Help+Manual News

Premium Pack 2.31 & 1.58 Fine Tuning Update

The 2.31 update to the Help & Manual Premium Pack is now available, along with the 1.58 update for the version 1 skins for Help & Manual 6. This update adds some fine-tuning to the Android and Windows Touch compatibility of the WebHelp and Classic (version 1) skins and also adds compatibility with Windows Phone 8 to the 2.31WebHelp skins and Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7 compatibility to the 1.58 Classic skins.

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.

New Features and Improvements:

  • Windows Phone support:
    The version 2.31 WebHelp skins will now also work with Internet Explorer Mobile in Windows Phone 8 devices and the Classic 1.58 skins support both Windows Phone 8 and Windows phone 7. Support cannot be implemented for Windows Phone 7 devices for the newer skins because the old version of Mobile Internet Explorer lacks the necessary features.
  • Better mobile device identification:
    The routines for identifying mobile devices have been improved significantly. Among other things, Windows 8 touch devices are now identified reliably and in most cases it is also possible to distinguish accurately between Android phones and Android tablets.
  • Selective redirect performance:
    When you set the REDIRECT_SMARTPHONE variable in the 2.31 WebHelp skins only smartphones will be redirected (Android phones, iPhones, Windows Phone 7 and 8 and all older incompatible phones). Android tablets will not be redirected. If you leave the variable empty Android phones, iPhones and Windows Phone 8 devices will display the help and other incompatible phones will see the incompatible device page. The redirect variables in the 1.58 skins can now also distinguish between Android phones and tablets. Similarly, the new REDIRECT_ANDROIDTABLET configuration variable in the smartphone skins makes it possible to redirect Android tablet users visiting the phone version to a more comprehensive version of your help using one of the other skins.
  • Toolbar adjustment on mobile devices:
    The icons in the WebHelp toolbar are now shown and hidden dynamically to make sure that the toolbar cannot break the layout on smaller mobile devices. The least important tools are hidden first and the most important tools are redisplayed first.
  • Improved Windows 8 Touch compatibility:
    Improved support for Windows Touch devices (laptops and tablets with touch screens running Windows 8 and 8.1). Windows 8.1 is preferable because its touch support is significantly better.
  • Default title bar text:
    The default TOPIC_IN_TITLEBAR_CONTENT setting in the 2.31 WebHelp skins is now topic by default instead of project so that the <title> tag in the main page contains the topic title only. This may provide better search engine performance.
  • iPhone, iPad and Android compatibility in the 1.58 skins:
    A number of general tweaks have been made to the support for these devices in the 1.58 Classic Dual-Mode Skins to provide better display scaling and general accessibility.

Bug fixes and issues:

  • The version numbers in some of the files in the WebHelp skins were not updated correctly in version 2.30.
  • Some Windows 8 Touch devices fired double events in response to taps in the menus and some other controls of the 2.30 WebHelp skins, which made them open and then close again immediately. This is now fixed in 2.31.

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Premium Pack 2.30 Update Supports Android and Windows Touch

The 2.30 update to the Help & Manual Premium Pack is now available and adds several important and valuable new features. Many of these features have also been added to the simultaneous 1.57 update for the original Premium Pack 1 skins for Help & Manual 6.

How to get the updates for 2.30 and 1.57: 

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.

New Features:

Android Compatibility:

Both the dedicated WebHelp skins and the Classic Dual-Mode skins are now compatible with current Android tablets and smartphones, with fast touch response and rotation support. With Firefox or Opera for Android it is even possible to use them with older Android devices, back to 2.3.6 Gingerbread. The dedicated smartphone skins are also still available, of course.

Windows Touch Compatibility:

Similarly, the skins will now also work with Windows 8 touch devices like the Microsoft Surface and other Windows 8 tablet/laptop hybrids and Windows 8 laptops with touch screens. This will work best with Windows 8.1, which has radically improved support for this functionality.

