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15 Best Technical Writing Software and Tools for 2024

Posted by ElmiraElmirain Technical Writing on 2/28/2024 — 13 minute read

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To create clear, consistent, and professional documentation, a technical writer needs not only a good understanding of the end user’s needs and a certain talent for writing but also specialized tools. With the right software, it’s much easier to focus on delivering clear and concise content since a lot of other tasks and processes are better organized, more structured, or even automated, thus letting you have more time to work on what’s really important.

There will be plenty of great options for that in 2024, ranging from all-inclusive suites to focused applications. This article provides an overview of the top technical writing software and tools available this year based on features, capabilities, and overall value. Whether you need help organizing ideas, managing large documentation projects, building a knowledge base, creating diagrams, publishing in multiple formats, or anything else, there is a solution to boost your productivity as a technical writer. Read on for a comparison of the leading choices to equip your technical writing toolkit.

What Is Technical Writing?

Technical writing is, basically, the process of explaining how to use a technology to a non-expert user in simple terms. The goal of a technical writer depends on the idea or information they need to convey. They may be simply providing users with information about a product, process, or concept in a clear and concise manner. Or they may give clear and concise instructions on performing a task. They may also work to persuade readers to take specific actions or, on the contrary, prohibit certain behaviors or actions. All through written documentation, such as repair manuals, how-to guides, instruction manuals, and others.

What Should You Look For in a Technical Writing Tool?

When evaluating technical writing software, there are certain capabilities that can optimize workflows. Look for tools that offer features like content reuse, variables, conditional text, and CCMS integration.

  • Content reuse allows writers to create modular content components that can be pulled into multiple documents.
  • Variables make it easy to update information across all documents instantly.
  • Conditional text enables toggling text on and off depending on the output.
  • CCMS (component content management system) integration helps manage content at a granular level for enhanced reuse.
  • Collaboration features are also essential so writers can work with SMEs and reviewers seamlessly.
  • Tools with various formatting capabilities can speed up publishing documentation in various outputs, like PDF, web help, and mobile.
  • Automation through APIs can also eliminate repetitive tasks.

Choosing a platform with these key features allows technical writers to simplify documentation processes and focus on quality content.

Best Technical Writing Tools for 2024

1. ClickHelp

ClickHelp is a modern, cloud-based technical writing tool for teams.

It provides a powerful platform for creating and editing content, with support for various content types such as images, videos, links, tables, and more. Additionally, ClickHelp allows for the customization of the reader experience with ready templates, visual settings, and CSS.

Best features:

  • AI-Powered Documentation Solution: A powerful writing companion helps you quickly rephrase or simplify text, create new content, change the tone of voice, and more, saving hours of work.
  • Content Reuse: Variables, Content Snippets, and Conditional Content Blocks for efficient content reuse. Variables help in inserting short pieces of text across documentation and updating them centrally. Content Snippets allow users to keep and maintain source content in one place while reusing it anywhere, automatically updating content everywhere it is reused. Conditional Content enables including or excluding content based on output tags, facilitating the creation of different versions of documentation for various audiences.
  • Efficient Authoring: The platform’s topic-based authoring approach helps the writer organize content neatly into projects, with each topic as a standalone section. Users can create, edit, and reuse topics within a tree-like navigation structure.
  • Collaborative Environment: ClickHelp provides a unique authoring environment where technical writers can easily collaborate with subject matter experts, developers, QA engineers, technical support specialists, and marketers in a single documentation workflow.
  • Flexible Output Formats: Offers the ability to create multiple outputs of the same documentation project, supporting formats like CHM, PDF, Word, EPUB, RTF, ODT, and MHT.

Pricing: Starts at $175/month. Live demos and free trials are available.

2. HelpSmith

HelpSmith is an all-in-one XML-based technical writing tool that allows creating various types of documentation, including CHM Help files, Web Help systems, and PDF manuals. It offers features like a full-featured word processor, screen capture and image annotation, control annotations for UI elements, conditional compilation capabilities, topic templates, and more.

Best features:

  • Dynamic Styles and Templates: Provides dynamic styles for formatting attributes and topic templates for consistent formatting and layout across multiple topics.
  • Import Content: Supports importing content from various formats like HTML, MS Word, CHM, and others.
  • Conditional Compilation: Offers powerful conditional compilation capabilities based on build tags for generating different versions of documentation for various audiences or scenarios.
  • Media Repository: Provides a single media repository for managing images and videos used in the help project.
  • Collaboration Features: Supports teamwork through an open XML-based help project format, facilitating collaboration and compatibility with external translation tools.

