Help+Manual News

Archive for category Software Updates

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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Help+Manual 7.0.9 Maintenance Update

We have updated Help+Manual 7.0.9 ! This update fixes an issue with indents of bulleted and numbered lists in the recent 7.0.8 release and is recommended for all 7.0 users.

Most importantly, however, the installer and all executable files are signed with a new code signing certificate the uses the more secure SHA256 algorithm, for old signatures signed with SHA1 are no longer considered valid on recent Windows versions.

Download

Please download the free update to 7.0.9 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

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Premium Pack 3 and Help+Manual 7.0.8 Released

We are proud to announce the release of the all-new Premium Pack 3 with advanced responsive skins. This is accompanied by Help+Manual 7.0.8 with new features to support the new skins and a set of demo Premium Pack 3 skins. Help & Manual 7.0.7 or higher is required to use the new responsive skins.

See the Premium Pack product page for more details on Premium Pack 3 and visit our online store to purchase.

Premium Pack 3: Responsive. Fast. Embedded. WebHelp.

A single WebHelp site now works smoothly on desktop, tablet and smartphone browsers, with an optimized user interface for each device type. Even large TOCs and keyword indexes are handled well on smartphones. And browsing has been optimized for lightning-fast topic loading. These skins represent the first iteration of our new online help format, which we call WebHelp 3. This has been made possible by a number of new technologies that we have been working on for the last eighteen months.

Key Features

  • Fully responsive – create one WebHelp site for desktop, tablet and phone browsers
  • Frameless topics – no more index.html layout page, the topic pages are your pages and their names are your URLs
  • Embedded WebHelp – embed your help in existing web pages with a snippet of code like a YouTube video
  • Field-level popups – display formatted popups from your help in your own web pages with simple links
  • Responsive X-tables – add a single setting to data tables to make them reformat automatically on mobile devices
  • Local WebHelp – deploy WebHelp locally without a web browser, even for Google Chrome and Internet Explorer
  • Fast browsing – highly optimized topic loading for extremely fast browsing
  • Scalable – user-adjustable text size for the best possible user experience.

Premium Pack Toolbox Configuration Utility

The Premium Pack now also comes with a configuration utility with direct help for every configuration setting when you select it. This also works with older Premium Pack skins and comes with a large number of additional advanced features for power users. For example, you can add features to skins that are normally only available in your project settings. And you can edit your templates and baggage files directly in your favorite code and graphics editors.

Help+Manual 7.0.8

Help+Manual 7.0.8 comes with a set of demo Premium Pack 3 skins that you can try out, plus support for the new features in the Premium Pack 3 skins. Help+Manual 7.0.7 or higher is required for using the responsive skins in Premium Pack 3.

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Help+Manual 7.0.7 Released!

Right before the holiday season, we have completed Help+Manual 7.0.7! The update is free for all users of Help+Manual version 7. If you are still using version 6 or older, check out our upgrade options.

This update is mostly a bug-fix and maintenance release, no significant new features have been added (new features will be in the upcoming 7.1 release, in January 2016 – stay tuned for that).

A couple of smaller issues have been fixed in the PDF export, particularly in combination with ultra-high resolution monitors. Furthermore, the support for SVG images has been improved: our SVG library now supports texts on curved paths.

SVG images with curved text now supported
SVG images with curved text now supported

Changes, bug-fixes and improvements in 7.0.7

  • PDF: One important change concerns top-level intro pages in PDF. In H+M version 7.0 we introduced a rule that single top-level topics (topics without sub-entries) should not generate a top-level intro page. What initially seemed to be a good idea turned out to be counter-productive for many users, who place single topics in the top level of the TOC to print multi-page introductions or appendixes, which in fact qualify for an “intro” page. We have reversed this printing rule – top-level entries (when used in the PDF template) are again always printed.In the PDF output, on ultra-high resolution displays, fixed-sized tables and the caption height of images was not calulated correctly, resulting in some tables being cut and image captions adding an unwanted gap below the caption. Toggle images that were part of numbered lists were shifted a few pixels to the right when used inside tables. Last, a very small glitch: in a rare case, single keyword index page numbers were printed but not linked.
  • Word/DOCX export: minor bug fix with lists
  • Table properties dialog: the table dialog has been made more intelligent and the message that offers reseting individual cell properties when changing the table in general, is only displayed if really necessary.
  • SVG images: an updated SVG library is now capable of displaying text on a curved path.
  • Topic editor: on ultra-high resolution monitors, conditional text tags were displayed too large. The editor has received an additional zoom state of 300%. The image dropdown gallery painted PNG thumbnail images with the wrong proportions. Line spacing values between 1.01 and 1.09 did not work. File links with execution parameters are now displayed in the project report.
  • Bullet lists: two Wingding bullets were converted to the wrong Unicode character in Webhelp and HTML Help when running on Asian or East-European Windows versions.
  • Batch compilation: a new command line parameter was introduced to use the STDOUT output instead of creating a new console: /stdout (see online help for details)

