Create a Printed Manual in a Couple of Clicks
How to Create a Printed Manual
You have just finished writing a help file for your or your client's software product. For most users, an electronic HTML Help CHM file, to which they can refer at any time when they have a question on using the product, will be enough. At the same time, a lot of the users would prefer to have a hard copy of the same documentation, which can be read from paper, not just from the screen. Moreover, a printed manual feels customary for the products traditionally distributed through offline channels.
So, the next problem that you can face is how you can create a printed manual by reusing the help topics, the table of contents, and the keyword index from your original help project. Simple moving all of those data to a third-party word processor is apparently not enough because you will have to do so every time when the original help project is updated or edited.
Creating Printed Manual Documentation From the Same Source Help Project
Fortunately, HelpSmith offers a complete solution, allowing you to create an excellent printed manual in just one or two mouse clicks. Let's see how it works.
We have opened a help project which was used to compile an HTML Help CHM file. Now, all we need to do is to click the Create Printed Manual command on the Project menu.
Front Page and Contents
The automatically generated printed manual that you can see on the above screenshots includes a title page, a table of contents with page numbers, the topics from your help project, and an alphabetical index.
Now, with a simple press of the appropriate button, you can send the generated printed manual to your printer-device. That is all!
Customizing the Printed Manual's Style
With HelpSmith, you can easily customize the style of the printed manual. Simply spend a couple of minutues to define the printed manual's page settings such as the paper size, format, orientation, page numbering settings, and others. Also, you can modify the default settings for the front page's title, font and paragraph attributes for the automatical table of contents, index, etc.
In some cases, it will be useful to set a specially designed help topic to be inserted instead of the automatically generated elements mentioned above. And that is what HelpSmith allows you to do as well.
Printed Manual Options
Supplying Printed Manual and Electronic Documentation
So, you have seen how you can use HelpSmith to supply technical documentation both in electronic and printable formats. WYSIWYG ("What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get"), one of the HelpSmith's basic principles, makes it possible for you to see all the results as they are before the final version of the documentation is compiled or printed out. Finally, updating printable documentation is not a problem anymore because HelpSmith allows you to concentrate on writing help topics, making all the rest job for you.