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Release Notes for HelpSmith 5.0

Below you will find the full list of enhancements and fixes of HelpSmith 5.0:

A New Ribbon Style User Interface

  • More comfortable working with a modern and intuitive user interface.
  • Added a Mini toolbar to quickly format text while working with the built-in word processor.

A Single Table of Contents Tree

Now HelpSmith uses a single Table of Contents tree to edit and organize the help project structure instead of the separate Topic and TOC trees used in previous versions.

Added Adobe PDF Output Format

  • Hyperlinks to topics, to bookmarks, and hyperlinks to external URLs now work in PDF documents.
  • Added a special system build tag (“PDF”) that corresponds to the given output format.
  • Added a PDF-related tab to re-define the view of a dynamic style.
  • The possibility to create PDF Outlines (Bookmarks Tab in Adobe Reader).
  • Now it is possible to apply compression, encryption, and font embedding options to a PDF document.
  • Added the possibility to save an individual help topic as a PDF document.

Added MS Word (RTF) Output Format

  • Hyperlinks to topics, to bookmarks, and hyperlinks to external URLs now work in Word documents.
  • Printed Manual document’s Header and Footer can now be exported to a Word document.
  • Added a special system build tag (“Word”) that corresponds to the given output format.
  • Added a Word-related tab to re-define the view of a dynamic style.
  • Added the possibility to save an individual help topic as a Word document.

Improvements to the Media Repository

  • Significantly lower use of memory on help projects containing a big number of images, fixed the “out of memory” error on large help projects.
  • Opening and saving help projects containing a big number of images is now faster.
  • The files and folders that have been deleted from the media repository are now also deleted from the project’s media folder when the help project is saved.
  • Fixed the problem after renaming the project file and its media folder, the program did not open the images.
  • A help project with empty media repository now does not create a media folder.
  • Searching for files by name is now available in the media repository window.
  • Now it is possible to view the selected image in its actual size.
  • Added sorting of files and folders.
  • Added drag-and-drop support.

Web Help

  • On the Index tab in a Web Help system it is now possible to enter and search for nested keywords separated with a comma.
  • The Web Help system ignored the #anchor name in a direct link to help topic’s file.
  • Nested keywords are now sorted as well as root-level keywords on the Index tab.


  • Some help projects could not be compiled as HTML Help due to an internal error of the HHC.exe compiler. A workaround has been implemented.
  • Other optimizations to avoid potential issues when compiling large help projects as HTML Help.

Printed Manual

  • Added the possibility to automatically fit big images in the printed manual document to the page size.
  • Hyperlinks now work in the Print Preview window when viewing the generated printed manual.
  • Dots in the Table of Contents did not display properly on some scale values.

Compilation from the Command Line

  • Added switches for the PDF and Word formats.
  • Added the possibility to apply build tags.
  • Added a switch (/nc) to close the console window without a confirmation after a successful compilation.
  • Command line compilation did not process some system variables in the help project.

Import from HHP and CHM files

  • Bookmarks in imported Table of Contents and Index are now supported.
  • The #include keyword in FILES, MAPS, and ALIAS sections of a HHP file is now supported.
  • Better support for relative paths.

Other improvements and changes

  • New customizable topic statuses that can be indicated with different colors.
  • By default, the style tree now does not display the automatically created styles. This parameter can be changed in program options.
  • The variables whose format depends on the regional standards (e.g. date, time) are now processed using the project’s Language parameter.
  • The list of recent help projects now allows you to pin frequently used files and folders. Also, it is now possible to delete unnecessary items.
  • Added the possibility to search topics in the Project Merge dialog box.
  • Bookmarks are not ignored anymore when importing an HTML file.
  • The RTF export engine now supports hyperlinks, bookmarks, horizontal lines, and document header and footer area.

Bug fixes

  • An alternative view of a style defined for a specific output format did not work in some cases.
  • Fixed an error message that appeared after editing properties of a style.
  • The program hanged up when choosing a code page when importing a text file.
  • Word processor: A line break symbol disappeared when selecting it in the “Show Non-Printing Characters” mode.
  • Word processor: The program hanged up after deleting all cells, rows or columns of a table and going to another help topic.
  • After adding a word to the user dictionary in the Spell Checking window, the word is no longer indicated as misspelled in the word processor.

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