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ClickHelp February 2017 Release Notes

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In this update, we have made major usability improvements in many areas of ClickHelp user interface, making it easier to use. New portal branding settings allow you to change the UI for readers and Power Reader users without having to use the branding CSS. We have extended the API to provide new functions for advanced integration techniques. You will also notice the performance improvements we’ve made in a number of application areas. Keep reading to learn more details on the changes!

New Features

Topic Editor

  • Images pasted to topics from a local PC are now automatically uploaded to Storage. Image names contain topic URL and date when the image was pasted.
  • The “Apply CSS” dropdown in WYSIWYG topic editor now contains CSS class names appearing in tag-aware selectors, like (p.boldText).
  • Image upload behavior in the Insert Image dialog improved. Now, file overwrite prompt is displayed instantly when a file with duplicated name is dropped. The new behavior is more straightforward and the same as File Manager’s behavior.
  • The Insert Link dialog now suggests topics only from the current project in the topic selection dropdown. Topics from other projects and topics from publications are no longer suggested.
  • The Insert Snippet box no longer suggests selecting the current topic or topics from publications.
  • It is now possible to insert horizontal lines into topics with a single button click (see Insert | Media in the ribbon).
  • The “Insert HTML” item has been moved from the Home ribbon tab to the Insert tab (see the Media group) to make its location more intuitive.
  • Added the “Heading 5” and “Heading 6” styles to the editor.
  • If there are long unformatted lines in topic source, the editor now suggests automatic formatting.
  • Added a new “(Remove Formatting)” item to the Styles dropdown. The item duplicates the functionality of the relevant ribbon button, but is easier to find.
  • The “Normal (No Spacing)” style now creates paragraphs with a special “nospacing” CSS class (was creating div tags before).
  • The WYSIWYG tab of the topic editor has been renamed to Design.
  • A CSS class is added to Show More boxes and their internal elements created in the editor thus making it easier to customize the look & feel of Show More boxes.
  • Ribbon icons changed, Source editor buttons for auto-formatting re-arranged and their size increased.
  • Videos, Flash movies and other content embedded via the embed, object and video tags are now auto-sized to fit screen width, just like images.
  • It is now possible to disable smart auto-size for a specific HTML element via adding the data-ch-no-autosize=”true” HTML attribute to it.
  • It is now possible to specify the initial item number for numbered lists via specifying the Start property in the Change Element Properties dialog invoked from Tag Manager for the <ol> tag.
  • When creating a new table, each table cell no longer contains a whitespace (&nbsp; entity) in it. All table cells are now empty.
  • The Insert Link dialog now suggests topics only from the current project in the topic selection dropdown. Topics from other projects and topics from publications are no longer suggested.
  • Authors now can edit or delete Review Notes created by other authors.

Web Help

  • Web Help header now contains exported publication name, just like the portal version header.
  • It is now possible to embed Web Help search panel into web applications (specify the “noredirect” URL parameter for that) and optionally make the panel display search results for a query pre-defined via the “q” URL parameter (like “search.html?noredirect=1&q=test”).

Table of Contents

  • Word wrap now used for author UI as well – no more horizontal scrollbars, you will see the topic titles exactly like your readers will see them and thus will be able to adjust the title length if needed.
  • Buttons removed from TOC toolbar, command column removed from the tree. Instead, the tree now displays an overlay toolbar with three buttons: Move Up, Move Down and More (used to invoke node context menu).
  • Added floating button for topic creation in the bottom right corner of the TOC panel to make the UI more intuitive.
  • Moved context menu items for new topic creation to the first level of the menu.
  • It is now possible to open topics from TOC in new browser tabs via clicking middle mouse button or Ctrl+click (Cmd+click on Mac).
  • A drag icon and cursor now appears on hover for TOC nodes to make it clear that the nodes can be dragged in the tree.
  • Right-clicking an empty area in the TOC panel now invokes context menu which can be used to create new root-level nodes.
  • It is no longer possible to create new topics in publications to avoid losing them when the publication is updated.
  • The “Edit caption” context menu item now opens topic properties instead of in-place editing to avoid confusion regarding topic title and associated TOC node caption.

