Help & Manual

(17)
4.8 out of 5 stars

Help & Manual is a documentation tool and content management system for both single and multi-author editing.

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Help & Manual review by User in Computer Software
User in Computer Software
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Verified Current User
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"Easy, powerful online help generator"

What do you like best?

This is an affordable product that does exactly what it says it will do: create a nice online help packager. If you don't want to deal with XML and other manual markup, you don't have to. Support is very responsive.

What do you dislike?

It could handle styles better. In the occasional event where I have to paste text into a topic (instead of importing it), there isn't a "Paste as Plain Text" option - you have to paste it and then remove whatever styles it thinks the text has, or you have to paste into a text-only editor to be sure that no incorrect styles are coming over. Also, when you do apply a style, it doesn't work as smoothly as it does in a word processor. I mean, I know it's NOT a word processor, but there are some basic concepts to applying styles to text that don't hold up here.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Make sure you think through everything (and learn everything) before you start: how to give custom IDs to each page (because if you've got 1200 pages, you won't be able to navigate by the automatically assigned page names), how to create an index, etc.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We write our manuals in Word and distribute them as printable PDFs. (I know, Word isn't a great documentation platform but it's the only one I have.) Once the documentation is approved in Word, all I have to do is save it as an RTF and then import it into Help & Manual and boom, online help. (There's still a lot of stuff to do but all of the content and the bulk of the organization comes in automatically.)

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Help & Manual review by Ingmar K.
Ingmar K.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Easy to use, flexible, great support"

What do you like best?

I've been using H&M for over ten years now. It's a great product that is very easy to use. I like the variety of output formats they support, compiling help files is also quite fast. Working with the tool is generally quite straightforward and efficient.

Their support team is also quite helpful, and I've never evaluated another help authoring tool.

What do you dislike?

There is hardly anything I don't like. But if I had to pick something, then it would be the lack of customization options for their HTML output. The product does offer some options to customize HTML output and they offer optional premium skins. The skins look a bit outdated however, and I haven't been able to customize the output exactly how I would like it (although it still looks good the way it is).

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We use Help & Manual for documentation of our software.

What Help Authoring Tool (HAT) solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Help & Manual review by Alberto S.
Alberto S.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"A must-install tool every time I set up a new computer"

What do you like best?

People creating documentation must have a right balance between knowing all details and nuances about the product being documented and being able to create good-looking and consistent documentation. Help&Manual allows to have someone from our dev team creating and maintaining personalized and functional documentation in different formats, without the need to outsource this process.

What do you dislike?

The editor seems not as feature full as single-focused tools, but that's easy explainable because the contents can then be presented in different outputs.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Give the trial version a try, it's fairly easy to quickly surprise yourself with what can be achieved

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Creating documentation for software solutions, either for the application user and the partner implementing it is always a painful process. Help&Manual turns the process of creating and maintaining good-looking documentation in several formats much easier and pleasant, so there's no excuse for not keeping the documentation up-to-date!

Help & Manual review by Juergen H.
Juergen H.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"One of the best tools of the trade"

What do you like best?

From a single project, I can derive a printed manual, the online help for our software and publish a web manual for online use.

The ability to create multiple TOCs allows to easily create manuals for product families...

What do you dislike?

Not a true WYSIWYG.

Table handling though improved, but still somehow cumbersome, unlike the MS office table handling.

I would love to have a broader "Repeat" functionality, e.g., when I formatted a certain text part, it would be useful if the same formatting could be repeated for another text part.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Try it! Once you got familar, you will ove it.

And: affordable price...

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We manufacture electronic devices that mostly are controlled by software.

Responsible for the entire product documentation (manual, help file, web manual...)

Help & Manual review by Seth A.
Seth A.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Excellent multi-format support"

What do you like best?

Help & Manual made it easy to create manuals not only in Word, but also PDF, HTML, and even eBook. This is great for our employees and our customers when we need to share information. The easy-to-use editing options is great as well. It's so simple to take a screenshot of any application and make it captivating for the audience through the tool's built-in graphics editor.This eliminates any need to leave the application and use a third-party tool.

What do you dislike?

