HelpNDoc - documentation / help file creator

Post details of freeware that are found to be not portable here. Posts in the submissions forum relating to freeware found to be not portable should also be moved here.
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teobromina
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HelpNDoc - documentation / help file creator

#1 Post by teobromina » Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:48 pm

[Moderator note: this is the primary HelpNDoc program thread. View database entry]

----

This is a good compiler for help files and HTML Wysiwyg editor:

http://www.ibe-software.com/products/software/helpndoc/

It seems that in the registry only writes references on MRU

*JT.
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Andrew Lee
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#2 Post by Andrew Lee » Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:58 am

It writes the toolbar configuration to the registry:

Code: Select all

HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\pSearch
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\pTableOfContent
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\tbFind
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\tbMainMenu
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\tbMainToolBar
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\tbTree
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te\dpKeywords
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te\dpVariables
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te\tbBullet
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te\tbColors
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te\tbEdit
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te\tbFont
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te\tbFooter
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te\tbHeader
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te\tbInsert
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te\tbMenu
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te\tbSpell
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te\tbTable
HKU\S-1-5-21-329068152-343818398-725345543-1001\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\Toolbars\te\tbTopicOptions
However, I am of the opinion that the toolbar config is not critical to the functionality of the app, so I will be adding it to the database.

<RANT>
Personally, I feel "dockable toolbars" is one of the worst invention that has befallened mankind. I can't remember how many times I have encountered people who accidentally docked their toolbars the wrong way or removed a toolbar altogether and wasted much time trying to undo what they have done.

And software authors just leave "dockable toolbars" in their apps because it comes "free" with whatever UI framework that they are using. Arrggghhh!
</RANT>

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Hank7
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#3 Post by Hank7 » Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:38 pm

The Good:
HelpNDoc is an easy to use yet powerful and intuitive tool to create html help files and help web sites.
The Bad:
HTML Help Workshop (required on all systems)
The Ugly:
The only difference between HelpNDoc Free version and the purchased version is a little text available at the bottom of each page, which look like this:
This help file has been generated by the freeware version of HelpNDoc
My name is Mike. His name is Bob.

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Re: HelpNDoc Freeware: Still portable?

#4 Post by webfork » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:18 am

So as part of my research for the help post I made, I downloaded the latest version and I've got some different registry entries to report (no more toolbar):
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\Forms
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\RecentPlaces
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\RecentProjects
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam\MUICache\C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\helpndoc\hnd3.exe: "HelpNDoc help authoring environment"
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam\MUICache\@shell32.dll,-21791: "My Videos"
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\RecentProjects\0: "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\test.hnd"
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\RecentPlaces\0: "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop"
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\Forms\MainFrmMonitor: 0x00000000
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\Forms\MainFrmWidth: 0x000003ED
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\Forms\MainFrmHeight: 0x0000028E
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\Forms\MainFrmLeft: 0x00000089
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\Forms\MainFrmTop: 0x0000003B
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\Forms\MainFrmState: 0x00000000
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\HtmlHelpWS: ""
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\ShowRSS: "1"
HKU\S-1-5-21-1614895754-1659004503-839522115-500\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc\V3\ShowRuler: "1"
Note that the RSS and Ruler registry entries are the ONLY two options available in the program. Would obviously be better if they saved to app folder, but could still qualify as portable as they're quite minor.
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Re: HelpNDoc Freeware: adware?

#5 Post by webfork » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:45 am

More testing so I decided to add another separate post to avoid confusion:

The good news:

1. The Microsoft HTML Help Workshop is no longer a dependency. I think its necessary for CHM output, but not for program operation.

2. Exports to HTML, PDF, and DOC format.

Bad news:

Adds the following to your document: "Created with the Personal Edition of HelpNDoc: Easily create Web Help sites". You can't just export to Word, do a find-replace because it creates a variety of different versions of this advertisement. Still, if there aren't many pages of your file, obviously you can just select and delete.

Anyway, I'm guessing this is technically adware, especially since its not something you can remove from the PDF/CHM format (and is fairly annoying to remove from any other format).
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Re: HelpNDoc Freeware

#6 Post by Midas » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:25 am

[Note: adware status untested!]

HelpNDoc v4.9.1.114 released (changelog is at http://www.helpndoc.com/whats-new).

FYI, old versions still available for download -- see http://www.helpndoc.com/whats-new?page=5, for instance (click on version number).

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Re: HelpNDoc Freeware

#7 Post by webfork » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:03 pm

Midas wrote:HelpNDoc v4.9.1.114 released (changelog is at http://www.helpndoc.com/whats-new).
Thanks, I'll check it out. I'm starting to realize over the past year that CHM files are still valuable help tools. Also, leaning on the internet to cover your help needs isn't really in the spirit of portability.

