Let’s face it: We live in the 21st century, where there’s software for anything and everything. So, there is no surprise that software is designed to help you write help pages (no pun intended!). Help Authoring Software or Help Authoring Tool (HAT) are the solutions designed to help technical writers create online help systems or technical documentation sites for most software companies. Let’s help you choose the right authoring solution.
Table of Content
What is a Help Authoring Software?
Do you know that best Help authoring tools (HAT) have three basic descriptions they are supposed to fulfill? Let’s take a look at them:
- File Input: HAT gets the source files or source text from multiple sources of documentation formats in the form of PDFs, HTML, CHM, Word documents, and much more. So the first thing a decent HAT should do is accept a range of file formats.
- Help Output: The output of HAT is most certainly not going to be in one single form. So, you should be able to publish the help documents into multiple file formats from an available tool without much hassle to make the writing process more comfortable.
- Auxiliary Functions: This is what makes different HATs unique- based on additional functions it performs. Some of the most common extra parts include automated index generation, automated table of contents, spelling checker, etc.
11 Best Help Authoring Software
Here is the list of 11 best help authoring tools for you to use with their top features and pricing model.
Want to write help articles quickly in a FAQ format? The CloudTutorial is the right choice for you. It does not require end-users to perform the coding. They can create a beautiful online help site for their product and company in a few clicks. It is based on unique interface analysis. CloudTutorial is also compatible with Mac OS and Linux.
- Ease in writing help articles
- User Management is simple
- No need to import data from documentation files
- Get analytics reports on your help articles
- Organize your help and manuals into an unlimited number of categories
- A smart search that shows the relevant help articles even for the misspelled terms
- Free Trial
- Standard Plan: $14.99/Month
- Gold Plan: $49.99/Month
- Plus Plan:$99.99/Month
Want To Create A Help Site With Just A Few Clicks?
CloudTutorial is a powerful yet simple to use online help authoring software, allowing you to create an online help centre.
HelpJuice is another knowledge management system solution that can be used to write browser based help files. It is a cloud based Knowledge management software that helps you create an internal knowledge management software for your employees and a support site for your customers.
HelpJuice Inc includes a rich feature set combined with an easy to use interface. You can use the software to produce HTML and CHM documents, PDF and Word files, and EPUB.
- Google-like search function
- Multi-language support
- Analytics regarding page views
- Supports document version control system
- Make web pages SEO friendly
- Supports Free Trial with Limited Functionalities
- Starter Plan: $120/Month for only 4 Users
- Enterprise Plan: $999 per month
Adobe RoboHelp allows your customers to provide inspiring and attractive content designed explicitly for different screens. This software program gives productive HTML5 output with a single click to create policy and help articles to help pages. It has a sleek backend user interface.
- Git Collaboration
- Add media into a content document
- Dynamic Content Filtering
- Multiformat Publishing
- The perfect solution for project management strategies
- Individual Plan: $29.99/Month
- Enterprise and Educational: Based on the size of your organization
MadCap Flare is a cloud based technical documentation and help authoring software, designed to help technical writers or authors publish help files to their legacy projects. There is also another version of this software called madcap central.
It is a cloud based solution that allows your team to track and manage tasks, organize workflows, schedule and automate processes. Madcap Flare is a help authoring software to create help files, documentation and on-line manuals in CHM.
- Import files from multiple different formats
- Easy authoring with XML editors
- Supports Component Content Management Systems (CCMS)
- Publish your articles or user guides in multiple formats
- Possess tools for adding indexes, content tables, or images.
- Basic Plan: $149 /month/ user.
- Floating License and Enterprise Floating Licensing: Need to contact the support team
HelpNDoc is a versatile help authoring tool that works with PDFs, Word, ePub, Kindle, QT Help, HTML, CHM help text files to deal with different functionalities.
- Clean and easy-to-use interface
- A super-advanced table of contents and document editor
- Live spell check tools for pdf and word
- Supports CCMS
- Works with kindle ebooks
- Free Trial available with limited functionality
- Named License: $99/Month
- Floating License: $249/Month
A complete help authoring tool (HAT) is great to create CHM Help files, Web Help systems, Printed manuals, Adobe PDF Documents, and Word Documents from one specific source. One of the essential features of HelpSmith is the built-in Image Tool that significantly simplifies the way of writing
- Built-in screen capture system
- Easier Writing tools and functionalities
- Automatic help creation for the user interfaces
- Conditional document compilation, syntax highlighter, user-editable variable
- CCMS compatibility
- Free Trial
- Standard Plan: $199/Month
A multi-language help authoring tool or software available in 9 different languages to create files, technical help documentation, and online text manuals in CHM, PDF, RTF, and HTML formats automatically from a single source.
It captures the control of overall application screens or web pages and documents them automatically. Dr.Explain is based on a unique interface analysis and screen capture system.