It would have been nice to be able to choose the skin color for the web help. It is not as interactive as one would hope for. There is also some dislike for the application not being as user-friendly at first. The system tries to start with an Office-like easy screen, but this causes some confusion if you ever need to go back to the main selection. A more simple and intuitive Home screen would be better.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It's great! It makes creating documentation a breeze.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Our requirement was to create a wide range of documentation in a wide range of formats. Help & Manual makes it easy to distribute to our mobile devices and it continues to add new formats for new devices. So far we've been able to use Help & Manual to push out procedures and How-To documents over our intranet page and make them accessible to employee mobile devices and tablets. Without Help & Manual this wouldn't have been possible.

Help & Manual review by Charudatta M.
Charudatta M.
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Verified Current User
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Business partner of the vendor or vendor's competitor, not included in G2 Crowd scores.

"A perfect blend of RoboHelp and FrameMaker"

What do you like best?

All features provided in Help & Manual are quite useful and also easy to understand and use. Personally, what I like best are :

The Manual Designer, an awesome feature for designing and creating printed guide. We can design our own layout for our printed guides.

Image Shortcuts is also a good options to create a short cut for your image. After that, if you change the image externally, it is automatically updated in the project. You do not have to reenter the image in the help topic.

The templates are HTML based and extremely customizable and flexible. We can change each and everything from text, to color, to icons, to layout, everything!

The light weight application with features and options quite intuitive and requires very less training

The support is really appreciable. You raise a request or any issue, and within some time (at times in minutes) you will get reply from their support.

The low price with all features of RoboHelp and FrameMaker

What do you dislike?

I don't have anything specific that I dislike in my daily use of Help & Manual. Yes, I would like to see improvements in conditional text, table handling, but that too for more polishing the existing options. It's not that the existing options are not good.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you are looking for a tool for generating online help, PDF, or smartphone help for your product, I would recommend Help & Manual. This tool will give you all required options in less prices, and is very very easy to understand. You do not need any special training to understand the tool. From the day one, you can start creating your help, if any issues arise, you can simply open their help and search about your issue.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I used Help & Manual to create online help and PDF (Single sourcing) for almost 6 different projects in different domains. I am still using this tool for new projects and also recommending it to my other clients.

Being a freelance technical writer, I wanted a tool that will provide all important features for generating online help as well as PDF from a single source. I was using RoboHelp, but not happy with their PDF options. Similarly, I was using FrameMaker but not happy with the option to generate online help through 3-party tool. So, after searching on internet, I got to know about Help & Manual. I downloaded their trial version and within couple of days I finalized to purchase it and got my license copy. I learned this tool myself using their nicely designed help. I have extensively used this tool for creating help from scratch, for customizing templates, for creating new PDF layouts, and many more as per my client's requirements.

Help & Manual review by vibhuti g.
vibhuti g.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

""Ease" is the word for Help & Manual"

What do you like best?

The tool is user-friendly. It is just because my new organization is using the MadCap Flare I got to compare both the products and yes, Help & Manual wins my heart. The options to insert images and make them responsive to all the kinds of outputs are the best. Unlike, Flare it can open multiple projects in the same instance. The tools help is actually a big help whenever you are stuck. It produces tool utilization reports and gives a representation of the amount of contribution made by multiple users.

What do you dislike?

The skin options for basic version are limited. The online outputs are not compatible with all the browsers and mobile OS.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Time, efforts and money saved is a big benefit !

Help & Manual review by Kevin O.
Kevin O.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Automatic numbering is bliss"

What do you like best?

No longer having to fight with Word on numbering. I am sure its not just me, over and over again I lost the formatting of sections, every time I added a new page in the middle the numbering would restart at 1 from there on. Hours wasted having to check and recheck the page numbers, index and sections numbers. A thing of the past now.

Having templates for the output. All the documents produced have a standard look and feel regardless of who does the content.

What do you dislike?

Always in the wrong mode. I find I am in project when I need to be in Write and vice versa. I need to spend some time to look at the options for these areas.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Try it, free trial. I had it 3 days then purchased it as it was so good.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The lack of consistency in MS products across the company and having a standard tool to produce documentation. No more sending a document in the wrong version and having to use an older version of save, losing some of the features along the way.

