Help+Manual News

eWriter 1.2 released – Free HTML-to-eBook Converter

eWriter is a converter application to turn HTML pages into a self-contained Windows executable. This output format is completely integrated into Help+Manual as eWriter eBooks. The eWriter converter application is the free stand-alone version.

About eWriter

eWriter creates portable websites in a single compact Windows file with an integrated server and viewer. eWriter “books” can be viewed on any Windows device, even on old and outdated versions of Windows. They support direct contextual references from your applications to display specific pages and to scroll to anchors on your pages. Unlike a normal website, repeated calls to an eWriter book will all open in the same window.

How to create an eBook with eWriter

This version 1.2 update now includes the option to create data-only eBooks that can be opened with a separate viewer – similar to the functionality in Help+Manual.

Download

You can download eWriter stand-alone edition directly from our website:

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

 

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Help+Manual 7.4.0 (Beta) addresses PDF Font Embedding

Help+Manual 7.4.0 Beta is available for download from this direct link:

https://www.helpandmanual.com/download/help-and-manual-setup-v740.exe

Please note that this is a beta version, not a stable release.

Changes and New Features

Version 7.4 addresses mostly PDF export. We have implemented font embedding for TrueType fonts that are part of a TrueType Collection.

Most fonts in Windows are TrueType fonts. And most TrueType fonts are stored in a separate font file with the file extension .ttf. To save space, some TrueType fonts are bundled in TrueType collections, font files ending with .ttc. These font collections contain more than one TrueType font (character descriptions are shared). To embed such a font into PDF, the collection package needs to be disassembled and the single TrueType font must be repackaged for embedding. This was not possible in version 7.3.6 and earlier, and is now up for testing: all TrueType fonts should now be embedded properly, whether they are located in a single font file or part of a font collection.

When you test version 7.4 beta, please change your PDF export settings as shown in the figure below:

If you find font embedding problems, please report them to our support!

Detailed changes in 7.4.0 Beta

  • TrueType fonts located in TrueType collection packages can now be embedded. Package disassembly and embedding works automatically when you opt to embed TrueType fonts.
  • Before version 7.4, TrueType collection fonts were embedded as Type3 fonts, which generated a slightly blurry typeface. The Type3 fallback option is still present, but is used only, if a TrueType font fails to embed.
  • Italic simulation has been improved. Some fonts (example: Tahoma Italic) do not exist. The italic version is simulated in Windows and to achieve the same effect in PDF, Help+Manual simulates the italic version in PDF as well. However, characters were often too dense. The simulation has been improved.
  • Font Awesome: this is a popular custom symbol font, that uses mostly Unicode characters. However, it is not a “symbol” font per se, but declares itself as a regular font. Symbol characters written with Font Awesome could not be embedded in PDF. Now, Font Awesome is treated as a “symbol font” and if you enable the option “Export Symbol text as glyphs“, you should get the symbols in PDF.

 

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Premium Pack 3.45 Update

Version 3.45 of the Help+Manual Premium Pack add-on adds a new set of V3 WebHelp and EWriter skins using the popular Samurai Red color theme and corrects some minor issues.

How to Get the Premium Pack Update:

You can download and install the updated version with the credentials you received when you purchased. 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 Samurai Red Skins

Changes and Fixes

More information

See the Premium Pack information page for general details and purchase information and the Premium Pack web-based documentation for full instructions.

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Help+Manual 7.3.6 Maintenance Update

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we have released a maintenance update for Help+Manual 7.3,6. We encourage you to install this maintenance release over your existing version of Help+Manual.

