Help+Manual News

Archive for category HelpXplain

HelpXplain integration in Help+Manual

We are working on a closer integration of HelpXplain into Help+Manual. Additional print options will be available soon. How about printing all slides in a tabular order? That’s something you can’t do with a video.



No Comments

HelpXplain 1.2 Released

This is a maintenance and feature update for HelpXplain, which is free for all registered users. Every license of HelpXplain includes 12 months free updates, maintenance and support.

HelpXplain 1.2

The most important new feature in this version is the eWriter output format. HelpXplain now creates eWriter eBooks out of the box. An eWriter eBook is a compressed single file that can easily be copied, emailed and can be viewed with the eWriter Viewer, available as a free app in Microsoft Store.

A second important change has been made to the PDF export. It supports multiple slides per page and offers a quality setting for the slide pictures.

eWriter Export in HelpXplain
eWriter Export in HelpXplain

New PDF Options in HelpXplain
New PDF Options in HelpXplain

Other changes and bug fixes in version 1.2:

  • Screen capture bug fix: full-screen capture on secondary monitors did not work
  • Screen capture bug fix: in free region capture mode, the screen capture tool silently crashed if one single-clicked outside the selection area.
  • Bugfix: ribbon menu for fill was enabled for text objects, though text objects are always transparent
  • Spotlight objects with follow-cursor (like inserted with screencast): when a text object was placed left of the screenshot, the spotlight was in the wrong position
  • eWriter export format implemented
  • favicon.ico added to output folder (also for the eWriter output, which picks up the icon)
  • DeepL: Portuguese language supported
  • Problem with invalid fill images fixed
  • Publish Dialog: skin selection drop-down list has a scrollbar
  • Mouse-over action “Change to full opacity” was always reset
  • Improved error handling for Image Tools
  • When inserting (new) images, extra large images are physically reduced to a maxium of 3000 x 2000 px.
  • SVG images are normally exported with an <object> tag (= animated SVGs supported, but not clickable). If the SVG image has a click action, it is exported with an <img> tag (= clickable, but not animated)
  • Slide #number is no longer displayed in document title
  • Lines with a dashed stroke were rendered es solid lines in HTML
  • When the caption of a slide was being edited, pressing the DELETE key asked to delete the slide.
  • Publish as PDF / GIF / Images: an optional page scale factor makes the exported slides larger or smaller
  • Full-screen mode on secondary monitors: when HelpXplain was running full screen on a secondary monitor, it did not save the window position and reverted to the default monitor the next time it was opened.



This update is included in your maintenance plan! Please download the update and install it over your existing version.

No Comments

HelpXplain Student’s Projects: Trip to Barcelona

We recently equipped the Webdesign division of the school Instituut Sint-Maria in Antwerp, Belgium, with HelpXplain. One of the students’ first projects was a promotional website for Barcelona, created entirely with HelpXplain.

Here (drum roll!) are the first results!

We are proud and happy to share this student project with you:



  Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

eWriter 2.0 released

eWriter is a converter application to turn HTML pages into a self-contained Windows executable or eBook. This output format is integrated into Help+Manual as well (and will soon become available in HelpXplain). The eWriter converter application is the free stand-alone version.

Redesigned Runtime Viewer

The viewer for eWriter eBooks is now a stand-alone app. We have completely rebuilt the viewer app with this version and made it (optionally) available as a separate installer. The viewer looks more modern, but more important is the new code base which it is built on: it is more or less platform-independent.

The eWriter Viewer app is currently available in 32 and 64 bit versions, and it is listed in the Microsoft Store:

Read the rest of this entry »

, ,

No Comments

HelpXplain 1.1.0 and Help+Manual 7.5.3 Updates

We are glad to announce two updates for both, HelpXplain and Help+Manual. HelpXplain has full audio support and Help+Manual needs a few changes to support this, too.

HelpXplain 1.1.0

  • HelpXplain 1.1.0 has full audio support! Audios in Xplains work in the regular HTML output, in Help+Manual’s Webhelp, eWriter eBooks and in HTML Help (.chm) files. All player skins include audio controls.Check out the “Fun with audios” demo here:

Other changes and bug fixes in version 1.1.0:

  • Publish deletes all files in data folder.
  • Original JPEG/PNG images were not exported as original but recreated, sometimes resulting in larger image files
  • Several undo/redo bugs fixed
  • Scrolling of slide list after slide deletion improved
  • When pasting slides, the pasted slides are inserted at the current position in the slide list, not at the end
  • File drag & drop on welcome page implemented
  • PDF export did not support Unicode file names


Help+Manual 7.5.3

Changes in Help+Manual:

  • Insert HelpXplain dialog: defaults for Xplains changed to lightbox mode (this is really important for Xplains with audio support)
  • All CHM skins have been changed to elevate the internal rendering engine to Internet Explorer 11 instead of 10 (this is important for Xplains with audio support to make the audio work inside CHM files)
  • Publishing tasks: include comments in PDF was not working


Both are free updates if included in your maintenance plan! Please download the update(s) and install it over your existing version.


No Comments

HelpXplain with Audio Support is Coming!

