Help Authoring Software is used by writers and software authors to design, create and maintain help files, manuals, and even documentations. These tools are mostly used:
- Help with technical help and user guide for a product
- Help to teach the use of software, hardware or any other goods
- Offers course education, support for training session
- Showcase a product or a service for promotional reasons
These tools help to cut the time and effort to produce help files and documentation material as it provides all-important features to write and publish help manuals in the single self-contained application.
The single source tools let writers focus on their writing. Thanks to accurate help and documentation, they can do all this without losing time to produce documentation for multiple supports. These tools produce online help and offline documentation automatically, saving your breath.
Using For WordPress
While speaking of help authoring software, none of us cares enough to try it for WordPress. Using WordPress for technical documentation can be reluctant but in the end, it will be profitable.
Why Use it for WordPress
- There are some features of standard online help or knowledgebase are automated using free plugs
- The custom theming options for specific sections are good
- It is easy to use. The creation, management, deletion and editing of categories of posts are also easy
- The add keyword options help for search
- Option to allow user comment or not saves space
- Interaction features such as seek user opinion whether a particular help topic is useful or not
- Custom theming options with basic info of HTML and CSS
- Statistics track and analyze user behavior for advanced statistics
- multi-level user access for Admin
- Open source and free availability
Different Ways to Use it for WordPress
Publish to PDF
A small plugin can be developed to convert help topics to PDF. Configure possible features for such plugin such as whether to convert all or selective things to PDF. You can also consider whether use CSS to control what sections you want to print including Header, footer, and sidebar. Help Authoring Softwarecan be helpful for this.
Conditional tags can be developed with the help of shortcodes in WordPress. It provides control for what to publish in different formats.
The Basic level of theming will be done in a CSS files; it’s common with help authoring software. If you are looking for advanced CSS, for this there will be a dependency on programmer, or it will be a chance for you to learn the basics of PHP.
The parent-child relation between page and posts can create multilevel pages. These can drag and drop to change sequence anytime. The best part is, no plugin will be needed, and just a little admin customization with plain coding will be enough.
As Online help made in WordPress is not compiled help file, there will be no auto-generation TOC. But, it’s easy to create a TOC. The interesting thing is the TOC update process can be automated. Therefore, any change in a post or page text or hierarchy is updated automatically in TOC.
There is a bit uncertainty for this; it is believed that WP does not support XML output the way you want. However, with the race growing, it gives a plugin or advanced options some room to deal with this issue very soon.
Let’s be honest here; we might have missed some limitations above in the listed solutions. The limitations can have their own implementation issues, but that does never close the WordPress doors for being an online documentation tool. All the platforms have their own issues and limitations. The catch here is to see how well I fit into the specific documentation requirement of a specific business or its product.
Remember that Page layouts are powerful to capture the best practice and use them across your blog. When you are creating the blog before going live, you need text support art.
These are a few tips, which will help you want to use the system in WordPress. At the start, it will be tough, but when you are down, you will see it was worth the effort.
Robin is a Technical Support Executive with a combined experience of 6 years. He currently works with Live2Support – a live customer and sales chat software by Live2Support.com. In his free time, Robin enjoys reading and traveling.