Best Help Authoring Tools include:
MindTouch is a customer experience management platform with content management and help authoring capabilities. Formerly known as MediaWiki, it is optimized for building knowledge bases for customer self-service and agent assistance purposes.
Whatfix is a SaaS-based platform that enables businesses to create real-time interactive guides on their application. Whatfix can be integrated with ease across all user touch-points inside any platform across the web and desktop. Whatfix helps businesses with:Simplifying User…
Tridion (formerly SDL Tridion) aims to connect people, processes, and information through a complete portfolio of collaborative Content Management, Knowledge Management and Headless delivery technologies. Combine with Accelerators for fast time-to-value and RWS Translation Management…
ClickLearn automates the process of creating training material and documentation of popular business systems such as Microsoft D365, SAP, and Oracle. With ClickLearn, users click through processes and ClickLearn records actions. When these are recorded, ClickLearn automatically delivers…
ProProfs Knowledge Base is a help authoring tool for creating help documents or web pages, online FAQs, or other knowledge bases.
Web Manuals headquartered in Malmo offers their suite of technical documentation authoring tools, specifically to the aviation industry.
Scribe automatically creates step-by-step guides for any process completed on a computer. It captures mouse clicks and keystrokes and turns them into editable step-by-step instructions and screenshots instantly. Scribes can be shared to anyone via a link or in-app with team members.…
Archbee combines advanced documentation features and a company-wide collaborative workspace to manage product knowledge in a streamlined platform. Archbee enables teams to build product docs, dev guides and API references.
The Maintenance Performance Toolbox, from The Boeing Company, provides access to maintenance documentation at the airplane, in the hangar, in the MRO facility, or in the office using a modern interface that operates with or without a WiFi connection. With modular options, teams can…
HelpNDoc is a single-source multi-channel help authoring tool which can generate multiple documentation formats including fully responsive HTML web-sites, Word and PDF documents, CHM and Qt help files, ePub and Kindle eBooks as well as Markdown documents. The vendor presents it as…
ONePUBS is a technical document generation and help authoring tool (HAT) from O'Neil & Associates (ONEIL) headquartered in Ohio.
WebWorks ePublisher is a publishing and help authoring tool from WebWorks, a Quadralay company, headquartered in Austin.
Anark, headquartered in Boulder, helps firms in industries such as manufacturing, aviation, and DoD, transform, publish, and manage critical engineering, manufacturing and operational data as role-specific technical data packages (TDPs) and connected digital workflows that can be…
The Vasont Inspire Component Content Management System (CCMS) is used to advance the content development and publishing cycles for content contributors that are not familiar with the dynamics of XML. Vasont’s DITA content management capabilities allow users to search for content…
The Contenta Publishing Suite from RWS (formerly from SDL, which was acquired by RWS in late 2020) is designed to help users deliver accurate and up-to-date technical content; it is a publishing suite for S1000D technical content, with functionality optimized for each step of the…
Cortona3D, a company of Parallel Graphics headquartered in Ireland, offers the RapidAuthor technical documentation drafting and publishing suite.
Docuvera is a structured component authoring designed specifically for Life Sciences, designed to improve the efficiency of document creation, review and revisions, while reducing the time spent on every project. It is presented as a platform to author, review, approve, translate,…
RSuite is a CCMS software used to automate, manage, and publish digital content, from Orbis Technologies headquartered in Annapolis. The solution boasts its semantic search capabilities, dynamic reflowable outputs, and security. An open source and free edition is available, and the…
Corel Corporation headquartered in Ottawa offers the CorelDRAW Technical Suite, supplying applications for 2D and 3D visual design and technical documentation.
Adobe offers Robohelp, a cloud-based technical content and help authoring solution available via subscription standalone or as part of the Adobe Technical Communication Suite for eLearning and knowledgebase management.
PTC offers Arbortext, an XML writer and editor designed to support fast publication of technical manuals and aids for evolving products.
Comply365 works with airlines to understand their everyday airline document management and compliance challenges. They focus on several core approaches to managing airline content: Unified authoring and distributionSimplified and automated authoring and revision processesPersonalized…
What are Help Authoring Tools (HATs)
Help Authoring Tools (HAT) provide a means to edit and create help documents. These tools may be used to generate manuals for software, online help, or other technical documents and guides. Also known as Technical Documentation Tools, Help Authoring Tools will share some features with word processors and document editors, and general publishing tools.
Another approach to help content authoring is found in Component Content Management Systems (CCMS). Rather than organize content on the document level, CCMS maintain a content model that is granular and topic-based, and preserves relationships of topics across documents and versions. Whether described as a CCMS or a HAT, technical documentation generation tools must support topic-based authoring to provide a useful guide to end-users.
Features of Help Authoring Tools (HATs)
Help authoring tools generally provide the following capabilities:
Import HTML, Word docs, HHP, and other formats
Can publish multi-format output, i.e. HTML (or any web help site), Word documents, PDF, eBook, or printed manuals
Can integrate into web applications to create in-app help system, guides
Automated help pop up for apps, guide workflow
Screenshot tool, screenshot hotspots
In-built word processor comparable to popular word processors
Support for multiple views & preview output
Image library and image management, vector graphics
Customizable content library, reuse content across documents
Collaboration tools and multi-user editing, project management (via integration)
Topic template library, layouts & themes to suit variety of needs
Drag-and-drop, XML, or WYSIWYG editor, suite of editing tools
Content or topic search engine or search tool with customizable filter, autocorrect content or topic tagging, search relevance ranking
Mobile display aids (e.g. rollup, thumbnail, etc)
Version control, remote or offline editing
Translation tools and support
Some Help Authoring Tools or Technical Document tools are available at low cost for a one time cost on a perpetual license. Free versions are available with relatively limited feature sets, or for one user. Licensing may cover a named user, or be issued as a floating license (i.e. one seat, tied to device rather than a person). Higher priced plans may include sophisticated tools for building help systems into apps, or for reusing content from a library. Some vendor offer cloud-based HATs via subscription service. These may also include dedicated support from the vendor.