ClickHelp October 2014 Release Notes

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Online documentation portals must look nice! With this release, we are giving more functionality to brand your portal, making it look much better. We have also changed the topic URL format to make it easier for technical writers to create documentation links. A number of other functions were improved to make them easier and more convenient to use!

New Features

    Breaking Changes

    • Article URLs format changed to make URLs easier to understand and gain better SEO effect. Now, article URLs look like this:
    • Project URLs format changed to make URLs easier to understand and gain better SEO effect. Now, article URLs look like this:
    • The "pubConfigNames" attribute of conditional content blocks renamed: the attribute is now named "tags" and contains a list of output tags instead of publish configuration names (see the Publishing section below for more details on output tags).
    • Manual action required: refresh the portal sitemaps using Tools > Global Settings... > Search Engine Optimization > Sitemap > Update All Sitemaps to reflect the URL changes and make sure the search engines index your documentation.

    Topic Editor

    • It is now possible to insert anchors in topics visually in the WYSIWYG mode. The anchors are saved as custom ch:anchor tags in the topic source.
    • It is now possible to create links to files in Storage visually in the WYSIWYG editing mode.
    • When creating a topic, you can now specify its URL in the topic creation dialog.
    • It is now possible to change topic URLs in the Topic Properties screen.
    • The right-hand auto-hidden panels were removed (their content is now available in topic properties).
    • New editing mode implemented for topic and TOC node properties: it is now possible to edit the current topic and the associated TOC node properties on a single Properties screen invoked via the Properties button in the topic editor header or a corresponding button in the TOC editor (available when hovering a TOC node).
    • Topic title is now edited in the Topic Properties screen opened when the title is clicked.
    • The "Context Help" section of topic properties now includes an example of a topic link for the current topic.
    • Default styles renamed to avoid confusion regarding HTML tags generated for them: "Title" renamed to "Title (Heading 1)" and inserts the H1 tag, "Heading 1" renamed to "Heading 2" and inserts the H2 tag, and so on.

    Table of Contents

    • Non-TOC concept terminated. Now, all nodes are displayed in a single tree, but some of them may have the "Visible in TOC" option disabled (equivalent to Non-TOC nodes). The "Show this node in TOC for readers" option also affects node children.
    • Nodes excluded from TOC are now marked with a special mini-icon in the TOC tree.
    • TOC editor simplified: multi-node selection removed. Since this feature was used for multi-node deletion only, and this is a rare operation, it was decided to remove the feature in order to make the UI more intuitive and easier to use.
    • TOC node properties redesigned to provide better UI experience: now TOC node properties are available as a separate screen with property pages, along with topic properties. The properties dialog has been replaced with two property pages: General and Printed Output.
    • TOC editor menu redesigned to provide only the most common buttons. The less popular commands are still available from the context menu. Folders creation is no longer available from TOC editor, thus all TOC nodes are created with associated topics by default. However, it is now possible to convert a topic node to a folder (delete the associate topic) in the node properties screen.
    • New TOC node properties implemented: "Show this node in TOC for readers". Now, you can simply enable/disable a single check box to control whether a node will be available in TOC or via direct link only.
    • New TOC node properties implemented: Publishing. You can now control whether a specific TOC node along with its children will be available for a specific target output. The available options are: Publish always, Publish with specific tags, Do not publish with specific tags, Do not publish.
    • Node-specific commands are now available via special buttons which appear when hovering over a node: Properties, Move Up, Move Down.
    • It is now possible to filter TOC nodes based on their publishing type (Publish always, Publish with specific tags, etc.).
    • In-place editor is no longer used when creating new topics. Instead, a dialog is displayed. In that dialog, you can specify the new topic's title and URL.


    • Publish configurations concept changed. Instead, a new notion is used: output tags - they are global, not project specific; they do not store any publishing settings. TOC nodes and project styles/scripts publishing settings now depend on Output Tags specified in their publishing settings.
    • Publish configurations editor turned to Output Tags editor and simplified: now it only allows creating/removing the global-scope Output Tags, without extra editing logic.
    • Publishing wizard simplified: it consists of a single required step. Publication name and visibility is now selected on the first step.
    • Update Mode is implemented for the publishing wizard. You can now choose to replace an existing publication instead of creating a new one and thus keep all documentation links unchanged. All topics will be replaced with new versions automatically. This mode is useful for teams who keep only the latest version of their documentation online (typical for web-based and SaaS products).
    • New publishing wizard option implemented: Exclude topics in the Draft status from the publication. If you have Draft topics that are not ready yet, it is now easy to exclude them from the final output.
    • New publishing wizard setting implemented: Output Tag. It is now possible to select an output tag which will be used to resolve conditional content during the publishing process. Unlike publish configurations, output tags are optional, so this option is now hidden by default.
    • New publishing wizard option implemented: Export after publishing. The functionality of the option is equivalent to the "Just Publish / Publish and Export" switch - if the option is enabled, the newly created publication will be exported right after creation.
    • Some publishing wizard options on the first page are now hidden by default and appear only after the "Show advanced options" link is clicked. The advanced options are: Output tag, Exclude topics in the Draft status from the publication, Export after publishing.
    • The "Published Articles" step has been removed from the Publish Project Wizard. Instead, TOC nodes availability for a specific configuration can now be controlled in a more flexible way via TOC node properties (see the Publishing properties description).
    • The "Styles & Scripts" step has been removed from the Publish Project Wizard. Instead, styles and scripts availability for a specific configuration can now be controlled in a more flexible way in project settings. It is now possible to specify publishing type for every style/script included in the project.
    • The "Variables" step has been removed from the Publish Project Wizard to simplify the publishing process.
    • Publication visibility type renamed: "Power Reader Only" publications are now called "Restricted" publications.
    • New step added to the Publishing and Export wizards: now, the "Finish" step is displayed after a publication is created/exported. The step displays a brief information on the operation result and provides links which can be used to access the created/exported publication.


