Help+Manual News

Help+Manual 7.2.0 Build 4033

We have updated Help+Manual 7.2 to build 4033 by today. This build-update fixes a problem with the project report and with the table of contents.

Selection of multiple topics in the table of contents with CTRL + mouse click did not work. Several users also reported that the project report did not work in the local browser and generated just an empty page. This bug was new with 7.2.0 that has not been detected during the beta phase, unfortunately. We are sorry for the inconvenience!

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.2 build 4033 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

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Help+Manual 7.2 Maintenance Update

We are glad to announce the release of Help+Manual 7.2 ! After v7.1 earlier this year, this update is another big “minor” update that is free for all 7.xx users. Plus, there is an important update for the Premium Pack to version 3.20!

XSS vulnerability in Webhelp fixed

Version 7.2 fixes an XSS vulnerability in Help+Manual’s Webhelp output (standard skins only). It was possible to inject arbitrary Javascript commands by creating a fake url that pointed to a Webhelp system. Premium Pack skins were not affected by this problem. We strongly recommend to update your version and re-publish any Webhelp output that is placed on a public web server.

New features and modifications

  • The Keyword Index Tool (available in Pro/Server only) has an XML export and import function.
  • PDF/manual designer: the options page for the PDF keyword index contains a new setting “Avoid duplicate page numbers in Index”. This option is on by default and will avoid printing the same page number multiple times if the same keyword occurs in two or more consecutive topics that happen to start on the same PDF page.
  • Program Options: configuration setting for temporary compiler files (CHM, eBooks) implemented. This can improve compilation speed when the help project is located on a server share with a slow connection.
  • Projects saved in Dropbox are now permitted (uncompressed HMXP projects are opened read-only, compressed HMXZ projects are editable with warning).
  • Webhelp/CHM/eBooks: when doing a HTML-based export, H&M checks for duplicate IDs (anchors, image, table, toggle, videos) and reports a duplicate ID in the compiler log. Also implemented: <p> tags with “Normal” style now have a dedicated class name.
  • Project Report / Styles Report: this report always reported code examples as individually formatted text (they of course are). Now, the “Code Example” style is reported as individual formatting only if there are more changes than font color and font style (bold/italic/underline). Other styles are reported as individual formatting if there are more changes than just the font style (bold/italic/underline).
  • Improved multí-monitor handling: Dialog windows are positioned relative to the main window – this improves multiple instances on different monitors. Please note that after the switch to version 7.2, the initial dialog window positions might be wrong on your computer because of this change. This automatically fixes itself when the dialog windows are repositioned.
  • Replace images with copy & paste: when the editor selection marks exactly 1 image or toggle image and you hit CTRL+V or click Paste, H&M asks to replace the picture and saves it under the original file name. This makes it easier to update screenshots with copy & paste, for all properties of the image (caption, zoom, tags, hotspots, etc) are kept intact.
  • Spelling check: updated format of OpenOffice 4 spell checker dictionaries is supported.
  • Topic options: the drop-down field for the topic anchor (available for TOC items) can now be manually edited, it is possible to enter a non-existing anchor. If a TOC entry points to a non-existing anchor, the topic anchor field shows a red background to indicate the missing anchor.
  • PDF/print: word break options for slashes and backslashes / \ were changed – the slash and backslash does no longer permit a break after. Example: this line does/not break after “does/”.
  • ePUB cover images: IPP images are now supported as ePUB cover images. If an IPP image contains text objects (text, callouts, buttons) with variables, the variables are replaced and the image is repainted before it gets exported.
  • TidyXML: the XML topic parser is prepared for reading a more compact and more translation-friendly XML format that we are going to implement in the next update after 7.2. More on this new feature in a later post on this blog!
  • Windows EXE eBooks: plenty of new features!

New features in EWriter eBooks

H&M’s output format “EWriter eBooks” (self-executable eBooks for Windows) is getting more and more popular as a replacement format for CHM files. We have implemented new features to make it more flexible:

  • Separate viewer and data files: Help+Manual can optionally output the eBook data and the executable viewer separately. If a help system consists of several books, this saves space and makes it easier to update the data.
  • The eBook viewer has larger menu button and larger icons for systems with 120, 144 and 192 dpi. The buttons switch automatically on high-resolution monitors.
  • New shortcut: CTRL+0 changes zoom back to 100%.
  • The default extension for topic file names was always “.htm”. Now the eBooks take the default extension from the Webhelp configuration.
  • eBook menu configuration: when entering a new entry and changing it to “Menu Divider”, the entry kept its previous caption, which resulted in a menu text in the final EXE eBook, not a divider.

