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helpstuff blog - Help Authoring Tools

helpstuff blog

Helping end-users since 1981

Category: Help Authoring Tools

10/02/08

Permalink 10:42:48 am, Categories: User Assistance, Help Authoring Tools, 214 words   English (US)

Author-it: Creating a list of topics in a book

Because Author-it is a component content management system, you'll find that you work with a lot of individual topic objects. If you're working on a book (aka a "project" in other applications), you can quickly create a list of topics in that book using the following procedure:

  1. Click Search.
  2. Under Object Type, select Topic Object.
  3. Under In Book, select the book name from the list.
  4. Click Find Now. The right pane will be populated with all topics used in the book.

    The list will not include any topics from books that are included in the book itself (when you're merging books) unless you tick Resolve sub-books.

  5. Select all topics in the right pane.
  6. Right-click and select Copy to Clipboard.
  7. Open Microsoft Excel (or other spreadsheet application). (You can use Word, but it comes in with the tabs...you’ll have to convert the content to a table.)
  8. Press CTRL+V.

Voila :-)

You can use the same technique to create a list of all topics in the library, or with 5.x, for topics in multiple books. (Click the ellipsis button next to In Book and select the books you want to use.) You can also use the same technique to create lists of any object type, such as index entries, graphics, hyperlinks, and so on.

09/08/08

Permalink 05:36:30 pm, Categories: Help Authoring Tools, 38 words   English (US)

Authoring tool survey now posted...

HAT-Matrix.com is sponsoring an authoring tool survey. A HATT member requested the survey, which will run through the end of September. The results will be posted in mid-October at HAT-Matrix.com.

Feel free to share the URL :-)

02/16/08

Permalink 08:07:58 am, Categories: Announcements, Help Authoring Tools, 62 words   English (US)

HATs release updates

It's been another busy week for vendors...

  • Author-it released the latest update to version 5 (build 5.0.11.625).
  • Adobe released RoboHelp 7.0.1.
  • Innovasys released HelpStudio 3.5.0.32.

In other news...

  • ComponentOne has launched the Doc-To-Help 2008 Beta. Register now!
  • In January, MadCap Software released MadCap Analyzer and MadCap Lingo. MadCap Blaze is due out soon...they are now offering demonstration webinars.
  • In December 2007, EC Software released Help & Manual 4.5.

11/20/07

Permalink 09:47:24 am, Categories: Help Authoring Tools, 210 words   English (US)

Adobe offers free e-seminars on TCS

Adobe is offering a variety of "on demand" and live seminars for TCS and the individual products (RoboHelp 7, FrameMaker 8, Captivate 3, and Acrobat 3D). These seminars cover a variety of concepts, from ROI to content reuse to specific tool functionality.

OnDemand Sessions use Adobe Acrobat Connect, and require that you register with Adobe first. Note that it isn't possible to leave questions, as the seminars are actually recordings.

Two of the OnDemand Seminars are:

  • Real time ROI for Online Help (an in-depth look at RoboHelp 7), a presentation by RJ Jacquez. This presentation covers the new features in RoboHelp 7, and includes a demonstration of new localization features, the new interface (with side-by-side topic display), variables, and FrameMake integration. The presentation takes just over an hour.
  • Benefits of Content Reuse, a presentation by RJ Jacquez. This presentation covers integration between the RoboHelp 7 and FrameMaker 8 versions that ship with TCS, and includes a demonstration of how the integration works. RJ also demonstrates Captivate integration with Frame. (I've seen one of RJ's live presentations at a conference that includes much of this information, and he does a nice job of showing how the two products work together.) The presentation takes just over an hour.

Visit the OnDemand Seminars page for the complete list of seminars.

11/12/07

Permalink 12:17:25 pm, Categories: Help Authoring Tools, 260 words   English (US)

ASC releases Xtend, the first content analysis tool

When Author-it Software Corporation (ASC) released Author-it 5.0 at the end of September, it also released Author-it Xtend, patent-pending technology that is a first in the Help authoring world.

Author-it Xtend lets you make conscious, intelligent re-use decisions based on your existing content. You get to choose how often or how quickly you want to be notified of matching content, with settings including:

  • Minimum number of words typed before suggesting: Choose the number of words that AIT users must type before Xtend prompts with suggestions.
  • Maximum number of suggestions: Choose the total number of suggestions that you want to see.
  • Percentage matching: Choose what the match percentage must be before suggestions are displayed.

What's really cool is the customizable highlighting feature of Xtend. When your library has been analyzed, you can enable highlighting and immediately tell how a paragraph has been used before: 100% (exact match), or any range you specify.

=> Read more!

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