We are glad to announce the release of HelpNDoc 7.7, a major update of the popular help authoring tool which can be downloaded completely free for personal use and evaluation purposes. This major update includes many new features and enhancements such as a greatly improved script editor with find / replace capabilities and multiple new customizable options, the ability to index single letter words in the HTML search engine, new command line options to open a project at a specific topic, official Windows 11 support and much more… Read on to learn more and download your free version of HelpNDoc now.

Script editor find and replace, new settings and overall enhancements

HelpNDoc’s extensive scripting capabilities make it a very versatile help authoring tool which can be automated and customized to create the most unique documentations. This update includes an improved script editor for easier script and template authoring.

Script editor Find / Replace and options

Technical writers, designers and developers use HelpNDoc’s built-in script editor when writing custom scripts and templates. To simplify their work, we’ve greatly enhanced it in this major release: we are now providing a new dialog to find and replace content within the editor, a new default font (Consolas) for easer code readability, as well as many new customizable settings to make it behave the way you like. Some of those settings include the ability to:

  • Automatically convert tabs to spaces, choose the tabs width, activate smart tabs…
  • Control the gutter visibility, look and feel and content
  • Specify fonts, word wrap, special character visibility…
  • Optionally activate bookmarks (use the keyboard shortcuts CTRL + SHIFT + 19 to define bookmarks, and CTRL + 19 to reach them)
  • Control auto indentation, enhanced home and delete keys…
  • And much more

We have also expanded the available HelpNDoc API methods to be able to find a specific topic using either its Help ID or Help Context properties.
Last but not least, the script editor can now correctly build template scripts to check if they don’t contain any errors.

Single letter words search engine and other documentation generation enhancements

HelpNDoc’s bundled HTML / JavaScript search engine is custom made and optimized to produce a small and efficient index for faster user experience. It can now be extended to include single letter words.

Search engine minimum number of characters

Up until now, HelpNDoc’s HTML search engine only indexed words longer than 3 letters. This can now be customized from the default HTML template’s build settings to include words with fewer (or more) letters. This can be very useful for some languages which use many small words.

For the HTML documentation format, it is now possible to specify the inline table of contents’ width, and horizontal lines are now correctly printed. We have also improved the CHM generator which could produce broken links in breadcrumbs and the Word and PDF generators which didn’t add a page break before the first topic’s title when the cover page was hidden.
All documentation generators also benefit from optimizations in speed and memory consumption.

Windows 11 support, enhanced user interface and bugs fixes

HelpNDoc on Windows 11

We’ve monitored Microsoft’s development since the first beta, and we are happy to report that HelpNDoc now officially supports the newly released Windows 11.

This major update introduces two new HelpNDoc command line options:

  • openhelpid or oi to open a project and focus a specific topic using its Help Id
  • openhelpctx or oc to open a project and focus a specific topic using its Help Context number

We’ve fixed a bug which prevented tags longer than 32 characters to be used, and another one which blocked the built-in web server if the chosen port was locked by another instance or application. You can read about other fixes and enhancements in the change log below.

As always, HelpNDoc is completely free for personal use and evaluation purposes so download your free version now to get started and experiment with this update, and feel free to contact us to share any thought you might have about HelpNDoc.

Change log

Version – Release date: Oct 19, 2021

  • Official Windows 11 support
  • The script editor now includes find/replace actions
  • New script editor customization options: change font, indentation, gutter visibility and content, spacing, special chars, word wrap...
  • Default HTML template's search engine can now be configured to specify the minimum number of letters of words to index: it makes it possible to index smaller one or two letter words
  • New command line options to open a project at a specific topic, using either its Help ID or its Help Context
  • Added scripting API methods to find a topic with a specific help context number, and set the currently shown topic via its Help ID or Help Context
  • The script editor now uses the Consolas font (when available) for more comfortably reading of extended text on screen
  • It is now possible to specify the inline table of contents' width in the default HTML template's settings
  • Script editor wasn't always able to build template scripts which contained a mix of code and HTML content
  • Pasting content into the topic editor could move the cursor at the top of the topic instead of after the pasted content
  • Tags with names longer than 32 characters were not correctly assigned to topics or builds
  • Built-in HTTP web server couldn't start anymore when the port was already in use by another local server, even if the port was changed
  • Word and PDF documents generated without a cover but with a table of contents didn't add a page break before the first topic's title
  • The Default CHM template produced broken links in breadcrumbs when a parent topic was marked as an empty topic
  • Generate documentation dialog incorrectly warned that output path didn't exist for relative paths
  • Script editor's word wrap icon could be drawn with a solid green background
  • The default HTML template didn't display any horizontal lines when printed
  • Start menu shortcut included a reference to HelpNDoc's uninstaller for the wrong version

See also...

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Upload documentation to SFTP server [ftp] [featured]
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