#BlackFriday / #CyberMonday 2014 Deals

This year we offer two discounts:

1. 50% off UNLIMITED License (you save 2500USD). Follow this link to order:


2. 25% off Lifetime Updates 10 Users Pack (you save 500USD). Follow this link to order:


Note that both licenses come with lifetime updates and also you will get a free copy of Helpinator Team Server when it’s out.

Version 4: Helpinator Team Server

Version 4 will include among other improvements a “Team Server”, which is, well, a team server. Windows-based server app for help file authoring collaboration, and Helpinator will act as a client for this server in multi-user mode.

The Team Server will allow you to:

  • Control what actions users can perform on a project
  • Manage project activities by assigning and controlling tasks
  • Synchronize multi-user access.

The most complicated part is the user permissions system, basically it has the following entities:

  1. User
  2. Group
  3. Role

A User can be a part of no or several groups.

A Role is an abstract set of permissions like “Project Leader”, “Writer”, “Reviewer”, “Guest”. For example, “Project Leader” is able to assign tasks to writers and “Reviewer” is only capable of adding comments with all project altering features disabled.

You can assign one or more roles to a user or a group. Final set of permissions is a combinations of “grants”, e.g. everything is prohibited by default, and a user gets all grants, assigned to him, his roles and groups. Example:

Let’s say we have a “Manage TOC” role that has “Add topic”, “Delete Topic”, “Rename Topic”, “Move Topic” grants and “Writers” role that allows to alter any topic content. By default a new user has no permissions, e.g. he can not perform any actions on the project. When we assign these two roles to a new user, he becomes able to alter TOC and write content.

Why we need “Groups” in our role system? It’s just a comfortable way to organize users. You are not limited on the way you work with permissions, but the recommended approach is to define “Roles”, assign them to “Groups” and then add users to Groups, so a user does not have any directly given permissions and without being a member of a group becomes powerless.

Meanwhile you can pre-order Team Server with a 50% off using the link below:


Tom Johnson on WordPress for #TechComm

Direct WordPress support is a popular Helpinator feature and a lot of tech writers now suggest WordPress as a platform for online documentation (not only for software, but for other products too). Tech writing authority Tom Johnson had recently published a post on pros of WordPress, worth reading:


What’s coming up in version 4

Version 4 is in the oven and it will bring in some important additions:

  • More supported formats including Wiki and knowledge base systems, ResponsiveHelp for touch devices and more
  • Focus on team work with new “Team Server” and “Merged Projects” utilities.

Note that with this release we will block ALL one-year keys that were not prolonged. For a long time there was a huge grace period for those who forgot to renew updates but this time all keys more than a year old will be blocked. Sorry 🙂

As always version 4 is a free update for life-time licenses and one-year licenses that are not older than a year from the date of release.

How to use “REimport” feature

Version 3.11.4 introduces new feature called “REimport”. What is it for?

Let’s consider this scenario  – you start your help project by importing html/rtf/txt files that you already have as documentation, do some alterations, formatting, screenshots, etc and all over sudden source documents change and you have two options – copy/paste them manually or import all documents and start your help project from scratch. Sad.

But not any more. Now you can selectively import changed documents into existing topics.

First, scroll the project tree down to the “Tools” node and select “REimport” sub node.



If your documents were imported with version 3.11.4 and above, “File name” and “Path” columns should be filled with paths of source documents. In our case we have old project with blank columns. Helpinator will remember selected file names for future use.

First of all check topics to import with check boxes in the first column. Then select file names to import – double click the cell next to the topic title and select file name in the dialog that appears.

When everything is set and done click “Run” button on the toolbar below “REimport” title.

How to adapt existing RTF/PDF/Print templates to new topic title styles

Version 3.11.3 allows you to define different styles for topic titles according to their levels in the topic tree. Say, you want to have topic titles of level 1 in bold, level 2 in italic and level 3 underlined – now all that is possible.

Old versions allow only one style, it is defined by formatting of pseudotag {%TITLE%}. That should continue to work, but if you want to use new feature of topic title styles you need to upgrade your template. However it is very easy to do. The overall idea remains the same, but pseudotags are now numbered to reflect levels. E.g. {%TITLE1%} for the first level, {%TITLE2%} for the second and so on. You can create a new blank project with version 3.11.3 and open “default.rtf” node to see how it is done. The image below shows how it should look like (you can set your own styles of course).


How to change order and hierarchy of topics quickly

Version 3.11.3 introduces new feature called “Advanced rearrange”. It allows to quickly change order, titles and hierarchy of multiple topics at once. Normally Helpinator allows to change order of topics and their position in the topic tree by dragging and dropping topics in the topic manager. It is good for a topic or two but is very uncomfortable and time-consuming when you need to change places of several topics in a large project (say, after mass-importing html/rtf files).

To activate this feature select “Topics” node and click the button shown on the image below.




It opens up “Advanced rearrange” window. This window is a simple plain text editor with a topics tree converted to it’s plain text representation. Each line has a topic title and topic id in brackets at the end of the line. If a topic is a subtopic, it’s line starts with a TAB (one for level 1 subtopics, two TABS for level 2 and so on).




What you can do here:

  1. Cut/Paste topics en masse. Select several lines with your mouse or Shift+cursor, click Ctrl+X to cut them, place cursor into their new location and click “Ctrl+V” to paste.
  2. Change levels – just insert/remove TABs at the beginning of the line. To move several topics to another level (e.g. to insert TAB into several lines) select them as told above and click “Increase Level”. This will insert TABs into several lines at once. “Decrease level” works the same way.
  3. Rename topics. It’s OK to change topic titles as long as you keep ID part at the end of each line intact.

What you CAN’T do:

  1. Change or delete topic IDs. They are used for identification, so it will cause an error.
  2. Delete topics – to delete topics please use corresponding command of the topic manager. Deleting topics here will cause an error.
  3. Add new topics – the same as with “Delete topics” issue, use “Add topics” command from the topic manager.