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Help Authoring Tool to Create a CHM Help File, Web Help, or PDF Manual

If you are looking for a help authoring tool to create a CHM help file, online Web Help system, or PDF manual, you can consider HelpSmith which provides a rich feature-set from the powerful word processor to write help topics, to the built-in screenshot tool with the possibility to create help for dialog windows automatically.


The key features of HelpSmith include the possibility to produce multiple help formats from a single source including HTML Help, Web Help, Printable Manual, PDF, and MS Word documents, a word-processor with dynamic styles and spell checker to write help topics, TOC and Index tools, a single project-level repository to manage image and video files, user-editable variables, and rich customization possibilities including ready design themes for topic templates, and for the web help system layout.

With HelpSmith, you can create help files not only by typing the content manually, but also by importing existing documents including MS Word files, HTML files, compiled CHM help files, and MS HTML Help Workshop projects (.HHP).

In addition, you can use the powerful Image Tool that allows you to take screenshots and create documentation for the captured windows automatically.

For experienced technical writers, HelpSmith provides flexible possibilities for conditional compilation allowing you to produce different versions of the same help file for multiple audiences of users.

It should be pointed out, that a help file or Web Help system can be easily integrated with your application or website, so you can provide context-sensitive help by exporting the topic list to a header file compatible with your IDE such as C#, VB.NET, Delphi, C++, MS Office VBA.

HelpSmith Download

You can download the latest version of HelpSmith and check if it completely suits for your documentation project. If you are a beginner technical writer, you can also visit our step-by-step instruction that explains how to create a help file or manual.

Detail Value
Product HelpSmith 7.4 (Build 18.904)
Filename HelpSmithSetup.exe
File size 40 MB
Platform Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP
System requirements 1 GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 150MB free disk space

To start downloading, click on the button below:

HelpSmith - Key Features and Benefits

Below you will find a description of HelpSmith's key features that will help you to complete your documentation project successfully. Also, you can download HelpSmith and test the product by editing and compiling sample help projects to see if it fully suits to your requirements.

Create CHM Help, Web Help, Manuals, PDF, and Word Documents from a Single Source

Using HelpSmith, you can create a CHM help file, a fully responsive Web Help system compatible with desktop computers and mobile devices, Printed Manual, PDF document, and Microsoft Word document from a single source help project.

Built-in Word Processor with a Spell Checker

You can write topic content using a built-in word processor that includes a spell checker with dictionaries available for many languages.

When writing content, you can use images, videos, tables, horizontal lines, hyperlinks (linking to topics within the same help system, or external hyperlinks to a website or email address), variables, bookmarks, and other objects.

Dynamic Styles for Formatting Attributes

Based on dynamic styles, the word processor allows you to reuse font and alignment attributes, which, in turns, means that you can setup a style and change formatting easily without having to edit large amount of text manually.

Also, you can use styles to setup different formatting attributes for use in different output help formats (for example, in a CHM help file and in a PDF document).

Import Content from Existing Help Files and Documents

HelpSmith allows you to import existing help files and document from multiple formats such as Microsoft Word documents, RTF documents, HTML files, compiled CHM files, text files, and also from MS HTML Help Workshop (HHP) projects.

Built-in Screen Capture Tool

The Image Tool available in HelpSmith allows you to create screenshots by capturing a window or selective areas of a window such as menus, buttons, input fields, group boxes, and other controls.

Being a full-featured screenshot tool, the Image Tool in HelpSmith properly captures windows with rounded edges and clears the background, so you can create screenshots while writing the content without the necessity to use a third party graphic editor or screenshot tool.

Automatic Help Creation for Dialog Windows

Another feature of the built-in Image Tool is the ability to recognize controls such as as input fields and buttons of a captured window and to prepare documentation for it.

Thus, all you need to document a dialog window is to capture it and type text for automatically prepared annotations directly in the word processor. It should be pointed out that you will be able to update the screenshot or edit the annotations at any time.

Conditional Compilation and Build Tags

You can use Build Tags to define when a specific help topic or part of content in a help topic should be included (or excluded) to the compilation. This enables you to create different versions of a help file for different audiences of users by using the same source help project.

User-Editable Variables

Variables allow you to insert values such as product name, version, or current date into any place of your help project including the content of help topics, or in textual parameters, for example, in help file settings. Thus, you can update the value of a variable at any time without the necessity to revise large amount of topics.

Topic Templates

Using topic templates, you can create a good-looking design for the help topics, which can be updated or replaced at any time. HelpSmith allows you to create a new template from scratch, or to use one of the existing templates that can be editing directly in the built-in word processor.

It should be pointed out that you can use different templates for different output help formats (for example, for electronic documentation and for a printed manual).

What HelpSmith Users Are Saying

"I'm glad we bought your product, we like it a lot. It does exactly what we want for an incredible price and your support is excellent.

I have been developing software for many years and have used HTML Help for a long time and other help tools, HelpSmith is a great tool you guys have created."

- Alfred Menendez, VFP Business Solutions, LLC

Read More Testimonials

Custom HTML, CSS, and JavaScript Code

HelpSmith allows you to use custom HTML code, JavaScript, CSS styles, and to edit HTML attributes of any page element in a help topic.

This means that you can write your own scripts, use an existing JavaScript library such as jQuery/jQuery UI, or any other popular framework in your HTML documentation.

In addition, you can use a CSS stylesheet to apply any special formatting supported by web browsers.

Smart Project Merge for Project Translation and Team Work

The Project Merge tool allows you import new content and update existing content from an external HelpSmith project.

This enables you to use this feature for working on a help project by a team of technical writers, for translating a help project into other languages, or simply for creating libraries of common topics that can be exchanged between different help projects.

Customizable Web Help Layout and Ready-to-Use Design Themes

HelpSmith allows you to easily customize the layout of your Web Help system, so it can fit to the common design of your product's website.

You can use either one of the existing design themes, or to edit style settings of individual elements of the entire layout such as fonts, backgrounds, colors, and so on.

Similarly, you can customize the text labels used in the Web Help UI, for example, to translate them into the language your help system is written in.

Single Media Repository for Images and Videos

HelpSmith allows you to manage all images and videos that you use in your help project from a single media repository tool, which has a number of benefits such as:

  • Saving the linked media files along with the help project file automatically;
  • Easy moving or copying the entire help project to a new location;
  • The possibility to update an image (for example, a screenshot) that can be used in multiple places of the help project.
Help File Integration
Help File Integration

Help File Integration and Context-Sensitive Help

You can easily integrate a help file or Web Help system with your application or website. The built-in tool also allows you to generate a header file that you can use in your application written in C#, VB.NET, Delphi, C++, or VBA.

Thus, you can integrate your help system and provide context-sensitive help, so the end-user will be able to get assistance from a specific place of your application (for example, in a dialog window) immediately.

Modern User Interface and Slight Learning Curve

Despite the rich set of features, HelpSmith provides an easy-to-use Ribbon user interface and slight learning curve, so you do not have to spend much time to start creating help files with it.

Also, the product comes with several sample help projects that you can edit and compile into different help formats.

Finally, you can use this step-by-step instruction to create your first help file or printable manual.

Download HelpSmith

You can download HelpSmith and start creating help files and documentation in multiple formats. For new users, HelpSmith includes sample help projects that will help you get started with the product quickly.

Detail Value
Product HelpSmith 7.4 (Build 18.904)
Filename HelpSmithSetup.exe
File size 40 MB
Platform Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP