Help+Manual News

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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Help+Manual v8.4.2 Maintenance Update

We are glad to announce a maintenance update for Help+Manual 8.4. If you are using version 8 already and your maintenance plan includes updates until December 17, 2021, just download the setup and run it to update your current installation.

Sandcastle Import Revised

To write source code documentation for Visual Studio, Help+Manual can import VS libraries and build a documentation skeleton for all the classes and units found. The import tool is called Microsoft Sandcastle.

This update includes a revised Sandcastle import with better style support, larger default fonts and optional table styles.

 

Miscellaneous Changes

  • Windows Meta Files (.WMF) on high-resolution monitors: WMF images have a face value of their regular size, which is actually coined for a 96 dpi system. On high-res systems, WMF files will appear larger than they originally appeared. We have to compensate for the difference in Help+Manual, which we do with version 8.4.2. This behavior is on by default, but can be deactivated with an option switch in the Editor tab of the Program Options dialog.
    Note that the sizing issue affects old-style .wmf files only. The more modern enhanced metafiles (.emf) are not concerned.
  • Table of Contents: when copying items within the TOC, topics were always automatically created or duplicated, respectively. There is a new paste option in the drop-down menu of the Paste button, to paste TOC entries only, without duplicating topics.
  • EWriter eBooks: the default width and height of the viewer window (like 800 x 600 px) depended on the resolution of the monitor where H&M was being run. It is now treated independent from that resolution.
    Furthermore we fixed a very rare problem that could have sometimes cause the eWriter export to fail.
  • Image toggles in HTML export: the magnifier SVG symbol shown on image toggles was slightly clipped on the top and left side.
  • Project Language: “Norwegian Nynorsk” was listed twice in the language list (two times NO-NO instead of NO plus NO-NO)
  • Publishing Tasks: optical glitch fixed – the last task entry was hidden by the horizontal scrollbar if the main window was too narrow.
  • Hard page breaks with a change of print orientation at the beginning of a topic caused a parasite blank paragraph in HTML export.
  • Word/DOCX export: bugfix with Word styles
  • Batch publishing: if there is no license at all (demo version) the batch export warns about no license and exits with ExitCode 99.

 

Download

Help+Manual 8.4.2 is available from our download page:

https://www.helpandmanual.com/downloads.html

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Online Course: Technical Writing with Help+Manual

New beginners course in technical writing with Help+Manual

Longtime Help+Manual expert and technical writer Subash Sarath Lakshmi is offering an online course in which you can learn technical writing skills with Help+Manual.

The course is offered directly on the SkillShare site.

A software developer before he took up technical writing, Subash has been active in the IT industry for nearly three decades.

He has offered in-person trainings in technical writing and Help+Manual, but with the onset of the Covid pandemic he has now switched to online-only courses, which is also making them accessible to a more international audience.

Website: https://learntechwritingfast.com/
Course on Skillshare: https://skl.sh/30yadg5

User feedback on Subash’s courses

Users who have completed the course have praised it in comments:

“The only course you’ll ever need if you want to learn Technical Writing or become a Technical Writer. From start to finish the course was like an exciting road trip.”

–David Ebenezer (Project Manager)

“I’ve just finished the Technical Writing course. I am from Austria and I’ve just started my new job as a Technical Writer at the Aescudata company. I liked the course very much, everything was explained clearly and with the assignments there was possibility to practice. I was really satisfied with your course and it is helpful for my daily work as a Technical Writer.”

–Julia Maderthaner (Technical Writer)

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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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Help+Manual 8.4.1 – Important Bug Fix for 8.4

This is an important update to the recent release of Help+Manual 8.4. If you are using version 8 already and your maintenance plan includes updates until September 29, 2021, just download the setup and run it to update your current installation.

If your maintenance has included version 8.4.0 (August) but does not include version 8.4.1 (September), please contact us.

Bug Fix in v8.4.1

Version 8.4 introduced a updated XML parser that properly reads 4-byte unicode characters. This update had an unwanted side effect: it doesn’t write Asian characters properly. A project with content in Japanese language might load correctly, but when saved and re-opened, the Japanese characters in the TOC can be missing.

We are still working on a fix of this problem, but for the time being, the XML parser has been reverted to the previous version (without support for 4-byte Unicode chars).

 

Miscellaneous Changes

  • Publishing dialog: the dropdown-gallery for skins adds a button to clear the last recently skins from the gallery
  • New IFDEFs for Templates: <IF_ISDEFAULT_PAGE> and <IFNOT_ISDEFAULT_PAGE> are true if the current page that is being exported is the default topic or not, respectively.
  • Equations as inline SVG: the <svg> tag did not include an xmlns= attribute, which is required in XHTML (but not in HTML5) to display the content correctly. This is relevant for ePUB ebooks, which are exported as XHTML

 

Download

Help+Manual 8.4.1 is available from our download page:

https://www.helpandmanual.com/downloads.html

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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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Help+Manual 8.4 Released – DeepL, Equations, Link Lists

We are glad to announce the release of Help+Manual 8.4. If you are using version 8 already and your maintenance plan includes updates until August 9, 2021, just download the setup and run it to update your current installation.

Changes and Additions in v8.4

DeepL Translation Plugin

This update comes with a revised version of the DeepL Translation Plugin. DeepL has recently started to offer free API keys, that you can use to auto-translate a certain amount of text per month (the free contingent is a generous 500.000 characters). The  free API keys, however, require a different API address and Help+Manual 8.4 now works with both, the paid and the free translation API. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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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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