Help & Manual 4.2 build 1062

Posted on Thursday, Dec 14 2006 @ 17:36 CET by

Version 4.2 is the second major update to Help & Manual 4. It adds four key new functions that many users have been asking for: Expanding text and images, search & replace for styles, support for Unicode and Asian languages in both HTML templates and PDF and support for right-to-left languages. In addition to this a large number of small modifications, improvements and bugfixes have been made in response to user feedback and requests.

In addition to this, Version 4.2 also includes a fully-updated set of tutorial projects and templates, which you can find in the Samples folder in the Help & Manual program directory. These projects include a new non-scrolling header template that works in both HTML Help and Browser-based Help and a template for creating help for Pocket PC.

NEWS: Winhelp is no longer supported in Windows Vista!
Please note that support for the Winhelp format has been completely discontinued in Microsoft Windows Vista. Even if your applications run under Vista, any calls to Winhelp help will simply produce an error message. This also applies to dual-mode popups in HTML Help. We thus strongly recommend that you start transitioning to an alternative help format as soon as possible. See here for details.

New features in Version 4.2:
  • Toggles: Expanding sections, inline text and images.
      This function is accessed with Insert > Toggle. It allows you to create expanding sections (like this one), expanding inline text and expanding images with just a couple of clicks. This function is only available in the Professional version of Help & Manual.
  • Search & Replace Styles
      This function makes it radically easier to integrate imported formatted text in your Help & Manual stylesheets. In addition to this you can replace manual inline formatting with new or existing named styles, replace the styles applied to texts with different styles or even turn named styles into inline formatting.
  • Support for right-to-left languages
      The language settings in Project Properties > Common Properties > Language Settings now include a new setting for right-to-left languages like Hebrew, Arabic and Farsi in HTML Help and Browser-based Help. Support is not yet available in PDF and printed manuals.
      Activating this option switches the entire Help & Manual system to right-to-left mode, including the Table of Contents and all other relevant components.
      This setting is still experimental and we welcome feedback on it from users who work with right-to-left languages in Help & Manual.
  • Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7 compatibility
      Help & Manual 4.2 is fully compatible with Windows Vista RC2 and also with Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP and Windows Vista.
      Since support for WinHelp is no longer going to be available in Windows Vista we have converted Help & Manual's own help system to use CHM only (in earlier versions we used dual-mode help with an additional Winhelp file containing the popups for the What'sThis? help popups displayed within the main application). Now the standard HTML Help plain-text popups are used.
      Please note that you still can compile Winhelp .HLP files with Help & Manual under Windows Vista, you just can't view or use them.
  • Unicode support in HTML templates
      In earlier versions it was not possible to use Unicode in the HTML templates used to generate topic pages because the were encoded in ANSI. These are now completely encoded in UTF-8 Unicode, so that it is possible to include texts in any language in your templates.
      Warning: You may have to edit your templates if you have been using double-byte encoded characters in them! For example, if your templates contain Russian text and you did not export your HTML as UTF-8 encoded this will have worked on Russian versions of Windows in version 4.15 and earlier. This was not Unicode, however, it was double-byte encoded ANSI. This means that it won't work in 4.2: The strings will appear garbled in your output because Help & Manual now treats the templates as UTF-8 encoded Unicode. Western languages will not be affected because UTF-8 is compatible with single-byte ANSI text.
  • New PDF engine with support for Unicode and Asian languages
      Help & Manual 4.2 includes a completely new PDF engine with full support for Asian CID fonts. While all other output formats of Help & Manual already had full support for Unicode, the old PDF engine did not. This has now been corrected.
  • New version of the full-text search module for Browser-based Help
      Version 4.2 incorporates the latest improved version of the third-party module for generating full-text search in Browser-based Help.
  • Compatibility with MojoPac
      MojoPac is a program that allows you to store your entire Windows environment and your most frequently-used programs on a USB 2.0 thumb drive, an iPod or an external hard drive. When you plug the device into any Windows computer you can work on your own Windows desktop with your own applications without affecting the computer you are working on in any way.
