Documentation is an essential component of the software development approach. For any product or service, documentation plays a vital role for many businesses globally.
But how to initiate such a documentation process? Are you for the right procedure to follow?
We have gathered here a list of the best technical documentation software that help you identify the perfect solution for your organization. So, let’s get started.
Table of Content
- 19 Most Popular Software Documentation Tools
- Tool Categories
19 Most Popular Software Documentation Tools
Generally, the types of documentation for any organization are divided into two main approaches: Waterfall and Agile.
- Waterfall Approach: Teams working with waterfall techniques spend their reasonable time on product planning during the project initiation stage. The planning includes defining goals and objectives by waterfall teams.
- Agile Approach: The main task of the agile methodology is based on teamwork. The building block includes waterfall planning, analysis, design, development and testing of a software product.
Based on the two mentioned approaches, we are ready to start a journey to understand the details of documentation tools for writing essential points.
The Cloud Tutorial
The Cloud Tutorial is one of the best and most popular software documentation tools that help the organization and individuals to gain expertise in writing technical documentation.
The platform allows users to deal with writing the documents specifically related to software product development. The documentation helps the employees better understand writing policy and rules that need to follow in the long term. The Cloud Tutorial is the best platform for the same.
How does TCT benefit the organization?
- Information segregation by category and sub-category
- Tailormade FAQ page
- Customized domain, theme, and interactive contact form
- Impressive content editor
- Managing information from centralized location
- Import files in-between categories
- Effective report generation
TCT is an ideal choice for the organizations planning to develop a knowledge base for their customers and employees to access and share knowledge or information all in one from a single location.
Does it suit your budget?
Well, we suggest you to opt for the free trial version available. The trial version allows only a single member to write 25 knowledge base articles for one site.
But if you need more features and functionalities in your site, you can see pricing plans and select the best plan as per your needs.
Using the TCT platform, users can share the knowledge with every new employee joining the organization for the first time. So, rather than answering the same questions and queries repetitively, it is better to provide an effective solution.
Build an advanced knowledge base for your customers and give them answers fast – real fast.
Take your app and help center to the next level with The Cloud Tutorial.
Bit.ai is the second in the list that allows the organization teams to collaborate, share, and manage all the requirements and documents quickly and smoothly.
What benefit users can get from Bit.ai?
- Software documentation
- Technical specification sheet
- User guides and training manuals
- Best practices for technical writing
Moreover, the developers can easily add code blocks and integrate Github into their bit smart documents to enhance their programming skills. The formatting keeps your documentation more robust and attractive, and that is possible using markdown support for Bit.ai.
Once the documentation is ready, Bit.ai allows the users to export the files to PDF, Word, Markdown, and even the end-users can easily import their documentation to the website or blog directly without any hesitation.
ProProfs Knowledge Base
ProProfs knowledge base is the leading online platform designed explicitly for remote workers, who are working globally across the world. It becomes quite complicated for employees to learn the organization’s environment and deal with the roles and responsibilities on initial working days.
This knowledge base platform’s primary role is to create an online employees’ user guide, especially for new joiners. It includes writing the various documentation types like the company’s work dynamic, vision, mission and most importantly, the roles that new joiners need to play within the organization.
ProProfs knowledge base helps the employees to get rid of multiple emails. Moreover, this company-wide knowledge platform works like an employee handout that can be accessed from any mobile device.
In software development, Github plays a significant role in hosting and reviewing the code. Project management is of prime importance.
Github helps the technical writers enhance the documentation quality to the next level and creates an environment in writing interactive documents related to software project needs.
The conversion of Github repositories and documents into your website highlights your work, documentation, and even your projects smoothly.
What does Github provide to the customers?
- One free webpage
- Github hosting
- Routing a custom domain
Consider the scenario where the user does not want a separate documentation website. Don’t worry. Github has a solution for it. Github repository contains a special hosting documentation section named wiki to store essential details related to the project.
A technical writer can quickly write articles, README files, and essential software documentation using the efficient markdown document editor for windows named MarkdownPad.
