Posts Tagged ‘ HelpServer ’

Help authoring tools

Technical writers in their work use a lot of different software.  These can be a Help Authoring Tools or HAT, content management systems and version control systems. To Hat belong Adobe RoboHelp, Author-it, Doc-To-Help, FAR HTML, HelpIQ, Help & Manual, Help Generator, HelpNDoc, HelpServer, HelpStudio, MadCap Flare, Sandcastle and many other.

It has several basic and auxiliary functions. To the first group belong file input and help output. File input either allows importing a text produced by any kind of program or gives the technical writer an opportunity to create a text using an editor within the tool. Depending on what HAT tool you use the format of the imported file can be different. For example, ASCII, HTML, OpenOffice Writer , Microsoft Word, Microsoft WinHelp, Microsoft Compressed HTML Help etc. HAT also can put the files out as a compiled Help file and non-compiled file formats. The formats that are normally used for outputting are: WinHelp(*.HLP),  Microsoft Compiled HTML Help (*.CHM),  Adobe PDF, XML,HTML, JavaHelp and so on.

As it has been stated HAT tools have also some auxiliary functions for technical authoring. The functions include: automatic or assisted Index generation, automatic table of contents, spelling checker, image editing, image hotspot editing, import and export of text in XML files, for exchange with computer-assisted translation programs.