Edit: Sadly the latest version is not portable, writing to the registry at HKCU\Software\IBE Software\HelpNDoc
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Re: HelpNDoc - documentation / help file creator

#8 Post by webfork » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:09 pm

On a related note, I also tested Kel CHM Creator, which is really just a program that assembles the various HTML files into a hierarchical CHM file and isn't really in the same realm as HelpNDoc. It could work well for putting together a basic help file, but lacks the internal linking between articles that are common in CHM files.

Steps:
  1. Download the ZIP file and UniExtract KEL_CHM_Creator_Setup.msi the with default settings
  2. Launch KEL CHM Creator.exe
Status: portable, doesn't save any settings

Stealth: untested

Requires: dotNET 3.5 and Microsoft HTML Help Workshop

Website:
https://dumah7.wordpress.com/2009/02/17 ... v-1-4-0-0/

License: Freeware
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Re: HelpNDoc - documentation / help file creator

#9 Post by webfork » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:04 pm

I also tested HelpMaker. It looks sharp but the program does not appear to work in Win7 and appears to be no longer in development.
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Re: HelpNDoc - documentation / help file creator

#10 Post by webfork » Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Old thread update: just a note that I tested v5.4.1.404 again today and unfortunately no changes: still not portable and Softpedia is listing it as a demo.
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Re: HelpNDoc - documentation / help file creator

#11 Post by Midas » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:25 am

Topic update: HelpNDoc v5.6.1.532 released, dated 2018-03-02 (changelog at https://www.helpndoc.com/whats-new).
author of https://www.helpndoc.com/download wrote:HelpNDoc is available completely free for personal use and evaluation purposes: you can use the full version of HelpNDoc for as long as you want. All the features are available and enabled, there are no hidden fees or registration process and it doesn't contain any virus, spyware or malware of any kind. The only restriction is that the Personal Edition of HelpNDoc or its generated files can't be used for profit: only personal non-lucrative work and evaluation purposes are permitted by the license. A discreet banner is added in the generated documentation to remind that it has been created by the Personal Edition of HelpNDoc. To remove the banners and use HelpNDoc for commercial purposes, you might consider ordering a full version of HelpNDoc.

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Re: HelpNDoc - documentation / help file creator

#12 Post by webfork » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:00 am

That's great news. I've been a little frustrated by the lack of free help file generation tools like this. Despite all their flaws, I've been badly over-using the ActivePresenter and standard Microsoft Word for generating help and HOWTO documents.
Midas wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:25 am
Topic update: HelpNDoc v5.6.1.532 released, dated 2018-03-02 (changelog at https://www.helpndoc.com/whats-new).
author of https://www.helpndoc.com/download wrote:HelpNDoc is available completely free for personal use and evaluation purposes
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Re: HelpNDoc - documentation / help file creator

#13 Post by webfork » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:00 pm

ISSUES
  • I went digging again and it's still adding "discreet banners at the bottom of all documents," but really they're not distracting or problematic.
  • Some of the interface bits were a little wonky but it's not terrible.
  • Worked OK with copying and pasting from Microsoft Word and LibreOffice Writer, not great. I suspect exporting to HTML or embedding would improve that.
  • Lack of nested numbers (outline) e.g.:

Code: Select all

1. 
2. 
  A)
  B)
      i.
     ii.
I have a hard time thinking of a help-writing program without both step-by-step instructions and sub-steps.

WHY USE IT

The real winner here is speed and simplicity: the structured help files that it creates in both EPUB and HTML format (really the same format). Those are really, really sharp and are easy to generate and view without any fuss. I can definitely see using this program to build some fairly indepth docs for a tool or program.

Ultimately, this program is a fairly basic WYSIWYG tool with very nice wrapping. I really want to find a program that handles step by step processes with very clear 1. 2. 3. etc. and very easy image insertion. I think we're talking about a free version of StepShot (that's not as buggy as their brief liteware attempt StepsToReproduce) but I can dream.

Portable: No, the program will still open (though you have to use Uniextract 2 now) and it writes to the same registry locations.
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Re: HelpNDoc - documentation / help file creator

#14 Post by Midas » Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:08 am

webfork wrote: Portable: No, the program will still open (though you have to use Uniextract 2 now) and it writes to the same registry locations.
Perhaps a move to non-portables sub-forum is highly advisable here then... ;)

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Re: HelpNDoc - documentation / help file creator

#15 Post by webfork » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:31 pm

Midas wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:08 am
Perhaps a move to non-portables sub-forum is highly advisable here then... ;)
Yeah, very overdue. Thanks.
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