Get the update

If you have installed Help+Manual 7 already, please download and install the 7.0.7 update over your existing installation. The setup will recognize the previous installation and update it accordingly:

http://www.helpandmanual.com/downloads.html?upd

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Help+Manual 7.0.6 Maintenance Update

We are glad to announce the release of Help+Manual 7.0.6!

Once more have been the responsive Webhelp skins the focus of our attention. Improvements for display on mobile devices with small screens (iPhones and Android) and extended customization options.

The second focus point was on Windows eBooks in executable format. Windows EXE eBooks now fully support context sensitive help calls, properly display Asian book titles in the header and the status bar on non-Asian Windows versions and have improved support for external PDF links. Unlike CHM files, the eBooks can execute external files with a relative path without problems. What has been added, is the ability to open external PDF files at a particular page. With a regular file link, this is actually not possible. The eBooks query the system for the default application to open a PDF file and start this application explicitely. If the application is recognized (the eBook knows the command line syntax of Adobe Reader, Foxit, PDF X-Change and Sumatra PDF), PDF files will at the page that is optionally specified with the file link.

Changes, bug-fixes and improvements in 7.0.6

  • Windows EXE eBooks: several changes and improvments.
  • Word/DOCX export: minor bug fixes
  • PDF export: when using topic snippets in the manual template, variables in the name are now supported. Feature images in PNG format where unintentionally stretched in the PDF file, now the are proportionally resized to fill the print area.
  • Version control glitch with master/child projects: the child projects sometimes created an additional internal topic history, which is switched off, when a project is under version control.
  • Windows 10: after changing the style of an image, the image caption disappeared.
  • User interface: new shortcuts for the ribbon tabs Write, Table, View and Help. An additional (initially empty) “Insert” tab has been added. You can use this additional tab to move tab groups from other tabs to this one, for better grouping of the commands.
  • Image dropdown gallery: Access violation when ribbon group was minimized
  • Reload topic: when there are pending changes that would be discarded, H&M asks before reloading the topic
  • Program options/Customize: new configuration option to define the replacement character for blanks in topic IDs (default is a hyphen)
  • Impict: change of default font in callouts did not work
  • Webhelp with local video files: for the M4V and MP4 format (which is natively recognized by almost any modern browser), the HTML video tag has been modified to prefer native HTML5 playback. The optional plugin is used as fallback solution.
  • YouTube videos: parameter added to avoid the display of “related videos” when the video ends.
  • Import of CHM and HTML files: bugfix for tables with cells spanning multiple columns
  • Import of CHM files: improved keyword index entries

 

Get the update

If you have installed Help+Manual 7 already, please download and install the 7.0.6 update over your existing installation. The setup will recognize the previous installation and update it accordingly:

http://www.helpandmanual.com/downloads.html?upd

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Premium Pack 2.72 Maintenance Update

Help & Manual Premium Pack 2 has been updated to version 2.72 for Help & Manual versions 7 and 6. There are bug fixes for the CHM and Smartphone skins and minor corrections for the WebHelp and Classic version 1 skins. In addition to this, Premium Pack 1 for Help & Manual 6 and 7 has been updated to version 1.65 to handle the new popup link format in hotspots in Help & Manual 7 (this update is not needed for Help & Manual 6 users).

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 the Premium Pack. If you no longer have this please contact support@ec-software.com and we will help you out.

Popup links in image hotspots:

Help & Manual 7 has a new format for popup links in image hotspots, which was not identified by the Premium Pack scripts. As a result, the standard HM popups were displayed instead of the Premium Pack’s draggable, resizeable and automatically positioned popups. This has been corrected in the Premium Pack 2 WebHelp and CHM skins and the Premium Pack 1/Classic Dual Mode skins.

Bug fix in the CHM skins

On some high-resolution Windows devices the topic body could sometimes be positioned a little too high so that its top edge was behind the bottom of the topic header.

Bug fixes in the smartphone skins

Changes in the code generated by Help & Manual 7 caused problems with the links in the keyword index and search results. This has been corrected.