The most astonishing fact about MarkdownPad is that it provides instant HTML previews as the developer or end-user starts writing the source code in the editor. Apart from this, MarkdownPad offers multiple customization options for end-users like colour schemes, font size, style guide and other layout options.
Moreover, the user can quickly convert their text into websites and export them easily to PDF for more interactive product documentation. MarkdownPad is a relatively simple and easy-to-use tool for editing to handle any document types on a large scale.
Currently, it supports only Windows, but the customers are eagerly waiting for its cloud-based platform.
Read the Docs
Read the Docs is a free tool that allows developers to initiate writing the documentation with ease and is used by millions of developers globally.
What Read the Docs does for you?
- It merely creates the software documentation that performs building, automation and even the docs hosting automatically.
- More than 90000 projects are currently handled by Read the Docs, and it supports software documentation free of cost. Apart from this, this tool allows the users to convert and view the docs as PDF, word file, single-page HTML and even eReaders format.
Is it possible to automatically generate technical documentation from C/C++ code?
Yes. Doxygen is the one-stop solution for the same. The programming languages like C#, PHP, Python, IDL, and Fortran are used to create documentation with the Doxygen tool.
The primary goal of Doxygen is to extract the source code and create documentation directly.
So, the developers on one side perform the coding, and on the other hand, the writing of the documentation is ready. The export of such documentation to leading formats like MS word hyperlinked PDF, compressed HTML, PostScript and Manual pages is possible using Doxygen.
Moreover, the end-users can also grab the opportunity to create graphs and diagrams easily from the source code. This makes it a more interactive and feature-rich platform.
Visual Studio Code
By default, there is no single support for markdown editing in Visual Studio Code. The end-users need to import an extension for the same. It is usually done by login into the application and is a straightforward process.
Once the extension is available, the Visual Studio Code provides additional attachments for the performing Markdown editing. For example, one extension may support live preview, while other extensions may be useful for other features.
Almost 80-90% of developers worldwide use Visual Studio Code to develop mobile and web-based applications on a large scale. On the other hand, the tech writer uses VS code for service or product documentation generated by the developers.
As it contains free source code, the technical writers and developers can facilitate a learning experience specifically for other people like new joiners in the organization. It becomes a boon for new developers to have a learning environment and easily create their markdown editor.
The applications developed by the developers are readily available on the Github repository and are usually downloaded in the form of a zip or tar file extension. As compared to other tools, this markdown editor typically requires basic technical knowledge from the user’s perspective.
Sublime Text 3
One of the most preferred and well-known documentation softwares that help millions of developers working across the world is Sublime Text 3. This tool is equipped with an extensive collection of features that makes your documentation interactive.
The setup of Sublime Text 3 is quite complex, and also the installation process is quite cumbersome. First, it requires Sublime package control and then it needs markdown editing package installation.
The Sublime Text 3 is an ideal choice for the end-users, providing impressive features for the programmers, developers and web writers’ limited features.
Moreover, many advanced users use this tool for the following reasons:
- Adequate pricing model
- Least installation requirements
- Collection of top-most features
Are you surprised by the name of Notepad++? Yes, it’s true. Notepad++ is among the top-most software for documentation that helps technical writers to create significant docs.
Usually run on the leading top operating systems, Notepad++ is the favourite text editor for developers that spend their whole life coding, coding and coding. Notepad++ allows users and developers to create markdown files in order to make it successful doc software for both technical and non-technical perspectives.
On a daily or monthly basis, the users are provided with the latest updates to keep their documentation up-to-date. A technical writer using Notepad++ can quickly bring changes and updates to the documentation related to a service or product.
Another feature-rich app that is specifically for markdown lovers, Inkdrop, comes with a smooth-running UI. It helps technical writers and developers easily create non-technical and technical documentation.
Inkdrop runs on all three main operating systems and also on iOS and Android devices.
The pricing is more convenient than other tools as it provides the price of $4.99/month or $49.90/year, depending on your business needs.
