Help & Manual 5.6 and Premium Pack 1.4 released!

We are glad to announce the release of Help & Manual 5.6 including Help & Manual Premium Pack Version 1.4! This is a maintenance release that is free for all registered users of Help & Manual 5 and the Premium Pack, respectively.

Click here to download the Help & Manual 5.6 update!

Getting the Premium Pack 1.4 update:
Use your the download link and password from the mail you received when you purchased the Premium Pack to get the latest version. Contact support for details if you no longer have this information.

Help & Manual 5.6 Update

Numbered outlines in PDF


  • Numbered outlines in PDF – This is a feature that many users have requested: You can now add automatic numbering to the interactive “Outline” table of contents displayed by PDF readers like Adobe Reader. There is a new option in the PDF publishing properties with which you can activate this.
  • Improved snippet handling for lists – Numbered and bulleted lists that contain snippets instead of hard-coded text are now more intelligent, applying the list paragraph format to the snippet when merging it during export.
  • Better support for MathType equations – We have improved both the sizing and display for MathType equations created with the Microsoft equation editor and inserted in Help & Manual projects.
  • Microsoft Sandcastle – We have updated the import functions to support the latest version of Microsoft Sandcastle for source code documentation.
  • Integration of our blog newsfeed – Help & Manual now polls this official news blog when you select News in the program Welcome screen.

A few minor bug fixes:

  • Printing of image toggles inside tables: Improvements to the automatic scaling performed when the picture is too big for the table cell.
  • PDF export of enhanced metafile images: The baseline position of embedded text was incorrect in some metafile images.
  • Word/RTF export: The export function now uses the “print” style set instead of the “screen” style set.
  • Webhelp and HTML Help: Left-aligned image captions were too wide.


Premium Pack 1.4 Update

  • A dedicated iPad skin with full touch and pinch-zoom support.
  • User comments with a choice of Disqus or IntenseDebate.

The Help & Manual Premium Pack 1.4 adds two major new features: A dedicated skin for the Apple iPad and the ability to add user comments to your WebHelp.  In addition to this a number of minor issues have been corrected (see further below).

See this page for more information on the Premium Pack and video demos.

Dedicated iPad skin:

The dedicated iPad skin uses a clear, clean and minimalist Apple-style design geared to the needs of the touchscreen interface. It supports single-finger scrolling in the navigation and topic panes, pinch-to-zoom for topics and a Zoom button for displaying topics in full-screen mode.

Rotating the iPad automatically reformats the display for landscape or portrait mode.

Search displays in an overlay with an embedded scrolling window for the results and the selected topic scrolls to the first result when the search window is closed. The navigation panes are stored after being loaded and switch smoothly with rolling animations. You can configure an automatic redirect to the iPad version for iPad visitors and to the main version for visitors using other browsers.

Main iPad skin window

The main interface of the iPad skin

iPad skin search interface

The search interface of the iPad skin

Support for user comments in WebHelp

Comments in WebHelp is something that users have been clamoring for for years and now it’s available. With Premium Pack 1.4 authors can choose between the Disqus and IntenseDebate commenting systems, which have been integrated to work in Help & Manual’s WebHelp output.

You just need to sign up for a free Disqus or IntenseDebate account and enter your account details and help URL in the skin configuration variables. Users log in with their existing Facebook, Twitter, Google, OpenID or other accounts, or they can sign up for free Disqus or IntenseDebate IDs if they don’t already have one.

There are excellent moderation facilities in both systems and both support the highly-effective Akismet anti-spam system. They are “recompile-safe” — as long as you don’t change your topic IDs you can recompile and re-upload your help as often as you like, the comments remain persistent. Both systems also allow you to download your comments in XML format for import, analysis and processing. Both also permit extensive use of social networks to increase the visibility of your documentation.

Comments link in webhelp

This is the comments link shown in each topic

Comments window open

This is the IntenseDebate comments box at the bottom of the topic

Comments login

This is the Disqus login for users - there are lots of options


Other changes and corrections in Premium Pack 1.4

  • Search and index highlighting colors: New configuration variables enable you to define the highlighting colors used in the keyword index and search functions.
  • Vertical scrollbar in IE 9: In Internet Explorer 9 the vertical scrollbar in topics sometimes failed to appear. The scrollbar now also no longer “flashes” when a topic is being loaded and it is displayed permanently so that topics do not suddenly reflow when the scrollbar appears.
  • Workaround for iOS history bug: In Safari on the iPad and iPhone using the history buttons would sometimes make the address bar seem to “hang”. 
  • Printing in current browsers: A timing issue in current browsers sometimes caused the printed version to be incorrectly formatted.
  • Text in Index pane: The text “No index entries beginning with…” was hard-coded into the skin. It is now possible to change it with a configuration variable.
  • Body background color in topics without headers: Custom topic body background colors were not applied in topics without headers.


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  1. #1 by Alberto Silva on May 4, 2011 - 6:33 pm

    Does the @ecsoftware twitter account belong to you? What about twitting there about the new versions, it’s easier to spread the news :)

  2. #2 by tim green on May 4, 2011 - 8:03 pm

    The Help & Manual Twitter account is @helpandmanual

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