- WYSIWYG XML editor to work on the cloud
- Impressive screen capture quality
- Supports links, images, tables, lists, and fonts
- Multilingual program interface
- Free Trial
- Regular License: $250/Month
- Premium: $585/Month for 1 Year, $675/Month for 2 Years
Document360 is another excellent knowledge management and authoring software made especially for SaaS products. It helps to build a great self-service knowledge base which might be a good option for small and medium-sized businesses.
It is an awesome knowledge base software that provides a global customer base with documentation in multiple languages. The feature of versioning helps to review the history of changes for any particular online knowledge base and revert if needed.
- Collaborative editing
- Uncompromised authoring experience
- Customizable templates
- Advanced navigation
- Support multiple languages
- Built-in analytics
- 14-day free trial
- Startup: $119 per project/month
- Business: $299 per project/month
- Enterprise: $599 per project/month
Help & Manual
A leader in help and documentation tools, Help+Manual helps you Write, Publish, and deliver help articles and help documentation just like word processors. Everyone in your organization can access this help authoring tool.
- Import and organize with a few clicks
- Import files from 8 different Help formats
- Room for Teamwork and multi-user editing
- Ability to deal with web browser translation management
- Optimized for building knowledge bases
- 30-Day Free Trial
- Standard Plan: $199-$1198/Month
Paligo is an authoring tool used to create technical documentation and advanced user manuals. Since it is cloud-based software, it does not require any installation or IT support. It works on a Component Content Management System (CCMS) using XML which is helpful for technical writers who need a way to manage complex technical documents.
Paligo offers a built-in editor with many templates and WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) formatting options. Documents can be published in multiple formats, including print, PDF, and HTML5. And the publishing process becomes simple and time-saving because of topic-based authoring and smart content reuse. This is ideal for businesses that wish to quickly establish a complete knowledge management solution with a professional appearance.
- Structured authoring process
- Reuse content
- One-stop CCMS
- Powerful integrations
- Import existing documentation
- Multi-channel publishing
- Professional: $179/author per month
- Business: $269/author per month
- Enterprise: Available on request
Confluence is a collaboration tool to make the remote working of knowledge management easy and collaboration simple. You can collaborate with your teams to create documents that can be internal or external, like help articles, FAQs, and text files.
- Create and set document templates and make work faster
- Organize everything in one page and space
- Search within documents easily with Google-like search engines
- Supports various social networks
- Optimized for building knowledge bases
- Free Plan: For 10 Users
- Standard Plan: $5/User/Month
- Premium Plan: $10/User/Month
These were the best help authoring software & tools that you need to consider before choosing the right authoring software for your business.
Want A Software That is Flexible For Any Industry?
CloudTutorial is a 100% customized knowledge base platform to create your knowledge base for your business.
Features to Look For
It is very likely that at this point, you have a shortlist of HAT, and you want to finalize one. So at this point, you may ask us, what are the three power features to consider while choosing a HAT:
- Easy to use: You want to have software that is easy to use, so there is no learning curve for your employees.
- Ability to collaborate on documents: The next thing your writers will do is collaborate on documents or topics. If the HATmakes this easy to do and offers attributes to increase collaboration, then it is a great option to consider. Also, it should maximize the content reuse.
- Skip Excessive Coding: If to make optimal use of all the coding functionality provided, your team needs to have a coding background, then you may want to look at other options for getting significant results.
Who Can Effectively Use Help Authoring Software?
The next question that naturally arises is: do I need or possess any intent to use a help authoring tool with a documentation generator?
If you consider options to create a help page for your product with 50-100 articles at the initial stage, then an option like CloudTutorial is great as it is affordable and easy to use compared to other software solutions.
On the other hand, if you want to create a full help and documentation site, the Adobe RoboHelp, Help+Manual, and De are also good options to consider. These are great as you can have multiple sources of file outputs and easily integrate them as a part of your product.
To develop online help pages, you can use a knowledge management tool like CloudTutorial and HelpJuice and create a help site and maintain an internal knowledge management for your employees using such significant authoring capabilities to a great extent.
Adobe RoboHelp is a licensed help authoring tool to create help pages, product manuals, and other documentation to go along with your product. Aimed towards producing responsive documentation over-responsive sites, it is ideal if you want to create printed manuals. RoboHelp enables you to create and maintain help content for your business.
Which help authoring platform suits the best for your requirements?
You can purchase a licensed help authoring tool like CloudTutorial, RoboHelp and HelpNDoc if your primary purpose is to create manuals, how-to-guides, and help authoring websites.
On the other hand, if you want to create a self-service portal, look for a subscription-based tool like CloudTutorial that comes with advanced features.
If you have any questions related to our software and how it helps you, please feel free to contact us, and we will be happy to answer your questions.
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