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Making Help Authoring a Pleasure To Do

New Features of HelpSmith 1.5.2

Apart from the significant features such as the Web Help format (described in a previous post), we’ve also added a number of other useful tools that have been introduced with HelpSmith 1.5.1 and HelpSmith 1.5.2 recently.

Automatic export of topic Context numbers
If you are a C++, Delphi, or Visual Basic developer, you will find it useful to be able to automatically generate the header file with Context numbers from your HelpSmith help project. The header file includes associations of the topic’s textual identifiers (IDs) and numeric identifiers (Context) which are usually used by developers to provide context-sensitive Help via standard HTML Help API calls.
The new possibility is available via the menu command “Tools|Export Context Numbers”.

The ability to sort the table of contents
With HelpSmith 1.5.2, we’ve also added the feature allowing you to sort the whole or a selected part of the table of contents. Unlike dynamic sorting of the topic list that you can apply at any time for your convenience, this feature specifies how the table of contents’ items will appear in the final help system.

An alternative way to edit keyword references
The common way to edit the alphabetical Index in HelpSmith consists in adding keywords and associating them with the currently selected topic. However, that is not always convenient when you want to just modify topic references for an existing keyword item. With HelpSmith 1.5.1, we added such a possibility, so you can simply select the required keyword item and then edit its topic references in a special dialog-box.

Drag-and-drop support
Now you can move topics, items of the table of contents, and keyword items by the drag-and-drop method. I think this ability is a great improvement as well making the HelpSmith’s easy-to-use environment even easier.