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Premium Pack 5.2 Update

This was originally planned to be a relatively small maintenance update, but the changes and improvements kept piling up so we have turned it into a full point update after all.

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.

See the rest of this post below the fold for full details on the update.

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Get a Picture of SnipSVG!

We are glad to announce the official release of SnipSVG, our new free screen capture and image editing tool for Windows and macOS!

SnipSVG uses SVG vector images as its primary format. SVG images can be used directly in HTML and many other applications. They give you the same sharp quality at all zoom settings, and unlike JPG or PNG images you can always edit all the elements of the image separately.

SnipSVG for Windows and macOS
SnipSVG for Windows and macOS

More about SnipSVG

https://www.helpandmanual.com/snipsvg/

 

SnipSVG at a glance

  • Use on Mac and Windows. Copy between the two when running Windows in a virtual machine.
  • Unique screenshot capabilities on the Windows version. Make additive screenshots with diverse components in a single operation.
  • Works hand-in-hand with Help+Manual (see below).
  • Scores of shapes, arrows and highlighters. Apply shapes to images and rounded corners to screenshots.
  • Number the steps in your images with auto-incrementing numbering tags.
  • Single-click styling for elements with multiple themes and variants.
  • Hide sensitive information in your screenshots with pixelate and blur.
  • Effects for selected areas include magnifying glass, skew, sharpen, plus drawing and paint effects.
  • Share your pictures with other applications fast as files and by copying, also between Mac and Windows.

Using SnipSVG with Help+Manual

SnipSVG is already tightly integrated into Help+Manual and is designed as a replacement for the old image editor Impict. H+M version 9.4.1 understands the native .SNIPX file format, so you can use this image format in topics as you can use Impict’s .IPP file format. Older versions of Help+Manual can still use SVG and PNG images created by SnipSVG. By the way, SnipSVG is able to open .IPP images and convert them into its new vector format.

For detailed information about SnipSVG and Help+Manual, please refer to this documentation page. Here is a quick getting-started guide:

  1. Download and install SnipSVG for Windows
  2. Get the latest update to Help+Manual 9.4.1
  3. If you are using HelpXplain on the same computer, please update to HelpXplain version 1.8.1 (HelpXplain is not required, but if installed, please update to 1.8.1)
  4. Open Help+Manual and click “Program Options“, choose SnipSVG as the default image editor:
    SnipSVG as default image editor
  5. Now you are ready to go:

 

Download

Please download SnipSVG from the SnipSVG homepage.

 

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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 https://www.soluling.com/.

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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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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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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Premium Pack 5.0.3 Maintenance Update

We are please to announce the release of version 5.0.3 of Premium Pack 5. This maintenance update corrects a number of minor issues discovered and reported since the original release 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.

Important note for Cool Max skin users

This update includes improvements in both the standard and megamenu header menu systems in this skin. If you have made your own changes to these menus, please don’t overwrite the menu HTML and CSS files with your own ones this time, as that would eliminate the improvements.

Changes and improvements since 5.0.0

  • Premium Pack installer:
    Now also supports “only for me” option to allow installation without administrator mode, if Help+Manual 9 has also been installed in the same way.
  • Cool Max skins:
    Small HTML error in Classic Header source corrected
    The mobile logo image was referenced without a variable in one location
    OPT_NOHEADERLOGO option added to the skin options
    OPT_NOBREAD option was not enabled
    Fine tuning in the MEGA MENU header menus system
    Breadcrumbs were displayed in phone mode
  • All V3, V4 and V5 skins:
    Additional filter to prevent conflicts with external code and browser extensions using PostMessage functions
  • Google Analytics support:
    Removed a couple of irrelevant debug messages from the console log interface
  • Skins with project title in the TOC:
    PROJECTTITLE_COLOR, PROJECTTITLE_FONT and PROJECTTITLE_SIZE variables now available
  • V5 Modern eWriter skins:
    Corrected internal server reference added to the EMail feedback option
  • V5 Flexible Keyboard skins:
    Focus switched to TOC when selecting the Previous / Top / Next buttons in the topic header
  • Both keyboard control skins:
    A bug in the Chromium web engine made the focus outline for keyboard navigation in the TOC invisible after clicking in the TOC with the mouse. This has been corrected with a CSS workaround.
  • Multiple skins:
    Improvement of CSS for formatting in the TOC
  • V4/V5 Flexible skins:
    Tooltip text variables were not connected to the left/right and up/down button tooltips
  • Help update:
    More flexible options for using WebHelp in SharePoint

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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

Download the updated Windows eViewer directly from the eWriter website:

https://www.helpandmanual.com/ewriter/

 

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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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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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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Premium Pack 4.3.0 Update: SharePoint Embedding

We have just updated Premium Pack 4 to version 4.3, with a couple of major improvements and some minor fixes and fine-tuning.

SharePoint embedding

The main change in this update is support for embedding WebHelp in SharePoint using the V3 and V4 skins. SharePoint administrators can now host WebHelp created with these skins on SharePoint site pages. This will also work on the SharePoint iOS and Android apps on tablets and smartphones. See Embedding in MS SharePoint in the Premium Pack documentation for details and instructions.

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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