June 17th, 2018
Topic Outline for Rendered HTML
HTML output now displays a document outline on the right side of the document on large screens. Displays a list of links to topic sub-heads along with a placeholder indicator of location in the document.
The FTP Table of Contents Upload now also uploads the style sheet and support script file to the Web site, so any CSS and scripting changes can be updated without re-uploading the entire site with a full site upload. Fixed a few issues with image uploads.
JSON Export for Projects
You can now export your Help Builder Project file into a flat JSON document. The document is not hierarchical but includes the flat table structure that is used internally to store Help Builder topics.
Editor Performance Improvements
We've continued to improve performance of the editor. Most of the improvements come from using a newer version of ACE Editor inside, as well as a host of tweaks to the dirty checking and spell checking operations in the editor.
Spell Checking improvements
Better context detection in the text: Ignoring inline code blocks,
April 10th, 2018
New VsCodeDark Editor Theme
We've added a new Visual Studio Code Dark Theme that mimics the default VS Code theme. You can configure the theme in the Editor configuration tab in Options -> Content Editor.
Sidebar Header Links in Topic Output
Topics now display a sidebar on the righ in large sizes (1200px+) to show all headers in the current document for a topic level table of content.
Update themes for blockquotes, classes member lists and class icons, as well as improvements to the new document outline sidebar.
Updated Theme Icons
We've switched to simpler and more flexible icons both inside of the application as well as in the browser. The Editor and HTML output now use separate icons with larger and resized PNG icons used in the Web output.
Code Rendering Improvements
Updated code rendering for legacy code. Legacy code now displays in more nicely formatted view. Updated code rendering for non-language specific code. Added Visual Studio Code dark code theme (vs2015) and applied to Dharkan theme.
Updated Topic Type Icons
Switched to more modern icons to display for various topic types. Topics used in HTML are now
pngfiles while the application continues to use matching
Editor Performance Improvements
We added many more tweaks to the editor to improve typing performance in the main editor. You should see less stuttering even on very large topics and with spell checks enabled.
Improved Topic Preview Rendering
The topic preview is now more efficient at rendering content in the background, not blocking while updating. Preview refreshing now highlights the current paragraph or header and scrolls to the active rendered position.
Show Whitespace Editor Option
You can now specify Show Whitespace in the editor options that will show you spaces, tabs and linefeeds in the editor as you type.
Line Height Editor Option
You can now specify the line height for the editor to allow spacing between lines. The default has been opened up to line height of 1.3 which makes longer text block more readable.
Improved Topic Markdown Upgrade
When upgrading from older versions of Help Builder you can now more reliably convert topics from the old HTML like syntax to markdown. Many update fix a number of common edge case conversions of lists, code, headers, note boxes and few other custom features common in the old templates.
Upload Image Folder
The Upload toolbar now includes an additional option to upload images to the server in addition to individual topic and table of contents uploads. If you are updating topics individually and also updating images you can now push just the images. Pre-existing images that haven't changed are not uploaded again. This allows images to be uploaded without having to republish the entire site.
Table of Contents Upload now sends Project Style Sheet
The Table of Content upload also uploads wwhelp.css which allows uploading updated styling without having to upload the entire site. Both of these improvements make it easier to publish individual topics as they are changed. At this point the only thing that requires a full project recompile is a
_layout.wcstemplate change to the master template that affects all topics.
Support for .NET 4.7.x and .NET Standard Assemblies Imports
Switched to use .NET 4.7 to allow imports for .NET 4.7 and earlier assemblies to be imported.
- Script and Template Updates - Update your Templates!
This version adds mandatory script changes in
wwhelp.jsthat handle preview content updates and detect changes to the document. Make sure to update your templates in Tools->Options->Update Templates. As always, templates are backed up into a backup folder so you can compare changes.
This release fixes a number of small issues and improves performance and stability of the editor. The main focus has been on stability of the editor and making the Preview work more smoothly and keep in sync with editor content.
Preview Rendering Improvements
The preview renderer is now dynamically updating content for a smoother, less resource intensive preview refresh operation. Preview sync is more precise and you're less likely to see janky page rendering on refreshes. The active line is also highlighted.
Theming Update for Darkhan and GitHub Themes
There have been some subtle adjustments to the Darkhan and Github themes for font sizes, spacing around lists and quotes and slightly softer primary text/background colors. Themes have been trimmed down a little to make them easier to modify.
Search Box Improvements in Web Output
The Web templates have a few improvements in the Web Search box. The box now has an embedded X to clear the content search text content quickly. Clearing the content causes the filter to be released and focusing on the previously selected topic in context.
August 18th, 2017
Topic Content Navigation Fix
Fixed issue where topic links inside of a topic (cross links) would not appropriately update the browser's address bar. Fixed.