Pricing: Ranging from $199 to $399, with a free trial available for users to test the product before purchasing.

3. Document360

Document360 is an AI-powered SaaS tool that specializes in knowledge base creation and management, providing a centralized platform for storing and sharing information.

Best features:

  • Knowledge Base Creation and Management: Document360 allows you to build a comprehensive knowledge base that can be either public for customer self-service or private for internal use.
  • Real-Time Collaboration: The platform supports real-time collaboration, allowing team members to contribute to and edit content simultaneously.
  • Version Control: Document360 offers version control, enabling you to track changes, view past versions, and roll back to previous iterations if necessary.
  • Customization Tools: The platform includes customization tools and category management to tailor the knowledge base to your brand and organizational structure.
  • Search Functionality: Document360 features a powerful search tool that helps users find relevant articles quickly.

Pricing: Varies depending on the number of team accounts and storage space required and ranges from a Free plan with limited features to an Enterprise plan at $499 per month.

4. MadCap Flare

MadCap Flare is a powerful content management tool tailored for technical writers, communicators, and content developers. It stands out as an all-inclusive solution due to its ability to enhance work processes, support multi-channel publishing, and facilitate efficient collaboration among team members.

Best features:

  • Single-Source Authoring: Madcap Flare offers advanced single-source content development capabilities to maximize authoring efficiency through content reuse.
  • Multi-Channel Publishing: The tool supports multi-channel publishing to various formats like HTML5, WebHelp, PDF, Word, XHTML, EPUB, DITA, and more.
  • Content Import: The software offers easy import of legacy content from various sources like Microsoft Word, Excel, Atlassian Confluence, Adobe RoboHelp and FrameMaker, DITA, Author-it, Markdown, and more. This simplifies the migration of existing content onto the platform for further editing and publishing.
  • Collaboration and Project Management: Madcap Flare includes features for project management and team collaboration. It allows users to work together on projects efficiently while maintaining version control and ensuring seamless collaboration among team members.
  • Analytics Integration: Offers advanced analytics and reporting possibilities to track user engagement with the documentation and gather insights for continuous improvement.

Pricing: Starts at $182 per month.

5. Paligo

Paligo is an enterprise-grade cloud-based CCMS that lets technical writers create and publish technical documentation efficiently while focusing on usability, collaboration, content reuse at scale, multi-channel publishing capabilities, structured authoring practices, and version control mechanisms tailored for technical writing needs.

Best features:

  • Single-Sourcing and Content Reuse: Paligo offers all the necessary single-sourcing features, such as component reuse, dynamic variables, and conditional content. This allows technical writers to maintain consistency across different outputs.
  • Multi-Channel Publishing: Supports multi-channel publishing in various formats to make content accessible across different platforms and devices.
  • Versioning and Release Management: Version history and roll-back functionalities, version branching, and release management help in tracking changes, managing versions efficiently, and ensuring content accuracy.
  • Structured Authoring: Enables content reuse, making documentation creation easier while ensuring consistency and future-proofing of content.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Simplifies the creation and management of complex technical documentation. It offers powerful search capabilities for easy navigation and retrieval of information.

Pricing: Starts at $79 per month.

6. HelpNDoc

HelpNDoc is a valuable tool for technical writers due to its single-source authoring capabilities, ease of use with a WYSIWYG environment, customization features for document appearance, dynamic content loading capabilities, and more.

Best features:

  • Single-Source Authoring: Allows technical writers to focus on creating comprehensive and accurate help and documentation manuals effortlessly.
  • Ease of Use: HelpNDoc is known for its user-friendly interface, complete WYSIWYG authoring environment, and effective performance in handling hundreds of help topics efficiently.
  • Customization Options: The tool offers extreme tailoring of the generated documentation’s look and feel through versatile customization features that allow the appearance of your documentation to match your branding or style preferences.
  • Content Management: HelpNDoc offers a centralized repository where technical writers can store and manage various types of content like text, images, videos, code snippets, equations, variables, and snippets efficiently within documentation projects. This helps you reduce duplication of items and optimize resource utilization.
  • Project Analyzer: Ensures that the documentation remains well-organized, error-free, and optimized for peak performance by identifying broken, unused, or duplicate media elements among the library items.