Sharing the same SVN so everyone has access to the source. No more calls on days off to get my password for my PC so someone can get a document.

Help & Manual review by Ryan M.
Ryan M.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Help & Manual does help files, web help, and much more."

What do you like best?

I've had the pleasure of using Help & Manual since version 1. Fed up with the other complex and incredibly expensive solutions in this space, I tried this product as soon as it came out and have been a satisfied customer ever since. Whether you are single person or a team, writing help for a Windows application, a mobile app, or a website, Help & Manual will fit the bill all while being affordable and easy to use. The ability to take all the work that goes into documentation and output into any variety of different formats at the touch of a button is invaluable. Highly recommend for anyone that needs to generate documentation for technology.

What do you dislike?

Honestly, there isn't much to dislike - at least with the way I use the product. If I had to pick something, I think that people coming from competing solutions based on Microsoft Word may find the editor to not be quite as full featured as Word, nor quite as familiar. This could increase the learning curve for a team that is transitioning, but it wouldn't be significant.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

All of our customer facing documentation is generated in Help & Manual. Not only can we create a CHM to package with our Windows application, but we can also publish that same content to our website so we can email links to customers. This prevents the customer from having to search a help file and gives them a direct click to up-to-date content. We can also generate PDFs of specific topics and email those to prospective clients that don't have our product yet. The file format Help & Manual uses is very version control and multi-user friendly, making it very easy to track and revert inadvertent or undesired changes.

Help & Manual review by Adam S.
Adam S.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Great Tool for Writing Help Documentation in Multiple Formats"

What do you like best?

The fact that we can author a central document, publish it into a windows .CHM file for inclusion with our application and a custom PDF template that we can post on our website.

What do you dislike?

Some older versions of v7 seemed a bit unstable, but that is fixed in the latest versions and it's been reliable and very useful.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We use it to document a Windows application that also needs online documentation.

Help & Manual review by Chris B.
Chris B.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Easily the best Help Authoring tool available"

What do you like best?

The ease with which Help & Manual allows you to create detailed help targeted at mutliple platforms from the same source, and even specify platform specific features to provide the best user experience possible.

What do you dislike?

There is nothing I really dislike about the product... finding something to hate is very difficult!

Recommendations to others considering the product

There is a free trial available. Take it, and you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Help and Manual has enabled us to build stunning documentation for our software products with comparative ease, and to generate everything from HTML Help to eBooks to printed and PDF manuals so that our customers can use the documentation using their preferred device and their preferred format.

Help & Manual review by Juan M.
Juan M.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"An awesome product to help your documentation"

What do you like best?

We have from 8 years ago and solve all for our documentation, manual and guides. Simple and really versatile software. Actually we use Help and Manual to create manuals, documentation, tutorials, budgets details, hlp/chm for office desktop development, etc. We prefer this to Word.

The skin capabilities, its contents table and a very good toolbar, makes this software a brilliant idea to create awesome final documents.

What do you dislike?

Only English or Deutchsland. Could be great offer translator libs or any tool to translate

Recommendations to others considering the product

Are you creating documentation over your company? Are you designing some software? Are you deploying tools for your customers? IF yes THEN you need this tool

Can you drink soup without a spoon??? Really you need the best tools for each work, help and manual was the perfect tool to solve your manuals, documentation, tutorials, and any other books that you can develope.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

All of our CMS web tool was documented with Help-Manual. Our desktop CRM applications retrieve all solutions from our CHM created with Help Manual. Our guide to FAQ on our servers. This tools it's All In One for business.

Help & Manual review by Rich A.
Rich A.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
Business partner of the vendor or vendor's competitor, not included in G2 Crowd scores.

"A true "Must-Have" product in every developer's toolset"

What do you like best?

Help files are typically viewed as "nice-to-have" but are often dismissed because of the time involved in producing the documentation. Sophisticated help authoring tools are notoriously difficult to use and are time consuming to try getting all of the formatting correct. In today's climate where developers are writing applications that target multiple platforms (desktops, mobile devices, etc), the idea of producing help files is even more grim. After all, who wants to create, and then maintain, multiple sources to output PDFs, Word documents, ePub files, etc?