Bug fixes

  • Webhelp standard skins: XXS vulnerability fixed
  • Find & Replace: partial replacement of images names could run into an endless loop.
  • PDF: page referrer icons were too large on Windows systems > 96 dpi. Furthermore, the page icon is now tied to the preceeding text link and cannot accidentially break to a new line.
  • PDF: when a nested snippet was used inside a snippet that was placed on a hard-coded manual page, the nested snippet used style mode “Screen” and not style mode “Print”.
  • PDF, table printing: if a table with visible borders was nested within another table, the last cell border at the bottom of inner table was not painted correctly.
  • HTML (all HTML-based publishing formats): if an image with hotspots was placed on a paragraph with hanging indent, the hotspots were set off by the indent.
  • Help context numbers > 2147483647 were not exported to Webhelp and EXE eBooks.
  • Dropdown toggles: if the toggle text/heading was made up of multiple styles, parts of the toggle did not work.
  • Variables in the field <%TOPIC_DESCRIPTION%> were not resolved.
  • Team Foundation Server: H&M now saves the password.
  • Webhelp, full-text search: when compiling Webhelp from the command line with multiple instances of Help+Manual, all running at the same time, it was possible that the full-text seach index was not created.
  • SVG images: text drawing problem with overlapping text fixed.
  • Bugfix in Winhelp (.hlp) import for damaged images, that could crash the import.
  • AuthorIT import: help context numbers were wrong.

Major Premium Pack 3.2 Update

Together with Help+Manual 7.2 we have also released version 3.20 of the Premium Pack add-on. This is a major upgrade with a number of powerful new features and improvements. These include a WordPress plugin, support for Google Web Fonts, advanced support for developers and new ways of displaying tables and images on mobile devices.

Download

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.2 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

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Delphi Developer Days 2016

Being Delphi developers ourselfs, we are a proud sponsor of the Delphi Developer Days!

Delphi Developer Days 2016 is a four-city Delphi tour in the United States, Europe, and Scandinavia. Each Delphi Developer Days event includes two days of Delphi sessions with Cary Jensen and Nick Hodges. They present both joint sessions, in which they explore in-depth topics together, as well as simultaneous tracks, where they break out into separate rooms to present diverse topics. All attendees will receive a Delphi Developer Days course book, containing more than 300 pages of material presented during Delphi Developer Days.

Chicago, Illinois: November 14-15, 2016
Copenhagen, Denmark: November 24-25, 2016
Frankfurt, Germany: November 28-29, 2016
Baltimore, Maryland: December 5-6, 2016

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Delphi Developer Days 2016

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Publisher & Product Awards: H+M Is the Top Help Tool on ComponentSource

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We are proud and excited to announce that EC Software has once again received both the Top 50 Publisher and Top 100 Product Awards from ComponentSource, one of the leading online shops for professional development software.

In addition to this, Help+Manual is now the top-selling help authoring tool at ComponentSource by a wide margin. Help+Manual ranks 67th in the overall sales ranking for all products in the ComponentSource store.

ComponentSource Publisher Awards page:

https://www.componentsource.com/help-support/bestselling-publisher-awards-2016

 

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Standalone free EWriter Tool Updated

Our free standalone tool for generating EWriter eBooks and help files from HTML source files has now been updated to 1.0.1. This update brings the standalone version up to date with the EWriter publishing features in the current version of Help+Manual 7.

You can download the installer for the updated EWriter tool here:

http://download.ec-software.com/ewriter-setup.exe

About EWriter

EWriter is a freeware Windows eBook and help format that supports context-sensitive help and can replace CHM files for documenting Windows applications. It combines the benefits of CHM and WebHelp and eliminates the major disadvantages of both: Like CHM, it is a compact, single-file format that opens every context help call in the same window. Like WebHelp, the entire interface can be skinned and the books work on network drives. In addition to this, it also supports unique security functions and the ability to link to EXE files to create interactive documentation.

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Limitations

Note that some features supported only by Help+Manual, like links to EXE files, still require EWriter source files generated by Help+Manual itself, because the HTML code for the links is different. Even if you generate the source as WebHelp in Help+Manual and then use the standalone EWriter tool to compile the WebHelp to EWriter the links to EXE files won’t work because they will be coded differently.

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Restore compatibility with current Tortoise SVN

IMPORTANT: This works for both Help+Manual 7 and Help+Manual 6

As you will know if you use Subversion, recent changes to the Tortoise SVN client have made it necessary to downgrade to Tortoise SVN 1.9.2 to maintain compatibility with Help+Manual 6 and 7. This is potentially problematic in the long term, because it means that your version of Tortoise may no longer match the current version of your Subversion Server.

