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Mini-Reviews by Members / Mini review of Helpinator 3.10
« on: March 23, 2013, 07:32 AM »
Basic Info

App NameHelpinator
App URLhttp://www.helpinator.com
App Version Reviewed3.1
Test System SpecsWin 7 SP1 on Intel i3 with 3Gb RAM
Supported OSesWin XP/Vista/7 - at least 1GB of RAM with 50Mb free on hard drive.
Support MethodsEmail or open a ticket at online support center
Upgrade PolicyFree updates for 1 year; 50% discount to latest version thereafter
Trial Version Available?Unlimited trial version with 14 day expiry. Trial version does include some shareware nag dialogs.
Pricing SchemeSingle license $249; Lifetime license $499; 1 month license $29; 6 month license $99. Discounts are offered periodically on the product blog at http://www.helpinator.com/blog or at Bits du Jour
Author Donation LinkDonations not sought
Screencast Video URLhttp://www.helpinator.com/tutorial.html
Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product I am a current license holder of 2 similar apps (HelpSmith and Help & Manual) and have trialled Helpinator at length. The author does offer a free lifetime license for a bona fide review.

Intro:

Helpinator is a help authoring tool, which can create multiple formats of help from a single source. It includes a WYSIWIG editor with support for styles. Help projects can be customized using templates, variables and multilanguage localization. There is built-in management of project images.

helpinator.png

Who is this app designed for:

The app is suitable for anyone producing technical help but could also be used for general in-house documentation (e.g., publishing policies and protocols over an intranet).

The Good

The key benefits include:
• Wide range of output formats - CHM, RTF, PDF, WebHelp, QtHelp, OracleHelp, JavaHelp, HelpGUI, EPUB, MOBI
• Help projects can be published to a WordPress site - topics are created online as pages
• Choice of single-file source (ZIP compatible) or single folder source (friendly for VCS version control)
• Project templates can be edited within the program
• Special feature for easy creation of step-by-step guides using a series of screenshots or other images
• Built-in management of images with screenshot tool and image editor; text and code snippets (with syntax highlighting) can also be managed within the program. The app includes a full-featured RTF editor based on TRichView.
• Automatic resizing of images for PDF output.
• Multilanguage support from a single source
• Conditional compilation based on project variables
• The app is stable and very responsive

The needs improvement section

There are some minor areas in need of improvement:
• The range of HTML-based templates is relatively small
• Use of templates could be more intuitive; error messages could be more specific in this respect
• The author includes his own help output format, which has been designed for use with Delphi. However,  no guidance is included on how to implement it.

Why I think you should use this product

Helpinator has several advantages. The most notable are the wide range of output formats, ease of creation of step-by-guide guides, and multilanguage support.

How does it compare to similar apps

Given the advantages noted above, the app is realistically priced when compared to similar programs such as HelpSmith and Help & Manual. This category of apps is relatively expensive, but periodic discounts are available for Helpinator. Online activation is not required.

Conclusions

Overall, Helpinator is a worthwhile alternative to other web authoring tools, with a number of useful advantages. For anyone considering such a tool, it should be in the shortlist of candidates.

Links to other reviews of this application

Review on NeoSoft forum

2
DoyleSoft Knowledge Base was promoted last week on Bits du Jour. The author's description at http://doylesoft.com includes the following: 'We pioneered the world's easiest to use Knowledge Base software. The peace of mind a Knowledge Base program can bring you may be more affordable than you might think...With my background in software development and optimization, I released Version 1 of DoyleSoft Knowledge Base early in 2004. Since then I have been continually improving DoyleSoft Knowledge Base with the help of feedback from an increasing number of enthusiastic users. Six years later, DoyleSoft Knowledge Base is still the world's easiest to use knowledge base, period.'

In fact this software was on Giveaway of the Day last year and was exposed there as a crude ripoff of a free VB demo by Andrew Park. See http://www.giveawayo...com/forums/topic/960 for more details. The program has several basic bugs and even a brief trial by Bits du Jour staff would have shown it to be unsuitable for promotion.

A quick Google search shows that the author is hyperactive in promoting this scamware all over the net - normally $79.95! It is probably a depressing reminder that marketing a dud piece of software with zeal is more lucrative than toiling with love over a well programmed app and then not putting a lot of effort into selling it.




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