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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 the updated Windows eViewer directly from the eWriter website:


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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Help+Manual v8.4.4 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 May 28, 2022, just download the setup and run it to update your current installation.

Changes in 8.4.4 Build 5960

  • Configuration > Misc: when changing the option for Translation-friendly XML, topic time stamps and last edited by are kept by default (option to keep it is included in the dialog). This function is particularly important for the Help+Manual Translation Assistant.
  • Project Report: extended, long and full project report now includes topic comments
  • Equation objects: vertical alignment for “top”, “middle” and “bottom” added.
  • Word/RTF import: keywords that contain a “: ” (colon + space) are separated into 2-level keywords.
  • SVG Images: improved display of SVG images created by PowerPoint
  • Screen Capture: the screen capture tool has additional functionality for stand-alone use.

Bug fixes

  • DeepL Plugin: internal bug fix when encoding UTF8 payload for translation, which may have caused DeepL to return distorted XML in some cases.
  • Figure labels: if the text line following a figure label object contained a topic-specific variable, this variable was not replaced with the current variable in the PDF table-of-figures (global variables worked). Bug fix for figure labels not included in the figure list (could have caused an endless loop and H&M crashing)
  • HelpXplain in Webhelp: on computers with system locale Chinese (simplified and traditional), the loader script for HelpXplain presentations had the wrong encoding. HTML topic pages that hosted an Xplain contained damaged HTML code.


Help+Manual 8.4.4 is available from our download page:

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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 versionĀ  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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Help+Manual Translation Assistant – Beta Test

These days we’re really having fun at the office. For a programmer, it is utterly satisfying to watch your own software performing automated tasks that normally take hours or even days to complete. And that defintely applies to our new Help+Manual Translation Assistant .

Cut translation time and costs by over 90%

HMTA integrates the revolutionary DeepL AI-based machine translation system, with bulk translation and support for 24 languages. It can translate your entire project in just a couple of minutes, and the results are so good that they require minimum editing. This alone can save over 90% of your translation costs and time. It is, quite literally, nothing short of revolutionary.

If you translate documentation with Help+Manual, this new tool will definitely stir your interest and we want you to join the beta test (more on that after the break).

Read the rest of this entry »

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Help+Manual v8.4.3 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 February 4, 2022, just download the setup and run it to update your current installation.

Changes in 8.4.3 Build 5940

  • SVG images: loading of SVG images with embedded base64-encoded image data is now faster. Bugfix for images with base64-encoded embedded data that was split into junks.
  • Screen Capture tool: optical glitches fixed in screen capture UI, when Windows UI style was set to “classic” Win2000 style (this causes Windows to switch off Aero and transparent drawing, which parts of the UI have relied on).
  • The color dialogs for table color and font/background color were changed to a new dialog that supports an entry box for HTML-style color codes.

Bug fixes

  • Copy topics/TOC entries: when topics copied from another project were tagged with build tags not present in the target project, H&M asked to extend the list of build tags. This extension went wrong and the custom build list got damaged.
  • eWriter Export: icon file could not be updated when the output file was an executable (.exe).


Help+Manual 8.4.3 is available from our download page:

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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.



Help+Manual 8.4.2 is available from our download page:

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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



Help+Manual 8.4.1 is available from our download page:

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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). TheĀ  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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