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Release Digest: General, May 29, 2003

May 30, 2003, 05:00 (0 Talkback[s])

QuickHelp Linux 1.1

[ Thanks to Harold Halbleib for this link. ]

Excel Software today announced the availability of QuickHelp for Linux. QuickHelp is a development tool for creating and deploying application help to Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, Windows 95 through XP and virtually all Linux distributions. Help information for Linux has traditionally been delivered as ReadMe files, man pages or a loose collection of html files. These approaches are awkward and inadequate for desktop applications. QuickHelp brings professional application help to Linux KDE and GNOME desktops.

New features in QuickHelp Linux 1.1 include formatted images, conditional topics and text within a topic, improved font handling and compatibility with the new Windows and Macintosh editions of QuickHelp. QuickHelp is unique in its ability to manage, author and test help topics in a single tabbed window running on your platform of choice, then deploy the help system to virtually any computer. Simplicity and productivity replace complex html tag editing, cumbersome topic management, time-consuming build and test approaches and different authoring and deployment tools for each platform. Help information resides in an XML file distributed with a native viewer executable for each platform.

QuickHelp consists of a QuickHelp Builder for authoring help systems and a QuickHelp Viewer for deploying them to end-users. For the end-user, QuickHelp supports a table of contents, an index with automatic search field, word searches across topics, color highlighted topic text with hypertext links, formatted images and context sensitive help from application menus and dialogs. From the Contents panel, the user can view, expand or collapse topics. Use the Index panel to locate topics based on index words. Forward and backward buttons navigate through recently viewed topics.

For the developer, the Edit panel is used to add, edit, delete or move topics within the Contents tree. Formatted text, images and links between topics can be quickly added. Each topic has fields for defining index words and context sensitive identifier strings that link topics to application menus and dialogs. Topics or portions of a topic can be conditionally visible based on the current platform or other variables. The General panel has buttons to save, open, close, verify, import or export help topics. QuickHelp handles administrative activities like maintaining topic links, reordering topics and locating bad links, missing indexes or images.

QuickHelp Linux at $195 includes Builder and Viewer executables for Linux, a license to freely distribute the QuickHelp Viewer, a printed manual, online help and PDF manual on CD. Site licensing information, product descriptions and online ordering are available at www.excelsoftware.com. Excel Software has over 15 years of experience in providing tools to thousands of Macintosh, Windows and Linux developers in over 40 countries.