Premium Pack 2.15 Maintenance Update

The Premium Pack 2.15 update is now available for download. It adds a social sharing tool for Facebook, Twitter, Google +1, LinkedIn and Mail, support for the new Disqus 2012 commenting update and a number of other features and fixes.

New customers will get it automatically. If you already have version 2 you can get the update by downloading with the same link and personal installation password you received when you purchased. The new versions of the skins will be installed in new folders; they won’t overwrite the older versions.

Premium Pack 2.15 is a maintenance update that only affects the WebHelp and Dual-Mode Classic skins. The iPad, CHM and Smartphone skins all remain unchanged.

See this page for general information on the Premium Pack. Visit our shop page to purchase.

WebHelp Skins – New Features

  • Social Sharing tool
    You can activate a new Share tool in the WebHelp toolbar to share the current topic on Facebook, Twitter, Google +1, LinkedIn and by email.
  • Print Search Highlights
    A new configuration option (PRINT_HILITE configuration variable) allows you to include the yellow highlights in the printout when the user prints a search results page.
  • Optional Print dialog display
    A new configuration option (AUTO_PRINT configuration variable) makes activation of the Print dialog optional when the user selects the Print tool in the WebHelp toolbar. When AUTO_PRINT is set to false the print preview is displayed with an additional Print button at the top that the user must click to start printing.
  • Favicon support
    You can now include your own favicon with your WebHelp output. Favicons are the little icons that are displayed in the tabs of web pages in web browsers.
  • Open with header box closed
    Normally, the header box above the toolbar in the WebHelp interface is open when the user first accesses the help. You can now set a configuration variable (3FRAME_STARTCLOSED) that will make your WebHelp open with the header box closed by default.

WebHelp Skins — Issues and Fixes

  • Disqus comments
    The Disqus online commenting system is now updating all accounts to their new Disqus 2012 comment format. This is now identified and displayed correctly.
  • Linux browser identification
    Some Linux browsers on 64-bit Linux distributions were incorrectly identified as Android devices. This has been corrected.
  • Permalink tool caption
    The Permalink tool caption did not have a configuration variable to allow you to change the text. Now it does (HELP_URL_TITLE)

Dual-Mode Classic Skins

  • Disqus comments
    The Dual-Mode Classic skins have also been updated for the new Disqus 2012 format, to which all Disqus user accounts are being updated.

 More information:

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Help & Manual 6.2.3 Maintenance Update

This is a maintenance update, free for all registered users of Help+Manual 6!

Update v6.2.3 Build 2670

  • Project report: the “long project report” now includes a check for invalid custom builds. Use the long project report to detect broken conditional text tags. Bug fix: dead links in topics were not marked red in the report.
  • Word (RTF) export: color tables were wrong
  • Spell check, customize word list: the dialog did not scale correctly on systems with large fonts
  • Dropdown toggles: the toggle icon now got a class name “dropdown-toggle-icon” and the CSS stylesheet was extended to associate a hand-pointer cursor to all toggle icons.
  • CHM import: small bug fix for TOC entries that were child items of runtime-merge nodes
  • HPJ import: small bugfix for images that were used as links
  • Insert screenshot toggle: image padding is now memorized.
  • Splitting or copying tables which contained bullets, caused subsequent errors in editor and could crash the program
  • When a merged sub-project was deleted right after inserting it, an access violation occurred
  • If you missed the 6.2 update with really a lot of new features, please read on about the 6.2 release


Version 6.2.3 is a free update for all 6.x users. Please get the update from our download page:


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Help & Manual 6.2.2 Maintenance Update

This is a small maintenance update, free for all registered users of Help+Manual 6!

Update v6.2.2 Build 2636

  • IME positioning problems for Japanese and Korean fixed
  • In some cases, loading of snippets inside tables failed during export
  • Splitting a table into two tables caused images in the second table to temporary disappear
  • Insert image dialog box: when an image is not in the search path, H&M offered to add the path or to copy the image. A third option has been added to cancel the task.
  • If you missed the 6.2 update with really a lot of new features, please read on about the 6.2 release


Version 6.2.2 is a free update for all 6.x users. Please get the update from our download page:



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Help+Manual 6.2.1 Maintenance Update

This is a small maintenance update, free for all registered users of Help+Manual 6!

