Help+Manual News

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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Dakota Systems offers Help+Manual training in Chicago

Dakota Systems, a leader in enterprise publishing and content management, and EC Software, makers of Help+Manual, today announced a partnership to sell and deliver training for the help authoring tool.

Dakota Systems is a privately-held corporation headquartered in the heart of downtown Chicago, IL, USA. Specializing in content management and XML publishing solutions, Dakota has gained industry recognition of its content delivery services for customers around the world.

“We are excited about the prospects of working with EC Software,” said Brian Buehling, Managing Director of Dakota Systems. “Help+Manual is a program that has many unique advantages over other help authoring tools. Its great user interface delivers much of the functionality of a high end component content management system in an affordable program.”

For both beginning and advanced Help+Manual users, Dakota provides training courses that are customized for the requirements of each organization. To learn more, please visit www.daksys.com.

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Author-it Import (Beta) in Help+Manual 7.1

We are close to beta release Help+Manual 7.1, the next free minor update scheduled for April 2016, and we are looking for beta testers in particular for the new Author-it import.

Help+Manual 7.1 will support the latest version of Team Foundation Server, Microsoft Sandcastle and comes with a new import format: Author-it XML project files. We plan to import Author-it projects as precisely as possible to offer a seamless transition from Author-it to Help+Manual.

If you are interested in beta testing the new version, any of the new features above but in particular the Author-it import, please send an email to support@ec-software.com for an invitation to the beta test.

hm710-ait-import

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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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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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