A new bug introduced in Apple iOS 9 prevents the slide transition between the TOC and topic panes from working correctly on the iPhone. Instead of sliding, the page would appear to turn away and twist with a strange 3D transition. This has been changed to a fade transition. The slide transition is still used on Android and Windows Phone.

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Premium Pack 2.71 Maintenance Update

Help & Manual Premium Pack 2 has been updated to version 2.71 for Help & Manual versions 7 and 6. This is just a minor maintenance update with corrections for a couple of issues reported by users of version 2.70. The only changes are in the WebHelp skins and the CHM skins. There have been no changes to the Smartphone skins, the iPad and Android tablet skins or the Dual-Mode Classic skins in this update.

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 the Premium Pack. If you no longer have this please contact support@ec-software.com and we will help you out.

WebHelp Skins changes:

Problems in Chrome with Index or Search disabled

On some computers and Windows versions WebHelp displayed in the Google Chrome browser would seem to hang or respond slowly when the timed browser cache feature was activated and the keyword index or search tab was deactivated. This has been corrected.

Unicode encoding for mail feedback

The mail feedback function now supports Unicode encoding and should work better with languages with Unicode character sets like Russian, Greek and Asian languages. (This is not supported in CHM because the Microsoft CHM viewer is not a Unicode program.)

Keyword index search improvements

You can now disable and hide the instant search feature for very large indexes, where it could cause unpleasant delays. The search is now automatically reset when you change the search mode (instant on/off, first word, word anywhere, full text).

CHM Skins changes:

Links in graphics hotspots

A problem with links in image hotspots in CHM files on some systems has been corrected. (Clicking on hotspot links would not work.)

Height of topic header

The topic header was not high enough in some cases if the logo image was turned off or smaller than the default image.

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Help+Manual 7.0.5 Released – Responsive Webhelp Skins Updated!

We are glad to announce the release of Help+Manual 7.0.5!

This update focuses on updated skins. All responsive Webhelp skins have been updated and improved, with new re-designed icons with more distinctive shapes, more colors additional buttons (optional print button, a button to expand toggle-texts) and improved responsive behaviour.

Responsive Skins Updated

The updated responsive Webhelp skins are easier to customize and to translate. Background colors and icons colors have been moved to variables, all translatable texts are variables as well. So by opening one of the skins and modifying a few variables, you can easily customize the look and feel to your own needs, and translate it into your language, if required.

To customize a Webhelp skin, start with the included skin file “Webhelp, iFrames Responsive, Blue.hmskin” and make a copy of this skin. Open the copy in Help+Manual and navigate to the “Variables” configuration section as shown below. Modify colors as needed and recompile your help project with the modified skin to see the results. All text captions are implemented as variables to easy translation into other languages.

 repsonive-skins-variables

Changes, bug-fixes and improvements in 7.0.5

  • The three basic CHM skins now have an optional print button (this was implemented after several user requests, although the CHM viewer has a dedicated print button on the toolbar, but here you go)
  • Responsive Webhelp skins have new icons with a more exact shape and and additional optional print button. Colors and icon sets are implemented with variables to make changes to the look & feel much easier. All caption texts are translatable. Responsive behaviour has been improved and a small optical glitch was fixed, to adjust the vertical position of the page propertly, when linking to a topic anchor.
  • Word/DOCX export: some style combinations did not work in Word – text styles with bold and/or italic font style did not always appear bold/italic in MS Word.
  • Photoshop images: the plugin for native PSD images was defunct
  • Old Winhelp-style SHG images: converting hard-coded hotspots from manually inserted SHG files did not retain the image hotspots properly.
  • MOBI/Kindle command line compilation did not work
  • OLE equation objects: MathType equation objects did not update their size right after inserting a new equation.
  • Webhelp output with image hotspots: the CSS for image hotspots has been changed to make the hotspots work better with mobile devices (some mobile browsers ignored the hotspots, because the were initially invisible).
  • PDF manual designer: several minor improvements and one error fixed
  • PDF output with “CID font embedding”: better handling of text symbols and bullets.
  • Topic editor: when selecting an entire table with the context menu for copy & paste, the resulting paste command copied only the table cells content, but not the entire table.
  • Last, not least, we have implemented ad-hoc variables that calculate expressions. These new variables are mostly used in skins to make the end-user configuration of skins easier. More on calculation variables in a later article in this blog!

Get the update

If you have installed Help+Manual 7 already, please download and install the 7.0.5 update over your existing installation. The setup will recognize the previous installation and update it accordingly:

http://www.helpandmanual.com/downloads.html?upd

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