Help+Manual News

Archive for category HelpXplain

HelpXplain 1.7 Released

We are glad to announce the release of HelpXplain 1.7. If your maintenance plan for HelpXplain includes the release date (July 2, 2023), this is a free update. The quickest way to find out, is to start HelpXplain and click Help > Check for Update.

HelpXplain 1.7

We haven’t had many updates of HelpXplain in the last 2 years, it stood back behind Help+Manual and the Translation Assistant. That’s going to change, because we have several plans with HelpXplain.

For one thing, we are working on a new screenshot editor that’s going to replace Impict, which has been shipping with Help+Manual for many years. The new screenshot editor with seamless integration into Help+Manual will be based on the library of HelpXplain. The new save-as-SVG function (see below) is one leg of that journey.

Despite this is just a point update, there are several new features:

  • HelpXplain is now 64 bit. The setup includes both the 32 and 64 bit versions with English and German user interface.
  • The setup can install either for all users (requires admin rights) or just for the current user (without admin rights).
  • You can choose the examples folder during the setup.
  • Insert shape dialog: new basic shapes, new numbering tags with auto-numbering in several styles!
  • Callout shapes support multiple pointers.
  • You can export a single slide in SVG format (in addition to JPEG/PNG/etc.).
  • When copying selected objects to the clipboard, the clipboard will also contain a transparent PNG image of the selected objects. This is a convenience function: if you use HelpXplain as an ad-hoc image editor, it makes copy and paste really simple.
  • DeepL translation adds 5 new languages: Turkish, Ukrainian, Indonesian, Norwegian (Bokmål) and Korean.
  • Several minor issues fixed (mostly drawing glitches on high-resolution monitors).


New Features in Detail

The really big news are new numbering tags with auto-numbering and callouts with support for multiple pointers. Internally, the numbering tags are treated like callouts and support multiple pointers as well:

New shapes in Version 1.7

Another new feature is a little bit hidden, but nonetheless an important one. HelpXplain can export a single slide in SVG format, in addition to PNG/JPEG/etc. SVG is a scalable vector graphic that you can use on any web page, including documentation created with Help+Manual. HelpXplain embeds all data from the slide and creates a single SVG file with no external dependencies. The beauty of SVG is that it freely scales, which means that the content of the picture scales to whatever resolution is required.

How to save a slide as SVG
Zoom-in to an SVG image created with HelpXplain



All updates are available from our download page. Download and install the update over your existing version of HelpXplain.

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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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Happy Anniversary: Help+Manual is 25 Years Old!

Can you believe this? Help+Manual is 25 years old! And we are excited to celebrate this anniversary with you:

25 Years!
25 Days!
25% Discount on all products!

Click on the banner to get to our online store

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eWriter Viewer v3 for Windows and More…

We are happy to announce the immediate release of eWriter Viewer Version 3. This is an update to the Windows version, a MacOS version is coming soon.

What’s New in eViewer Version 3?

The updated viewer has a slightly redesigned and even more reduced user interface – it integrates the toolbar into the title bar. The UI supports Windows light mode, dark mode, high-contrast modes and, of course, high-dpi monitors.

Multiple languages: the UI languages English, German, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish are built-in. When you redistribute the viewer for application online help, you can supply a custom language file to match the language of your application. Further customization of the UI is still possible in Help+Manual.

Beneath the surface, pretty much everything is new.

There is a new application design: while the old version created one instance per .ewriter file, version 3.0 creates just one single instance but opens a separate window for each file displayed. This is a huge improvement, because when using the viewer to display application online help, you can close all help files that your application might have opened with one single call – a “/close” parameter.

The viewer also comes with a new command line interface. The old command line interface that you you might be using now is still supported – no changes required. The new command line interface offers additional features and is identical to the MacOS version – we’ll get to that later.


eViewer 3.0 for Windows

  • Redesigned multi-language user interface with 6 languages built-in
  • Individual localization possible with custom language file
  • Single-instance & multi-window design makes it easier to control the app for displaying application online help
  • New command line interface for application online help
  • Windows 7 or higher
  • 32 and 64 bit executables
  • Compatible with all .ewriter books created with Help+Manual and HelpXplain, including old versions
  • Customization in Help+Manual (eViewer app menu, app button color, book icon)
  • Optional stand-alone EXE help files combining viewer and content


Download the updated Windows eViewer directly from the eWriter website:


Coming Soon…

We have been working on a MacOS version of the eWriter Viewer and it is getting close to release state. (Please contact support, if you are interested in testing the MacOS beta.)

eViewer 3 for MacOS


Please watch this news feed for updates. The timetable for eWriter Viewer is approximately:

  1. Official eWriter Viewer v3 for MacOS (universal binary for Intel/ARM) in July 2022
  2. Developer package with redistributable viewers for Windows and MacOS including tester applications (Win/Mac) for the new command line interface. July/August 2022
  3. Help+Manual v8.5 with the updated Windows viewer and new/modified export options for eWriter files: August 2022


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HelpXplain v1.6 Maintenance Update

We are glad to announce the release of HelpXplain 1.6. If your maintenance plan for HelpXplain includes the release date (Feb 7, 2022), this is a free update. The quickest way to find out, is to start HelpXplain and click Help > Check for Update.

HelpXplain 1.6

This maintenance update fixes a couple of small bugs.

  • Script errors: Typewriter animations of text were invisible when played again, fade-in animations that were placed on the very first slide and started at 0:00 seconds became invisible in subsequent loops.
  • 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).
  • User Interface: optical glitches in UI fixed when Windows UI style was set to “classic” Win2000 style
  • Text Objects: on monitors with more than 100% scaling, when Windows UI style was set to “classic” Win2000 style, the text size appeared too small.
  • SVG images: bugfix for images with base64-encoded embedded data that was split into junks separated by tab chars (this bug fix is the same as in Help+Manual 8.4.3).

Please download the update and install it over your existing version.

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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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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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HelpXplain v1.5 Released

We are glad to announce the release of HelpXplain 1.5. If your maintenance plan for HelpXplain includes the release date (Apr 14, 2021), this is a free update. The quickest way to find out, is to start HelpXplain and click Help > Check for Update.

HelpXplain 1.5

We have implemented custom HTML meta tags for easier social-media integration, added new arrange functions for objects and fixed a technical issue with audio files sometimes not playing on iOS Safari.

Plus, the update supports 13 new languages for the DeepL translation tool, including Bulgarian,  Czech, Danish, Greek, Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian and Swedish.


Please download the update and install it over your existing version.

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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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