HelpXplain version 1.1 is coming! We have implemented audio support already, though the final touch needs to be applied. With the original release of HelpXplain three months ago, it was already clear that silent presentations are not sufficient. You guys want audio support. We promised audio support to be implemented soon and we are going to deliver. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

HelpXplain 1.0.3 and Help+Manual 7.5.2 Updates

We are glad to announce two updates for both, HelpXplain and Help+Manual. The latter includes two small bugfixes, HelpXplain comes with new translation functions.

HelpXplain 1.0.3

  • This update has a dedicated Translation tab added to the File menu. The translation tab features an XLIFF export and import for external translations. In the Properties section, a Language option has been added (the language setting is required for XLIFF).
  • Another new feature related to translation is that player skins have an option to load translations from an external text file. Player skins may contain translatable text like “Play”, “Pause”, “Previous/next slide”. English, German and French translations are included.
  • New Slide menu: we’ve added a screencast option here. It was already possible to add a screencast to an existing Xplain. However, many users could not find this function. It’s now placed in the Slide menu for better visibility.
  • Bugfix object link: the option “go to website” could not be selected
  • Bugfix screencast: when adding spotligths to a new screencast, the spotlight was in the wrong place if the screencast layout was text-left or text-right.
  • Bugfix group/ungroup: z-index of objects sometimes wrong
  • Bugfix: when the slide list was selected, copy to clipboard and cut to clipboard did not work
  • Bugfix: the zoom slider was wrong on high-res monitors and the [-] button did not work as a result
  • Update build 1090: the command line compiler for Help+Manual could not export Xplains that were currently being edited in HelpXplain.


Help+Manual 7.5.2

The changes made in this update of Help+Manual are really minor. It includes two small problem fixes:

  • Bugfix in table selection: copy/paste was sometimes confused and when converting selected text (e.g. a link) in a table cell to plain text, the entire table cell was converted.
  • Word/RTF Import: in some rare cases, an image was considered a duplicate when in fact it was not duplicate


Both are free updates if included in your maintenance plan! Please download the update(s) and install it over your existing version.


No Comments

HelpXplain 1.0.2 Feature Update

We are glad to announce the first feature update for HelpXplain. This update implements several bug fixes and two completely new features.

Pause after Animation

Object animations now have an optional pause field, in addition to duration and delay. This pause field is of special interest for cursor animations, that are played before a slide advances to the next (a typical situation for screencasts). Normally, when the slide advances to the next, you see the cursor move, then click. And right after the click animation, the slide changes. If you have set a slide transition that visually pans from one slide to another, it could be distracting, so that the cursor click animation is not really recognized. That’s exactly what the pause is for: the animation pauses after it has been played and before the next thing happens (another animation or a slide transition).

Animated Spotlights

Animated spotlights are a pretty cool new feature that work tremendously well for explaining larger screenshots. We’ve published an example Xplain in the last news post – please check it out if you haven’t seen it.

Additional Animations

The animated spotlights come with 5 new animations that were implemented for spotlight objects in particular. Spotlights can zoom in or out, they can move and change their size, they can be chained together or you may choose to combine them with an animated cursor object, which the spotlight follows.

Furthermore, we have implemented a new animation for texts: a counter animation that implements a visual counter that runs from [start value] to [end value].

Extended Style Settings

HelpXplain has global style settings that define the defaults for all objects in a particular project. You set the fill and outline for shapes, line options for arrows, font sizes for text, etc. This dialog has received additional settings: callout shapes are now separated from normal shapes to be style independently. And the new spotlight objects have got their own settings. This makes it easier to change multiple spotlights in a project, if you find them too dark or not dark enough.

Miscellaneous Changes and Bug Fixes

  • New examples included for custom scripts, custom object animations
    and spotlights
  • Screencast: the dialog to specify the screencast layout has additional options to add a pause after every cursor animation and to optionally add spotlight objects.
  • Project file is now locked during editing
  • Improved file handling when opening projects from cloud storages
    like OneDrive or Dropbox
  • Customize Theme dialog, error with color change fixed
  • Undo/redo error fixed when the canvas background image was changed
  • Grouping and ungrouping: improved handling of z-index
  • Group animations: Show and FadeIn did not work for groups
  • Group animations: when ungrouping objects that had both, a group animation and invididual object animations, the animation numbers were not updated
  • Bug fixes in PowerPoint import
  • Xplain loader script: the JavaScript xploader.js has been updated, this script created an error in IE8 and older. (IE8 does not work, we need IE9 or newer. But the script must not trigger an error, it should display a meaningful message.)


This is a free update for all HelpXplain users! Please download the update and install it over your existing installation of HelpXplain.

No Comments

See what’s coming in HelpXplain

It’s less than three weeks that we released HelpXplain and we are already working on the first feature update.

One of the new features is separate styles for callouts and other shapes. In the current version, all shapes have the same default fill and outline. But callouts are usually different, so we separated them from the rest of the shapes.

The style settings in HelpXplain globally change the look of all objects of this kind in a presentation:

Global styles in HelpXplain


The second new feature are animated spotlights. An animated spotlight darkens the slide and leaves an unobscured area in the middle. This area can be animated with special spotlight animations.

What can you use spotlights for? Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments