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40 Best Help Authoring Software and Tools for 2024

Posted by ElmiraElmirain Technical Communication on 1/3/2024 — 16 minute read

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In 2024, technical writers will have better tools than ever to create, edit, and publish professional documentation and other complex content.

Read on for an inside look at the very best authoring solutions that technical writers should have on their radars to work smarter and more efficiently in 2024, crafting everything from a simple how-to guide to thorough API documentation.

What is a Help Authoring Tool?

A help authoring tool (HAT) is a type of software designed specifically for creating and publishing technical documentation.

Unlike regular word processors, help authoring tools come equipped with specialized features that optimize creating, managing, and delivering professional user assistance information across multiple formats, platforms, and devices. Key capabilities of a help authoring tool include:

  • building context-sensitive online help systems and searchable knowledge bases;
  • automating formatting and layout for long and complex documents like software user manuals;
  • enabling collaborative editing within teams;
  • publishing various outputs like HTML webpages, PDFs, and ePub ebooks from a single source file.

Leading solutions also integrate with industry-standard help platforms and content delivery networks to update documentation post-launch.

With a wide range of authoring and publishing capabilities, help authoring tools boost documentation quality, consistency, and efficiency at every stage. They have quickly become essential productivity software for modern technical writing teams producing user-facing product and service information.

Benefits of Help Authoring Tools

There are many important advantages that dedicated help authoring tools have over regular word processors and even XML editors for technical writers. Help authoring tools enable simultaneous multi-channel content publishing, ensuring accurate information reaches users across websites, in-app help systems, PDFs, and more.

  • Simultaneous multi-channel publishing. Help content can be published in various formats (web help, in-app help, PDFs) from one source for consistency.
  • Faster formatting. Pre-designed templates and styles accelerate formatting documentation.
  • Simplified collaboration. Built-in features allow for easier version control and peer content reviews.
  • Structured writing. Help enforce structure through customizable topic types and reusable content components like code blocks.
  • Translation management. Capabilities to smoothly integrate machine translation or coordinate human translation resources.
  • Responsive output. Automatically optimize help documentation for desktop, tablet, and mobile viewing.
  • Productivity gains. Tools provide time savings and efficiency benefits through every stage of documentation.
  • Improved usability. With a HAT, technical writers gain significant productivity and efficiency heights while improving the consistency and usability of end user documentation.

Best Help Authoring Tool Solutions

1. ClickHelp

Author, host, and deliver your technical documentation in a single portal.

ClickHelp is a modern cloud-based documentation tool for teams used to create, host, and maintain online software guides, knowledge bases, context help, and instructions. It allows for the authoring and publishing of internal and external guides, multi-version software user manuals, FAQs, knowledge bases, tutorials, and API docs.

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

Best features:

  • Single-Sourcing Functions: ClickHelp offers single-sourcing functions such as variables, conditional blocks, and content snippets, enabling content reuse and improving readability scores and metrics.
  • Content Migration: The platform provides efficient content migration, supporting popular formats like CHM, Word, ODT, HTML, and RTF, making the migration process fast and easy.
  • Real-Time Collaboration: ClickHelp offers a collaborative environment where technical writers can invite subject matter experts, developers, QA engineers, technical support specialists, and marketers to participate in a single documentation workflow.
  • Custom Navigation Elements: Users can implement custom navigation elements or automatic redirection logic to enhance the user experience.
  • Integration Capabilities: ClickHelp comes with 20+ out-of-the-box integrations, including Google Translate, Google Analytics, Zendesk, Salesforce, Azure AD, LiveChat, and Disqus, among others.

Pricing: Starts at $175 per month. You can book a live demo or request a free trial.

2. HelpSmith

HelpSmith is a help authoring tool developed by Divcom Software. It enables technical writers to create documentation in various formats and also provides screen capture and image annotation features, making it a comprehensive solution for creating and publishing help documentation.