Update v6.2.1 Build 2616

  • Bugfix for snippets or wide images in numbered lists: loading caused index-out-of-bounds error 
  •  Snippets now align with the bottom of a text line, instead of “baseline”. This puts them more in line with text around it. 
  • Execute links in topic editor: now also jumps to a topic in a child project, if it is merged 
  • OLE objects have a vertical alignment property to improve the display of equations. 
  • Bugfix in HTML list output when the option “lists as text” was switched off 
  • PDF bugfix: bullets didn’t appear in Nitro Reader (Adobe Reader was ok) 
  • PDF command line publishing: when two instances attempted to open the same manual template at the same fraction of a second, one instance failed to read the template. 
  • Painting of highlighted text (text with background color) in editor did not work if the highlighted text was preceeded by a scaled image. 
  • Welcome screen, recent projects list: mouse-over now shows full path
  • Parsing problem with Premium Pack skin variables fixed 
  • HTML export of toggle icons in merged child projects did not work in certain constellations
  • XSD schema file did not define publishing tasks
  • If you missed the 6.2 update with really a lot of new features, please read on about the 6.2 release


Version 6.2.1 is a free update for all 6.x users. Please get the update from our download page:


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Premium Pack 2.1 for H&M 6 released

This is the first major update to Premium Pack 2, introducing several major new features and a wealth of improvements and enhancements. The main additions are offline web app mode for the iPad skin and integration of XCommentPro comments for WebHelp. Offline web apps mean iPad documentation can be stored locally on the iPad. It is then displayed like an app with no browser header and full support for search, and will update automatically in the background when the device is online. XCommentPro is a commercial PHP-based comments system that allows you to host your own comments rather than relying on a public provider like Disqus or IntenseDebate. It works both on the Internet and local intranets.


If you already have Premium Pack 2 this is a free upgrade. You can get the new version by using the download link in the mail you received when you purchased PP2, or just contact EC Software support for help. If you don’t already have any Premium Pack you can purchase from our online store. If you have Premium Pack 1 you can purchase an upgrade from the store.


As part of the launch of Premium Pack 2.1, Help & Manual users can get a special 50% discount on the XCommentPro commenting package. Just visit the XCommentPro store and use the coupon code PPXCOMMENT when you make your purchase.


  • Integration of XCommentPro
  • All comments are now displayed in a lightbox with scrollbar (also Disqus and IntenseDebate comments)
  • Image lightboxes have been updated: they now automatically expand within the borders of the browser window, with a zoom button for full size
  • All tabs synchronize with the TOC
  • Users can specify up to 5 topics that will be opened automatically in tabs
  • The visitor’s last tabs can be reopened automatically on the next visit (30-day cookie)
  • Comprehensive overhaul of search page layout for full compatibility with the full version of Wrensoft Zoom and better general layout
  • Email feedback: You can now alternatively enter an URL for your own email feedback page with a paramater string
  • Email-Feedback: Your email address is now only stored in one central location and can be obfuscated (anti-spam)
  • Topic title display in the browser title bar can be disabled
  • Google Chrome check to warn users trying to open WebHelp in Google Chrome without a web server


  • Pages with large images didn’t have a horizontal scrollbar if the topic had no header
  • Permalink fixes for the Metro version of IE 10
  • Fixes for videos in IE 10 Metro and Desktop versions
  • Windows 8 laptops and tablets with touch-screens are now correctly identified
  • Additional icon sets for sortable tables were missing in some skins
  • Hide search and index tools in the toolbar when the user has disabled search or index
  • Relative web links open in a new window or tab (necessary for links to other webhelp sites)
  • Solved problem with “script busy” messages shown on IE 8 for help with very long TOCs


  • Save iPad documentation as an offline web app with automatic background updating
  • Support for retina images (automatic switch)
  • Touch support for lightbox images with automatic height and width adjustment and zoom button
  • Automatic warning if iOS version is out of date
  • Update of search page layout for compatibility with the full version of Wrensoft Zoom and better general layout


  • Updates for iOS 6 (multiple issues)
  • SEO enhancements


  • Image lightboxes have been updated: they now automatically expand within the borders of the browser window, with a zoom button for viewing image full size


  • File Link Fixer failed with some file links
  • Additional icon sets for sortable tables were missing in some skins


  • Lightbox images are now supported on smartphones
  • Support for retina images (automatic switching)
  • Option: Open to TOC instead of first topic
  • Option: Load topics in background when selected in TOC


  • SEO improvements
  • Modifications for Chrome on Android (multiple issues, Chrome is still buggy)
  • Images exactly matching the device width are now resized correctly
  • Significantly improved responsiveness
  • Topics can now use any file extension, not just .htm

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TNT demo and review on FindMySoft

FindMySoft ( has written an extensive and very nice review for our capture tool TNT Screen Capture. Check out the review from the link below!

