Help+Manual News

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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Russian Help & Manual user forum available

There is now a new addition to the Help & Manual online community: Russian users of Help & Manual can discuss the program with other users on the Russian user forum managed on the Techwriters.ru site:

Main forum site:

http://techwriters.ru/forum/

Help & Manual section:

http://techwriters.ru/forum/forum636/ 

Note that this is an independent user forum that is not managed by EC Software. See this page for all the user forums now available for Help & Manual:

http://www.helpandmanual.com/support_forum.html 

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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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Help+Manual 7.0 Build 3630

We have updated Help+Manual 7 build 3630!

This update fixes an error that occurred when importing RTF or CHM files and makes a change to the table columns sizing rules: when a table column has a dedicated (small) width and the table cell contains a fixed-sized image that is larger than the dedicated width, the image stretches the table column to the required width, like a web browser does. This is the desired behaviour and that’s how it was in H&M version 6. With the new responsive images, this little detail went missing and was hard to detect, because in most cases, table columns are sized to fit their content. But it broke a few older H&M projects with table colums that were (unintentionally) too small.

Another change has been made to the syntax highlighter and the spell check configuration to automatically read the configuration of a previously installed version 6. Those settings are highly customizable and carrying them over from an older version is just more convenient.

New Style Shortcuts

The shortcuts customization list in Program Options includes 3 new shortcuts to directly open the style list and font name/size lists with the keyboard:

new-style-shortcuts

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Help+Manual 7 Maintenance Update

We have updated Help+Manual 7 build 3625! This update fixes a couple of smaller issues in the recent 7.0 release and is recommended for all 7.0 users.

  • Manual designer: drawing error with tiled bitmaps
  • Topic editor: executing links to anchors in the same topic with CTRL+Click did not work
  • Project explorer, TOC: 2 icons were mixed up
  • Spell check configuration dialog: access violation error in some rare situation fixed
  • Spell check dictionaries: German dictionary changed
  • $ symbols at the beginning of topic IDs are permitted again, except for TFS, because TFS cannot handle files starting with a $ symbol
  • DOCX export: variables were not always replaced when publishing the document
  • RTF import: problem with Unicode bullets fixed
  • Variables in the publish tasks were not used in command line mode, if the variable replaced a pre-defined variable
  • Comments when shown as icon could not be made fullsize again in the dialog.
  • Improved Find & Replace function

Furthermore, we have updated the responsive skins that are shipped as standard skins with Help+Manual to improve compatibility with older mobile browsers.

This is, however, not the last update on the new skins. After the release of Help+Manual 7, we got a lot of feedback on the new responsive Webhelp and we are still working on new skins, to integrate your wishes and requirements. Stay tuned for updated and new skins with more configuration options in the next couple of weeks. Those upcoming minor updates, as well as this one, are of course free for registered v7 users.

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Team Foundation Server Bug Fix

We have updated Help+Manual 7 build 3608! This update fixes a few bugs in the recent 7.0 release.

The most important bug fix concerns the support for Microsoft Team Foundation Server version control. If you are using Help+Manual with TFS, we strongly recommend to install this update!

Other small issues, fixed in this update, are:

  • Variables in tables – in very rare cases, variables placed inside table cells were not replaced during publishing
  • Embedded pictures with a color depth of 32 bit were not properly converted to PNG (this affected binary picture data embedded in text, not linked images)

Last, not least, we have implemented a new configuration option to enable or disable the mouse-over highlight feature of the new picture hotspots. The automatically highlighted hotspots in pictures when the mouse hovers over it were not everyone’s cup of tea. Now you have the choice: disabling this feature makes image hotspots as invisible as in older versions of Help+Manual:

highlight-hotspots-option

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Premium Pack 2.70 Update

Help & Manual Premium Pack 2 has now been updated to version 2.70 for Help & Manual versions 7 and 6. The main reason for the update from 2.51 to 2.70 is to support some key new features in Help & Manual 7. In addition to this, a problem with the social sharing popup has been corrected in the WebHelp skins (the Twitter button was sometimes displayed before the popup was opened).

The update is fully compatible with Help & Manual 6 but the new HM7 features are not relevant there, of course.

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.

Scaleable CHM files for high-resolution screens

CHMs produced by Help & Manual 7 can scale gracefully on high-resolution screens so that the text is not too small to read. The CHM skins now include larger versions of the navigation and menu icons that are used automatically at higher resolutions. These icons also benefit Help & Manual 6 users, but the scalable content features are only available for CHMs published with Help & Manual 7.

Support for the new EWriter help and eBook format

In the Help & Manual 7 version the WebHelp skins can be used in the new EWriter help format that is an exciting alternative to CHM for Windows application help. It gives you WebHelp in a single file, with full support for context help links to topics and anchors. EWriter replaces the Windows EXE eBook format in Help & Manual 7. This feature cannot be used at all in Help & Manual 6.

Improved Smartphone skins

The smartphone skins have been updated with higher-resolution TOC icons, larger TOC text and wider TOC entry spacing to conform to Google’s requirements for mobile-friendly sites. This is also fully supported in Help & Manual 6.

Classic Dual-Mode skins

There have been no changes to the Dual-Mode Classic skins in this update. Their version number and content remain the same.

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