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Making Help Authoring a Pleasure To Do

Current Plans: Templates and Variables

With the release of HelpSmith 2.x we continue to receive positive feedback on the product from our customers and are currently working on the implementation of new features. The next significant enhancements will be support for Templates and Variables.

With Templates, you will be able to create and change the layout of all or a series of topics at once. A template will work like a regular help topic which can be edited by the HelpSmith’s word processor. But a template does not contain actual topic content. Instead, it contains variables playing the role of placeholders for the topic title, topic content, etc. The basic idea consists in that you can create templates and set any template to be used for all the topics of your help project, or set a template to be used for a series of help topics.

In addition, we are going to provide the possibility to use different templates for different output help formats. For example, if you create CHM and Web Help systems from the same source project, templates will allow you to make different design and layout for the help topics according to the style of the specific help format.


  1. Templates would be very welcome, as it would be nice to able to control page settings such as page colour, margins, etc for an entire project.

    Other suggestions:
    * an option to add Next and Previous buttons to a chm file (you already have Forward and Back)
    * an option to set a line style
    * an option to disable the splash screen in the registered version

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Thank you for your comment, Stew!
    Our to-do list includes the “Browse Sequences” feature. It will allow you to create the Previous and Next textual or image-based links in the help topic’s body. This is easy to implement but we need to finish Templates first as the given ability and templates require changes in the same code which is related to the compilation process (since it will be possible to insert the browse buttons into templates also).

    We’ll also consider your other suggestions.

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