Help+Manual News

Archive for category Software Updates

Help+Manual 7.3.2 + Premium Pack 3.35 Maintenance Update

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we have released a maintenance update for Help+Manual 7.3,2 and the Premium Pack 3.35. We encourage you to install this maintenance release over your existing version of Help+Manual.

Help+Manual New Features and Changes

  • Automatic recovery: Help+Manual 7.3.2 includes a new feature to automatically recover unsaved changes after a crash or a power failure.
  • SVG images in HTML Help (.chm): the HTML export options dialog has a new option to optionally convert SVG images to PNG.
  • HTML Help (.chm) and YouTube videos: the standard skins have been modified to avoid Javascript errors with YouTube and Vimeo web videos in CHM files.
  • Webhelp standard skins have been updated.
  • EWriter eBooks: The Premium Pack update now includes a new set of V3 skins for the EWriter format, which can also be used as an alternative to CHM.
  • TidyXML option is now enabled for repositories
  • PDF: anchor hotspots have been moved a little bit higher along the y position to improve deep jumps to topic anchors.
  • Improved Insert Link dialog: the drop-down width for the anchor combobox now has a dynamic width to accommodate even very long anchors
  • Improved list dialog

Known Issues and Bug Fixes

  • TidyXML: if TidyXML was off, protected text was not saved as protected.
  • TidyXML: bug in white-space filter (at XML read) fixed
  • Table editing: splitting a table into 2 separate tables could have led to an error
  • PDF/Print: text with character spacing <> 0 was wrong positioned., strike-through text had strike-through line slightly shorter than the text
  • Multi-user refresh: refreshing secondary TOCs did not work in multiuser-mode
  • Topic editor: topic status combo was not updated after adding a custom topic status  in Config > Common, also fixed: a rare word break bug with Russian texts
  • SVG images in Word/DOCX export: image quality has been improved, the converted PNG will have the actually displayed size of the SVG (or the original SVG size, whichever is larger)

Download the Help+Manual Update:

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.3.2 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

Premium Pack 3.35 with V3 EWriter Skins

Together with the Help+Manual 7.3.2 maintenance update we are pleased to announce the release of Premium Pack 3.35. This update introduces a new set of  V3 skins for Help+Manual’s increasingly popular EWriter help format. The new skins bring V3’s lighting-fast topic browsing to EWriter, along with a wide range of advanced functions.

See the Premium Pack Change Log for a full list of changes and improvements in this update.

How to Get the Premium Pack 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.

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Qt Help Format Support

We are happy to announce the immediate availability of QtHelpConverter, an add-on application for Help+Manual to create Qt Help files. With QtHelpConverter as add-on, Help+Manual now publishes help files in Qt Help format.

About Qt
Qt is a cross-platform application framework for developing application software that can be run on various software and hardware platforms.

Converts HTML Help to Qt Help

QtHelpConverter takes a compiled HTML Help/CHM file and outputs Qt help (.qch). Note that this application is not an authoring tool, it just converts a finished CHM help file to a corresponding Qt help file.

The converter is a stand-alone application and can be used with any standards-compliant HTML Help/CHM file.

For seamless integration in Help+Manual, QtHelpConverter has a command line interface to turn a CHM files created by Help+Manual into a Qt Help file. The converter application includes online help (in Qt format, of course) with detailed instructions.

QtHelpConverter is free

Download QtHelpConverter

 

 

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Help+Manual 7.3.1 Maintenance Update

We just released a maintenance update for Help+Manual 7.3,1. This maintenenance update fixes a few bugs that were still present in the 7.3.0 release.

Known Issues

  • Topic editor, paragraph options: if the options “Keep para with next” was set manually for a paragraph, the modification was not stored.
  • Optical glitch in Paragraph ribbon tab: for a paragraph with justified text, both options the “Left align” and “Justify” were displayed as “on”.
  • PDF/Print: 8-bit PNG images with bit-transparent areas appeared too transparent in PDF (transparency was applied by transparency-color, not by bit mask).
  • TidyXML: the batch change option included the reference to the schema file without a relative path. This is uncritical in Help+Manual but external validation of topic XML files might not work in this case.

Download

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.3.1 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

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Help+Manual 7.3 with TidyXML Released

We are happy to announce the release of Help+Manual 7.3. This maintenenance update includes an important new feature called TidyXML – a more streamlined XML topic format, that will help external translations of the content. The new TidyXML feature is explained in details here.

This update is free for all 7.xx users. Plus, there is an important update for the Premium Pack to version 3.30!

New Features

  • TidyXML implemented (see above).
  • Project Report: Remove Unused Images option implemented. When running the “Full Project Report”, it displays a list of apparently unused images. There is a new button per image folder to move these images to a backup folder.
  • AuthorIT Import: embedded images are now supported.
  • PDF: new option implemented to embed TrueType collections as Type3 fonts. TrueType collections are multiple fonts in one font file and cannot be embedded as TrueType (example: “MS Gothic”).
  • Syntax highlighter configuration dialog: option to save/load a configuration added.
  • Insert Link dialog box: when editing Internet Links, the dialog behaves more intelligently.
  • The function Rescue Copy has been moved from backstage view to the “Save As” function.
  • Style combo, Font and Font Size combobox: dropdown lists have been made longer.

