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Author Topic: Help Authoring Gem  (Read 9192 times)

MikeMcLoughlin

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Help Authoring Gem
« on: September 05, 2007, 01:56:51 AM »
I recently needed to write a simple help file for an application I had developed and spent some time looking for an affordable help authoring solution. After trying a few demos of commercial software I stumbled across this superb piece of freeware called HelpMaker from Vizacc.

http://www.vizacc.com/

As well as the text editing application it comes with a range of other tools such as a button maker, pdf creator and so on.

It is so good, I cannot believe it is free and thought I must share this with you all. Appologies if this is old news and everyone already knows about it.

sri

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Re: Help Authoring Gem
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2007, 04:30:46 AM »
Thank You. I was about to look for something like this and your recommendation saves me the time to research.

Edit: Should I also download 'HelpMaker CHM Register Build 1.0' apart from 'HelpMaker Build 7.3.23 (32-bit compatible)'?
<a href="https://sridharkatakam.com">My blog</a>
« Last Edit: September 05, 2007, 04:34:08 AM by sri »

mouser

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Re: Help Authoring Gem
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2007, 04:55:12 AM »
I just played with it briefly and it looks like an incredible tool.
It's not going to replace Help+Manual for me, but that's an expensive tool and this is completely free, which is hard to believe.

My only problem was it was erroring for me when trying to produce PDF files.  If they can get the PDF file generation to work and work well, this is going to be the must have free/low-cost help maker.  Outstanding  :up:

Screenshot - 9_5_2007 , 4_49_53 AM.pngHelp Authoring Gem

Grorgy

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Re: Help Authoring Gem
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2007, 05:04:22 AM »
there was a note in the blog at the site about errors, they have called in 'outside experts' who have worked for adobe in the past so they probably will get this up to scratch soon.

MikeMcLoughlin

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Re: Help Authoring Gem
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2007, 05:12:47 AM »
I didn't download the separate 'HelpMaker CHM Register Build 1.0' and haven't experienced any problems or features that don't work. This could be because I have stuff installed that came with some of the other help tools I tried when looking around.

Also, the PDF generator works for me, I suppose it's one of those things that works on one PC/Software Combination but maybe not all others.

dhuser

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Re: Help Authoring Gem
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2007, 03:04:26 PM »
New Version is Available
See the Forum Post for more information

Quote from: HelpMaker Forum
What's New

B - Default Header Color Option Not Saved (Ref: Modao, JFST)
B - Low Contrast Themes Hard to Read (Ref: AnthonyV)
B - Body Text Formatting is wrong (Ref: Modao)
B - HTM Decimal Parsing Fixed (Ref: SeUser)
B - Cannot Re-Import HTML Files (Ref: BigDon)
B - Paragraph Border Error (Ref: EParmer)
B - Body Text Color Wrong (Ref: JFST)
B - Bad HTML Code (Ref: ThomasArns)
B - Missing </A> Code (Ref: ThomasArns)
B - Hotspots in Images Access Violation (Ref: PowerPwr)
B - Popup issues (Ref: CaveTroll)
B - Manual Designer Access Violation on Main Project (Ref: Sloany)
B - Partial Fix for A-Links Bug (Ref: ithomas).
B - Import HTML access violation issue (Ref: Many)
B - HPJ Compiler Error on Bookmarks (Ref: Varta)
B - CHM Compile Error on invalid bookmark (Ref: Sunil).

Russian/Hebrew/Japanese issues:
Please contact us for custom build for DBCS / CHM Search solution.

Please download from:
http://www.vizacc.co...oads/vahelp73035.exe

Thank you.

I use it and find it to be very decent for a program that is free. It also includes:
  • *ButtonMaker- Create Buttons
  • *IconMaker- Create Icons
  • *ImageMaker- Take Screenshots and Edit them
  • Batch Converter- Convert images to different formats
  • PDF Tools- Create PDFs from your Help files

*Uses new Office 2007 Ribbon style

For these programs, see the HelpAppsx Menu or your program installation directory (C:\Program Files/vahelp/)

dhuser
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vizacc

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Re: Help Authoring Gem
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2007, 11:59:18 AM »
hi,
HelpMaker v7.3 build #38 is out.

This fixes nearly all bugs.

Thank you

mouser

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Re: Help Authoring Gem
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2007, 05:04:25 PM »
excellent  :Thmbsup:

this is a help maker that everyone who develops for windows needs to try.

hamradio

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Re: Help Authoring Gem
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2007, 08:36:45 PM »
I have used it today in a project. :)
Carroll - HamRadioUSA.net

vizacc

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Re: Help Authoring Gem
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2007, 03:14:09 PM »
glad you liked it.


vizacc

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Re: Help Authoring Gem
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2008, 12:43:52 PM »

hi,
We fixed errors with PDF Editor and PDF merge part.

B - Fix for Large German Words
B - Fix for access violations on Grid when not saving
B - Messagebox update
B - HelpMaker v8.1 code-merge

Reference thread:
http://www.vizacc.co...howthread.php?t=2627

It's free of charge.

darklight_tr

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Re: Help Authoring Gem
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2009, 05:21:43 PM »
I tried HelpMaker v7.4 Build 4, but for a "mature" product it is too buggy, even if it is free.  For the life of me I couldn't get the table of contents to work in the HTML-Website option.

It does look like a lot of work went into the program, but from looking at the forums each release seems to break as many things as it fixes.  Hopefully the forthcoming C++ version will fix these issues, but according to this post HelpMaker won't be free for much longer.  The reasoning is due to "personal attacks", which is the most bizarre reason I have ever heard of for going payware.  If you want to charge for a product you've poured your heart and soul into go right ahead, but their reasoning is perplexing.  They will just end up punishing the regular users of the program, who may look elsewhere when the free version is discontinued.

I ended up going with Helpinator 1.4 FREE for my needs.  It is limited to 10 topics (you can pay $99 for the Pro version that has unlimited topics) but 10 is more than enough for me.  The interface is much simpler than HelpMaker, and supports CHM, PDF, RTF and Web as export options even in the free version.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 05:23:49 PM by darklight_tr »