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Rapid development of help files and user documentation in Dr.Explain 5

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Suppose you need to quickly develop user documentation in various formats for your software product.

What you likely want:
- Quick start
- Less tedious work and more automation
- Generate multiple formats from a single project
- No extra programming
- Fast updates and efficient reuse
- Better teamwork

Dr.Explain 5 is a solution

Published in: Software
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Rapid development of help files and user documentation in Dr.Explain 5

  1. 1. Rapid development of help files & user documentation in Dr.Explain 5.0 Dennis Crane Indigo Byte Systems, LLC October 31, 2014
  2. 2. Who we are and what's happening? We've been developing various software to support IT products since 2004 We help technical writers, engineers, software developers, trainers, and IT support teams We hate boring work, cognitive dissonances, rich user interfaces, and other disgusting things We use automation, minimalism, templates, common sense, and strange humor Our tool is: Dr.Explain Let's get acquainted
  3. 3. My Precious Dr.Explain is a software for rapid development of user documentation Features • Automatic annotations for the user interfaces • Total minimalism (no excessive clicks) • All inclusive Thousands of users across the globe • create help files for software and technical systems • create online help systems • create printed manuals and guides Let's get acquainted
  4. 4. Let’s dream Suppose you need to quickly develop user documentation in various formats for your software product What you likely want • Quick start • Less tedious work and more automation • Generate multiple formats from a single project • No extra programming • Fast updates and efficient reuse • Better teamwork Let's get acquainted
  5. 5. Dreams come true Quick Start Easy installation. UI in 10 languages! Get ready! Get set! Go! www.drexplain.com
  6. 6. Dreams come true Quick Start Sample project • Available in the start dialog at launch • This is a user documentation for a real software called TBS Cover Editor • You can preview the output literally in two clicks • Contains items of various types • Allows you to quickly see how changes in the settings influence the output
  7. 7. Dreams come true Quick start Total minimalism (no excessive clicks) • The most important functions are always at hand • Flexible settings under the hood • Minimum number of clicks and mouse wheel runs • 1-click preview even for PDFs! • Hotkeys for frequently used commands
  8. 8. Dreams come true Quick start Import your legacy documentation in various formats What you can import: • Legacy help files • MS Word and RTF documents • Individual text files • File catalogs • Supports all charsets • Automatically generates a table of contents in a project • Reproduces formatting of imported documents as exact as possible
  9. 9. Dreams come true Quick start Very liberal free version • Watermarks on all images • No time limits or reduced functionality • No project size limits • Free end-to-end preparation of the ready-to-use documentation • No need to rework projects after registration
  10. 10. Dreams come true Forget about boring work. Automate it! New project template Pre-configured and ready-to-use • Cover • Dynamic table of contents • First section • Optimized language settings • Automatic names for files • Optimized project export settings
  11. 11. Dreams come true Forget about boring work. Automate it! Automated documenting of the user interfaces The software makes a screenshot, analyzes the structure of the window and then automatically generates an image containing notes and explanatory tags Recognizes and annotates: • Software dialogs • Menus and submenus • Web pages • Java UI applications (SWING) • Flash applications (SWF)
  12. 12. Dreams come true Forget about boring work. Automate it! Text variables Quick insertion of duplicating text fragments Bulk replacement of all matches
  13. 13. Dreams come true Forget about boring work. Automate it! HTML and special objects in the editor Use the HTML object to: • Add a dynamic or a JavaScript content into your online manuals • Embed a complex item into a text of a section • Insert custom tags • Fine-tune various items and their behavior
  14. 14. Dreams come true Forget about boring work. Automate it! Section statuses and progress indicators in a project
  15. 15. Dreams come true Forget about boring work. Automate it! Automatic publishing of online manuals once they're exported Publish on any website through FTP Publish on the cloud platform Tiwri.com
  16. 16. Dreams come true Forget about boring work. Automate it! And… Automatic indexing for quick search Checking projects for integrity, consistency, completeness and errors Allocation of Help IDs for creating context-sensitive help files Command line mode for automatic releases and bulk processing …and much more
  17. 17. Dreams come true Multiple formats, single solution… From tiny help files to large printed user manuals What you can create from a single project: • Online manuals with integrated searchbox and custom layout • Software help files • Large printed manuals in PDF or RTF with a cover, table of contents and full support of national encodings
  18. 18. Dreams come true Cannot into programming? Forget! Full-text search in online manuals • Automatic indexing for quick search • Highlighting of results • No database required • No custom scripts required • Works even on a free-of-charge hosting
  19. 19. Dreams come true Cannot into programming? Forget! Integrate your documentation into your corporate website • Full integration of documentation into websites • Custom page layouts • Built-in WYSIWYG editor for headers, footers and side panels • Custom sections in HTML documents • Insertion of arbitrary program code in headers, footers and side panels
  20. 20. Dreams come true Cannot into programming? Forget! Customize the visual appearance • Adjust your documentation to a corporate style • Choose from the standard set of color schemes • Customize a color scheme in the built-in WYSIWYG editor • Fine-tuning with CSS
  21. 21. Dreams come true Reuse and updates Quick replacement of screenshots Replace screenshots in the annotated images without losing any notes Rapid documentation updates for each new release of your software product
  22. 22. Dreams come true Reuse and updates Copy and move sections as you want You can cut an entire subtree in the hierarchy and insert it into another document • Makes it easier to reuse the existing content • Allows you to work separately with various parts of your documentation and then seamlessly merge them into a final document
  23. 23. Dreams come true Teamwork & Collaboration Tiwri.com is a cloud platform that lets multiple users jointly develop technical, reference, or user documentation using Dr.Explain 5 as an editor application.
  24. 24. And the last one… Looking into the future Roadmap… Enhance collaboration and teamwork on tiwri.com Improve the editor Automate even more things Create a thin web-based editor Add support of multiple languages within a single project
  25. 25. Need for Dr.Explain 5? Current user of Dr.Explain v.1 – v.4? Check your upgrade options at http://www.drexplain.com/v5updates/
  26. 26. Install, run and have a good time! www.drexplain.com Any questions? Feel free to e-mail me: Dennis Crane info@drexplain.com

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