Help+Manual News

Archive for category Utilities

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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Premium Pack 4.2.1 Maintenance Update

We have just updated Premium Pack 4 to version 4.2.1. This is a minor maintenance update that adds one important new feature to the Toolbox utility, which can now edit HMXR style repository projects as well as Help+Manual projects and skins.

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.

Main changes and new features

The main change in this otherwise minor update is the addition of the ability of Toolbox to edit style repository projects (.hmxr). This makes it possible to use the new import/export styles tool on these projects as well. You can also use the other topics tools on these projects.

In addition to this, it was found that Help+Manual continues to maintain outdated XSD schema files in some old HMXP projects. This happens when backup or other tools are used that update the XSD file timestamp to the current date, which prevents HM from identifying an outdated file. When Toolbox encounters XSD validation errors it now automatically backdates the XSD, forcing HM to update it next time the project is updated.

Toolbox changes

  • Support for editing HMXR projects
  • Check for read-only TOC and topic and files in otherwise accessible projects
  • Add/Remove prefixes: Error if a topic ID was shorter than the prefix
  • XSD validation: Force Help+Manual to update outdated XSD schema file

Skin changes

  • The variable for the “Copied!” text in the new code sample boxes was inactive in some skins.

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Premium Pack 4.2 Update

We have just updated Premium Pack 4 to version 4.2.0. This is a significant update with several new features, along with a number of minor fixes and corrections.

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.

Main changes and new features

Version 4.2 includes a general overhaul of a lot of code, also for the update to the latest version of jQuery. Because of this, please don’t try to backport this version to older skins — use the new skins instead. It also brings three major new features:

Code Sample Box

All skins now include a Code Sample Box feature. This enables you to add programming code samples to your documentation in a box with a Copy to Clipboard link that copies the sample code directly to the Windows Clipboard. This even works in CHM files.

Import/Export Styles

The Toolbox utility has a new Import/Export Styles feature, with which you can import individual text, paragraph and table styles to Help+Manual projects from other projects and style files created with the tool. (In Help+Manual itself you can only replace an entire project stylesheet with another one.)

Validate XML against XSD

The Toolbox utility now validates XML against the XSD schema file included with every Help+Manual project. This prevents the accidental creation of invalid HM XML when working on the XML source code, for example with the search and replace tool.

jQuery Update

All skins have been updated to the latest 3.6 version of jQuery. This includes quite a lot of low-level code changes in the scripts, so please don’t try to backport the changes in these skins to older versions. Use the new skins instead.

Toolbox Utility Changes and Fixes

  • XML validation against XSD: This checks all projects and skins you open and prevents the creation of invalid XML (see above).
  • Import/Export Styles tool: Import individual styles to Help+Manual projects from other projects or style files exported with the tool.
  • Normalize Styles: Corrected an error that could incorrectly reset Bold/Underline/Italics formatting when processing some projects.
  • Edit Preferences: A message is now displayed in Edit Preferences explaining that all current projects and skins need to be closed to change some options.
  • Complex Search & Replace: On some projects the search and replace tool could only be used once if the Autosave feature was active.
  • Complex Search & Replace: An error could be generated when replacing in invalid topic files because they were not automatically excluded from searches.
  • TOC \Maps folder in uncompressed HMXP projects: Toolbox would crash silently on opening an HMXP project if there were non-TOC files or invalid secondary TOC files in the \Maps folder.
  • Plus a number of cosmetic changes, like showing a red explanation that you need to close all projects to be able to edit the disabled preferences in Edit > Preferences.

V3 and V4 WebHelp Skins

  • Embedded Help: A new option enables you to leave the WebHelp header visible when opening help embedded in another web page.
  • Local without Web Server: Changes in the security features of current browsers caused a number of errors when using these skins in local mode without a web server. These errors have been corrected, along with others caused by some Google Analytics features not being disabled in local mode.

All V3 and V4 Skins

  • Image toggle close mode: The Click Inside option for closing image toggles caused an error in some skins.
  • Image toggles: Image toggles were inactive when published with Help+Manual 7.
  • Search results: Some V3 WebHelp and eWriter skins showed only the project title in the search results instead of the topic title. The incorrect topic title was sometimes shown in the search results in the Advanced skins.

All Skins

  • A potential cross-site scripting vulnerability has been corrected in the Zoom Search component. The vulnerability was only available when date range searching was activated. This is only supported the full, standalone version of Zoom, so it was not an issue in WebHelp generated with the version in Help+Manual.

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Premium Pack 4.0.3 Maintenance Update

We have just updated Premium Pack 4 to version 4.0.3. This now includes the promised V4 Modern Standard set of skins, which are similar to Modern Flexible but with a more basic appearance and functionality. In addition to this it tidies up some color variables and style settings and corrects a couple of small issues reported by users.

