Help+Manual News

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Premium Pack 3.1 Update

We are delighted to announce the release of the first major update to Premium Pack 3 for Help & Manual 7. This update brings several important new features, adds a wide range of improvements and corrects a number of issues in the original skins. The update is free for all Premium Pack 3 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 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 Features in the V3 Responsive skins:

Language Files for all Skin Types
To make translations easier, the Premium Pack Toolbox utility can now export and import all the interface texts stored in your skin to and from external language files. Users can now share their language versions, which we will make available with skin updates as we receive them. German and English language files are included for all skins. 

Field-level Topics
The very popular field-level popups have now been supplemented by field-level topics. You can now display entire topic pages from your help without taking the user away from your page. Toggles, popups and even videos are supported on the pages.

URL switches for Search and Index tabs
The V3 responsive skins now support URL switches for Index and Search. You can create links to the help that open the keyword index or search tab and perform a search for a specified keyword.

Additional programming options for embedded help
We have added additional options for JavaScript programmers for handling embedded help on your pages. You can open and close the embedded help from your own scripts, and specify a “callback function” to be executed after the help opens or closes.

Blink effect for anchor targets
In the V2 skins the targets of anchor links and Auto-TOC headings blink twice briefly after you scroll to them as a cue to the user. This turned out to be so popular that users were missing it in the V3 Responsive skins. We have now restored it there and made it configurable. You can turn it off with a configuration variable.

Improvement for operation without a web server
We have corrected the jquery.history.js component to work better with Internet Explorer when displaying WebHelp locally without a web server. It now also works correctly from paths containing spaces and paths to local servers like NAS devices.

Fixes and Improvements:

The 3.1 update package includes the following fixes and improvements. Most of them apply to the new V3 Responsive skins, but we have also made some key changes to the WebHelp/EWriter skins.

V3 Responsive Skins:

  • Field-level popups can now be closed with the ESC key as well as the close icon. They can be called with the topic ID on its own, without the previously required “.js” extension.
  • Accented and umlaut characters in variables were rendered incorrectly in WebHelp output during browsing (but not on the first page). This fix requires updating to Help & Manual 7.0.9 or later
  • Anchor links to topics in popups did not scroll to the anchor.
  • Topics with multiple entries in the TOC: Selecting a duplicate TOC entry highlighted the first entry pointing to that topic instead of the one that was clicked or tapped.
  • Links to topics with anchors did not work if the links were on the default topic page (index.html).
  • Links to anchors didn’t work if the anchor name contained a dot.
  • The titles of topics defined without headers in Help & Manual did not display correctly.
  • Some interface variables were not updated in templates when they were edited.
  • If there was more than one video light box on a topic page, only the first one worked.
  • Opened image toggles did not close if the user navigated to a new topic while the toggle was open.
  • Some entries for variables and settings in PP Toolbox showed an error message even if you entered correct values (errors in the plausibility checks for some values).
  • Variables for the texts in the permalink popup were not applied when the variable texts were edited.
  • Variables in topic footer didn’t update when browsing to new topics. Topic footer failed to display on browsing without a web server.
  • Browsing WebHelp without a web server failed on some non-mapped drives, for example NAS systems in the local network.
  • Browser history sometimes failed when browsing via the TOC (back button went to the previous page instead of the previous topic).
  • Show/Hide Expanding Text hamburger menu item did not switch to “Hide” when toggles are open in a topic when the topic is first loaded.

V2 WebHelp/EWriter skins:

  • New variables for setting the maximum width of the browsing, search and index tabs and the current title displayed in the browser tab.
  • Tools in the toolbar were sometimes too widely spaced the first time the help was opened.
  • Improved topic print preview and multi-page printing for both WebHelp and EWriter.
  • New variable for setting monochrome printing (sets all text on the page to black and all backgrounds to transparent for the printout.