Best features:

  • Multiple output formats: HelpSmith supports the creation of CHM HTML Help files, Web Help systems, PDF manuals, ePub eBooks, and Markdown documentation from a single source.
  • Customizable templates: HelpSmith offers user-defined variables and customizable templates for creating help topics.
  • Image capture and annotation: The tool includes screen capture and image annotation tools for creating documentation.
  • User-friendly interface: An easy-to-use ribbon user interface and a steep learning curve make it accessible for users with varying levels of experience.
  • Collaboration and translation: HelpSmith allows you to work on help projects in a team, collaborate with external translation tools, and create libraries of common topics that can be exchanged between different help projects.

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

3. ClickUp

ClickUp is an all-in-one productivity platform designed for teams to collaborate, plan, and manage various projects.

Best features:

  • Multiple views of the dashboard: ClickUp offers 15+ views to visualize your working space, including lists, Kanban boards, calendars, and timelines, allowing users to choose the most suitable perspective for their tasks.
  • Customization: ClickUp enables users to create custom templates, fields, and automations, tailoring the platform to their specific needs.
  • Team collaboration and communication: ClickUp facilitates teamwork by allowing users to share documents, comments, and tasks, as well as collaborate on product ideas and bug tracking.
  • Real-time reporting: ClickUp provides real-time reporting and analytics, helping users stay informed and make data-driven decisions.
  • Integrations: ClickUp integrates with various third-party tools, such as Gmail and Google Drive, streamlining workflows and improving productivity.

Pricing: Starts at $5 per user per month.

4. Document360

Document360 is an AI-powered knowledge base software that allows users to create and share knowledge bases, product documentation, user manuals, FAQ pages, and API documentation.

Best features:

  • Rich editor: Document360 offers users the option to choose the type of editor from Markdown, WYSIWYG, and Block Editor.
  • Customization: A variety of customization tools, category manager, version control, and security features lets users see and experience the rich authoring and brand experience.
  • Real-time reporting: Real-time data from dashboards and inbuilt advanced analytics provide users with information on the most important metrics.
  • Collaboration: A centralized storage system simplifies knowledge management and information accessibility, making it ideal for companies looking for a comprehensive documentation solution.
  • Multiple projects: Users are allowed to manage multiple projects, such as public-facing projects and employee handbooks.
  • Integrations: Document360 integrates with many popular software used in companies today, including Gmail, Google Drive, and more.

Pricing: Varies 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.

5. MadCap Flare

MadCap Flare is a powerful content management application used to create, manage, and publish content in various formats, languages, and devices.

Best features:

  • Content Management: A robust content management system allows users to manage and organize their content effectively.
  • Single-Sourcing: The platform offers single-sourcing capabilities, enabling users to create content once and publish it across multiple channels and formats.
  • Multi-Channel Publishing: MadCap Flare supports multi-channel publishing, allowing users to publish their content in various formats, including HTML5, PDF, and Microsoft Word.
  • Importing and Converting: It is possible to import and convert content from various sources, including Microsoft Word, Adobe FrameMaker, and RoboHelp.
  • Collaboration: Collaboration features allow teams to work together on content creation and management.

Pricing: Starts at $182 per month.

6. Adobe RoboHelp

Adobe RoboHelp is a next-generation help authoring tool that empowers technical communication professionals to create, manage, and publish content for global audiences.

Best features:

  • Microcontent authoring and chatbot integration: Information-rich microcontent snippets can be leveraged by search engines, social platforms, in-context help, feature snippets, FAQs, chatbots, and more.
  • Multiformat publishing: Users are allowed to publish content to a wide range of popular output formats, including Frameless Responsive HTML5, PDF, and Microsoft Help (CHM).
  • Out-of-the-box support for ServiceNow: Users may update ServiceNow knowledge bases directly from within RoboHelp without any plugins.
  • Real-time reporting and analytics: RoboHelp provides advanced analytics to report on the most important metrics.
  • Language Navigation: Selecting your region and language makes it easier to work with translated content.

Pricing: The latest release of Adobe RoboHelp is available only via subscription plans, and special programs are available for volume licensing, education, and government segments. The specific pricing details can be obtained by contacting the Adobe sales team.

7. Paligo

Paligo is a cloud-based Component Content Management System (CCMS) designed for structured authoring, content reuse, and single-sourcing. It is 100% XML-based and supports the DocBook standard, providing a solid foundation for technical documentation, training content, and more.

