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Posts Tagged HelpXplain

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.)


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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See what’s coming in HelpXplain

It’s less than three weeks that we released HelpXplain and we are already working on the first feature update.

One of the new features is separate styles for callouts and other shapes. In the current version, all shapes have the same default fill and outline. But callouts are usually different, so we separated them from the rest of the shapes.

The style settings in HelpXplain globally change the look of all objects of this kind in a presentation:

Global styles in HelpXplain


The second new feature are animated spotlights. An animated spotlight darkens the slide and leaves an unobscured area in the middle. This area can be animated with special spotlight animations.

What can you use spotlights for? Read the rest of this entry »

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HelpXplain v1.0.1 Maintenance Update

We are glad to announce the first update after the official release of HelpXplain!

HelpXplain is perfect for slideshows and HowTo screencasts embedded in web pages and technical documentation.

This is a free maintenance update that fixes several small bugs that have been reported by users during the last 8 days. Bug fixes in no particular order:

  • Problem with offline activation fixed
  • Several UI errors fixed
  • Errors in online help fixed
  • Optical glitches in object tree and high-dpi monitors fixed
  • Optical glitches in German UI fixed
  • Project Properties, Custom Scripts edit field: copy to clipboard with CTRL+C did not work
  • When changing the slide transition to “Show”, it was not permanently saved and was back to “Pan, rotate, zoom” the next time the Xplain project was opened.
  • Inserting SVG images: if the SVG has a defines size larger than the slide, it is automatically reduced to slide size.
  • Animation Preview: when the animation preview for a slide was running, it was possible to manipulate objects currently being animated, possibly resulting in access violations.
  • Changing background size could have caused an error when the background was too large.
  • After changes to the publishing skin or to the project properties, the Save button did not immediately become enabled.
  • Duplication of an existing slide did reset the project configuration
  • Object tree: images now also display their internal file name for easier identification
  • Several bugs fixed when creating image sliders:
    • The picture on the first slide started with the name “Image2” instead of “Image1”.
    • If an image was deleted from disk between image selection and the creation of a slider, HelpXplain raised an error.
    • If the images on the slider were small, the default slide size was still 960 x 540 px
    • Taking the aspect ratio of the first image on the slider did not work if images were cropped


To install the update, please download the trial version of HelpXplain from our download page and install it over your current version, to update.

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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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