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EY Deploys Help & Manual to Create a Premium Information System for Utility Companies

Bronze Brandon Hall Award for Best Advance in Performance Support Technology

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EY Team Leader and OPSS developer Mary Weiler

We would like to congratulate our long-standing customer EY on winning the Bronze Brandon Hall Award for the best advance in performance support technology. EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, and they won this prestigious award for a user information and knowledge base solution based on Help & Manual.

The EY team works with utility companies who are transitioning to new customer and billing systems, acting both as the system integrator and assisting with the training of all end users.  For each company, they create a Help & Manual project with from 250-500 topics of pre-existing content that is known as the Online Performance Support System (OPSS). This functions as a knowledge base explaining the basic concepts of the new system and how to use it.

Help & Manual’s flexibility in creating multiple versions from the same source and generating output for deployment on different devices were crucial to the success of OPSS. EY took the content that they had originally developed for individual clients, removed all client-specific information and created a primary source project with the base information and base utility company procedures for these different systems. Since utility companies have electric, gas, and/or water service (or any combination of the three), they created three project build options and tagged the content with the options in the project so that they could producecustomized versions for any combination of services as required. The main knowledge base project is supplemented by a workforce management project with two builds, one for dispatchers and another that is published with the mobile skin that can be viewed on mobile devices by field workers.

For each client, the EY team produces a customized version of the Help & Manual projects, integrates the client’s data and trains the client’s staff in how to use Help & Manual so that they can maintain and update their OPSS deployment themselves on an ongoing basis. EY also assists in documenting new business processes and customizing the project to their specific needs. Using Help & Manual, the OPSS projects are then published as WebHelp for access online in normal web browsers. The system then becomes the client’s “go to” repository for all information about business policy and how to use the new system.

The first OPSS system of this type was deployed over 10 years ago and that client is still maintaining the system and even integrating their end-user QA scores in their call center in the OPSS.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com. If you would like more information about the EY OPSS, please contact sheila.gatlin@ey.com.

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A Delphi Developers Guide for 4K Displays

A new tutorial for Delphi developers covers development requirements for making Delphi applications ready for ultra-high resolution (“4K”) displays.

The tutorial comes with a demo application with full source code and covers all topics from Delphi’s UI scaling on systems with “large fonts” to per-monitor DPI-awareness on Windows 8.1:

  1. Dots per Inch explained
  2. Windows and DPI, Delphi and DPI
  3. Testing high resolutions
  4. DPI virtualization in Windows
  5. Windows 8.1 multi-montor DPI scaling
  6. Declaring DPI-awareness in Delphi
  7. Flipping DPI at runtime on Windows 8.1

 

Download link on http://www.helpandmanual.com/downloads_delphi.html

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Adobe is Spying on Users, Collecting Data on Their eBook Libraries

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A recent article from The Digital Reader revealed that Adobe’s eBook software Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) is spying on users, tracking reading habits and sending data about your eBook libraries to their servers. This has been confirmed for the latest version ADE 4, the previous version 3 is probably safe.

And just to be clear, this includes not just ebooks I opened in DE4, but also ebooks I store in calibre and every Epub ebook I happen to have sitting on my hard disk.

Read the full article here:

Adobe is Spying on Users, Collecting Data on Their eBook Libraries

 

Adobe Digital Editions is a widely used eBook reading software for Windows, in particular a reader software for ePUB and PDF, both formats published by Help & Manual.

So, these news affect you directly, if you use ADE to review eBooks created with Help & Manual and it affects the readers of your publications, if they use ADE.

We use ADE for proofreading, too. But only for that. A much better solution is the free eBook reader Calibre, which we strongly recommend.