We now have a solution for this that works for both Help+Manual 7 and Help+Manual 6. We are going to provide more integrated support for it in the next update to H+M 7, but you can install the solution now and it will work fine. All you need to do is update Tortoise and then install the current 32-bit SVN client from Collabnet. The download is free, but at the moment you do need to register with Collabnet to get it. We are looking for a better solution for this.

All components must have the same version!

The only caveat is that you must make sure that all components have the same version. The version number indicates the Subversion version, so currently your Subversion server, Tortoise and the Collabnet client should all be version 1.9.4. If you update any of the components in the future you should update ALL of them to the same number again.

Step 1: Update Tortoise to the current version

This is Tortoise SVN 1.9.4. It is important that you DON’T use 1.9.3 — that was an intermediate version and it will continue to confuse Help+Manual’s SVN client access. You can always download the current Tortoise SVN version on this page:

https://tortoisesvn.net/downloads.html

Step 2: Download and install the 32-bit Collabnet client

When you click on the download link on this page you will first need to complete a free registration with Collabnet before you can proceed:

http://www.collab.net/downloads/subversion

IMPORTANT: You ONLY need the 32-bit command line client, even on 64-bit Windows. In the current version this is titled “Subversion 1.9.4 (Windows 32-bit)” and is 6.16MB. This is the only component that is missing to make the current version of Subversion work properly with Help+Manual.

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After downloading, run the installer and accept the default location it chooses for installation.

Step 3: Restart Help+Manual

Subversion functions should now work properly without any further action on your part. In the unlikely event that there are problems, select the Collabnet client manually in View > Program Options > Subversion. It is installed in C:\Program Files (x86)\CollabNet\Subversion Client and the file you need to select is libsvn_client-1.dll.

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Help+Manual 7.1 released!

We are glad to announce the release of Help+Manual 7.1 ! This update is classified as a maintenance update (free for all 7.xx users) and looks like a minor point-update. However, it is in fact a rather big one, with plenty of new stuff! Buzzwords: Team Foundation Server, Sandcastle, Author-it, PDF, Windows eBooks

Author-it import officially included

Version 7.1 can read and import Author-it project files directly. This makes the transition from Author-It to Help+Manual much easier than before, because the new import feature retains the internal structure of an Author-It project.

Team Foundation Server and Microsoft Sandcastle

We have implemented support for Team Foundation Server 2015 (version control) and for the last Microsoft Sandcastle version 2.7.2. Visual Studio source code documentation with Sandcastle has been made much easier now.

PDF improved

A lot of work went into the updated PDF export. Version 7.1 comes with an updated PDF engine and automatically applies proper widow/orphan control to the text. Dedicated page breaks inside table cells have been implemented and a rare problem with distorted math formulas in PDF has been fixed.

Windows EXE eBooks

Our proprietary eBook format keeps becoming more popular as a replacement for compiled HTML Help files on Windows and we have updated the eBook viewer with several new features. Now you can separate the eBook viewer (the executable) from the data file and use one viewer with multiple data files. This creates a smaller package if you deploy your help in the eBook format. Execution of external files, in particular additional PDF files has been improved.

Miscellaneous improvements and fixes

  • Multiple TOCs: we have implemented separate default topics for each TOC. The default topic can now be specified separately for each TOC by right-clicking on a topic and selecting “Set as default topic”.
  • PDF: named destinations bug fix, tables always repeated their first row when a page break occurred in a table
  • Variables are no longer sorted automatically and support multiple selections. The variables dialog window has move buttons to move variables up and down and an additional button to sort them manually.
  • Impict: minor modifications
  • Print Manual designer: optical glitches on 150% screen dpi fixed, undo order was mixed up in some cases
  • Snippets: preview in snippet dialog calculated margins with screen pixels instead of device-independent units, resulting in a somewhat distorted snippet preview
  • Insert Web Video: when the “custom web content” pointed a local HTML helper file (e.g. a video helper page in the baggage list), the video was automatically considered a “local video” and not custom web content.
  • HTML Help (.chm) import: extended import options to split header and topic body, the importer now supports the CSS rule “@import url(xxxxx.css);” and parses the additional CSS files.
  • Version control: Checking out a versionized repository failed (VSS, SVN, TFS). A project was not saved on close, when a topic of a merged project was selected. Visual Source Safe – the manual checkout and checkin where disabled.
  • Windows eBooks: the configuration page for Windows eBooks includes an option to switch on the debug function.
  • Windows eBooks: the publish dialog and publish task dialog enable output file extensions <> “.exe”. When the extension is not “.exe”, H&M creates a data package only, without the viewer.
  • Windows eBooks: the eBook viewer has been updated to support the multi-data-file command line interface and extended hotkeys for runtime zoom.
  • Word (DOCX) export: wrong indents in bullet lists and wrong numbering fixed, page width calculation did not take the page gutter into account (this could result in oversized graphics not exactly fitting the available space)
  • Winhelp (.hlp) import: keyword index and TOC were not properly encoded when the source was a Russian Winhelp file.
  • Possible error in Publishing tasks: it was possible to specify an MNL file as the template for DOCX output, causing an error when the publishing task was executed.
  • HTML Help (.chm) export: standard CHM skins (black, blue, grey) triggered a Javascrip error when the print function from the toolbar was used to print the complete chapter.
  • Tables with alternating row colors: when a table with alternating row colors was placed in a snippet and an uneven amount of rows got removed by conditional tags during the export, the alternating row colors were wrong.
  • Search & replace find result list: copy & print buttons were unintentionally disabled.

