  15. The list was (unintentionally) not limited.
  • Import: Improved memory management when importing large chunks of HTML files
  • HTML Export: If an image contained one or more hotspots, had a caption, a flexible width and was centered on the page and did not use an image style with a border, the HTML written for the image contained one </div> tag too many and was invalid.
  • eWriter Export: The udpated eViewer.exe version 3.4 is included. When creating an .EXE file, the output file is created in the Windows temp folder first, then customized, then copied to the destination, to avoid interference with Dropbox, OneDrive, AV programs interuptions.
  • PDF Export: If the table of figures was printed before topics and the TOF spanned more than 1 page, the TOF entries after the first page did not contain page numbers.
  • PDF Export: Some special characters such as the Ohm symbol (Ω) where rendered with a replacement character in certain cases.
  • DeepL Plugin: Korean and Norwegian added.


Translation Assistant 9.1

  • DeepL Plugin: Korean and Norwegian added.
  • DeepL Plugin: Protected words (formatted with the lock symbol) were not correctly escaped in the processed XML and were returned including the <hmprtct> tags.
  • Bulk translation: improved error handling and error report implemented.


eWriter Viewer 3.4

  • eViewer 3.4 fixes a problem with topics that contain a “+” in the file name.


All updates are available from our download page.

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Free YouTube Course

A while ago we reported about the online HM-based technical writing courses offered by Subash Sarath via his site Learn Tech Writing Fast. In the meantime, Subash has produced a video course that is now available on YouTube free of charge. You can access the course on his YouTube channel here (click the image to visit):

We should note that this is a fully independent production in which we did not participate ourselves. We would be interested to hear any feedback, which you can send to the regular EC Software support address or post on the user forum.

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Help+Manual Maintenance Update

We are glad to announce the immediate availability of Help+Manual 9.03 and Translation Assistant 9.03.

Help+Manual 9.0.3

  • French User Interface: several bug fixes in the French UI translation.
  • eWriter Viewer 3.3: the udpated eViewer.exe version 3.3 is included for creating eWriter e-books. Note that eWriter Viewer 3.3 is available as a stand-alone installer as well. See below for details.
  • DeepL Plugin: bug fix for protected word lists.
  • Word/DOCX export: second-level keywords from snippets were not correctly indexed.
  • Image Styles: images with rounded corners – if the picture had round corners and no spacing between image and border, the border radius was wrong in PDF export.
  • Insert Picture Toggles: picture selection dialog now offers custom image formats as well.


Translation Assistant 9.0.3

  • DeepL Plugin: bug fix for protected word lists.

eWriter Viewer 3.3

  • eViewer 3.3 has an About dialog showing the version number. This About dialog is displayed along with the “Recent Files” menu option. Self-extracting EXE eBooks or custom deployments of the eViewer executable (which do not show a recent files list), don’t show the About dialog, either.
  • Bug fix: window position on start was moved by 20 pixels. This should have been applied to secondary viewer windows to offset them from the first window, but was applied to the initial first window as well.
  • eWriter Help System for Delphi / RAD Studio updated for eViewer 3.x


All updates are available from our download page.

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December Updates

We are glad to announce the immediate availability of Help+Manual 9.02 and Translation Assistant 9.02.

Maintenant, Help+Manual parle français

Version 9.0.2 comes with an optional French user interface. This is a somewhat risky step for us, because nobody here speaks French and we neither can evaluate the quality of the translation, nor can we provide email support in French. But we wanted to give to a try, though. Please consider the French user interface as “beta test”, you can always switch back to English, if something doesn’t work. The translation is courtesy of Christophe Willefert, a French user of Help+Manual. Translation errors are courtesy of EC Software.

French UI


We expect this to be the last update for 2022 and wish all our customers around the world a happy and peaceful holiday season! Read the rest of this entry »


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