HelpNDoc

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HelpNDoc
HelpNDoc Logo.png
HelpNDoc Logo
Developer(s) IBE Software
Initial release December 2004; 11 years ago (2004-12)
Stable release 4.9.2.132 / January 12, 2016; 7 months ago (2016-01-12)
Written in Delphi
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Platform PC
Available in English, French
Type IDE
License Proprietary
Alexa rank 472,651[1]
Website www.helpndoc.com

HelpNDoc is a Windows-based help authoring tool published by French company IBE Software.[2]

Features[edit]

HelpNDoc allows the writer to create a single source text which it then converts to a number of target formats such as HTML Help, PDF, RTF, DocX, Qt Help, and HTML documentations as well as EPUB and Amazon Kindle compatible E-books. HelpNDoc integrates a full-featured WYSIWYG editor which aims to look like popular word processing software such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.org Writer.

It also allows the user to style their documents similar to Microsoft word. This editor is backed up by a table of content and keyword editor and a library of shared media elements. These make it easier to apply changes to keywords or media items to the whole document at once.

The overall look of the application closely mimics the final CHM output display in the Microsoft HTML help viewer.

To create CHM help files, HelpNDoc generates intermediary files and relies on Microsoft's HTML Help Workshop to generate the final help files. Other formats are natively generated by HelpNDoc.

The major focus of HelpNDoc is the ease of use for the end user. This is why most of the application is available through the main window, with a minimum of dialogs.

Advanced features[edit]

HelpNDoc has the ability to include variables and external files. It also has the ability to generate code for the C++, Delphi, Fortran, Pascal and Visual Basic programming languages to ease the integration of the generated CHM help files with the application being developed.

As of version 4 HelpNDoc comes with a project analyzer that can track the document’s layout, provide useful statistics and identify potential problems such as broken links or problems with media items. HelpNDoc can also be used to publish fully functional iPhone websites, using the table of contents as a navigation menu, the content of the topics with navigation buttons, the keyword index menu, a built-in search engine, and iPhone specific user interface elements.

Licensing terms[edit]

HelpNDoc's licensing model offers a free version of the program for personal use, and two paid versions (Standard and Professional editions) for commercial use.[3] The free version includes a discreet ad at the bottom of each generated documentation page[2] while the professional edition doesn't. The standard edition removes those ads from the CHM and HTML generated documentation.

History[edit]

HelpNDoc 1.0 was released to the public on December 2004 and only provided CHM and HTML documentation generation, while version 2.0 was officially released on May 2009 and introduces PDF and RTF documentation generation. The last version, 4.9 was released in January 2016 The complete release history includes:[4]

Release Date Version Changes
December 9, 2004 1.0 First general availability release[5]
May 16, 2009 2.0
  • Microsoft Word DOC and RTF export formats[6]
  • Adobe Acrobat PDF export format
  • Find and replace now allows the replacement of text by a variable
  • New variable kind: Topic title
  • Main form's caption now include the currently opened file's name
  • Added Variable panel in the topic editor: manage variables and quickly add them
  • Added enum output to the Visual Basic code generation
  • Better spell checking option dialog and various spell checking enhancements: New and improved UI for spelling and configuration dialogs; Greatly improved phonetic suggestions; Unicode dictionary support
  • Enhanced HTML Export with a better table of content, Search engine optimization (SEO), old browser fallback...
  • Better CHM unicode support
  • RSS Feed reader in the welcome page to keep informed of HelpNDoc news
August 23, 201 3.0
  • New ribbon user interface[7]
  • New template system to tweak aspect of the generated documentation
  • Library of reusable media items, including pictures, movies, documents, HTML codes and variables
  • Support for text and paragraph styles
October 9, 2013 4.0
  • Redesigned style system:[8] styles can inherit from parents, can be saved, and custom styles can be used for new projects
  • New Word and PDF template editor: customize page layout, cover page, headers, footers, titles, table of contents...
  • New Snippet library item: Add formatted content to the library and re-use it throughout the project
  • Script editor to edit and run scripts and automate tasks within HelpNDoc
  • Hyperlinks will now use styles for easier project-wide modification
  • Items with anchors will now display a hint with the anchor name when the mouse is over
  • HTML search engine is smarter: it can search parts of words, results are ranked and words can be excluded by prefixing them with a "-" character
  • New system variables for Word and PDF documentations: display the current page number and the total number of pages
  • External topics can now use relative paths for external files
  • Importing a file or a folder won't automatically create a new project anymore: they will be imported in the current project if already open
  • HelpNDoc's user interface is now translated in German
  • System variables with date and time are now customizable in project options and will be localized according to project language settings
January 12, 2016 4.9.2.132
  • New generated documentation format: Qt Help[9]
  • New auto-completion for hyperlinks: start with http:// or other protocols and hit CTRL-SPACE to rapidly create an hyperlink
  • Distributed paragraph alignment. Only recommended for East Asian languages
  • Opacity support for paragraph background color
  • New scripts for mass header/footer updating

References[edit]

External links[edit]