 

Bug Fixes and Improvements in 7.3.6

General / User Interface

  • Project report with unused images: toggle icons for expanded view were reported as “unused”, although they were in fact used by the project.
  • Dropdown toggles: if a dedicated “Print” icon was specified for the toggle object, the icon file was not automatically copied to the project folder.
  • Publishing Tasks Dialog: The More menu has an additional entry to directly open the specified output folder of the selected task. Bug fix: task options were not saved for EXE eBooks.
  • Insert Image Hotspots dialog: DEL key did not work in edit fields

HTML Publishing

  • YouTube videos did no longer work in CHM files: Because of changes on the YouTube servers, that dropped support for MS Internet Explorer 9. When viewing a CHM file, the display engine in the HTML Help viewer is MSIE. The internal MSIE viewer is now by default elevated to run as IE10, which fixes the problem with YouTube videos in CHM files.
  • Inline CSS in HTML-based export formats: We have removed most of the (remaining) inline CSS for bullet lists, numbered lists and tables. Help+Manual now exports lists as text with classes, referring to the paragraph classes they belong to. When exporting “lists as lists” (not recommended), Help+Manual does not apply any inline CSS anymore, to make it easier to format list with custom global CSS.
    Tables are exported with style classes: tables refer to global table styles instead of using inline CSS.
  • Date and Time variables: The variable <%DATELONG%> now returns month names in the genitive form, instead of the nominative form.  In English and many other Roman languages, there is no difference between the genitive and the nominative form, so you might not notice any change. In some languages like Russian, however, the months are spelled and pronounced differently in genitive form.
    Furthermore, we have implemented a new formatted variable: <%DATE(formatstring)%>
  • Webhelp export: Topic IDs that start with an underscore (“_”) are now excluded from the sitemap. These topics are generally excluded from the full-text search and should not occur in the sitemap, either.
  • Wingdings bullet #158 was internally saved as #382 and was exported wrong in HTML
  • HTML export (all formats): The list of baggage files was exported too early. It was not possible to overwrite the default CSS file (default.css) with a custom version, because that CSS was created after the baggage files export.
  • EPUB and Kindle eBooks: In the page template and TOC template defaults, the white background color “#FFFFFF” has been removed. In the default CSS style sheet, the black text color for base styles has been removed. Both changes should enable the ePUB reader to switch the colors in night mode.

PDF Publishing

  • Better integration of Type3 font encoding. Vertical offset for the Segoe UI font in Type3 embedding mode fixed.
  • Some rare character spacing problems fixed
  •  If the specified print manual template does not exist, Help+Manual stops with an error instead of gracefully using the default template.
  • Bug with multiple IFDEFs in single-column tables fixed: if the first item was an IFDEF and the last item was an END and there were multiple IF-END but not nested, the row was removed.

 

Update Build 4521 (July 3, 2018):

  • Small bugfix for XML browser preview of project source files
  • Table header colors were not exported for tables without style

 

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.3.6 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

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Premium Pack 3.44 Maintenance Update

Version 3.44 of the Help+Manual Premium Pack add-on is a maintenance update. It adds a couple of minor new features and corrects some issues reported by users.

How to Get the Premium Pack Update:

You can download and install the updated version with the credentials you received when you purchased. 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.

Changes and Fixes

More information

See the Premium Pack information page for general details and purchase information and the Premium Pack web-based documentation for full instructions.

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New share buttons on our news blog

Today we implemented the social media plugin Shariff, which enables website users to share their favorite content without compromising their privacy.

Facebook, Google+ and Twitter supply official sharing code snippets. These original share buttons automatically transmit data of your visitors to the social network sites as soon as they visit your website. Visitors do not even need to click on a share button for this and therefore have no choice, if they want their data to be sent.

The German computer magazine CT has developed Shariff (/ˈʃɛɹɪf/), a social media plugin that fulfills the strict data protection laws in Germany and the European Union.

For more information about the Shariff project check out the original GitHub project page.

These social media buttons below are for your convenience – a single click will share this post to your favorite social media site. But as long as you don’t click any of these buttons, they won’t leak visitor information to 3rd party sites. In other words: Facebook has no idea that you are currently viewing this page. If we used the regular Facebook share button, they would know.

Enjoy your privacy while reading this blog!

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Help+Manual 7.3.5 Maintenance Update

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we have released a maintenance update for Help+Manual 7.3,5. We encourage you to install this maintenance release over your existing version of Help+Manual.

