Best Help Authoring Software & Tools: Reviews and Comparison

Let’s face it: We live in the 21st century, and there is 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 for most software companies.

 

 

11 Best Help Authoring Software

Now let us begin our journey to understand the best help authoring tools or platforms that suit the best as per your business demands. We’ll have a complete look at the top features as well.

  1. The Cloud Tutorial

    Want to write your help articles easily in a FAQ format? Then the Cloud Tutorial is the right choice for you. The Cloud Tutorial does not require users to perform the coding. They can create a beautiful online help site for their product and company in a few clicks.
    Top Features:

    • Ease in writing help articles
    • User Management is simple
    • No need to import data from word documents
    • 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
  2. HelpJuice

    Another knowledge management system solution that can be used to write online help files, HelpJuice is a Knowledge Base software that helps you create an internal knowledge base software for your employees and a support site for your customers.
    Top features:

    • Google-like search function
    • Multi-language support
    • Analytics regarding page views
    • Supports document version control system
    • Make web pages SEO friendly
  3. Adobe RoboHelp

    Adobe RoboHelp allows your customers to provide inspiring and attractive content designed explicitly for different screens. It gives productive HTML5 output with a single click to create help, policy, and knowledgebase articles to help pages.
    Top features:

    • Git Collaboration
    • Add media into a content document
    • Dynamic Content Filtering
    • Multiformat Publishing
    • The perfect solution for project management strategies
  4. Madcap Flare

    MadCap Flare is the technical documentation and helps authoring tool (HAT), designed to help technical writers or authors publish help files to their legacy projects.
    Top features:

    • Import files from multiple sources of formats
    • Easy authoring with XML editors
    • Supports Component Content Management Systems (CCMS)
    • Publish your articles or user guides in multiple formats
  5. HelpNDoc

    A versatile documentation software solution that works with PDFs, Word, ePub, Kindle, QT Help, HTML, CHM help text files to deal with different functionalities is HelpNDoc.

    • 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
  6. HelpSmith

    A complete help authoring tool (HAT) is great to create CHM Help files, Web Help systems, Printed manuals, Adobe PDF Documents, Word Documents, and much more from one specific source.
    Top Features:

    • 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
  7. Dr.Explain

    A multi-language help authoring tool or software available in 9 different languages to create help 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.
    Top features:

    • WYSIWYG XML editor to work on the cloud
    • Impressive screen capture quality
    • Supports links, images, tables, lists, and fonts
    • Multilingual program interface
  8. HelpStudio

    A product of Innovasys, HelpStudio info pages makes the task to help content authoring pages incredibly easy. You can create and publish procedures, documentation, and help system and integrate them with your application components.
    Top features:

    • Author and collaborate on the WYSIWYG environment
    • Easily import quality content from Word, RoboHelp, HTML help, or HTML files
    • Output to cross-platform and multiple help formats from one specific source text
  9. 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.
    Top features:

    • 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
  10. ClickHelp

    An online documentation tool to author, host, and deliver your technical documentation from a single self-service portal. You can manage all your documents from a central place, easily import all your text documents, and perform document management with ease.
    Top features:

      • Streamline your documentation to make collaboration easy

     

    • Save time on all stages of the documentation life cycle
    • Flexible permission management
    • Supports CCMS
  11. Confluence

    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, text files, etc.
    Top features:

    • 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

These were the top 11 Help authoring tools or software authoring solutions that you need to consider before choosing the right software program for your needs.

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What is a Help Authoring Software?

Do you know that Help authoring tools (HAT) have three basic descriptions they are supposed to fulfill? Let’s take a look at them:

  1. 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
  2. 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 much more comfortable.
  3. 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.

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 characteristics 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
  • 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 a 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 options like The Cloud Tutorial are great as they are affordable and easy to use.

On the other hand, if you want to create a full help and documentation site, the Adobe RoboHelp, Help+Manual, and De. Explain are 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.

Build an advanced knowledge base for your customers and give them answers fast – real fast.

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FAQs

To develop online help pages, you can use a knowledge management tool like the Cloud Tutorial, HelpJuice, etc. and create a help site and maintain an internal knowledge base 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.

Conclusion

Which help authoring platform suits the best for you?

You can purchase a licensed help authoring tool like RoboHelp and HelpNDoc if your primary purpose is to create printed manuals.

On the other hand, if you want to create a help site, you can consider subscription-based tools like The Cloud Tutorial that comes with advanced features.

If you have any more questions for us, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to hear from you.

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