Help+Manual News

Premium Pack 3.40 — SVG Icons Edition

This update to the Help+Manual Premium Pack add-on adds replaceable SVG sprite icons to the user interface. It also adds a few refinements to the V3 skins and the Toolbox utility, tidies up some of the CSS and squashes a couple of small bugs (crunch crunch crunch). It is a recommended update for all Premium Pack users.

How to Get the Premium Pack Update:

SVG Sprite Icons

V3 Skins Maintenance Update

Toolbox utility maintenance update

More information

See the Premium Pack information page for general details and purchase information and the Premium Pack web-based documentation for full instructions.

No Comments

Help+Manual 7.3.2 + Premium Pack 3.35 Maintenance Update

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we have released a maintenance update for Help+Manual 7.3,2 and the Premium Pack 3.35. We encourage you to install this maintenance release over your existing version of Help+Manual.

Help+Manual New Features and Changes

  • Automatic recovery: Help+Manual 7.3.2 includes a new feature to automatically recover unsaved changes after a crash or a power failure.
  • SVG images in HTML Help (.chm): the HTML export options dialog has a new option to optionally convert SVG images to PNG.
  • HTML Help (.chm) and YouTube videos: the standard skins have been modified to avoid Javascript errors with YouTube and Vimeo web videos in CHM files.
  • Webhelp standard skins have been updated.
  • EWriter eBooks: The Premium Pack update now includes a new set of V3 skins for the EWriter format, which can also be used as an alternative to CHM.
  • TidyXML option is now enabled for repositories
  • PDF: anchor hotspots have been moved a little bit higher along the y position to improve deep jumps to topic anchors.
  • Improved Insert Link dialog: the drop-down width for the anchor combobox now has a dynamic width to accommodate even very long anchors
  • Improved list dialog

Known Issues and Bug Fixes

  • TidyXML: if TidyXML was off, protected text was not saved as protected.
  • TidyXML: bug in white-space filter (at XML read) fixed
  • Table editing: splitting a table into 2 separate tables could have led to an error
  • PDF/Print: text with character spacing <> 0 was wrong positioned., strike-through text had strike-through line slightly shorter than the text
  • Multi-user refresh: refreshing secondary TOCs did not work in multiuser-mode
  • Topic editor: topic status combo was not updated after adding a custom topic status  in Config > Common, also fixed: a rare word break bug with Russian texts
  • SVG images in Word/DOCX export: image quality has been improved, the converted PNG will have the actually displayed size of the SVG (or the original SVG size, whichever is larger)
  • Invalid characters in style names: Some characters like the hyphen (-) that can cause problems in CSS style names are no longer allowed when naming styles. In existing styles they will be converted to underscores (_) on publishing.

Download the Help+Manual Update:

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.3.2 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

Premium Pack 3.35 with V3 EWriter Skins

Together with the Help+Manual 7.3.2 maintenance update we are pleased to announce the release of Premium Pack 3.35. This update introduces a new set of  V3 skins for Help+Manual’s increasingly popular EWriter help format. The new skins bring V3’s lighting-fast topic browsing to EWriter, along with a wide range of advanced functions.

See the Premium Pack Change Log for a full list of changes and improvements in this update.

How to Get the Premium Pack 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.

No Comments

Delphi Developer Days 2017

As you probably know, we have been a proud sponsor of the Delphi Developer Days for several years and would like to remind you that DDD 2017 is coming!

Tour dates

Chicago, Illinois Sepember 25-26, 2017
Antwerp, Belgium October 9-10, 2017
Frankfurt, Germany November 27-28, 2017

 

Detailed information and registration

http://www.delphideveloperdays.com/

 

 

No Comments

Beta Test: Cloud-based HM Translation with Smartcat

Smartcat is a cloud-based translation ecosystem that is already widely used, supporting both advanced machine translation and translation by traditional human translators, or a combination of the two. Recently, customers have started asking the staff at Smartcat whether the system could process Help+Manual XML topic files. They looked into it, contacted us for the specifications and the result is now a working beta version that is ready for testing.

Call for beta testers

If you are looking for alternative ways to translate your Help+Manual documents you are invited to participate in the free beta test of the new Smartcat system. Pavel Doronin and his team would really appreciate your feedback and suggestions for possible improvements.

How to participate

You just need to register an account at Smartcat, or use your existing one if you already have one. Then send a message to the Smartcat support team at support@smartcat.ai with a request that you want to enable Help+Manual support in your account.

About H+M support in Smartcat

Currently you can import individual/multiple XML files (both topic files and TOC files), not entire projects. You can then translate them yourself, assign them to a translator or apply machine translation. Both H+M’s traditional XML and the new TidyXML introduced with version 7.3 are already fully supported.

Full project import may be added in a future update. Any and all other suggestions you may have are very welcome, of course.

No Comments

Broken YouTube videos in CHM – and how to fix it

With Help+Manual 7 we have introduced web-based videos like YouTube and Vimeo for embedding videos in help files. Especially YouTube worked like a charm in CHM files – until recently.