This update includes a couple of minor bug fixes and one really exciting new feature: Goalfish!

About Goalfish

Goalfish is a new software to create web presentations and interactive tutorials. Think of Goalfish as a graphics and animation editor to create interactive presentations for websites, technical documentation and eBooks.

Note: Goalfish has not been released yet! As a Help+Manual customer, you can join the Goalfish field test and get a preview. Help+Manual 7.3.5 fully supports the integration of Goalfish presentations into Help+Manual documentation.

Check out Goalfish and join the field test!

 
 

Known Issues and Bug Fixes in 7.3.5

  • PDF: a few minor problems fixed – keyword references sometimes not clickable, font embedding problem with TrueType fonts, page referrers not aligned properly when using the PDF/A option. Two minor glitches in the manual designer have been solved as well.
  • HTML Help/CHM: internal script has been updated to fix the problem that full-text search words contained in text toggles did not expand the toggle objects automatically.
  • Find & Replace: when searching for images, the found and selected image was sometimes not visible, but outside the viewport.
  • Topic Editor: Copy & paste of multiple table cells had slowed down the topic editor after mulitple paste operations. Protected text was difficult to read if the protected text span multiple words on a justified paragraph.
  • Custom topic status:  when changing the text of a custom status, the change is now propagated to topics as well.
  • Feature images: when a feature image was missing, the publishing report did not report an error and the reference for the missing image was still included
  • Project Report: to function to move unused images to a backup folder did not work if the list of images was very long

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.3.5 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

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Premium Pack 3.42/3.43 Maintenance Update

Versions 3.42/3.43 of the Help+Manual Premium Pack add-on is primarily a maintenance update. It is recommended for all Premium Pack users because it corrects several small but potentially annoying issues.

How to Get the Premium Pack Update:

You can download and install the updated version with the credentials you received when you purchased. 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.

3.43 Additional Corrections

V3 Skins Maintenance Update

Extended support for the full version of the Zoom web search indexer

More information

See the Premium Pack information page for general details and purchase information and the Premium Pack web-based documentation for full instructions.

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Help+Manual 7.3.4 build 4380 (Bugfix)

With version 7.3.4 released last week, we had introduced a really bad bug: tables with background images could not be read anymore. This problem has been fixed with the new version 7.3.4 build 4380.

Changes in build 4380

  • Tables with background images could not be read. If a topic contained a table with a background image, Help+Manual issued an error and said it could not read the XML data. The topic was truncated starting with this table.
  • AuthorIT import: bug fix for embedded images – some embedded images could not be extracted when importing an AuthorIT project.
  • Insert Conditional Text: with 7.3.4 we introduced a feature to remember the last condition used, to make it simplier to insert new conditional text tags. This feature turned out to have a backlash – other users complained about this feature being counter-productive and not supporting the workflow. The remember function has been removed with build 4380.

Download the Help+Manual Update:

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.3.4 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

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Happy New Year! Help+Manual 7.3.4 is here.

First of all: a Happy New Year to everybody who’s reading this newsblog!

We have been busy during the holiday season and completed Help+Manual 7.3.4, a free maintenance update for all 7.xx users. We encourage you to install this maintenance release over your existing version of Help+Manual.

New Features and Bug Fixes

  • Insert Image Hotspots: the hotspot editor now supports a zoom function to make it easier to work on hotspots on high-resolution monitors.
  • PDF/Print Manuals: the manual template designer has an extra option for keyword index separators (normally, those A – Z sections in the keyword index). Keyword sections can be created automatically from the actual keyword index. This improves the compatibiltity of PDF templates with projects in multiple languages.
  • Topic Editor: optical glitch removed when zoom was > 150%
  • Project Report: moving unused images to a backup folder did not work if the folder path contained an ampersand character.
  • Publishing Windows eBooks: additional check implemented whether the output file can be replaced/overwritten. Publishing an eBook could have triggered an error, if the target file was opened before the publishing task completed.

 

Download the Help+Manual Update:

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.3.4 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

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