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HelpSmith

by Divcom Software - Product Type: Application / Developer Application / End User Application

Visual help authoring tool for creating CHM, HTML, and PDF help documents. HelpSmith is an innovative help authoring tool allowing you to create CHM HTML Help files, Web Help, Printed Manuals, and PDF documents from the same source help project. The stand-alone and easy-to-use environment includes a Unicode word-processor with dynamic styles and live spell checker, support for Templates and Variables, advanced approach to working with graphical and video files, automatic correction system, and many other useful tools.

What’s New in HelpSmith 4.1?
The new HelpSmith update adds conditional compilation functionality making it possible for you to compile different versions of the same help system easily. Now you can use build tags and define when specific help topics or individual content blocks should be included into the output help system.

Conditional compilation is a powerful feature which is useful in many different cases such as creating a help system for different editions of the same product, creating custom builds of the help system for partners, or working on new content that should not be released immediately. Also, it is useful when you need to include some content only in a specific help format, and so on.

With conditional compilation, you can include or exclude topics or content blocks to/from the compiled help system. Thus, there is no need to create and edit a separate copy of the original help project, which would be quite time consuming. Instead, you get the possibility to compile different versions of help files and printed manuals from a single source help project.

Other Improvements of HelpSmith 4.1

  • The non-scrolling area did not work in HTML Help (CHM) on some help projects.
  • Minor bug fixes

What’s New in HelpSmith 4.0

New features:

  • A completely new Web Help system format:
    • Customize the appearance of the navigation pane (Table of Contents, Index, Search);
    • Use a help topic or external web page as the content of the top and bottom frame
    • Define custom icons for the Table of Contents
    • Search feature now allows you to find separate words or whole phrases
    • Index tool now allows you to quickly find a keyword and the topics associated with that keyword
    • Keywords can be highlighted in the current topic with different colors or a single color
    • Added Table of Content behavior settings
    • Better navigation pane interface: TOC, Index, Search tabs are not scrolled with the pane’s content
  • Added a “Print Topic” macro for hyperlinks
  • Added a system variable #TopicPath that displays the location of the current help topic in the Table of Contents
  • Added “Repeat Horizontally”, “Repeat Vertically” values to the background properties dialog-box. These values are similar to CSS’s repeat-x, repeat-y attributes
  • New fields “Author”, “Version”, “Summary”, “Comment” have been added to the project options
  • Added new system variables “#Author”, “#Version”, “#Summary”, “#Comment” that display the corresponding fields from the project options

Improvements:

  • A small image that has been set as the background of a help topic or table now works in the design-time as fast as in a browser program
  • Internal HTML exporter now uses strict web standards, which solves most compatibility issues in modern web-browsers
  • The media repository now allows you to add several files simultaneously
  • It is now possible to pin HelpSmith to the Windows taskbar in Windows 7
  • Added support for PNG files saved in the “Indexed Colors” mode
  • The Project Options dialog-box is now resizable

What's new in HelpSmith 3.5.5?

  • Fixed compilation issues for HTML Help (CHM) that occurred on some help projects
  • Improved the internal character-encoding engine
  • Fixed issues with using special characters in some Asian languages
  • Compilation now works faster on large help projects
  • Better support for PNG images, an updated PNG engine is now used
  • Improvements for the built-in media repository
  • Other minor improvements and bug fixes

What's new in HelpSmith 3.5.3?

  • Added support for the new video format MP4
  • Fixed an issue when using Asian languages (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) in the Table of Contents of an HTML Help system (CHM)

HelpSmith is a complete help authoring tool, which you can use to create HTML Help (CHM) files, Web Help (browser-based) systems, Printed Manuals, PDFs, and Word RTF documents from a single source help project. The main features of HelpSmith are: a built-in word processor with dynamic styles and live spell-checker, full Unicode support, topic templates, variables, an advanced approach to working with graphical and video files, and many other useful tools.

With HelpSmith, you can create help files for your products easily. HelpSmith includes a professional feature-set, which is combined with an easy-to-use interface. Using the built-in editors, you can easily create the Table of Contents and alphabetical Index of your help systems in minutes. You will also be able to integrate your HTML Help or Web Help system with your application and provide context-sensitive Help. Designed as a regular office application, HelpSmith enables the creation of high quality help systems and documents without the knowledge of many technical details. For example, you do not have to manually code HTML or CSS in order to create technical documentation. At the same time, experienced technical writers still have the possibility to insert custom HTML code.

HelpSmith Features Include:

  • The ability to create HTML Help, Web Help, Printed Manuals, and PDFs from a single source project
  • Built-in Unicode word processor
  • Live spell checker with dictionaries for many languages
  • Support for Topic Templates and Variables
  • Full-featured dynamic styles
  • No need to deal with HTML or CSS coding (though it is possible to insert custom HTML code when needed)
  • Single media repository for better management of graphical and video used in a help project
  • Smart Project Merge feature for collaborative working on the same help system, for translation purposes, and for creating libraries of topics or templates
  • A slight learning-curve and easy-to-use interface

 


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