After a change in the YouTube scripts, the videos – when clicked to play – might trigger a Javascript error. The reason for this error is, that the script expects a “newer” version of MS Internet Explorer, it requires MSIE 9 as the minimum.

The Windows HTML Help viewer internally uses the rendering engine of MS Internet Explorer to display CHM files. By default, it runs with MSIE 7, even if a newer version is installed. To force the CHM viewer to use a newer rendering engine, it can be elevated with a HTML meta tag. We do this with all our CHM templates and skins, and the default elevation for CHM files was MSIE 8 so far. With the recent change in the YouTube scripts, it requires MSIE 9 or higher.

 

A quick and easy fix

To fix the YouTube problem, you need to apply a small change to the skins or HTML templates that you publish your CHM files with. Here is a step-by-step instruction:

  • If you publish CHM with a skin, open the skin file in Help+Manual
  • If you publish without a skin, open the help project in Help+Manual
  • In the Project Explorer, navigate to Configuration > HTML Page Templates > Default
  • Switch to the HTML source code tab
  • Locate the line with “X-UA-Compatible” in the HTML code editor
  • Change it to “IE=9” or “IE=edge
  • Publish your CHM file again

Old:

Modified:

 

This modification will be part of the next update of Help+Manual. However, your customized skins will need a manual tweak though – just follow the steps described above.

No Comments

Qt Help Format Support

We are happy to announce the immediate availability of QtHelpConverter, an add-on application for Help+Manual to create Qt Help files. With QtHelpConverter as add-on, Help+Manual now publishes help files in Qt Help format.

About Qt
Qt is a cross-platform application framework for developing application software that can be run on various software and hardware platforms.

Converts HTML Help to Qt Help

QtHelpConverter takes a compiled HTML Help/CHM file and outputs Qt help (.qch). Note that this application is not an authoring tool, it just converts a finished CHM help file to a corresponding Qt help file.

The converter is a stand-alone application and can be used with any standards-compliant HTML Help/CHM file.

For seamless integration in Help+Manual, QtHelpConverter has a command line interface to turn a CHM files created by Help+Manual into a Qt Help file. The converter application includes online help (in Qt format, of course) with detailed instructions.

QtHelpConverter is free

Download QtHelpConverter

 

 

No Comments

Help+Manual 7.3.1 Maintenance Update

We just released a maintenance update for Help+Manual 7.3,1. This maintenenance update fixes a few bugs that were still present in the 7.3.0 release.

Known Issues

  • Topic editor, paragraph options: if the options “Keep para with next” was set manually for a paragraph, the modification was not stored.
  • Optical glitch in Paragraph ribbon tab: for a paragraph with justified text, both options the “Left align” and “Justify” were displayed as “on”.
  • PDF/Print: 8-bit PNG images with bit-transparent areas appeared too transparent in PDF (transparency was applied by transparency-color, not by bit mask).
  • TidyXML: the batch change option included the reference to the schema file without a relative path. This is uncritical in Help+Manual but external validation of topic XML files might not work in this case.

Download

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.3.1 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

No Comments

Help+Manual 7.3 with TidyXML Released

We are happy to announce the release of Help+Manual 7.3. This maintenenance update includes an important new feature called TidyXML – a more streamlined XML topic format, that will help external translations of the content. The new TidyXML feature is explained in details here.

This update is free for all 7.xx users. Plus, there is an important update for the Premium Pack to version 3.30!

New Features

  • TidyXML implemented (see above).
  • Project Report: Remove Unused Images option implemented. When running the “Full Project Report”, it displays a list of apparently unused images. There is a new button per image folder to move these images to a backup folder.
  • AuthorIT Import: embedded images are now supported.
  • PDF: new option implemented to embed TrueType collections as Type3 fonts. TrueType collections are multiple fonts in one font file and cannot be embedded as TrueType (example: “MS Gothic”).
  • Syntax highlighter configuration dialog: option to save/load a configuration added.
  • Insert Link dialog box: when editing Internet Links, the dialog behaves more intelligently.
  • The function Rescue Copy has been moved from backstage view to the “Save As” function.
  • Style combo, Font and Font Size combobox: dropdown lists have been made longer.

