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Rapid development of help files & 
user documentation in Dr.Explain 5.0 
Dennis Crane 
Indigo Byte Systems, LLC 
October 31, 2014
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
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
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
Dreams come true 
Quick Start 
Easy installation. UI in 10 languages! 
Get 
ready! 
Get set! Go! 
www.drexplain.com
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
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
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
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
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
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)
Dreams come true 
Forget about boring work. Automate it! 
Text variables 
Quick insertion of duplicating 
text fragments 
Bulk replacement of all 
matches
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
Dreams come true 
Forget about boring work. Automate it! 
Section statuses and progress indicators in a project
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Need for Dr.Explain 5? 
Current user of Dr.Explain v.1 – v.4? 
Check your upgrade options at 
http://www.drexplain.com/v5updates/
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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Rapid development of help files and user documentation in Dr.Explain 5

  • 1. Rapid development of help files & user documentation in Dr.Explain 5.0 Dennis Crane Indigo Byte Systems, LLC October 31, 2014
  • 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. 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. 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. Dreams come true Quick Start Easy installation. UI in 10 languages! Get ready! Get set! Go! www.drexplain.com
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Dreams come true Forget about boring work. Automate it! Text variables Quick insertion of duplicating text fragments Bulk replacement of all matches
  • 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. Dreams come true Forget about boring work. Automate it! Section statuses and progress indicators in a project
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Install, run and have a good time! www.drexplain.com Any questions? Feel free to e-mail me: Dennis Crane info@drexplain.com