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An article from HelpSmith’s website, a powerful yet very easy-to-use help authoring tool with dynamic styles and other unique features.
As a technical writer you might have tried many help authoring tools - from low cost applications to complex and expensive systems. So now you may be asking yourself why you should choose HelpSmith for your help project. There is no need to say that HelpSmith is a fast, powerful, and affordable help authoring tool. Let’s better take a look at what you can do with it.
Create HTML Help (CHM) Files
With HelpSmith, you can easily create CHM (HTML Help) files. Based upon the What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get principle, HelpSmith provides you with a powerful word processor with native support for dynamic styles and the live spell checker feature. So the process of working on a help system simply gets to a new quality level. You can use graphical images, insert tables, create hyperlinks, and so on. Finally, being a complete help authoring solution, HelpSmith allows you to create the Table of Contents and the keyword Index for your help file just in several minutes due to the built-in editors with drag-and-drop support.
Create Web Help from the Same Source Help Project
You can create Web Help by exporting all the data from your help project into a series of HTML files: simply click the “Create Web Help” command on the “Project” menu or click the corresponding button on the toolbar (similarly to when you export your help project into other help formats) and HelpSmith will prepare all the necessary files. A WebHelp system generated with HelpSmith includes a collapsible Table of Contents (similar to the TOC in CHM), an alphabetical Index, and the Search feature.
All you have to do then is just upload all the files of your Web Help system to your web server or simply copy them to a shared folder if you want to provide access for other people in your corporate network.
Supply Printed Manual Documentation
You can use HelpSmith to supply technical documentation both in the electronic and printed formats. With HelpSmith, you can see all the results as they are before the final version of the documentation is compiled or printed out. You can print out the manual directly from HelpSmith; or you can export the manual into MS Word, for example, to demonstrate it to your clients who may have no HelpSmith installed on their computer.
Get the Power of Dynamic Styles
Mentioned above, the HelpSmith system of dynamic styles is a unique but must-have feature for any help authoring tool. Dynamic styles allow you to store all formatting information separately from topic documents, which lets you make any changes in formatting at any time without having to manually process lots of help topics.
Moreover, with dynamic styles, you do not have to apply the same attributes over and over while writing help topics. Simply select the part of text and then double-click the necessary style to set the required formatting attributes to the selection.
Additionally, HelpSmith allows you to specify alternative views for a particular style… Read More…