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HelpSmith 1.4 is released

We are pleased to announce the release of HelpSmith 1.4. The list of new features/improvements includes:

Support for HTML Help windows.

Now you can modify settings for the main HTML Help window and also create secondary ones with alternative size, position, or other options. HTML Help allows you to display any help topic in a secondary help window when it is called by a hyperlink or by selecting it in the table of contents.

You can easily customize the primary main window of your HTML Help system. So you can set a custom position and size for the window, setup the navigation pane by enabling the advanced mode for the Search tab, or adding the Favorites tab. Also, you can specify which buttons should be used on the help window’s toolbar, and even add your own custom buttons.

Added support for video files.

Another new feature introduced with HelpSmith 1.4 is support for video files. Now you can easily insert .AVI files into the text of help topics. Working with video files in HelpSmith is similar to working with graphical files. Simply click “Movie from File” on the “Insert” menu to insert a movie and HelpSmith will automatically put it into the project’s media repository. Thus, you don’t have to worry about copying anything into the folder with your help project, and so on. Moreover, the single repository allows you to replace/update the inserted movie by another media file at any time. That is especially useful if the movie is used in multiple help topics since you don’t have to delete and insert it again into each help topic.

Improved HTML engine.

With HelpSmith 1.4, we introduce an improved internal HTML engine used for exporting help topics into HTML when you create a CHM file or simply export an individul help topic into the .HTML format. Besides a couple of new options related to HTML export, the given feature is an important step for us towards adding the third Web Help format which is currently under development.

New features for working with the project’s media repository.

The main idea of the project’s media repository in HelpSmith is that it eliminates the actions you would have to do in other help authoring tools while working with graphical or video files. With HelpSmith, you do not have to copy the media files into the same folder with your help project, also you may not convert the bitmaps or metafiles which you insert from a file or from the Windows Clipboard into a more optimal graphical format like .PNG, .GIF, or .JPEG because HelpSmith can perform all of those for you.

With HelpSmith 1.4, we’ve added new Clipboard-related commands, enabling copy/paste operations directly in the media repository editor. Moreover, we’ve added the replace feature, making it possible for you to easily update screenshots or movies by replacing them with an alternative media from file or from the Windows Clipboard.

Help project saving now works much faster.

Unlike previous HelpSmith versions, we’ve achieved a great speed of saving the whole help project due to code optimization. The tests show that it now takes less than a second on an average help project with one hundred or more help topics to save it.

As mentioned in the previous post, HelpSmith 1.4 is a more stable version. We’ve fixed a set of minor or more critical problems, many of which were reported by HelpSmith users.

If you are using a previous HelpSmith version, we recommend upgrading to the latest HelpSmith 1.4. To do so, simply download the new release from our web site at http://www.helpsmith.com/download.php, and then install the new HelpSmith version without uninstalling the previous one.

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