Current topic URL in browser Address bar:

The WebHelp, Classic Dual-Mode, iPad and Smartphone skins now all show the real URL to the current topic in the browser Address: bar as soon as the topic is loaded (index.html?topic.htm#anchor). This works in all modern browsers and Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 and higher. IE 9 and earlier do not support this function and show the same static URLs as before.

Changes for New Google Indexing Behavior:

Google no longer indexes pages that automatically reload themselves. To accommodate this, topic pages in WebHelp now no longer automatically reload themselves with the table of contents when they are linked to directly, for example from search result links. Instead, the topic opens on its own with a highlighted link or button at the top with which the user can display the table of contents.

Open in a New Tab from the Table of Contents:

As a result of the Google change, it is now also possible to use the browser’s “open in new tab” function to open topics in a new tab or window from the links in the TOC. Changes have been made to ensure that this works smoothly.

Bug fixes and issues:

A number of smaller issues reported by some users have also been fixed in this update.

WebHelp Skins:

  • Disqus comments in Google Chrome displayed incorrectly due to changes in Disqus’ iFrame behavior.

  • Topics opened on their own without the TOC displayed incorrectly in some versions of Internet Explorer

Dual-Mode Classic Skins:

  • On some systems it was necessary to activate Compatibility Mode in Internet Explorer 9 to prevent the Classic skins from displaying a blank page in WebHelp. This is now no longer necessary.

CHM Skins:

  • When the file link fixer function was active KLinks and ALinks inserted with the Script Link function (for example for automated See Also lists) failed because the links were incorrectly converted.

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Help+Manual 6.4 Maintenance Update

We are glad to announce the release of Help+Manual 6.4! This is a free maintenance update for all registered 6.xx users.

Besides several small changes and improvements,  we have added the functionality to conditionally include/exclude entire table rows and columns. Help & Manual always had extensive support for conditional text on chapter, topic and text level. Excluding entire table rows or columns, however, was not possible and this has been changed:

The second new feature is about translation of images. Impict, the full featured image editor that comes bundled with Help & Manual, can batch process translated texts. To explain it simply, you save the text fields of Impict images to XML files, let them translate, then re-import the translation into the original image. Manually. If anything changes, the process needs to be repeated. With version 6.4 you can do the re-import and export to another image format in a batch process, folder by folder, not image by image.

Minor changes

  • Webhelp: sitemap url can contain user variables.
  • Webhelp: Default for FORCETOCSYNC setting in configuration changed to FALSE.
  • Webhelp: small bug fix, the file that contains HTML popup topics was not released after Webhelp export, effectively locking it until H&M was closed.
  • Webhelp main skin changed, so that TOC is no longer automatically synchronized. TOC link implemented in header with rel=”nofollow” attribute.
  • PDF/Print: wrong page break calculation caused floating images on the first line of a topic to hang off the bottom of the page.
  • Toggles (dropdown texts) in PDF: when “no icon” is specified, H&M removes the indentation before the text heading, toggle images with caption were exported as left aligned.
  • Toggle images: when using the variable <%HMFIGURECOUNTER%> in the title or caption of a toggle image (and using the same settings for expanded/collapsed), the counter was incremented twice.
  • Toggle images: using a percent “%” character in the title or caption of a toggle caused a runtime Javascript error (the script in helpman_topicinit.js did a decodeURI for every attribute, not just for the hm.srcX attributes.
  • ePUB: rare TOC export error fixed (chapter heading without text and no sub-entries caused H&M to stop the compilation).
  • Multiple ampersands in text caused Russian text to be not converted in CHMs on a Russian windows system.
  • Bugfixes topic editor: when inserting rows or columns in a table and the context menu was called by pressing the Windows menu button, H&M created an AV (in Richview, actually). Word-break before parantheses was possible such as in function();. Bullets problem on Polish Windows 7 fixed (Wingdings #216 and #217 were not displayed correctly). Inserting new videos: the text style “Image Caption” is now applied by default.
  • When creating a link with drag & drop from the TOC into a topic and the source project was not identical with the target project, the project reference was not assigned.
  • RTF export: small bug fixed, when duplicate chapter headings (non-topics) were not repeated
  • Invalid PNG images could crash H&M
  • CHM import: when a CHM contained ambigious image names (duplicate images in different internal folders), the image names were not correctly resolved in some cases (e.g. with “..\myfolder\image.jpg”)
  • Positioning of dialog windows on secondary monitors improved, positioning of the image padding popup window on secondary monitors was wrong.
  • Full project report: videos and video preview images are reported. Furthermore, when toggle image used a different picture for collapsed view, this picture was missing in the project report.
  • Subversion: updated message when connecting to an SVN repository, plus an OK message when successful. Host address is internally lowercased to avoid crash with SVN, URL protection added to browsing function.