Help & Manual makes this task child's play. The tool is incredibly powerful and easy to learn. This makes creating the help file less of a chore and almost fun. When it comes time to producing the output, the same source body targets all platforms. What could be easier than that?

No product is perfect but this one certainly comes close. The few times I have needed to contact support, they were always responsive and friendly.

Excellent work guys!

What do you dislike?

I will be honest here. I am still looking for something that I dislike about this product.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Stop looking at other products and get Help & Manual. You won't regret your decision.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The number one business problem I have solved is finally giving my users what they wanted, a full help file that can be used when offline.

Help & Manual review by Roy L.
Roy L.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Fabulouse, easy to use, error free"

What do you like best?

What all the other reviews said -- all true.

What do you dislike?

In older versions, upgrading took more steps than I would have preferred (not automatically carrying forward old settings), but still, easy and straightforward enough. May have been fixed in later versions.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Documentation of software program.

Help & Manual review by Whitney W.
Whitney W.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"We use Help and Manual for out Application Training Guide"

What do you like best?

The ability to separate out your chapter and sub-chapters makes creating a large training guide very manageable.

What do you dislike?

Formatting can be frustrating at times with images.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Do not delete the original location of the images added to your file.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We have created an application training guide that has been very useful.

Help & Manual review by User in Information Technology and Services
User in Information Technology and Services
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Used in my last company just over a year ago"

What do you like best?

In short, this software makes it very easy to create an interactive help manual, that is effective at communicating a large amount of information, in a way that is intuitive for your end-users to navigate.

It was simple for me as a trainer to use the core functionality with limited technical/coding knowledge.

It's a versatile software that can do an awful lot in order to suit the needs of a variety of clients. Some of the more advanced customisations are also possible if you have someone on your team with coding knowledge.

A key benefit for me was the excellent support available on the Help and Manual Forums - very quick responses to questions.

What do you dislike?

It would be nice if it were easier to use H&M to create a kind of Help portal site (like H&M's own demo) where a top navigation menu can be added, offering links to additional resources and information; in addition to keeping your core ToC for the manual down the left. With very limited coding experience, I was able to customise a skin and add a few Navigation Headers by experimenting with / copying code from other skins - but ran into a few issues preventing stand-alone pages linked to the top nav from automatically appearing in my ToC etc.

We would have benefited from a feature that could generate an automated change log (which could be edited) for the end users to review what's new / what has been recently changed or added to our manual.

Deleted ToC items also needed to be deleted from the output folder to prevent the pages appearing in user searches and this wasn't immediately obvious.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Hosting the manual online was much easier for us to keep our user-base up to date with changes to our software and service, rather than having multiple versions of the same file shared out and leaving people with instructions that would shortly become incorrect/irrelevant.

Help & Manual review by Administrator in Education Management
Administrator in Education Management
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Verified Current User
Review Source

"Help & Manual: Excellent product"

What do you like best?

The ease of use, especially the screen capture feature.

What do you dislike?

The screen capture becomes awkward when trying menu selections

Recommendations to others considering the product

Please consider Help & Manual if you are developing a help system for your software, or writing a user manual.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I use Help & Manual to develop Help file for software, as well as the printable user manual.

Help & Manual review by User in Computer Hardware
User in Computer Hardware
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Multiple Format Support is Great"

What do you like best?

Before Help and Manual, I spent a lot of time trying to manage the different formats that our Help would be distributed in. Now H+M does all of that for me. I spend my time writing help. Then H+M generates out different formats almost flawlessly.

What do you dislike?

I wish the skin color customization for the web help was more interactive. Instead of just having to pick a whole new skin.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The best part, is that H+M keeps adding new formats. So our manuals can keep up with the newest requirements.

Help & Manual review by Consultant in Computer Software
Consultant in Computer Software
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Simple to use - and with perfect support"

What do you like best?

It is very easy to use, works well for small teams and simplifies updating your online documentation.

What do you dislike?

Sometimes it is a little bit confusing where to adjust the settings for the desired output.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Look for a CSS-Guru to create your own skin.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Creating an online manual for our software

Kate from G2 Crowd

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