Help Authoring Tools
These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.
Confluence is a collaboration and content sharing platform used primarily by customers who are already using Atlassian's Jira project tracking product. The product appeals particularly to IT users.
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…
Paligo, headquartered in Stockholm, offers their component content management system (CCMS), supporting the creation and publishing of technical documentation and help systems.
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.
ONePUBS is a technical document generation and help authoring tool (HAT) from O'Neil & Associates (ONEIL) headquartered in Ohio.
Cortona3D, a company of Parallel Graphics headquartered in Ireland, offers the RapidAuthor technical documentation drafting and publishing suite.
WebWorks ePublisher is a publishing and help authoring tool from WebWorks, a Quadralay company, headquartered in Austin.
PTC offers Arbortext, an XML writer and editor designed to support fast publication of technical manuals and aids for evolving products.
The Quark Publishing Platform from Quark Software headquartered in Denver is a publishing tool and document generation workflow featuring collaborative tools, quick content reuse tools, and structured authoring aids.
SDL Contenta Publishing Suite 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 publishing process. WIth it, the vendor states users can manage complex…
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…
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…
Infor User Adoption Platform (UAP) facilitates user adoption by providing “moments of understanding” throughout the software lifecycle. During the implementation phase, Infor UAP provides content authoring and management functionality, allowing authors to create custom learning content…
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…
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.…
Corel Corporation headquartered in Ottawa offers the CorelDRAW Technical Suite, supplying applications for 2D and 3D visual design and technical documentation.
Author-it Cloud offers a series of component authoring solutions, described by the vendor as a suite of integrated solutions that give businesses of all sizes the power to create, maintain, review, reuse and localize content, and publish into a full spectrum of outputs.
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.