Help+Manual News

Archive for category Software Updates

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:

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Premium Pack 3.48 Maintenance Update

We have just released a very minor update of the Premium Pack with the following small improvements and fixes. You only need to update your skins if any of the following things are important to you.

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.

V3 Skins (WebHelp and eWriter versions)

  • Tooltips in ATOC menu: The ATOC_TIP variable was not set to HTML and as a result the   entity was displayed as code in the tooltips instead of as a space.
  • Disabling the ATOC: The ATOC_SHOW variable for disabling the ATOC was not connected and had no effect. This was never noticed because the ATOC menu is automatically hidden if there are no corresponding links in the current topic.
  • Top navigation button: In some configurations clicking or tapping on the Top topic navigation button would not jump to the correct higher-level topic.

CHM skins

  • Topic header components: Improved scaling on modern. high-resolution monitors and Windows devices.
  • Drop-down menu components: Improved scaling on modern. high-resolution monitors and Windows devices.
  • Topic header title text color: New variable (HD_TEXTCOLOR in the Header Components group) setting the topic header title color in the skin. This eliminates the need to set the color correctly in the Help+Manual  project.

Toolbox utility

  • Close project warning: If you open a new project or skin while one is already open a warning is now only displayed if the current project contains unsaved edits. This makes switching to a new project or skin faster.

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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:
    https://www.helpandmanual.com/help/gf_gettingstarted_audio.html

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

Download

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

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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 »

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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

Download

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

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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.)

Download

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

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Help+Manual 7.5.1 Maintenance Update

We are glad to anncounce the immediate availability of Help+Manual 7.5.1. This is a free update for all 7.xx user and ships with a few improvements – mostly concerning HelpXplain – including:

  • Editing tables and table cell properties could generate an index-out-of-bounds error
  • Setting column width by dialog window did not immediately refresh table
  • Undo after table change could cause strange effects
  • PDF manuals with double-rendering loops: snippets placed directly in the print manual template (MNL) had duplicate page referrers
  • Open picture dialog: HelpXplain files can as well be used as static images – similar to Impict pictures

Update Build 4713 (June 28, 2019)

  • Problem fix for style preview in tables
  • PDF export: in some case, page referrers of links in tables were missing
  • Error when converting a table to plain text
  • RTF/Word import: a special bullet character was not read correctly

 

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.5.1 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

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Help+Manual 7.5 Released!

We are glad to anncounce the immediate availability of Help+Manual 7.5.0. This update ships with several improvements including:

  • Text-to-table function updated: several users asked to simplify the text-to-table function and to not apply explicit column widths. The function is now much more transparent and simply splits text by tab stops.
    When using the right-click text-to-table function, the default table style class is applied automatically and the inserted table reflects the table style.
  • Clipboard paste from OneNote implemented
  • Improved topic header synchronization: when duplicating a topic in the TOC with copy and paste, and subsequently changing the duplicated TOC heading, the automatic synchronization with the topic header did not work, because of the added “_2” text that marks the topic copy.

Bugfixes and minor changes

  • Nested snippets from repositories did not work, PDF print styles were not applied to snippets.
  • PDF/Print: If a dropdown toggle had a page break right before the toggle icon, and the icon was removed for print and the left margin of this paragraph was zero, the page break was removed and not re-applied.
  • After saving a project, a topic reload sometimes occurred, causing the cursor to jump to the beginning of a topic and losing the current selection.
  • Font preview in main window: in some rare situations, an access violation ocurred
  • Windows EXE e-books: updated viewer application, the initial ClearCache command has been removed to avoid initiation problems on some systems.
  • Webhelp export: the standard bullets have a slightly different font definition to improve the bullet display and make it larger. Table heading row background color was sometimes wrong for nested tables, if the heading row background was defined the in the table style only.

HelpXplain supported

Last, not least, Help+Manual 7.5 now fully supports HelpXplain presentations. If HelpXplain is installed, you can make full use of responsive interactive HTML5 presentations and screencasts in Webhelp, HTML Help and Windows e-books. HelpXplain will be available soon.

 

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.5 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

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Premium Pack 3.47 Maintenance Update

We are happy to announce the release of version 3.47 of the Help+Manual Premium Pack add-on. This is a minor maintenance update. It includes fixes for the issues described below in the V3 skins and the Toolbox utility. All other skins remain unchanged.

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.

V3 WebHelp and eWriter Skins

  • Anchors with keywords: Selecting anchors with keywords in the keyword index caused a JavaScript error and did not open a toggle associated with the anchor. This was a side-effect of the Google Analytics query feature added in 3.46.
  • Non-server mode: The optional q=search+term addition to the URL for Google Analytics for search and keyword index clicks added in 3.46 is now automatically disabled when V3 WebHelp is accessed without a web server. This caused errors in non-server mode and cannot be used there anyway.
  • Non-server mode: In some cases the use of a file name other than index.html for the main WebHelp file caused errors when viewing V3 WebHelp without a web server. This has been corrected, but use of index.html is still strongly recommended.
  • Search highlighting: In some configurations search terms were not correctly highlighted in the found topic pages.
  • Popups: Popups can now also be closed with the ESC key.
  • Popups: The title font from the popup title bar is no longer applied to the entire popup (the main font from the project is used).
  • Popups: Automatic positioning and sizing of popups have been improved.
  • Port reference in permalinks: The port reference is now included in permalinks if the web server is not running on the standard port 80.

Toolbox Utility

  • Editing warnings: Additional checks and warnings have been implemented to help prevent simultaneous editing of skins and projects in Help+Manual and Toolbox.
  • Non-active options: The program would exit if the user tried to activate a non-active option without first setting a value for the option (e.g. in HTML Options or Project Options).
  • Add Build Option: The Add Build Option tool in the Edit menu was not active in projects that did not yet have any build options defined.
  • Delete user-defined variable: Deleting the last user-defined variable in a skin or project did not refresh the variables list and the deleted variable was still displayed.

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Help+Manual 7.4.2 Update

We are proud to anncounce the immediate availability of Help+Manual 7.4.2. This update ships with several small improvements including:

  • Text-to-table function implemented: if you select existing tabbed text in a topic and click Insert Table, it will convert the tabbed text into a table.
  • Conditional text: if IFDEF statements were used in text, in particular in tables, a long list of IFDEF options resulted in relatively wide condition tags. The display size of the condition tags has been restricted, a mouse-over hint shows the full list of conditions.
  • Images hotspots dialog: entry field for topic ID permits editing (copy and paste)
  • Topic editor context menu: when the context menu was opened with the keyboard (e.g. SHIFT+F10), it had some glitches with tables and with the spell checker.
  • Topic editor: the scaling message for small images has been improved, it displays % only, no text.
  • High resolution displays: problems fixed for OLE objects and embedded images (PDF/HTML/DOC export)
  • Double quotation marks could be entered in topic IDs, though they are not valid for file names.
  • Task publishing: when creating eWriter eBooks with a publishing task, the specified skin was not used.
  • Insert horizontal line: when specifying a custom style, the line not use the specified line height, but rather used the default.
  • Spelling checker: support for the latest update of the Spanish OXT dictionary implemented

 

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.4.2 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

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