 

 

Download link:

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

 

 

 

 

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Sneak Preview: Help & Manual 6.4

We are currently working on the next maintenance update, Help & Manual 6.4, which will include two major new features, though we classify it as a free minor update. A beta version is available already – use the download link at the end of this article.

So, what’s cooking?

After several requests, we have added the functionality to conditionally include/exclude entire table rows and columns. Help & Manual always had extensive support for conditional text on chapter, topic and text level. Excluding entire table rows or columns, however, was not possible and this has been changed:

This is new: include/exclude entire table rows and colums with text conditions

The functionality for tables is included already, you can try this with the beta version below. Before you start working, please have a quick look at the help file regarding tables and conditions.

The second feature is not implemented yet, it is all about translation of images. Impict, the full featured image editor that comes bundled with Help & Manual, can export texts used in a picture and re-import it, after a translation for instance.

The new thing is that we are going to implement batch processing for translated texts in Impict. This allows you to apply translations to all images of a project in one easy step. Please stay tuned for this feature!

 

SEO changes…

Another change does not so much concern Help & Manual itself, but search-engine optimization of H&M’s Webhelp output. We’ve got to admit it: after a recent change in Googles indexing algorhythms, H&M’s Webhelp output is no longer indexed. Not fully. Bad. Really bad.

For H&M’s search engine optimization, we work with the best SEO experts south of Berlin who happen to be almost-neighbors, located just one block down the Franz-Josef-Straße. It turned out that our sophisticated automatic redirect (when a Webhelp topic is loaded outside the navigation context), which used to work for years, does not anymore. Other actions such as canonical links don’t influence this, either. Google’s become smarter.

As a quick fix, we suggest to simply turn off the redirect as shown in the image below:

Turn off automatic redirect for SEO

I will write a detailed article how to best handle these changes with the release of the update. Version 6.4 is planned to be shipped by the end of September.

 

Download link (6.4 beta):

http://download.ec-software.com/help-and-manual-setup-v635.exe

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Premium Pack updates for H&M 6.3

The Premium Pack 1.x and 2.x packages have both been updated for compatibility with Help & Manual 6.3. This was necessary to support the new option that makes it possible to link to CHM context ID numbers with URLs in WebHelp, so that your programmers can use the same IDs for linking to both CHM help files and the WebHelp versions. In addition to this all three packages (including 1.x for HM5) have also been updated to correct a couple of very obscure potential cross-site scripting vulnerabilities that we have become aware of (to the best of our knowledge, these have never been exploited). And as an additional freebie, the 1.56 update package for HM6 now also includes the full 2.20 version of the iPad skin with offline web app support.

How to get the updates:

If you are a registered user of any of these Premium Pack packages (1.x for HM5, 1.x for HM6, 2.x for HM6) you can get the new 1.56 and 2.20 versions with the download link and installation key you received when you purchased the Premium Pack. If you have misplaced those please contact support AT ec-software.com (replace the AT with @)  and we will help you out.

Change Log

In addition to the above, the following minor fixes and improvements are included in the updates: Read the rest of this entry »

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Help+Manual 6.3: Webhelp with context numbers and revised import

We are glad to announce the release of Help+Manual 6.3! This is a free update for all registered 6.xx users.