Best features:

  • Structured Authoring: Paligo helps to make content consistent, accurate, and future-proof.
  • Content Reuse: Smart content reuse allows users to release documentation in a fraction of the time.
  • Versioning: The feature of version control ensures that updates or changes in information are tracked and protected.
  • Collaboration: With a cloud-based CCMS, teams can work together on content without the need to shuffle files back and forth.
  • Integration: Paligo integrates with various popular tools and platforms, such as Zendesk Guide, Salesforce Knowledge, ServiceNow, Slack, and MS Teams.

Pricing: Starts at $79 per month.

8. HelpNDoc

HelpNDoc is an easy-to-use yet powerful help authoring tool that can generate various documentation formats from a single source, including HTML and CHM help files, PDF and Word manuals, ePub and Kindle eBooks, cross-platform Qt Help files, as well as mobile websites for iPhone and Android.

Best features:

  • Full-featured help authoring environment: HelpNDoc provides all the tools necessary to write complete help files and documentation.
  • Smart and stunning user interface: The user interface has been carefully designed to be clear and effective, using the popular ribbon design first introduced by Microsoft Office.
  • Powerful template system: Every aspect of the documentation output can be tailored to fit design requirements.
  • Reusable variables: Variables are placeholders for textual content that can be replaced at generation time by the actual value of the variable.

Pricing: Starts at $99 per month.

9. Confluence

Confluence is a collaboration tool developed by Atlassian that helps teams create, share, and collaborate on documents, projects, and other information. It integrates with other Atlassian tools such as Jira, Trello, and Bitbucket, making it easy for teams to manage all their work in one place.

Best features:

  • Remote-friendly team workspace: Confluence provides a collaborative environment that works well for remote teams.
  • Unlimited spaces and templates: Users can create unlimited spaces and templates for organizing and sharing content.
  • Knowledge base for documentation: Confluence allows users to create and share knowledge bases, FAQs, and other documentation.
  • Flexibility and customization: Confluence offers a variety of customization options, allowing users to tailor the platform to their specific needs.
  • Real-time collaboration: Users can collaborate in real-time, share content, and work together on projects.

Pricing: Varies 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.

10. ProProfs

ProProfs is a SaaS tool designed to offer quizzes, training, and knowledge management.

Best Features:

  • Quiz Maker: ProProfs Quiz Maker is a versatile platform for designing engaging and interactive quizzes. It facilitates the learning process as well as helps to assess student progress.
  • Knowledge Base Software: ProProfs Knowledge Base software features equip users with everything they need to build and manage scale customer support, facilitate easy knowledge access for employees, and enhance team collaboration.
  • Learning Management System: ProProfs LMS features give users everything they need to automate organization-wide learning. With these top LMS features, users can create online classrooms, enable groups to collaborate, discuss, and learn.
  • Live Chat Software: ProProfs Live Chat Software features give users everything they need to deliver a delightful customer experience.

Pricing: Varies on the certain product you use and the number of active users on your team. A free plan for startups and small teams is also available.

11. Helpinator

Helpinator is a help authoring tool that offers a range of features for creating and managing documentation, including single-source, multi-format, and multi-lingual help authoring.

Best features:

  • Screenshot capture and annotation: Users can capture screenshots and annotate them directly within the tool.
  • Styles and templates: Helpinator offers built-in styles and templates to ensure consistency and professionalism in the output.
  • Import HTML/Word: The tool allows users to import content from HTML and Word files, making it easy to repurpose existing documentation.

Pricing: $99 per year.

12. Dr. Explain

Dr.Explain is a fully-featured Knowledge Management Software offering end-to-end solutions for Windows. It provides a range of features to help businesses streamline their documentation processes and improve user support.

Best features:

  • Collaboration: Users can work together on documentation, share comments, and collaborate on ideas.
  • Full Text Search: Dr.Explain allows users to quickly find information by searching for specific keywords or phrases.
  • Content Management: Users can create, edit, and manage content, including text, images, and multimedia files.
  • Knowledge Base Management: Dr.Explain enables users to create, organize, and manage knowledge bases, providing easy access to information for users.
  • Cataloging/Categorization: Users can organize content using custom categories and taxonomies, making it easier to navigate and find information.