Pricing: Starts at $99 per month.

7. Confluence

Confluence is a versatile tool for technical writers due to its capabilities in providing a centralized platform for documentation management, offering a user-friendly interface, content reuse through macros, customization with apps from the marketplace, and more.

Best features:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Makes it easy for users to work with the platform.
  • Web-Based Access: Ensures that team members can contribute, update, and share content without the need for additional installations.
  • Content Reuse: Enhances efficiency by allowing users to create reusable sections and include them in various documents.
  • Customization: The Atlassian Marketplace provides users with different apps to enhance the capabilities of Confluence for technical writing, such as Scroll Versions for versioning documentation.
  • Collaboration and Feedback: Facilitates collaboration by allowing users to share, comment, and provide feedback directly on the content, enhancing communication and the review process.

Pricing: This varies depending on the number of team accounts and includes a Free plan for teams of up to 10 users and three paid options starting at $6.05 per user monthly.

8. Dr. Explain

Dr.Explain is a fast, comfortable, and efficient technical writing tool for creating user manuals, software help files, user guides, and instructions. Its integrated utility for capturing and analyzing program windows and screenshots simplifies the process of creating technical documentation while offering features like structured text editing, image annotation, collaboration support through the TiWri cloud platform, and version control mechanisms tailored to technical writing needs.

Best features:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Simplifies the process of creating technical documentation. The intuitive layout and functionality make it easy for users to navigate and utilize the tool effectively.
  • Single Source Authoring: Makes the documentation creation process easier and ensures consistency across different types of documentation.
  • Structuring Documentation: Allows users to split text into sections, add keywords, indexes, and element searches.
  • Export Formats: Allows users to export their projects into various formats, such as Microsoft CHM help files, HTML online manuals, and ready-to-print documents in RTF and PDF formats.
  • Collaboration Support: Allows multiple authors to work on a project simultaneously through the TiWri cloud platform. This collaborative feature ensures data consistency, prevents collisions, and facilitates teamwork among technical writers working on the same project.

Pricing: Starts at $290 per month.

9. Author-it

Author-it is a comprehensive solution for technical writers due to its effective features that simplify the authoring process, support multi-channel publishing, facilitate efficient collaboration among team members, and implement version control mechanisms designed to meet technical writing needs.

Best features:

  • Multi-Channel Publishing: Ensures that content is accessible across different platforms and devices.
  • Collaboration and Review: Allows multiple authors to work on a project simultaneously and offers easy review workflows.
  • Translation Management: Support multi-language authoring and publishing for diverse audiences.
  • Content Reuse: Enhances efficiency by allowing users to create content once and use it across multiple documents.
  • Analytics Integration: Offers advanced analytics and reporting possibilities to track user engagement with the documentation and gather insights for continuous improvement.

Pricing: Reach out to the Author-It sales team to discuss your options.

10. HelpScribble

HelpScribble is a reliable tool to create various help file formats. It offers automated formatting and layout, and provides collaborative editing capabilities.

Best features:

  • Multiple Output Formats: Allows users to create various help file formats, such as WinHelp (.hlp) files, HTML Help (.chm) files, printed manuals, and online documentation on a website from the same project.
  • Built-in Editors: The software includes built-in editors for SHG files (hotspot bitmaps), WinHelp macros, and HTML.
  • Context-Sensitive Systems: Allows users to build context-sensitive online help systems and searchable knowledge bases.

Pricing: Starts at $99.00 for a single-user license.

11. Help+Manual

Help+Manual is a comprehensive solution for technical writers because it prioritizes efficiency, user enjoyment, multi-format publishing capabilities, customization options, collaboration support, and other features necessary to meet technical writing requirements.

Best features:

  • Effective Documentation Creation: The tool aims to streamline the documentation creation process, making it as efficient and enjoyable as possible for authors and teams. It offers features that enhance productivity and content quality.
  • Multi-Format Publishing: Allows users to produce documentation in all relevant formats, including online help (HTML, CHM), printed manuals (PDF, Word), ePub, and more. This multi-format publishing capability ensures that content is accessible across different platforms and devices.
  • Collaboration Support: Multiple users can edit the same project simultaneously if they are on the same local network.
  • Version Control: Because the tool’s version control interface is fully scriptable and open, you can set it up to synchronize with any version control system that allows scripted access.

