Using the Help Authoring Tool to Create Adobe PDF Documents
Adobe PDF is the industry standard that is widely used to deliver documentation of any kinds including technical manuals, business documentation, white papers, reports, and so on. The key principle of the PDF format provides that the document that you have created will look the same way on another computer or mobile device, independently on the platform.
With HelpSmith, you can create Adobe PDF documents by using great content writing and image editing capabilities of the help authoring tool. Beside that, you can also use the options supported by the PDF format including font embedding, file compression, password protection, user permissions, etc.
Thus, HelpSmith makes it easy for you to create help files, online help systems, and printed documentation from a single source help project!
Write Content in a Powerful Word Processor
Using HelpSmith, you can write content in a full-featured word processor that supports various functions allowing you to:
- Insert hyperlinks, images, tables, user-defined variables, and other objects.
- Quickly change formatting of selected text.
- Use dynamic styles that let you change formatting of entire documentation at any time.
- Easily edit images containing annotations, hotspots, and other objects, thanks to the integration with the Image Tool.
- Check spelling for text written in multiple languages.
Create the Cover, TOC, and Index Pages Automatically
Working on a help project in HelpSmith, you can easily define the project's title, organize the structure of your documentation, write the content of help topics, create screenshots, annotate images, and associate topics with keywords.
As a result, when you create a PDF document, HelpSmith can automatically generate the Cover page, Table of Contents, and Index sections of your printed documentation.
Customize Auto-Numbering and Other Outline Levels Settings
In HelpSmith, you can customize the automatic numbering of chapters and sections, setup formatting for headings, and change arrangement of topics for each outline level of the generated PDF document.
For example, when creating a PDF document, you may need to use roman numerals (instead of the decimal numerals used by default), change the numbering pattern, font, paragraph and other settings according to your specific needs.
Similarly, you can use different formatting settings for the items in the Table of Contents section and in the document's body, or, if necessary, to disable the outline numbers at all.
Flexible Font-Embedding Options
You may need to be sure that the PDF document that you have created will look the same way on the computers and mobile devices of your end-users.
While the PDF format includes a built-in font replacement mechanism, you can also control what fonts should be embedded directly to your PDF file:
For example, you can select one of these font-embedding options:
- Embed True Type Fonts
- Embed Only Used True Type Fonts Characters
- CID Font Embedding for Unicode Fonts
- Do Not Embed Font Data
If necessary, you can also define the fonts that you do not want to embed to the PDF file (for example, standard fonts that your users likely have on their devices), and, as a result, produce a smaller PDF file.
Password Protection and User Permissions
HelpSmith allows you to create an encrypted PDF file and restrict access to the document's content, when necessary.
- Define Owner and User passwords.
- Define user permissions.
For example, you can also restrict different actions to the users of your PDF document, such as copying, printing, and changing.
Use Compression to Minimize the Size of Your PDF File
HelpSmith allows you to minimize the size of the generated PDF file by using one of the compression methods.
- Flate method that provides an optimal compression rate and, as a result, generates the smallest PDF file.
- Run-length compression method which is compatible with older versions of Adobe Reader, and some third party applications.
Create Documentation in Multiple Formats
Adobe PDF is a great format used by many technical writers worldwide to produce and deliver documentation that will be properly displayed on Windows and Mac OS computers as well as on iOS and Android smartphones and tables. When necessary, a PDF manual can also be printed right from the Adobe Acrobat Reader program by using its flexible printing capabilities.
However, after you have completed working on your help project in HelpSmith, you can also create a CHM help file, Online Help system, Printed Manual, MS Word, and ePub eBook. And all those multiple formats can be produced from the same help project, thanks to the single source approach!