TNT Screen Capture is our freeware tool for creating stunning screenshots, with intuitive editing tools for turning them into professional illustrations for your documentation. It’s a great add-on for Help & Manual, but it can also be used as a stand-alone tool for all your screen capture needs. It is completely free for both private and commercial use!

Download Free TNT Screen Capture from FindMySoft

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Help+Manual 6.2 with SubVersion support released

We are glad to announce the availability of Help+Manual 6.2 with integrated SubVersion support!

SubVersion now directly supported!

The most important addition to Help & Manual 6.2 is active support for the SubVersion source control system. SubVersion is much more advanced and powerful than the old Microsoft Visual SourceSafe source control system currently supported. It is also free and open source, widely supported, well maintained and has an excellent range of free clients that you can choose from.


While SubVersion is the biggest new feature in 6.2 (aren’t we adding major new features in almost every free minor update?), we also implemented several improvements and fixed a couple of bugs. Most nobable are the changes to VisualStudio Help:

Changes to Visual Studio Help (.mshc format)

  • Sandcastle 2.7 now supported!
  • First of all, skins must not be used for MSHC! We don’t know why, but the MSHC indexer crashed on Premium Pack skins. It is probably the UA meta tag that confuses it, but this is beyond our scope. The Premium Pack skins are not designed for Visual Studio help and should therefore not be used for this output format.
  • Keywords: the MSHC format actually has a 2-level keyword index, although it is not displayed in VS Help. The keyword index is accessible through 3rd-party add-ons only (see and otherwise not visible. Nevertheless, we export the regular keywords now as <meta name=”Microsoft.Help.Keywords” content=”my keyword” /> tags. Just in case.
  • F1 help: MSHC supports F1 help in Visual Studio. The older HxS format did use keywords for this, so it is very likely that customers who created HxS files before, have inserted keywords for F1 help as regular keywords. H&M now exports either A-keywords as F1 help (if a topic defines A-keywords) or alternatively the regular keywords (if no A-keywords are defined).
  • Top-level TOC entries: when a help project contains multiple top-level entries in the TOC, the integration in Visual Studio gets completely messed up. Multiple top-level entries are not an error condition during the export. H&M requires exactly 1 top-level entry in the TOC, all other entries must be grouped under this one.
  • Templates and VS integration: To show a topic properly integrated in VS, the <html> tag of the topic must contain an xmlns reference to MSHelp. This reference is automatically inserted during compilation, H&M changes the <html> tag to <html xmlns=”” xmlns:MSHelp=”” xmlns:mshelp=””>

Webhelp and HTML Help

  • Help+Manual 2 Go: our little local webserver was updated to version 1.1 and includes an “Open HTML file” command in the context menu
  • Webhelp TOC inline CSS: for templates that were not updated for HM6, the inline style=”xxx” attribute was written without a blank as  separation from the preceding ID attribute.
  • Export of selected TOC entries (change): Build tags are applied to selected items as well: implicitly selected children must match the include options, explicitly selected entries are always included
  • HTML file names: special characters like ‘È’, ‘É’, ‘Ê’, ‘Ë’ are converted into their base character. ePUB, for instance, does not accept file names with characters outside the ASCII 32-126 range.
  • Lines spacing > 100% in bulleted and numbered lists was ignored, when lists were exported as text
  • Webhelp: updated version of Zoom highlighter.js script implemented.
  • Webhelp search script in PHP: the split() function has been replaced with explode() to work with PHP 5.3.2
  • Webhelp: small modifications to the Highlight.js script and to the Topic_init.js script.
  • The variable <%TOPIC_DESCRIPTION%> now returns the topic text without the “[object]” placeholder, to improve SEO

PDF user manuals

  • Small bug in hyphenation: when the first word in a sentence started with a space, H&M included a leading space to test the word for hyphenation, which led to invalid hyphenation results.
  • Embedded files in PDF did not work correctly and the embedded file cannot be found, H&M issues a compile error. Now, the error includes a link to the source topic as well.
  • Math symbols are now generalls exported as glyphs to avoid problems with embedded fonts
  • Slight baseline offset of numbered lists fixed
  • When chapters without text and without any child entries were included, the PDF outlines of siblings were wrong
  • Slovak special characters in image captions were not exported correctly (paragraph text worked fine)


  • Search path for repositories implemented, repositories can now handle images
  • Table styles from repositories were not properly linked to project
  • Bugfix when project styles were replaced by styles from a repository. The replacement function did not reset the style properties and the parent, which could have led to strange inheritance artifacts and did create problems with table styles.