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.

Skin Updates 

  • New skin category: The V4 Modern Standard skin category is now included. This is a simple, functional layout similar to Modern Flexible, but without width restriction (always full width), with simple drop-down user-configurable menus in the page header.
  • General: Minor corrections in color variables and layout.
  • Modern Compact skins: New settings in Skin Options to disable the logo and link buttons.
  • Flexible and Magazine skins: The MAX_PAGEWIDTH variable in the General Settings variables section now accepts both pixel (px) and percent (%) values for setting the maximum width of the help in the browser window.
  • Magazine skins: Improvement to drop-down menu behavior in phone mode (opening one submenu now closes any other submenu to save space, as in the other skins).
  • Flexible skins: Feature images did not move up with the page header in phone mode when hiding the page header, leaving a gap.
  • V3 eWriter skins: An error caused a delay on opening WebHelp, during which context calls to the skin would fail.
  • V3 eWriter skins: The Minimalist Standard skin included some double variable references that prevented saving changes.

Toolbox utility

  • New program icon
  • New language files for Dutch for V4 skins
  • Minor bug fixes

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Coming soon: New Screen Capture Tool

We have implemented a completely new and much more advanced screen capture tool in Help+Manual. This tool supports:

  • Captures on multiple monitors with different resolutions
  • Multi-part captures (add new captures to the existing capture to create a single image)
  • Capture animated HelpXplain screencasts for tutorials – a series of screenshots with animated transitions showing how to do something on the computer screen

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Premium Pack 3.50 Maintenance Update

This update adds some significant improvements to Google Analytics configuration and handling to the V3 WebHelp skins. It also includes some other small improvements and fixes in the V3 WebHelp skins and the Toolbox utility.

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 WebHelp Skins 

  • Google Analytics updated from the older gat.js system to the new analytics.js system. This should be more reliable. In addition to this you can now configure inclusion of the WebHelp path, named trackers and the titles of the search and keyword index events in your Google Analytics console. See Google Analytics in the V3 WebHelp skins chapter.
  • No Server Mode: Demo links in the header menus failed in some browsers because they used the shorthand // protocol instead of http:// or https://. Browsers have become stricter about resolving links using the shorthand protocol reference since this feature was created.
  • No Server Mode: Anchor links in the TOC and keyword index failed as an unintended result of another change in recent updates.
  • Permalink tool: The “:” colon character for the port reference was included even when the port was the standard port 80 and was not referenced. This was also caused by a change in browser behavior.
  • Smartphone mode: Tables tagged with the phone CSS class were hidden in phone mode because of changes in HM HTML output for tables. This is related to CSS for the X-Tables function that was then applied to other tables.
  • X-Tables function: Expanding rows lacked borders in some X-Tables in phone mode. This was also related to changes in Help+Manual HTML output for tables.

Toolbox utility

  • Baggage Files — Add File: After adding a Baggage File the column headers of the Baggage Files list were sometimes updated incorrectly.
  • Baggage Files — Export File: On some systems the prompt to save the baggage file could appear multiple times when exporting a baggage file.

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Premium Pack 3.49 Maintenance Update

We have just released a minor update of the Premium Pack with the improvements and fixes listed below.

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)

  • Search highlighting: When the topic already containing search highlighting was selected in the search results after a new search the original highlighting was not removed.
  • Google Analytics: Occasionally it was possible for the first topic visited to be tracked twice.
  • Google Analytics: Ghostery and other similarly aggressive tracking blockers will no longer cause a critical error in WebHelp. These blockers simply kill the tracking function within the Google script instead of actually blocking the outgoing tracking calls, and this disruption of the script needs to be caught so that it does not terminate all other scripts on the page as well.
  • Image toggles: In response to many requests, image toggles are now closed by clicking outside the image in desktop mode. Tablet and phone modes remain unchanged.
  • Search results: Breadcrumb trail was not displayed in the header of a topic opened from search results (side-effect of a previous search update).
  • Anchor links: Anchor links sometimes did not scroll to the target anchor on internal topic links (side-effect of previous search update).
  • TOC: If the last item in the sibling chapter before the current chapter was a sub-chapter clicking the Top button would highlight that sub-chapter instead of the actual parent chapter.
  • Android devices: Small script error in some pages corrected. This probably had no effect on performance and only showed up as a JS console message.
  • EWriter skins: Removed Android and Google Analytics code that didn’t do anything.

Toolbox utility

  • Open new project: The current project will now only be closed if you actually open another project. If you cancel, the current project remains open.
  • Save Project button: The save project button now turns green when active for better visibility.

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