Update Build 3925 (June 10, 2016)

This build-update includes fixes a couple of small bugs:

  • Publishing tasks: Webhelp task properties were always reset to defaults
  • DOCX export: table width calculation for fixed-sized tables with indents calculated too narrow width
  • Page breaks after list items: when the last item allowed a page break (= not keep with next), it ignored this para option in print and PDF
  • Rare drag & drop bug in main form (project tree) fixed, it was possible to initiate a double drag & drop operation.
  • Paragraph options dialog: when the units were set in centimeters, the rounding of the cm-values was incorrect.

New:

  • Move buttons for TOC items: the buttons can now move multiple selections
  • Insert File Link dialog box: if the TEST button cannot find the external file in the project folder, it searches for the file in the search path.

Download

Please download the update to 7.1 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

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Premium Pack 3.15 Update

We’re pleased to announce the release of the Premium Pack 3.15 update. This update adds a couple of important new features and correct some problems that users have reported. The new features added this time will be particularly interesting if you want to add WebHelp to a WordPress site or if you are using WebHelp locally without a web server.

How to get the update:

You can download and install the updated version with the same download link and installation password from the mail you received when you purchased your copy of Premium Pack 3. 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.

New language files for Dutch, French and German

This release includes some new Premium Pack language files for Dutch, French and German provided by some Help & Manual users. You can load the language files into your skins with the Premium Pack Toolbox utility included with the Premium Pack.

V3 Responsive Skins

New URL handling in no-server mode

The URLs displayed when using WebHelp without a web server are now much more consistent and clear. We have also dealt with an Internet Explorer bug that displayed garbled URLs in some situations when using WebHelp without a web server.

Support for WordPress sites

You can now use embedded help, field-level topics and field-level popups in WordPress sites with the V3 Responsive skins.

Field-level topics and popups

You can now use field level topics and field level pop-ups on the same page.

Handling of  “anchor topics” in the TOC

It is possible to create a chapter that consists of a single large topic, with additional TOC entries that refer to anchors in that topic file as “sub-topics”. The highlights in the TOC now display correctly when these “anchor topics” are selected and the page scrolls to the correct location. This also works when these pages are opened with a topic link or URL.

Premium Pack Toolbox:

  • Renaming variables and build options did not work correctly if the variable or build option had an underscore in its name.

V2 WebHelp/EWriter skins:

  • The Twitter button failed to appear in the sharing popup on some browsers.
  • The rightmost tab in the header menus is now right-aligned so that it can’t extend beyond the edge of the window.

 

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Mail us your Premium Pack 3 language files!

We are preparing the next update of Premium Pack 3 and we would like to include as many language files for the skins as possible in this release.

If you have added your own language interface for your skins you can save the language file very easily with Premium Pack Toolbox. Just load the skin in Toolbox, then select File > Premium Pack Language Files > Save PP Language File and type only the language of your skin as the name (for Example “French” or “Hindi”). Everything else is automatic.

Then just mail the file to us at support@ec-software.com so that we can include it in the upcoming release.

Thanks a lot!

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Dakota Systems offers Help+Manual training in Chicago

Dakota Systems, a leader in enterprise publishing and content management, and EC Software, makers of Help+Manual, today announced a partnership to sell and deliver training for the help authoring tool.

Dakota Systems is a privately-held corporation headquartered in the heart of downtown Chicago, IL, USA. Specializing in content management and XML publishing solutions, Dakota has gained industry recognition of its content delivery services for customers around the world.

“We are excited about the prospects of working with EC Software,” said Brian Buehling, Managing Director of Dakota Systems. “Help+Manual is a program that has many unique advantages over other help authoring tools. Its great user interface delivers much of the functionality of a high end component content management system in an affordable program.”

For both beginning and advanced Help+Manual users, Dakota provides training courses that are customized for the requirements of each organization. To learn more, please visit www.daksys.com.

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