Known Issues

  • Webhelp: XSS vulnerability fixed – all skins and default settings now handle direct context sensitive calls extremely strict, to prevent any form of cross-site scripting.
  • Improvements for high-res 4K monitors
  • PDF/Print: some rare line break problems fixed. Improved widow/orphan control at the beginning of topics.
  • PDF: PNG images with < 24 Bit color depth in PDF: these images were not transparent in the PDF file.
  • Word/DOCX: page breaks at the beginning of a topic are now placed before the topic heading and not between heading and text.
  • Word/DOCX: Several Wingdings bullets symbols did not work on non-ANSI Windows (e.g. Hebrew, Polish, Chinese, Russian).
  • Word/DOCX: links to topic names longer than 43 characters did not work.
  • Word/DOCX: an empty topic body was exported as 1 blank line, which is now suppressed (similar to PDF).
  • PDF Manual Designer: pasting a topic text placeholder somewhere else but at the topic band caused an error.
  • When changing a topic ID, references in secondary TOCs were not changed.
  • Bullet symbols on Hebrew Windows: Wingdings #250 did not work.
  • Image maps in responsive images with % width of page: optical glitch fixed, the hotspots had a small vertical offset.
  • XSLT style sheet for XML file rendering in browser: small bug fix for image search path – a relative image search path that was outside the project folder was not correctly resolved.
  • Webhelp: inline videos (MP4) were reset when clicked twice. A second click must stop the video instead of restarting it.
  • Insert Picture dialog: the padding window has improved positioning on small screens. The dialog now remembers alignment, HTML class, zoom and padding for new images.
  • HTML Help/CHM: Optical glitches in standard CHM-skins fixed.
  • Webhelp: when a blank line contained exactly 2 blanks, the line was exported as
    <p><span> </span></p>, which caused most browsers to ignore the line completely.

 

Premium Pack 3.3 Update

Together with Help+Manual 7.3 we have also released version 3.30 of the Premium Pack add-on. This update brings a major improvement to the Premium Pack Toolbox utility, adding a powerful new feature called Normalize Project Styles. This new tool can save you many hours of manual work when importing formatted text from HTML and CHM. See the Toolbox Help for details.

Version 3.30 of Toolbox also includes a feature for transferring your personal configuration from an old skin to a new one. You can select from ten different settings groups with previews to copy exactly what you need to an updated skin.

In a maintenance update to the skins themselves, a number of issues reported by users have been corrected. The formatting of drop-down menus in the CHM skins has been improved. All WebHelp skins now have an option for removing the “Score/Hits” line below each search result.

Download

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.3 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

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Help+Manual 7.3 Beta with TidyXML

We are glad to announce that Help+Manual 7.3 Public Beta is available for download! Version 7.3 implements a slightly modified XML format that is more translation-friendly. We had announced this feature before, now you can try it for the first time.

You can download and install the 7.3 beta version like any previous 7.x update from this direct link:

http://download.ec-software.com/help-and-manual-setup-v730-beta.exe

The link will be kept active during the beta phase and will be updated 2 or 3 times a week.

 

About TidyXML

As you know, Help+Manual saves a project in XML format, enabling external translation programs to parse the XML and translate it. The XML code, that Help+Manual creates, however, is a bit more complicated than many translation programs would like to have it. It is best explained with an example…

Please run Help+Manual and paste the following 2 lines of text into a topic:

Now let’s switch the editor to “XML View” and have a look at the XML code created for these 2 lines:

 

The XML colored in yellow is the code created for the two lines. These are 2 paragraphs (<para> tags in XML) and several separate text elements (<text> tags in XML). A translation program that parses the XML code, does not see the visual representation like you do in Help+Manual. It sees the XML structure only and has to make sense of it.

 

Changing the XML format

Version 7.3 has a switch that you can activate to apply a new and cleaner (tidier) XML syntax. The switch applies per help project and is placed under Configuration > Common Properties > Miscellaneous Options.

To activate the function, perform the following steps:

  1. Make a backup of your help project (!)
  2. Make sure the backup can be restored any time
  3. Open the help project and navigate to the configuration section as shown below
  4. Enabe the option “Write translation-friendly XML“, then click “Apply to all topics

 

 

The difference in XML

The new XML syntax writes <text> tags only where necessary. If the text style is identical with the paragraph style, the text is simply placed between the <para>…</para> tags, making it much easier to read for an external translator. Explicit <text> tags are inserted if the text has a different format than the paragraph. Furthermore, style classes are inherited. The new XML syntax omits redundant “styleclass” attributes for <text> tags and links.

The entire XML structure becomes smaller and more readable.

This new XML structure, however, is not compatbile with older versions of Help+Manual. While you won’t lose content when opening such a converted help project with an older version of H&M, the style inheritance is not recognized and the format might look distorted. Do not open a converted project with an older version of Help+Manual!

 

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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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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.

ewriter-standalone-ebook-creator

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. Currently, Subversion, Tortoise and Collabnet are all at 1.9.5. If you update any of the components in the future you should update ALL of them to the same number again. It is best to check all three components before updating, because sometimes one component is ready with an update later than the others.

Step 1: Update Tortoise to the current version

You can download the current version of Tortoise here:

https://tortoisesvn.net/downloads.html

Make sure that you choose the 64-bit version for 64-bit Windows and the 32-bit version for 32-bit Windows.

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 (Collabnet will not spam you):

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 1.9.5 (Windows 32-bit)” and is 6.42MB. This is the only component that is missing to make the current version of Subversion work properly with Help+Manual.

This is the correct Collabnet download

This is the correct Collabnet download

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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