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Premium Pack 2.32/1.59 Bugfix

The Help & Manual Premium Pack download packages for Help & Manual 6 have been updated to versions 2.32 and 1.59 correct the following bugs that were identified since the last update:

  • V 2.x WebHelp and 1.x skins: Error in browser identification
    An error in the browser identification routine could cause problems in some versions of Internet Explorer, usually in compatibility mode. This particularly affected Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7 (which is no longer supported by Microsoft and should actually no longer be used there).
  • V. 2.x WebHelp skins: Freeze on zoom with mouse wheel in Chrome, Opera and Safari
    All these browsers now use the same HTML rendering engine and are affected by the same bug. The freeze happened if the user tried to zoom before selecting the Search tab at least once, because the dimensions of the elements on the search page were still in an undefined state.
  • V. 1.x skins: Initialization error:
    A build script error in an error on startup in WebHelp generated with the Classic Dual-Mode skins.
  • Help update:
    The help topics on the iPad and mobile devices have been updated for the new compatibility with a wider range of mobile devices.

How to get the updates:

You can download and install the updated version with the same download link and installation password from the mail you received when you purchased the Premium Pack. If you no longer have this please contact support@ec-software.com and we will help you out.

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Documentation Insight supports Help+Manual

Documentation Insight from DevJet Software is a Delphi and RAD Studio plugin that helps you to document source code. It produces Webhelp, compiled HTML Help and, with the latest 2.6.9.5 update, Help+Manual project files.

Documentation Insight integrates directly into the Delphi/RAD Studio IDE. This is a huge advantage over other source code documentation tools like Microsoft Sandcastle for Visual Studio. It scans your project, whether it is a Win32 application, a DLL or a component suite, builds a documentation skeleton from properties, functions and events.

Project in the Delphi IDE

Project in the Delphi IDE

 

The Documentation Inspector is a rich text editor to document classes and procedures in place. You put the cursor to a class defined in your source code and the editor window, which as an overlay window or docks into the IDE, updates automatically to that class, function or event that you pointed to. It offers an easy editing layout for standard code documentation. Changes to the documentation are stored directly in the source code.

Documentation Inspector Window

Documentation Inspector Window

 

When you are done with editing, you set the publishing options and start generating the documentation. Though you can tweak the templates, most of the process is automatic and the resulting Webhelp, CHM or HxS file has the look and feel of classic Visual Studio documentation.

 

Publish dialog of Documentation Insight

Publish dialog of Documentation Insight

 

There is however, one limitation that has to do with source code documentation in general: formatting is limited and additional topics/chapters that are not directly related to a source code unit are impossible, because the documentation is stored in the source files, where it belongs. The new version of Documenation Insight overcomes this limitation with another publishing format: it generates the documenation in Help+Manual project format. The result doesn’t open in a browser, you can open it directly in Help+Manual, complete and formatted.

 

 

The formatted project opened in Help+Manual

The formatted project opened in Help+Manual

 

You might want to use Help+Manual to edit the project with the environment you are familiar with, before you publish it as Webhelp, compiled help or PDF manual. Or you might want to integrate the source documentation into a larger scope, as part of your application documentation, for internal use. The merge function in Help+Manual can easily integrate a separate project into a master documentation.

 

Features at a glance:

  • WYSIWYG xml documentation editor
  • Live Documentation Explorer
  • Live Spell Check
  • Generates Webhelp
  • Generates compiled HTML Help (.chm)
  • Generates Microsoft Help V2 file and integrate into RAD Studio Documentation
  • Generates Help+Manual files
  • Documentation Formatter
  • Documentation Validation
  • Support most common XML tags
  • Support collapsible region to manage documentation
  • Synchronization between code and documentation
  • Integration with VCL API Documentation
  • Integration with Help Insight
  • Hyperlink Navigation
  • Customizable Region styles
  • Several note styles
  • Code Snippet editor

Supported IDEs:

Delphi 7, RAD Studio 2007/2009/2010/XE/XE2/XE3

 Supported versions of Help+Manual:

Version 5 and 6, Basic, Professional and Server

Cost:

Documentation Insight 2 (Enterprise Edition) is €249.

