Productivity Tools For Technical Writers Part 2

1. Cloned images

Helpinator allows to add callouts to screenshots/figures. Sometimes the screenshot is not that big, but the callouts are large or are in numbers. Another but similar situation is when you need to eplain different tasks based on the same screenshot. In both cases you have to double the image but it is a nightmare in terms of maintenance. The problem is so big that exprienced technical writers even try to avoid pictures whenever possible.

Helpinator solves this problem with “cloned” image. You can create one “donor” image and then define any number of “clones” that will inherit the screenshot but will have their own callouts. When the time comes to update the screenshot you only need to update one “donor” image.

Create a cloned image
New cloned image

2. Active region

Active region is a feature that you can use with cloned images. In many cases there’s no need to show entire screenshot in a cloned image, instead you only need a part of it. That’s where “active region” comes in hand. You can define a rectangular area on your image that will be rendered in the output instead of the whole large picture.

Change active region
Active region of a cloned image

Note that there’s a rectangular region on the last image selected. This is the active region of the cloned image, so we will see only “Tools and Reports” section of UI in the output.

3. Integrate with 3rd party screenshot capturePaste screenshot from clipboard

There’s a huge number of high quality screenshot capture tools available on the market, and you can use any of them as a companion to Helpinator. Screenshots/Figures are a dedicated content item in Helpinator, but storing screensots captured in another tool to file and then importing them to Helpinator is a pain. Instead there’s a dedicated editor command for it – “Paste screenshot/figure from clipboard”. It is available in “Image library”, topic editor and step-by-step guide editor.

Paste screenshot into the editor
Paste screenshot/figure from clipboard
Paste image into the image library
Paste new step

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