Welcome to the May 2009 Newsletter, bringing you the latest news and product information.
An update for HelpStudio (184.108.40.206) is now available for download from the web site. This update includes compatibility with the Internet Explorer 8 Release version.
Help 3 Support
Help 3 is the new help technology being developed by Microsoft for use in Visual Studio 2010. Although it is still very early days, we are already working with Microsoft to ensure that HelpStudio will fully support Help 3. We are committed to supporting Help 3 and will keep you posted on developments as this new technology starts to take place.
Engage your help users using Community Extensions
Following a recent survey we were surprised to find many of our existing customers weren’t aware of our Community Extensions functionality and the benefits that it can bring to your help systems.
Community Extensions can be enabled in HelpStudio with a single click in the Build Profile Editor. Community Extensions brings a more community based feel to the Help allowing private notes, ratings and comments to be added to the Topics by end users and authors alike. Community Extensions is an invaluable tool for gathering feedback, correcting errors and enhancing coverage in the documentation.
Community content can be reviewed and moderated directly from a Community Content page integrated with HelpStudio or from an email notification generated whenever new Community Content is created. Community Content can be marked as Read, Approved, Rejected, Edited or Deleted.
The server component of Community Extensions can be hosted by Innovasys or purchased and installed on your own server. A license for Community Extensions is available free of charge if you hold 5 or more licenses for either Document! X or HelpStudio; contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
More information on Community Extensions, including screenshots and example, can be found on the Innovasys website here. To download an example Help File that is configured for Community Extensions click here.
Tips and Tricks
Manage translation using the Xml Import / Export wizard
If you are working with multiple locales a free tool is available for exporting all the translatable content to Xml files. The Xml files can then be forwarded to a translation agency. Once the translation is complete the Xml files can be imported back into the correct locale.
Settings are available to extract only the content that has changed since the last export or a specific date. Various options to select which elements of the project you would like to export are also available (Project Settings, Glossary, Table of Contents, Build Profiles, Booklets, Selected Topics, Topics by Status).
The Xml Import / Export Wizard can be downloaded from the Innovasys web site.
Use the correct phrases for your chosen language
When working with multiple Locales, or with a help file in a non English language, you can choose the language to use for pre-defined common phrases (e.g. “Search”, ”Index”, ”Contents” etc). The Phrase Languages that are shipped with HelpStudio are Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Spanish. The phrase language can be set within the Locale Editor or Build Profile Editor.
Create multiple outputs from a single Project using Build Flags and Build Profiles
Did you know that you can use Build Flags and Build Profiles to selectively choose which Topics, Categories, Hyper links and Glossary Items to include in a particular Build Profile or, Booklet? Build Flags can also be used on any Topic Content within the Project including Text, Images, Widgets, Lists etc. Build Flags provide a simple and effective way to generate multiple outputs from a single project.
Reduce Help File size with the Find Unused Images Tool
One thing we are always aware of is the output size of our generated help. One of the most common causes for oversized help file is redundant images (i.e. images that are no longer used anywhere in the help content). The Find Unused Imaged tool can locate any images that are not longer being used, providing the option to remove them from the project to reduce the size of the final help file.
The Find Unused Images Tool can be launched from the Tools menu.
Other Tips and Tricks
· Use Ctrl and + to add a paragraph below the current cursor position.
· Use Ctrl and – to add a paragraph above the current cursor position.
· Drag and Drop Topics directly from the Project Explorer to the Topic Editor to create hyperlinks.
· Drag and Drop Topics from the Project Explorer to the See Also Link window to create a new See Also Link.
· Drag and Drop Thumbnail Images from the Project Explorer to the Topic Editor to create Dynamic Image Widgets.