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Help authoring

As part of an upgrade to some apps, we want to move from the the old WinHelp to Windows HTMLHelp format.  It seems timely to look for authoring tools for the future.  Looking for an easy to use WYSIWYG piece of software that doesn't cost the earth.  Also don't want something that locks the source content up in a proprietary format

I'm interested in forum members are using for this task...
John M
Sunday, November 26, 2006
I was in your position a number of months ago. I trialled various programs. Most were either too expensive, or too limiting. Anyway, I settled on Help & Manual. I was very impressed with the sales experience - very mISV-friendly. The product has been great, especially for someone like me who isn't a professional writer, to get things done. I have had one dealing with support, and had an answer within about 1 hour. I haven't had any problems yet - just wish it would it would create help from .net code, like Sandcastle (or the late and great nDoc!). It does provide a good import utility though. Also, you can export your projects as XML, or any of a number of different formats - I don't know if that helps you.

Good luck,
Gareth Hayter.
Gareth Hayter Send private email
Monday, November 27, 2006
If you only need Windows Help Files (CHM) and/or HTML help, I found WinCHM Pro to be easier to use than Help and Manual.

However, Help and Manual provides PDF and Word (DOC) output as well as CHM, HLP and HTML output for the help files that you build.
Wayne B Send private email
Monday, November 27, 2006
Might be worth a mention:

On the minus side its a bit flakey (various error messages) and tech support is patchy - sometimes very responsive and sometimes no reply.

On the plus side it creates nice looking PDF, HTML and other formats from just a CHM files. It is also cheap.
Andy Brice Send private email
Monday, November 27, 2006
I'm sure this came up a few months back.


I use AuthorIt ( which is a bit more pricey, but still much cheaper than RoboHelp.

It's a good, powerful, editing environment, with lots of outputs. It also generates HTML Help source files, so you're not locked into the standard.
Documentation Doctor Send private email
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Why in Gods name do you have to sign up to get a price.  What is wrong with these people?!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
"Why in Gods name do you have to sign up to get a price.  What is wrong with these people?!"

Amen to that, brother!  I can only assume they need to protect their overly complicated pricing scheme.
Posted by me
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Yes, their site has rather bloated over the last few years. I'm not sure I could be bothered battling through all the BS if I did not already own the tool.
Documentation Doctor Send private email
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Help & Manual is awesome. I was in the same position. Help & Manual is great and affordable. Html help, Chm help and PDF manuals all handled from a very simple interface.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
thanks for your feedback everyone - looks like Help & Manual will do what we need.
John M
Sunday, December 10, 2006

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