The focus for this update was on the import functions – Winhelp, Robohelp, HTML and Word/RTF import have been revised or completely reimplemented. The Winhelp (.hlp) import in particular has become significantly faster, Robohelp import reads more project details (e.g. conditional text), Word/RTF import now fully resolves in-document links and the generic HTML import has got extended import options.

The second most important new feature is about Webhelp: Help & Manual’s Webhelp has always been context-sensitive and you could display a particular topic by referencing the topic ID after the question mark in the url. Now, we added context numbers as well! Help & Manual 6.3 exports Webhelp with context numbers that can be called alternatively, similar to the context-sensitive help calls in HTML Help.

Furthermore, we have added new features to the UI to improve usability and implemented an option to exclude topics from full-text search in CHM files.

Last, not least, we have fixed several bugs in Visual Studio Help (.mshc), especially with multiple projects.

Adjustable font size for the main window UI

 

New features in version 6.3: 

  • Webhelp: context numbers implemented
  • Webhelp: after publishing H&M now automatically opens the selected topic in the browser (like with CHM files). This will illustrate how to use Webhelp with context-sensitivity, without explaining it with lots of words.
  • Webhelp: sitemaps are split if they exceed the maximum size of 50.000 urls or 10 megabyte in size
  • HTML Help (.chm): topics that start with an underscore “_” can be excluded from search (new option in HTML > Misc)
  •  New editor option (in File > Program Options): smart selection. If switched off, the topic editor uses a character-only selection, more suitable for Asian languages.
  • Main window UI: menus now use system font size instead of hard-coded font size. The View tab has a new option to adjust the menu font size relatively to the system font (smaller/default/larger).
  • Topic editor, ruler above editor: the ruler got a context menu to quickly access the paragraph options and to customize the topic editor
  • Topic editor: when making selected text a keyword, soft hyphens are filtered out
  • PNG images in editor show alpha transparency
  • Insert link dialog: some accelerator keys changed
  • Insert Picture (Write tab): a second link to the screen capture tool has been inserted in the drop-down menu of this button for easier access. 
  • Synchronize tool now handles repositories

Revised document import:

  • Winhelp (.hpj) import: this function has been completely reimplemented, making it significantly faster and more accurate when resolving links.
  • HTML Help (.chm) import: improved style handling, small bug fixes.
  • Word/RTF import: in-document links are now resolved, one rare case of crash has been fixed.
  • Generic HTML import: improved style handling and extended import options implemented.

Other bug fixes, changes and improvements:

  • Visual Studio Help (.mshc): problems with toggles fixed for VS 2012. The MSHC server modifies the HTML source at runtime and inserts hard-coded image path to every image, breaking our toggle images. The new toggle script now preserves any existing path and re-uses it.
  • Problem fix for Webhelp: collapse unfocused entries delivery false positives in some cases (javascript fix) and a script leak in the frame template was fixed to prevent cross-site scripting.
  • Find & Replace: bugfix when doing a bulk search with “whole word”, when clicking an entry of the result list, the first instance of the search term was highlighted regardless of the “whole word” option.
  • Topic editor and spell checker: the characters « and » are now recognized as quote characters.
  • PDF output: named destinations did not work in some cases. Named are now all exported as lowercase. Furthermore, the strikethrough format was not placed correctly and the trademark ™ symbol forced entire line to be exported as glyphs, which has been fixed. Also changed: you can now use variables with the owner and user password.
  • Subversion: modal dialog problem fixed, bug fix for German umlauts in project names.
  • Project report: images that exist in baggage files only, were flagged as “missing” in the full project report, snippets located in the project were wrong.
  • Snippets: when inserting snippets as a copy, the snippet styles were not correctly applied. Switching between screen and print preview did not switch the linked snippets.
  • HTML Help (.chm): if the CHM window title contained double quotes, they were not properly replaced by single quotes (MS HTML Help Workshop cannot deal with double quotes in the window title).
  • After performing “Save as”, some table of contents entries could become read-only when a right-click on the TOC was performed right after this.
  • Minor glitches in EPUB fixed.
  • Problem with SourceGear Vault VCS fixed.

