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Making Help Authoring a Pleasure To Do

HelpSmith 4.0 Released

We are pleased to announce that HelpSmith 4.0 has been released.

What’s New in HelpSmith 4.0?

New features:

  • A completely new Web Help system format:
    • Now it is possible to fully customize the appearance of the navigation pane (Table of Contents, Index, Search);
    • You can also use a help topic or external web page as the content of the top and bottom frame, which is useful for customizing your Web Help system;
    • Now you can define custom icons for the Table of Contents;
    • The Search feature now allows you to find separate words or whole phrases. The search results are ranked according to their relevance.
    • The Index tool now allows you to quickly find a keyword (by typing it in the appropriate field) and the topics associated with that keyword;
    • Optionally, found keywords can be highlighted in the current topic with different colors or a single color;
    • Added Table of Content behavior settings;
    • Better navigation pane interface: TOC, Index, Search tabs are not scrolled with the pane’s content;
  • Added a “Print Topic” macro for hyperlinks. This allows you to insert a hyperlink that will print the current help topic. The macro works in HTML Help and Web Help systems;
  • Added a system variable #TopicPath that displays the location of the current help topic in the Table of Contents;
  • Added “Repeat Horizontally”, “Repeat Vertically” values to the background properties dialog-box. These values are similar to CSS’s repeat-x, repeat-y attributes;
  • New fields “Author”, “Version”, “Summary”, “Comment” have been added to the project options.
  • Added new system variables “#Author”, “#Version”, “#Summary”, “#Comment” that display the corresponding fields from the project options;

Improvements:

  • A small image that has been set as the background of a help topic or table now works in the design-time as fast as in a browser program;
  • Internal HTML exporter now uses strict web standards, which solves most compatibility issues in modern web-browsers;
  • The media repository now allows you to add several files simultaneously;
  • It is now possible to pin HelpSmith to the Windows taskbar in Windows 7;
  • Added support for PNG files saved in the “Indexed Colors” mode;
  • The Project Options dialog-box is now resizable;

Minor bug fixes:

  • Fixed a random “Access Denied” problem when saving the help project which is stored in an SVN folder. This is also actual for other version control systems, antiviral and other third party software that gets access to the help project files;
  • The background properties dialog-box did not save custom values for vertical and horizontal alignment;
  • Internet Explorer ignored the border width specified for the splitter element between the frames in Web Help;

Download

You can download the latest HelpSmith version here.

How to Upgrade?

If you are a registered user of HelpSmith 3.x, you can simply download and install the latest version. If you have a license for previous HelpSmith versions (for example, 2.x, 1.x), you can get a 50% discount. You can place your upgrade order by visiting this link.