Pricing: Starts with $290 per month.

13. Author-it

Author-it is a cloud-based Content Management System (CMS) that enables users to create, manage, and publish technical documentation and help systems.

Best features:

  • Collaboration: Easy review and approval workflows allow for smooth interaction with the team as well as with the other departments.
  • Versioning: Customize documentation by creating different versions of it for different teams.
  • Single-sourcing: Allows users to avoid duplication of the content.

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

14. HelpScribble

HelpScribble is a full-featured, easy-to-use help authoring tool for creating help files from start to finish.

Best features:

  • Creating multiple help file formats: HelpScribble allows users to create 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, contents tree, and browse sequences.
  • Context-sensitive help integration: Users can provide context-sensitive help with their window applications, regardless of the development tool they use.

Pricing: Starts with $99.00 for a single user license.

15. Help+Manual

Help+Manual is a popular authoring tool for creating and publishing help and technical documentation in multiple formats.

Best features:

  • Multiple format support: Help+Manual allows users to create documentation in various formats, including CHM, PDF, EPUB, and Webhelp.
  • Single-sourcing: The software offers single-sourcing capabilities, enabling users to manage content in one place and publish it to different formats and platforms.
  • Version control integration: Help+Manual integrates with version control systems, allowing teams to collaborate and manage changes to the documentation.
  • Responsive design: The tool provides responsive design features, ensuring that the documentation adapts to different devices and screen sizes.

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

16. ReadMe

ReadMe is a cloud-based documentation platform that enables users to create, manage, and publish API documentation.

Best features:

  • Public & Private Hubs: ReadMe allows users to create both public and private hubs for managing API documentation.
  • OpenAPI sync and GraphQL support: The platform supports OpenAPI specifications and GraphQL, making it easier for developers to work with APIs.
  • API playground: ReadMe provides an API playground that allows developers to try out the API and see how it works in real time.
  • Code snippet builder: This feature helps developers create and test code snippets to interact with the API.
  • Versioning: The platform supports versioning, allowing users to track changes and updates to the API.

Pricing: Varies based on the needs of your team and starts at $99 per month. However a free plan with limited options is also available.

17. ScribeHow

ScribeHow is an AI-powered tool designed to automate the creation of standard operation procedures (SOPs), help centers, new user guides, and process overviews for any business process.

Best features:

  • Intuitive interface: ScribeHow offers an intuitive and simple-to-use interface, making it easy for users to create tutorials and guides.
  • Quick creation of guides: The platform allows for the quick and efficient creation of tutorials and guides, streamlining the documentation process.
  • Customization options: ScribeHow provides a wide range of customization options for content, allowing users to tailor their documentation to their specific needs.
  • AI-powered technology: ScribeHow’s AI-powered technology automates the creation of SOPs, help centers, and user guides, saving time and improving efficiency.

Pricing: Starts at $23 per month. Basic features are available for free.

18. Tettra

Tettra is a knowledge management software designed to organize scattered information and make it available in a single data hub, providing answers to repetitive questions asked in platforms like Slack or Teams.

Best features:

  • Customization: Tettra can be tailored according to the type of customers and allows users to obtain maximum pricing.
  • Integrations: Tettra integrates with popular tools like Slack and Teams, making it easy for teams to access and share knowledge.
  • Content automation: The software allows users to create and manage content, including AI-generated features
  • Permissions support: Tettra offers permissions support to manage access to content and features.

Pricing: Starts at $4 per user per month.

19. Whatfix

Whatfix is a digital adoption platform that helps businesses improve user adoption and engagement with their software applications.

Best features:

  • Real-time guidance: Whatfix provides interactive overlays on top of any application to guide users with real-time guidance and self-help support.
  • Data-driven insights: The software offers product analytics and AI, enabling businesses to leverage data-driven insights for better decision-making.
  • Integrations: Whatfix integrates with a range of applications, including Jira, Salesforce, and SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite.
  • Customizable: Whatfix can be customized according to the specific needs of the business, making it a flexible solution for improving user adoption.

Pricing: Contact the sales team for pricing information.