      Help & Manual 4.2 is now fully compatible with MojoPac so that you can take your entire help authoring environment with you and use it on any Windows computer.
  • Mode for testing Browser-based Help locally in Internet Explorer
      A new option in the Compile dialog makes it possible to test your Browser-based Help output on your local computer in Internet Explorer without triggering the yellow "dangerous content" warning bar.
  • Updated and new tutorials and sample projects
      All the tutorial and sample projects included with Help & Manual have been completely rewritten and expanded and some new projects have been added. New features include:
      • A template for creating help for Pocket PC (Pocket PC Help)
      • A new non-scrolling header template that works both in HTML Help and Browser-based Help, including full printing support with a Print button and generation of a printer-friendly version (DHTML Examples)
      • The latest version of the project template for Help & Manual's own help, incorporating all the new non-scrolling template features (H&M Help Template)
      • Tutorials showing you how to create your own non-scrolling headers, navigation buttons with mouseover effects, print links and buttons, CSS styles for hyperlinks, CSS styles for the TOC in Browser-based Help, background images in the TOC and topics and more (DHTML Examples)
      • A tutorial on how to use conditional output (Conditional Output)
      • A tutorial on how to work with modular help systems, including instructions for using A-Links to link between modules (Modular Help Systems)
  • New tooltips in HTML-based outputs:
      You can now enter tooltip texts for hyperlinks, image hotspots and images. The field for this is called Title: and it exports the text as the HTML title attribute. In image hotspots this attribute is also exported as the alt attribute.
  • Copy, Cut & Paste for image hotspots
      You can now use copy, cut and paste in the image hotspots editor (right-click for a context menu).
  • IDs for images and tables
      You can now enter IDs for images and tables, which are exported in HTML-based output formats and can be used for your own purposes. Note that if you enter IDs in tables used in expanding section toggles the toggle will overwrite your ID with its own. This is necessary for the functionality of the toggle. You can get around this problem by entering your own ID for the table explicitly in the Insert Hotspot dialog.
  • Active support for Thai in HTML import
      HTML files written in Thai are now handled correctly when they are imported to new or existing Help & Manual projects.
  • Syntax highlighting improvement
      Tab stops are now automatically converted to four hard spaces when formatting source code examples.
  • Improved section recognition in keyword index
      When you add your own section letters to the keyword index Help & Manual will also list and assign the keywords correctly, also for foreign letters.
Other improvements and minor changes and fixes:
  • Embedded topics now integrate better, all problems with additional space after embedded topics have now been resolved.
  • The Image Folders section in Project Properties has been improved. The dialog now supports multiple selections, handles the Delete and Insert keys and when you add folders you will be automatically prompted to add sub-folders if they exist. Both the full path to the folders and the saved relative paths are now displayed below the folders list when you select a list entry.
  • HTML import now also supports Thai text.
  • The syntax highlighter now replaces tab stops with 4 hard spaces.
  • Page numbering in PDF and printed manuals has now been changed so that top-level intro pages now get the number xx-1 instead of 0, which sometimes caused even numbers to be displayed on right-hand pages.
  • Full-text search in Browser-based Help now also handles German typographic quote characters.
  • Images with captions are now centered correctly in HTML
  • Several import issues have been corrected for RTF, HTML, CHM, RoboHelp and HLP data
  • Additional checks are now performed for images stored on removable drives.
  • Startup error caused by invalid or missing printer drivers corrected.
  • A cosmetic issue with partially-selected images in the editor has been corrected.
  • Tab stops on colored backgrounds are now displayed correctly in all PDF output.
  • Incorrect word breaks with some rare large fonts on Windows 2000 corrected.
  • Image and movie filename case conversion corrected for Linux and Unix servers.
  • Countless other minor corrections and cosmetic improvements.

Program Information

Tools and Utilities

4.2 build 1062
Works on:

Product page: here

Download: Help & Manual 4.2 build 1062

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