General improvements and bug fixes

  • Leading and trailing spaces in variables are preserved
  • New topic IDs: lowercasing of topic ID suggestions implemented in 6.1 was actually not such a good idea. The lowercased topic IDs are much harder to read in link lists, topic lists and reports. The function has been removed, topic ID suggestions are camel-cased again.
  • Command line mode with server licenses: when no license slot was available, H&M popped out a dialog window. Now, the message is written to the command line and H&M terminates with error code 1.
  • Program start failed when main window was maximized and the project explorer was hidden.
  • Baggage file text editor automatically turns on word-wrap for content with excessive line lengths (> 1020 characters)
  • Updated topic editor: this update comes with an improved line break function and solves a rendering problem with soft hyphens, where the print space was not calculated correctly (with some fonts only), when soft hyphens were included. 
  • When copying and pasting topics in the TOC, new help context numbers are now automatically assigned
  • Font dialog and paragraph options dialog: when making changes to a text or paragraph, the style name was removed and completely replaced with modified properties. The modifications are still in place (e.g. no comparison with the original style), the style name, however, is kept.
  • Project report: snippets loaded from files or repositories created an error
  • Image hotspot editor: when moving multiple hotspots at once with the mouse, the hotspots received an invalid height
  • Topic editor now uses a smaller icon to display anchors
  • Quick search in task bar: font size is fixed
  • BackstageView: when opening the backstage view (File menu), the publish task could not be started with the ENTER key
  • New topics dialog, topic templates for new topics: in the dialog, one can select a template for the new topic and the selection is remembered as long as H&M is running. However, if H&M finds a template in the project folder, that is named Default.template.xml, it automatically defaults to this template, unless the user selects a different one.
  • Videos: when copying and pasting videos (or dragging them to a new place), the poster image disappeared and the video could no longer be edited.
  • Program options: shortcuts now support the modifier key combination SHIFT + ALT and the shortcut toolbar on top of the main window has a new entry: Refresh Topic
  • Automatic backup options: backup is not triggered anymore when an OLE container is open (the backup progress window always closes the OLE container), backup is executed less often (a small bug caused the backup function to execute even when there was nothing changed since the last backup).


Update – Build 2603, Nov 20

Version 6.2 build 2602 also introduced a new glitch: an “improved” handling of the internal status cache of XML topic files cause delays when opening large help projects with many individually assigned custom builds. This problem has been fixed with build 2603.


Version 6.2 is a free update for all 6.x users. Please get the update from our download page:



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H&M Training in Southampton, Nov. 20-21

UA Europe logo

If you’re just getting started with Help & Manual or would like to hone your existing H&M skills this course could be just the thing for you.

UA Europe is kicking off the first in a series of new training courses for Help & Manual users from November 20th – 21st in Southhampton, England. The courses will be led by Matthew Ellison,  one of the most experienced user assistance and help authoring consultants in Europe. In addition to his consulting work, Matthew also organizes the popular UA Europe conferences for technical writers and help authors.

Matthew Ellison

Matthew Ellison, consultant and trainer at UA Europe


Although it is designed for beginners and intermediate users, this course can also be very helpful for authors who have been using Help & Manual for a long time. You will probably discover many features you didn’t know about,  faster, more efficient ways of performing your authoring tasks and ways to produce better-looking output.

For more information and registration visit the course page here:

UA Europe Help & Manual Training Course


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Help+Manual 6.2 BETA with Subversion Support

We are glad to announce the availability of the first beta build for Help+Manual 6.2!

 The most important addition to Help & Manual 6.2 is active support for the SubVersion source control system. SubVersion is much more advanced and powerful than the old Microsoft Visual SourceSafe source control system currently supported. It is also free and open source, widely supported, well maintained and has an excellent range of free clients that you can choose from. Read the rest of this entry »

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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 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


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.


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