    • Export wizard significantly simplified. Now, export presets are no longer required and you can export your publications with default settings with just a single step.
    • Unique names are generated for exported publication files by default. Thus, if you use default names, all your exported publications will be saved in Storage and will not be overwritten by further export operations.
    • Added a tip on how custom headers and footers along with other advanced Word features can be implemented when exporting manuals to PDF.


    • It is now possible to customize virtually everything in the reader's interface: header, footer, default TOC icons, etc. This can be achieved via specifying a Branding CSS file in the "Reader Experience" section of global settings. A sample of a branding CSS file is now shipped with every documentation portal.
    • Seven Home Page templates are added: Tiles (the default one, inspired by modern UI design trends), Blueprint, Eco Green, Enterprise, Neon Contrast, Spring Blossom, Wood and Paper. The templates can now be applied quickly on the portal home page. Just choose an option from a combo box at the top of the page, and your portal home page will change right away. An option to navigate to the page customization screen is also available for selection.
    • Shortcut customization links added to the portal home page, application header on the home page and topics header on the Articles page.
    • Application header/footer UI redesigned to provide better UI experience.
    • Added a warning to indicate that the "Reader Experience" settings group does not affect article headers for logged in authors.
    • The "Clear Filter" button has been removed from quick filter for readers to minimize branding efforts.
    • All tab controls style changed to neutral colors to minimize branding efforts.


    • Project settings and global settings have been re-grouped to provide better user experience.
    • It is now possible to change project URLs in the "Visibility & Access" group on the Project Settings page.
    • Publication visibility settings have been moved to a new "Visibility & Access" group on the Project Settings page.
    • Custom tags defined in the "Title and Meta Tags" section of global settings are now applied to the portal home page as well as to articles.
    • "Reader Experience" settings section renamed to "Reader Interface" to make it more clear.

    Other Improvements and Changes

    • New "Finish" step added to the Create Project, Import Project and Copy Project wizards. The step displays brief results and provides a link to the created/imported/copied project. It also provides links to the new project/publication styles and the relevant help topic on project styling.
    • It is now possible to specify custom project URLs in the following wizards: Create Project, Publish Project, Import Project, Copy Project.
    • The Create Project wizard now allows using custom project templates via copying existing projects.
    • Term change: "articles" are now called "topics" everywhere in the UI in order to avoid confusion.
    • Project folder names are now generated based on project alphanumeric IDs, not project names.
    • More documentation links in the application interface.
    • Added a note on how Disqus comments look & feel can be customized.

Fixed Issues

    • The TOC panel is now collapsed automatically when opening a broken article link. When a valid article link is opened after that, the pane is expanded again.
    • Sitemap files are no longer erased when a portal is upgraded to a newer version. You no longer have to update sitemap files for your publications after each upgrade. Now, ClickHelp does this for you automatically when sitemaps are requested next time after an upgrade.
    • Fixed an issue with internal data backups mechanism which made backups too frequently (hourly instead of daily) and prevented old backups from being removed automatically.
    • Popup menus for Boolean operators and column names are now rendered correctly in the TOC tree filter dialog (previously, items were arranged horizontally instead of vertically).
    • Custom tags like variables, snippets and conditional content are now rendered properly in the WYSIWYG mode when previewing the PrintedDoc publish configuration. Previously, visual representations of these tags were rendered without paddings, borders and background images.
    • If the name of a new or copied project/publication coincides with an existing folder name, the newly created project/publication folder name is adjusted automatically to be unique. Thus, new projects/publications will never use existing folders for their files.
    • A better error message is now displayed when trying to delete a folder used by an existing project.
    • When an invalid settings page name is typed into a settings page URL, a valid 404 error is now displayed instead of the unexpected error page.
    • TOC node properties are now preserved when publishing/copying a project.
    • Fixed broken background image URL for Start Page header in the Minimalist template: previously, the background image was not copied when a project was created from the Minimalist template due to the broken URL.
    • The project selection dropdown on the settings page is now scrollable when there are a lot of projects/publications in a portal.
    • During CHM Import, when a reference to the same topic is met in the TOC twice, only the first occurrence is imported. Further occurrences are ignored.
    • Cross-topic links now work correctly in the exported PDF documents.
    • If a project name contains angle brackets, the name is now correctly displayed in all task progress reporting steps of all wizards as well as in the topic headers.
    • HTML encoding is now handled properly when importing manuals. As a result, no strange question mark characters occur in the imported topics.
    • Article filter in TOC now changes correctly when filtering articles by one status after filtering by another status.
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