Most of the data that resides in the cloud provides a good security layer using 256-bit AES standard key. In addition to it, Inkdrop offers inspiring features like easy setup, live previews, and most importantly, highlighting the code syntax errors.
To enhance the technical writing skills, the technical writers make use of Adobe FrameMaker to take care of the content writing and re-using the existing content. It is the best example of technical writing documentation as it contains experienced documented processors that make the working process smooth.
Adobe FrameMaker allows the users to create well-defined documents integrated with XML framework and Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) amenable.
The most exciting part about Adobe FrameMaker is that it contains a massive collection of attractive templates suitable for various industrial standard formats. In addition to it, Adobe FrameMaker makes it easy for technical writers to create financial statements and legal agreements.
As discussed, Adobe FrameMaker is a DITA-friendly tool, allowing users and writers to export the comprehensive documentation to PDF format and is an alternative to MS-Word. Moreover, this impressive tool allows creating a table of contents, hyperlinks, list of figures and list of tables with just a simple click.
Without screenshots, your technical documentation is incomplete. A screenshot is something that shows the reader what to do when they are stuck in the situation. Snagit is an impressive tool that allows the technical writer to keep your documentation more attractive by including images.
Many technical writers create process documentation more effectively by including the different types of images related to the working process. So, it becomes relatively easy for readers to understand the organization’s system documentation.
System Documentation allows users to understand the building blocks of the product, service or system-based information. Moreover, images are added to the documentation related to software development products to enhance business efficiency to a great extent.
Snagit is a powerful tool that quickly captures the screen and helps the technical writers to make their documentation more effective and professional.
Do you find technical documentation boring? Want to get out of this issue? Whatfix is the perfect solution for it.
Many of the online documentation that is available on the website contains lengthy and robotic web pages. Whatfix helps you by providing efficient guides and helpful articles to develop real-time examples to be more interactive and practical.
Whether you use a mobile app or website, Whatfix automatically adapts the various documentation types. The same doc can be accessed in the form of PDF, video slides and even slide shows.
A cloud-based and excellent-browser-based technical documentation tool, ClickHelp, allows the end-user to test strategy based on creating documents with ease. ClickHelp easily exports the source code document file to PDF docs, context files, rules and policies quickly.
ClickHelp is an ideal choice for software developers and technicians, making process documentation robust. It provides a better user experience when the user deals with multiple terminologies to create various software documentation types to a great extent.
Such inspiring techniques typically define the rate improvement and customer retention types to enhance the user experience. In addition to it, online documentation access becomes easy and creates interactive tutorials using this inspiring tool.
A simple but powerful tool that works like an MS word processor possessing a short learning curve is Help+Manual. It allows the users to deal with easy-to-use and grab the full power to use the WYSIWYG XML editor.
There is no need for any specific training to learn this tool; the developer or writer can quickly discover the tool by itself. The Help+Manual tool provides interactive online training classes to understand the tool to its readers better.
A massive collection of features are available as it helps the developers to create the documentation of service, product or file that support multimedia and even modular projects. The document publication becomes comfortable with Help+Manual as it supports desktop and mobile platforms to create help manuals or PDF user manuals.
Teamwork, multi-user editing option, integrated version control, image tool, and project management are impressive features of Help+Manual.
Is your organization more focused on planning and project management? But how to create the technical documentation for such a case? Don’t worry! HelpNDoc is just for you.
Using HelpNDoc, the developers and writers can quickly create documentation related to complete manuals, help files, a test case specifications document, ebooks, and other technical documentation.
The most exciting part of HelpNDoc is that it allows the users to integrate various tables of contents editing, WYSIWYG topic editing, and keyword editing features everything just in a single platform.
Microsoft Visio is one of the most impressive diagrammatic tools explicitly used in the software engineering approach. The technical writers need to create a flowchart, architectural diagrams, circuit diagrams, software architecture, design documents and agile development diagrams based on the business needs. Visio is a one-stop solution for it.