Many small UI Fixes
There have been many small UI fixes. The tree has been updated to handle more efficient quick searches. The new topic dialog now properly trims titles and other values entered. Many Markdown editor focus quirks have been fixed.
Fix: Markdown Rendering for Code Snippets
There have been a number of fixes for rendering Markdown content that includes embedded Help Builder scripts (like
<%= ChildTopicsList() %>for example). Most helper functions now also don't require parameters.
- Script Updates - Make sure to update your Templates!
This version adds mandatory script changes in
wwhelp.jsthat handle preview content updates and detect changes to the document. Make sure to update your templates in Tools->Options->Update Templates. As always, templates are backed up and a
_layout_old.wcsfile is created for you to use a diff tool with. There are also a number of changes in
May 25th, 2017
Spell Checking Improvements
The spellchecker now only spell checks the active text that is on screen and a buffer area before and after the visible text. This improves editor performance on large documents as spell checks only affect a small portion of the entire document.
Support for Image Pasting
You can now paste images from the clipboard into Markdown content. Simply copy an image to the clipboard from your browser or image editing program, and then ctrl-v into the active markdown document at the location you want to embed the image.
PNG Image Compression
When pasting images into the editor or adding images by filename in the image dialog, images saved as PNG are automatically compressed using optipng. Image compression occurs in the background and compressed images may not be available immediately.
Editor->Preview Scroll Sync
The HTML Preview now stays in sync with the editor's content in most situations. To move the preview simply navigate in the edit document and the preview will reflect the approximate location of the text with the editor selection showing in the top quarter of the preview.
Html PreviewWindow Setting Remembered between Restarts
The HTML Preview window setting is now remembered between restarts of the application. If you had the external preview open when you shut down, it will be opened when you start back up the next time.
Breaking Changes for 5.01* **Script Updates - Make sure to update your Templates!** This version adds mandatory script changes in `_layout.wcs` and `wwhelp.js` that handle preview content updates and detect changes to the document. Make sure to update your templates in **Tools->Options->Update Templates**. As always, templates are backed up and a `_layout_old.wcs` file is created for you to use a diff tool with.
February 7th, 2017
Support for Markdown Editor Format
The text editor's for main content, remarks and code examples now support Markdown text. Help Builder topics can be set to use Markdown syntax or the old Help Builder format via a switch on the Main form. The view mode is applied to body, remarks and example fields by default and any other fields that use
< %= FormatHtml() % >or
< %= FormatCode() % >in the Markup template. Markdown is an easy to use text markup format that is optimized for quick text entry while typing, has support for raw HTML for additional formatting and is highly portable and very well supported in various developer and CMS solutions. Once created moving Markdown between environments is easy.
New Content Text Editor
The text editor for editing the main content is now a separate rich text editor with many more features than the old editor. Syntax highlighting for Markdown and HTML formats, complete undo buffer support, find and replace, font sizing with scroll wheel or Ctrl-+/-. You can also access the same editor from other text fields like Notes, Examples and Class properties by pressing
Markdown and Help Builder Syntax Highlighting as you type
As you type Spell-Checking
The new editor also has support for spell checking as you type, using underlines to highlight mistyped text as you type. You can double click to get suggestions for words to replace misspelled words. The spell checker supports multiple languages out of the box and you can add custom dictionary files to support others.
Search and Search and Replace in Topic Text
The rich editor window supports rich search and replace functionality in main topic content using the
Topic Search Box
You can now do a quick search on topics using the search box above the list of topics. Topics are instantly filtered to your search text based on the topic title.
Greater language Support for Syntax Colored Code Highlighting
The templates now use AceEditor for syntax color highlighting and so support for a much larger number of code languages is supported in Help Builders code output. You can simply specify any of Ace Editors code languages. You can use code fencing followed by a language (example:
```csharp) to specify the code language. Common supported languages are shown from the Code insertion toolbox button.
New HTML Preview Windows
There's now a smart preview window that syncs up with navigated topics or when you save your topic content. The window maintains its scroll position on refreshes and supports navigation of topics through the preview. There's also a new system browser preview that lets you see the topic in your configured Windows browser. The window now also respects minimizing and some operations like Screen Captures minimizing and restoring when the main window does.
FTP Topic and TableOfContents Upload
In addition to uploading a complete compiled project via FTP, you can now also upload the current topic or the table of contents individually. This lets you quickly make corrections for individual topics without having to send the whole project up.
Direct PDF Output Generation
You can now generate PDF documents directly from your help file using the same MSWord templates that you use to generate Word documents. As with Microsoft Word document output this feature requires MS Word 2010 or later.
The content you create is your's and we believe you should be able to get your data out of Help Builder should you decide to use it elsewhere. You can export the Help Builder content data into XML or JSON.
Find Unreferenced Images and Resources
A new option on the Tools menu shows you all image resources that have no matching links in the topics or templates. You can then optionally delete these images. Use this for image housekeeping which can become cumbersome on large projects.
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