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I had a large API doc in Word format. It was beautiful and elegant and
made good use of Word styles and all that, but the developers wanted
something more easily searchable.
After evaluating several tools I ended up with Help & Manual. We output
as an e-book and as PDFs.
I had to do some major massaging after importing to H & M, since certain
things didn't import quite as I wanted them to. Our product name
includes a Unicode character, which did not import correctly, for
example. But it needed to be done only once.
Both the e-book and PDF output look nice enough and work well for our
use. I now edit directly in H & M, using conditional text where it
makes sense. Ultimately, when our API forks into several versions,
we'll be able to handle that easily via H & M.
After I got over my attachment to serial figure numbering for the
printed (PDF) version, I was very happy with the PDF output. The serial
figure numbers weren't really necessary, though they showed off my
amazing achievement in understanding and apply Word cross-referencing.
Somehow that didn't seem as important as having multiple format output
and conditional text.
H & M even supports two flavors of PDF, one optimized for printing and
one for reading on the screen. This means I can use active links
online, but avoid the link-related highlighting in the printed version,
Support is superb, with a forum that is actively monitored by the
developers and support staff. I've had few problems that didn't yield
to a search of the forum posts, and those (except for a few limitations
of H & M) got resolved quickly when I asked about them in the forum.
One caveat: the help file does not always reflect the latest version
(4.2), but seems up to date with version 4.
Also, you can use more text variables in layouts than the ones they let
you input from the list.
You can count me a very satisfied user. The product fits my needs.
WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content
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Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include single source authoring, team authoring,
Web-based technology, and PDF output. http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList
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