Printed Manuals

From version 3.6 Helpinator allows you to create “Printed Manuals”. They are much like “PDF” mode but Helpinator sends them directly to printer, with “Preview” phase of course. To create printed manual click “Printed Manual” icon on the main app toolbar.

printbutton

 

Helpinator then will prompt you to select printer and will render “Preview”.

printedmanual

 

You can browse pages, check everything’s fine and when you are satisfied click "Send to Printer" to print it.

Helpinator 3.6

In this update:

– Added “Printed manual” output
– Added “Glossary” feature
– Added “Index” section to PDF with page numbers
– Improved web help search
– Bugfixes

Step-by-step Guides

Helpinator 3.5 has a new feature – step by step guides.

 

Step by step guides are sequences of steps, each step has an image (from project image library), step title and short textual step description. When compiling CHM/Web Help Guides turn into Javascript-powered slideshow, when compiling PDF/RTF – into numbered list of images with descriptions.

 

Here’s how it looks in the editor:

 

editguide

 

Here’s how you can embed Guide into a topic:

 

guideplace

 

And here’s how it looks in compiled CHM help file:

 

image

 

Here you can see it in action:

 

http://www.helpinator.com/help/helpinator/createstepbystepguide.html

Why you should use “cloned” images

Helpinator’s “Image Library” allows you to create “cloned” images. What are they?

 

Let’s say you have a big complicated tool bar in your application. You need to explain your users how to work with it, what buttons trigger specific actions, all grouped by specific tasks… This probably will require a lot of copies of the toolbar image, each one with it’s own callouts, arrows and text boxes, but all with the same background – application toolbar.

 

Now suppose that during project evolution toolbar changes significantly – updated icons, some new buttons. Now you need to update a bunch of images to reflect changes in the UI. That could be a nightmare! But not if you use Helpinator’s image library and “cloned” images.

 

In the following example will’ take a look at one simple but very common situation. Suppose you have a set of images in your project, describing different parts of the toolbar, but all of them contain application name and version in the  window title like this:

 

langbar

 

One image has callouts for language bar:

 

langbar2

 

Another for compile buttons, and so on…

 

langbar3

 

We’ll make the first one “donor” image and two other images will be cloned.

 

addclonebutton

 

Now suppose application version changes to 3.5. You need to update all those images. Luckily you have only one basic image and two clones, so you only need to update one image.

 

Select Tools->Replace bitmap when basic image is open in the editor.

 

replacebmp

 

Now all cloned images are updated:

 

langbar2

langbar3

New Styles

Helpinator 3.5 features new style editor, for old text and paragraph styles and two new styles – for tables and shapes that you add in image editor.

On the left side there’s a tree with style groups and available styles. To edit a style you need to select it in the tree first.

Text and paragraph styles remain the same with the previous version.

teststyleparastyle

 

Table styles are the new feature in v.3.5. You can use table styles to make all tables in your help project look similar. Table style contains such parameters as border width, style and color, cell spacing and heading row count. The latter is mostly for PDF/printed manual purposes because Helpinator repeats table header on each page if a table is split across several pages.

tablestyle

You can select table style when inserting new table using topic editor “Insert table” command.

inserttable

 

 

Shape styles are another new feature in v.3.5. The purpose is the same – to make all shapes that you add to screenshots look the same, preserving color scheme. You can select background color, line color, line width, fill style, border style and font name/size/style/color for text captions.

shapestyle

 

You can assign shape style by one of the following ways:

  • by selecting it in the “Style” drop down list in the image editor. This will assign selected style to all new shapes.

editorshapestyle

 

  • or by selecting style in the shape properties dialog:

shapeprops

 

Additionally shape styles are used in Helpinator’s step-by-step guides to specify color scheme for step numbers added to the step images.

Helpinator 3.5

Version 3.5:
– Added option to create styles for shapes and tables
– Added “Step by step guides”
– Reworked style editor
– Added new default CHM/Web help template with navigation buttons