An IEEE compliant software for creating technical documentation that typically confronts efficient industry standards like UML and BPMN is possible using Microsoft Visio. In addition to it, online subscribers of Office 365 can easily access Visio on their desktop.
So, these were the leading and the best softwares that help the user deal with the technical documentation and images, and videos that make impressive documentation for both organization and employees.
The tools for creating different types of documentation are usually divided into categories as given below:
General Purpose Tools
- Atlassian Confluence: It is the best tool for performing project management by using various collaborative functionalities. It typically manages the whole ecosystem and helps the team members to manage the project requirements and its related technical writing documentation.
- Document360: It is a self-service knowledge base software that allows the user to perform or create end-user documentation specifically for SaaS products or services.
- ai: It is an innovative tool that works just like the wiki system and provides an easy way to perform document creation, storing, and even sharing.
The interactive documentation is quickly created with this tool as it helps the developers to ember their code directly into the document and shares it in PDF or another format.
- GitHub: As already seen above in more detail, it is the perfect solution for software engineers who are completely involved in creating software documentation. Additionally, it possesses its wiki system, and your documentation can be easily converted into website use cases with a few clicks.
The software documentation is vital on the web page, so it becomes quite mandatory to create a well-defined format. Markup languages are the perfect solution for defining adequate and interactive documentation on a large scale.
- Markup: The perfect one is Markup, which easily converts to the HTML format and does not require any specific coding knowledge. Usually, there are many technical docs tools in this competitive world, but we have defined the most popular ones in this article. So, just grab the opportunity to read those points and start creating your docs right now.
- HackMD: The users, organization, and everyone remains on the same page using the Markdown approach. The tool allows real-time collaboration for performing technical, personal, project, and team documentation in Markdown to a great extent.
Roadmap Specific Tools
Nowadays, many organizations worldwide are adopting terminologies to share knowledge or information, either internally or externally. The tools for road mapping functionalities allow the users to update themes or timelines, create new items in their notes, and even edit the whole project structure smoothly.
- The Cloud Tutorial: It is the best platform for performing the knowledge sharing between the employees and enhances technical writing capabilities to a great extent. Moreover, the roadmap specific tools allow the reader to be more specific towards learning and creating new documents quickly.
Build an advanced knowledge base for your customers and give them answers fast – real fast.
Take your app and help center to the next level with The Cloud Tutorial.
- ProductPlan: A great tool for managers that help to create roadmaps quickly and easily, creation and moving estimates, communication plans for future work and build up a consistent and standardized work process.
Tools for UX Documentation
UX documentation tools allow users to create sketches, mock-ups, useful wireframes, and basic prototypes within the organization.
- Sketch: An impressive design tool having a mobile app and Mac desktop client, Sketch is simple yet possesses vast capabilities for designing interfaces to a great extent.
- InVision: One of the most popular prototyping tools, InVision, allows to perform collaborative features and does possess cross-platform capabilities.
- UXPin: The users can easily create blueprints using UXPin. This Mac and Windows design tool quickly uploads the sketches from other software products and creates an interactive prototype.
- AdobeXD: XD stands for experience design. UX’s expert professionals allow the designers to deal with efficient prototypes and easily share mobile apps.
Tools for API Documentation
API Documentation plays a significant role for developers working across the globe in different departments. Generally, tech writers use API documentation generation according to the business requirements to create technical documentation.
- Swagger: It is a free software service that works as a self-documentation to create RESTful web services and APIs.
- RAML 2 HTML: A simple and conversion tool that helps to create documentation using RAML specification is RAML 2 HTML tool.
Which is the best documentation software that suits the best for your team?
In this competitive world, you will come across multiple software to design and create interactive documentation for your business requirements. However, The Cloud Tutorial is a perfect software over comprehensive documentation that provides tremendous response to develop specification content for programmers and testers or even software manuals for users.
The engineering team in the organization uses the agile methodology to enhance the business value and performance by making use of interactive types of documentation. In case, if you want to know more about this software like how it benefits your business, you can get in touch with us to guide you further.