Known Issues

  • Webhelp: XSS vulnerability fixed – all skins and default settings now handle direct context sensitive calls extremely strict, to prevent any form of cross-site scripting.
  • Improvements for high-res 4K monitors
  • PDF/Print: some rare line break problems fixed. Improved widow/orphan control at the beginning of topics.
  • PDF: PNG images with < 24 Bit color depth in PDF: these images were not transparent in the PDF file.
  • Word/DOCX: page breaks at the beginning of a topic are now placed before the topic heading and not between heading and text.
  • Word/DOCX: Several Wingdings bullets symbols did not work on non-ANSI Windows (e.g. Hebrew, Polish, Chinese, Russian).
  • Word/DOCX: links to topic names longer than 43 characters did not work.
  • Word/DOCX: an empty topic body was exported as 1 blank line, which is now suppressed (similar to PDF).
  • PDF Manual Designer: pasting a topic text placeholder somewhere else but at the topic band caused an error.
  • When changing a topic ID, references in secondary TOCs were not changed.
  • Bullet symbols on Hebrew Windows: Wingdings #250 did not work.
  • Image maps in responsive images with % width of page: optical glitch fixed, the hotspots had a small vertical offset.
  • XSLT style sheet for XML file rendering in browser: small bug fix for image search path – a relative image search path that was outside the project folder was not correctly resolved.
  • Webhelp: inline videos (MP4) were reset when clicked twice. A second click must stop the video instead of restarting it.
  • Insert Picture dialog: the padding window has improved positioning on small screens. The dialog now remembers alignment, HTML class, zoom and padding for new images.
  • HTML Help/CHM: Optical glitches in standard CHM-skins fixed.
  • Webhelp: when a blank line contained exactly 2 blanks, the line was exported as
    <p><span> </span></p>, which caused most browsers to ignore the line completely.

 

Premium Pack 3.3 Update

Together with Help+Manual 7.3 we have also released version 3.30 of the Premium Pack add-on. This update brings a major improvement to the Premium Pack Toolbox utility, adding a powerful new feature called Normalize Project Styles. This new tool can save you many hours of manual work when importing formatted text from HTML and CHM. See the Toolbox Help for details.

Version 3.30 of Toolbox also includes a feature for transferring your personal configuration from an old skin to a new one. You can select from ten different settings groups with previews to copy exactly what you need to an updated skin.

In a maintenance update to the skins themselves, a number of issues reported by users have been corrected. The formatting of drop-down menus in the CHM skins has been improved. All WebHelp skins now have an option for removing the “Score/Hits” line below each search result.

Download

Please download the update to Help+Manual 7.3 from our download page and install over your existing installation of Help+Manual.

No Comments

New Rescue Copy Feature in Help+Manual 7.3

In Help+Manual 7.3 we have removed the feature Rescue Copy from the Save menu. Instead, the feature is now implicitely integrated in the Save-As command. If you ever wondered what the Rescue Copy actually did, this topic is for you.

What the Rescue Copy did, was to create a new empty project that contained only the changes you made since you hit “Save” the last time. The idea was to save pending changes somewhere if Help+Manual could not save them to the original project.

Imagine you are running Help+Manual on your computer and open a help project from a remote file server. The server is connected through VPN and the connection depends on your Internet connection. The Internet connection breaks at some time, but you don’t notice because you are busy making changes to the project. Just when you hit “Save”… ooops! Can’t do it, Sir.

If the connection to the server is broken, Help+Manual cannot save the project to the original location. If you try, you get an error message.

(A bit of panik sets in…)

But Help+Manual suggests to save the project locally instead, using the Save-As command. Excellent idea, you say to yourself and hit Save-As…

The problem is: a “Save-As” normally creates a full copy of the original project, just saved locally. The entire content of the original project is duplicated in this case, including those topic files (on the file server) that have not been even loaded yet, because you did neither view nor change them. To do a complete Save-As, Help+Manual must load those yet-not-loaded files from the server to save them locally to the new project. Which, of course, fails if the server connection is broken, resulting in a second error message, that Save-As could not be completed.

(Tense panic now…)

At this point, it was time for the Rescue Copy. If nothing else works, the Rescue Copy would save the pending changes to a new help project to store them for later, when the connection to the server would be reestablished.

Would you have ever thought of this feature in Help+Manual, when in panic? Probably not. And this is exactly, why we removed the Rescue Copy feature. We implicitly implemented it in Save-As instead.

With Help+Manual 7.3, when the original Save operation cannot complete, because a server connection is broken, you can always use Save-As. Help+Manual will try to create a complete copy of the original project with Save-As.

If a complete copy is not possible (connection broken, remember!), it will save just the changes you made in the meantime and will report, what it could save and what it couldn’t. It is now a transparent save operation, that will work in any case and at the very least rescue all your recent work on the project.

No Comments

A great example of integrated WebHelp from Scooter Software

We recently worked with Scooter Software to better integrate their online help into their website.

Scooter makes BeyondCompare, the best multi-file comparison tool on the market. We use BeyondCompare ourselves to synchronize and merge source code changes and Scooter uses Help+Manual for producing their own documentation.

A WebHelp version of BeyondCompare’s documentation is also available online. The old version didn’t match their beautiful Steampunk theme, which we really love. That was a pity, because Help+Manual is extremely powerful when it comes to embedding help content into your website.

This has changed in their gorgeous new version, however: Starting with a draft of a new WebHelp skin that matches the design of their web pages, the web designers at Scooter then fine-tuned the skin and fully integrated it in the host pages. The result is a beautiful example of what is possible with Help+Manual with just a little extra tweaking:

http://www.scootersoftware.com/v4help/

Scooter Software Webhelp

 

,

No Comments