 

Download

Version 6.3 is a free update for all 6.x users. Please get the update from our download page: http://www.helpandmanual.com/downloads.html

 

 

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Official beta of Help & Manual 6.3 available for download

We are glad to announce the official BETA version of the upcoming Help & Manual 6.3 release!

Download here:
http://download.ec-software.com/help-an … p-v630.exe

Please note, that this setup will attempt to overwrite any existing 6.x installation. This beta version is stable, but – well, it is a beta version. Please post any questions or feedback to the user forum at:

http://helpman.it-authoring.com/ 

What’s new?

The major focus for this update was on the import functions. We have completely reimplemented the Winhelp (.hpj) import and improved HTML, CHM and RTF/Word import. So when you are testing this beta version, please take a look at the import functions.

Import functions

  • Winhelp (.hpj) import was completely reimplemented and should work flawlessly. Because we eliminated and reimplemented the old RTF parser, this function has become at least 10 times faster than before.
  • RTF/Word import: besides a few smaller glitches that concerned font sizes, Help & Manual now properly resolves in-document links and external links. Embedded images are still numbers (because they don’t have names) but are named with a project prefix. Multiple imports of the same RTF document will produce the same images again.
  • HTML and CHM import: the import options have a new selection, to filter the first <H2> tag of a HTML page and use it as topic header. Style naming has been improved and in some cases, German umlauts and special characters caused unwanted line breaks (bugfix). Also fixed: HTML pages with colored background are filtered out and imported as white.

Webhelp export

The Webhelp output now implements help context numbers for easier context sensitive help.  For details, please refer to this help topic in the online version of the help  (note that this is a context number call):

http://www.helpandmanual.com/help/index … extid=7380

Note: to enable help context calls for your own Webhelp system, you need to either reset the Webhelp navigation template, or – if you are using a skin, tweak the template of the skin file. The next update of the Premium Pack will include the necessary modifications.

User interface improvements and bug fixes

  • Main window UI: menus now use system font size instead of hard-coded font size. The View tab has a new option to adjust the menu font size relatively to the system font (smaller/default/larger).
    New HM UI font setting

    A new font adjustment setting is available for the Help & Manual user interface

  • Topic editor, ruler above editor: the ruler got a context menu to quickly access the paragraph options and to customize the topic editor
  • Topic editor and spell checker: the characters « and » are now recognized as quote characters.
  • Topic editor – new option in File > Program Options: Smart selection. If switched off, the topic editor uses a character-only selection, more suitable for Asian languages.
  • Topic editor: checkbox “Topic has separate header” made a bit smaller (not full width)
  • Topic editor: PNG images in editor show alpha transparency
  • Topic editor: When making selected text a keyword, soft hyphens are filtered out
  • Find & Replace: small bugfix when doing a bulk search with “whole word”
  • Mini-glitch in topic spell check changed (referenece viewtopic.php?f=30&t=12419&p=50840 )
  • SubVersion: bug with German umlauts in project names fixed
  • Project report: images that exist in baggage files only, were flagged as “missing” in the full project report
  • Insert link dialog: some accelerator keys changed
  • Insert table dialog: number of rows was limited to 999 rows
  • Projects files: the file list was refreshed too often when expanding the project files section, causing delays with large projects
  • PDF export: strikethrough format was not placed correctly
  • EPUB export: minor glitches fixed

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Win a ticket to the dotnet Cologne 2013 conference on May 3

On May 3. EC Software will once again be exhibiting at the dotnet Cologne, our favorite conference in Germany for the .NET development community. We are raffling off two full tickets for the conference. For a chance to win one of them, just post a comment/answer to our Facebook posting about the conference, the winners will be chosen from everyone who responds:

Click here to respond to the Facebook posting for a chance to win a free ticket

Click here to visit the dotnet Cologne website

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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

Download

Version 6.2.3 is a free update for all 6.x users. Please get the update from our download page: http://www.helpandmanual.com/downloads.html

 

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