Pricing: Starts at €498 for a per-seat license.

12. MS Word

Microsoft Word is still one of the most popular choices among technical writers due to its versatility, advanced formatting options, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness. While it does not have specialized features tailored specifically for technical writing, as some dedicated tools do, its widespread availability and familiarity make it a reliable option for efficiently creating a variety of technical documentation.

Best features:

  • Versatility: The tool easily adapts to a wide array of writing needs, from drafting simple letters to creating detailed reports, user manuals, and technical documentation.
  • Customization: Allows to include commonly used features, record macros for repetitive tasks, customize spell check settings, save auto-text and building blocks, and use styles for consistent formatting across documents.
  • Collaboration: MS Word supports collaboration through features like real-time editing, commenting, version control, and cloud-based accessibility. Multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously.
  • Ease of Use: While MS Word may not be specifically designed for technical reports or complex documentation like some specialized tools, its user-friendliness and widespread availability make it a go-to choice for many technical teams.
  • Cost-Effective Solution: Companies often prefer using MS Word for technical documentation projects due to its inclusion in the Microsoft Office suite and the familiarity of users with the software. This eliminates the need for additional software purchases or extensive training.

Pricing: Microsoft Word is available for a one-time purchase of $159.99 or as a part of the entire Microsoft 365 for a yearly subscription that starts at $6.99.

13. Google Docs

Google Docs serves as a versatile tool for technical writers due to its collaborative features, accessibility options, integration capabilities with various applications like Grammarly, and a lot of other useful features. While it may lack some specialized features, Google Docs remains a popular choice for its ease of use, accessibility across devices, and effortless collaboration capabilities.

Best features:

  • Collaboration: Multiple users can work in real-time on the same document.
  • Integration: Users can integrate various applications with Google Docs to enhance the writing process, such as Grammarly for grammar and spelling checks, improving the quality of technical documentation.
  • Visual Content: Google Docs supports the inclusion of visual content like diagrams, flowcharts, and images, which are essential for conveying complex technical concepts effectively.
  • Export Options: The tool offers export options to formats like DOCX, Epub, HTML, and PDF, allowing users to share their documentation in various formats as needed.

Pricing: There is a free version with basic features for everyone, as well as paid plans with additional storage and advanced features for businesses. The pricing for Google Workspace, which includes Google Docs, starts at $6.00 per user per month for the Basic plan.


FAR HTML is designed to help users quickly manipulate HTML, XML, ASCII text files, or author help projects.

Best features:

  • Multi-format support: FAR HTML supports a variety of formats, including HTML and ASCII text files, making it a versatile tool for document creation and management.
  • Advanced Find & Replace: Allows users to quickly locate and replace text across multiple files and works.
  • HTML/XML Editing: FAR HTML provides HTML/XML editing features like tag editor, the ability to edit HTML and meta tags quickly across multiple files, and more.

Pricing: Free.

15. wiki.js

Wiki.js is a versatile tool for technical writing due to its customization options, security features, ease of installation, powerful access control mechanisms, and collaboration support.

Best features:

  • Ease of Use: A user-friendly and intuitive interface allows both technical and non-technical users to quickly create, edit, and manage documentation.
  • Security: A variety of security features, including granular access control and two-factor authentication, ensure that sensitive information is protected.
  • Open-Source: Wiki.js is open source, allowing users to benefit from community expertise while also ensuring the platform’s continuous evolution and improvement over time.
  • Installation and Set-Up: Unlike some other wiki platforms, Wiki.js offers an easy installation process via Docker, Node.js, or manual deployment, making it simple to get started.
  • Collaboration: Real-time editing and commenting for multiple users working on the same document improves collaboration capabilities.

Pricing: Wiki.js is an AGPL-licensed open-source project.

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By streamlining formats, minimizing repetitive tasks, and organizing content, the best technical writing platforms increase productivity. Standalone applications have their own advantages, but complete suites offer end-to-end documentation solutions. In 2024 and beyond, technical writers will have even more options to equip their toolkits and expedite documentation delivery thanks to ongoing innovation in AI-authoring and smart content management.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
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