Summary from the editor:

Combines the best of source code documentation and external documentation and perfectly integrates into Delphi/RAD Studio as well as Help+Manual.

Website:

http://www.devjetsoftware.com/products/documentation-insight/?source=hm

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Case study: Process documentation at SERVICE&MORE

SERVICE&MORE is a service provider to medium-sized interior design consultancies and furniture retailers who, through 2 purchasing associations, looks after more than 230 members all over Austria.

SERVICE&MORE’s extensive range of services is what predominantly sets them apart. Besides the centralized purchasing of furniture and interior décor, they also support most small and middle-sized companies in their core competencies. SERVICE&MORE provides not only service, marketing and business management, but also a diverse range of specialized services, including an extensive training program with an e-learning platform.

Assimilated process documentation

The sheer amount of information in a company makes nowadays makes it necessary to document the internal processes and procedures. What used to be depicted in Word documents, Excel sheets and HTML sites should now all be consolidated and managed centrally by two employees. Therefore, the first particular challenge was to enable a seamless integration with the internal Content Management System. The second important task was to restructure the documentation procedure in order to avoid repeating content that appears several times – quality management, also for internal documentation. The last but most important task was to make a complex system user friendly with no teething problems – simple for even those employees whose main occupation doesn’t deal with documentation.

Close collaboration with the creator of the CMS

The people who were responsible became quickly convinced by the user friendliness of Help & Manual because it made it easier for the users to concentrate on writing the content. But could the program be incorporated into the current Content Management System?

This concern was successfully addressed with “Webhelp” and the PDF Export from Help & Manual. The company’s internal CMS is a customer specific solution which delivers database driven contents, as well as, static documents (HTML sites, PDF and Word data, spreadsheets, etc.) via the internal browser network. It succeeded in achieving a space in CMS for the extensive HTML documentation to be completely incorporated into the general layout of the intranet.

Documentation workflow, CMS delivers integrated content

Re-use of existing content

Even internal processes often cross over and parts of a process are then found in other processes. In order to maintain the volume of documentation to a manageable level, these should be consolidated to avoid duplication.

That’s where Help & Manual was able to assist with a highly modular structure of the documentation project. Segments were moved to separate projects and then added again as components into the superior process documentation.

Process documentation at SERVICE&MORE

Process documentation at SERVICE&MORE

 

Implementation period: just a few weeks

In summary, we can say that integration was very successful. The software fulfills all of the stipulated technical requirements and, for the employee, all of the visible documentation is seamlessly embedded in the Content Management System.

Whereas projects of this size normally take months to implement, we were able to implement the combination with Help & Manual within just a few weeks – from the completed planning phase to going live; an advantage not to be underestimated.

About SERVICE&MORE

As a professional partner in the interior design sector, SERVICE&MORE offers medium sized companies everything they need in order to remain successful in the age of mass production providers. With the purchasing associations GARANT-MÖBEL Austria and WOHNUNION, SERVICE&MORE looks after more than 230 furniture retailers and interior designers.

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WordPress integration for Help+Manual!

Quite a few Help & Manual users have asked about options for integrating WordPress with Help & Manual output. Marc Beneteau of WordPress Academy has now responded to these requests with a third-party WordPress plugin that integrates WebHelp using the Premium Pack skins with WordPress membership sites. 
 
The plugin is primarily designed for authors and vendors who need to provide paid access to information online. You can maintain your content with Help & Manual and use the features of WordPress membership sites for providing paid access. You can see it in action in Marc’s own implementation on his WordPress Academy site here:
 

Wordpress integration for Webhelp - click on the image to see it live

 
The plugin does not require any changes to the Help & Manual skins, projects or output. You just put your HM WebHelp content online, and the plugin pulls it into your WordPress site.  
 
Write to Marc Beneteau at marc@wpacademy.tv for more information on the plugin and have a look at the main WordPress Academy website at http://wpacademy.tv/.
 
 

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