20. MS Word

Microsoft Word is a word-processing software that allows users to create, edit, and share documents.

Best features:

  • Collaboration: Microsoft Word allows users to collaborate in real-time, share documents, and work together on projects.
  • Templates: The software offers a range of templates for creating professional documents, including resumes, cover letters, and business plans.
  • Integration: Microsoft Word integrates with other Microsoft 365 products, such as Excel and PowerPoint, making it easy for users to access and share information.
  • AutoSave: The software automatically saves changes to documents, ensuring that users do not lose their work.

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.

21. Google Docs

Google Docs is an online word editor that allows users to create, edit, and share documents.

Best features:

  • Collaboration: Google Docs enables users to collaborate in real-time, share documents, and work together on projects.
  • Cross-platform compatibility: Google Docs can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, making it easy for users to work on documents across multiple platforms.
  • Integration: Google Docs integrates with other Google applications, such as Google Drive and Google Slides, allowing users to easily save and share documents.
  • Templates: The software offers a range of templates for creating professional documents, including resumes, cover letters, and business plans.

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

22. Zendesk Guide

Zendesk Guide is a part of the Zendesk Suite, which offers various pricing plans for customer support and engagement solutions. It is known for its user-friendly interface and integration capabilities, making it a popular choice for businesses looking to improve customer support and engagement.

Best features:

  • Knowledge base creation: Users can create a knowledge base to help customers find answers to their questions.
  • Themes: The appearance of your knowledge base can be customized.
  • Content overview: Users can get an overview of the most popular articles in their knowledge base.
  • Content blocks: Creating and managing content in modular blocks makes it easier to organize and update information.

Pricing: Zendesk Guide is included in Suite plans or can be purchased with any Zendesk Support plan.

23. FreshDesk

Freshdesk offers a knowledge base tool that helps businesses create, manage, and improve their knowledge base. The platform provides various features to make it easy for users to create, organize, and maintain their knowledge base. Some of the key features of Freshdesk’s knowledge base tool include:

Best features:

  • Ease of use: Freshdesk’s knowledge base tool is designed to be user-friendly, allowing users to create and manage articles easily.
  • Rich text editor: The platform offers a rich text editor that enables users to format their articles with headings, bullet points, and more.
  • Multiple language options: Freshdesk allows users to manage versions of their articles and support multiple languages.
  • Helpdesk and chatbot integration: Freshdesk’s knowledge base tool can be integrated with their helpdesk and chatbot platforms, allowing users to provide a seamless self-service experience for their customers.
  • Content accessibility control: Users can easily control access to sensitive information.

Pricing: Free for teams of up to 10 users; for bigger teams plans start at $15 per user per month.

24. FastHelp

FastHelp is a Windows Help File Generator that enables the creation of both online and offline documentation. It allows users to compile to various formats, including HTML Help (.CHM), WinHelp (.HLP), website help, and printed manuals.

Best features:

  • Versatile compilation: It allows users to compile to various formats, including HTML Help (.CHM), WinHelp (.HLP), website help, printable manuals, MS Word manuals, PDF, Windows Mobile Help, and wxWidgets Help.
  • Intuitive and productive: FastHelp is described as incredibly intuitive and productive, allowing users to create fully functional help files in a short amount of time.

Pricing: A one-time payment of $299.


FAR HTML is a help authoring tool that allows users to create and manage documentation in various formats, including HTML, ASCII text files, and more.

Best features:

  • Multi-format support: FAR HTML supports various formats, including HTML, ASCII text files, and more, making it a versatile tool for creating and managing documentation.
  • Advanced Find and Replace: The software offers advanced find and replace features, allowing users to quickly find and replace text across multiple files.
  • Сost-effective: FAR HTML is a cost-effective solution for businesses looking to create and manage documentation.

Pricing: Free.

26. Article Rewriter

Article Rewriter Tool is a free online tool that allows users to rewrite their documentation in a way that is both authentic and safe, ensuring no plagiarized material and improving readability and comprehension in each revised work.

Best features:

  • High-quality content: The tool guarantees authentic, accurate, and safe outcomes, ensuring the best possible experience for users.
  • Fast and effici

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