Application UI

  • Numerous improvements in application UI to provide modern UX. The following changes will affect the reader UI:
    • Default application header changed from light gray to white.
    • Application header bottom border removed and replaced with shadow.
    • Changed topic title font in topic header: the font is now bigger and is no longer bold.
    • Added an empty space between application header and page content.
    • Changed search box style in application header: borders removed, icon added, default background changed from white to light gray.
    • Search box behavior changed: now, the box is replaced with an icon on mobile devices to free up some space for company logo. Also, the box is now expanded when focused (both on mobile and desktop screens).
    • Company logo is now displayed on mobile screens.
    • Removed the “Search” button on the Search page, the search happens instantly when you change the search query.
    • Changed the style of the search box on the Search page: the box is now bigger, has an icon and a shadow applied (the shadow style changes on hover).
    • Changed the style of the Log In button on the Login page along with the style of custom SSO provider buttons – the buttons now have shadows applied and the shadow changes on hover.
  • Added a new “My Subscription” page to global settings. Now, you can see your subscription details and portal resource usage in a convenient form.
  • Added “welcome” popups on the Projects and Articles pages, helping new users get started with ClickHelp.
  • The “Create Topic” button removed from topic header.
  • All timestamps across the application are now displayed in the current user’s time zone and local format (auto-detected by default, can also be customized in user profile).
  • Added the “Tools | Edit Branding CSS” main menu item to make it easier to open the portal’s branding CSS file.
  • New banner image for the API Documentation template (applies to new portals only, but can be provided to existing users on demand as well).
  • All wizard window headers now have proper ellipsis handling for long titles caused by long project names (previously, you could see header text truncated with ellipsis too early, like in the middle of the window width).
  • Changed default wording of the 404 and application crash pages.
  • The Delete Project / Publication wizard header now says “Delete Project” for projects and “Delete Publication” for publications to avoid confusion (was always “Delete Project” previously).
  • Changed the progress reporting step of all wizards: now, wizards proceed to the finish step automatically as soon as the operation is over. Only if errors or warnings occurred, a corresponding message is displayed and you can examine the log if needed.
  • Removed support for some unused export formats from the log viewer component. Task logs can now be exported only to the PDF format.
  • The Publish / Export button on the Projects page now changes its caption depending on whether a project or a publication is selected (Publish for projects, Export for publications).
  • The footer of operation logs now includes icons for errors / warnings if they are present in the log – this makes them easier to notice.


  • It is now possible to use Word documents as templates for printed formats export (PDF, DOCX, etc.). Thus, it is now possible to create printed docs with custom headers and footers, specify page background (via floating images in headers/footers), get better control over the cover page and Table of Contents styles.
  • A number of heading settings changed their names and representation to make them more clear: heading levels are now explicitly named “levels” (were named “Heading 1”, “Heading 2”, etc. before), the “Insert section/article titles as headings” checkbox converted to a radio group with more clear option names, Number type combo box replaced with a new “Auto numbering” checkbox.
  • Export wizard now suggests overwriting existing files instead of requiring new unique file names.


  • It is now possible to hide the “Log In” link from the application UI via a new option in “Global Settings | Reader Interface | User Management”.
  • Changed CSS classes in Web Help template to make a bigger part of portal branding be applied to Web Help automatically. Also, added several sample CSS rules for Web Help-specific elements to the default Branding.css file.
  • It is now possible to select the position of the TOC expand/collapse element (left, right, none).

Project Templates

  • Note: Changes in this section affect only portal created after this update.
  • Footers in all templates now have the top margin added.
  • Added empty CSS selectors for branding the “Show More” boxes and their internal elements to all template style files.

File Manager

  • It is now possible to switch the Thumbnails / Details view in the File Manager. In the new Details view, you can sort files by the File name, Size and Date modified columns (sorted by file names by default), the columns can also be resized.
  • An overwrite confirmation dialog is now displayed when uploading files in the file manager. So, it is now possible to overwrite files easier.
  • An explicit Download button has been added to the File Manager toolbar.
  • Files and folders are now sorted alphabetically in all views.
  • It is now possible to overwrite existing files when copying / moving files via File Manager.
  • Styles and Scripts are now displayed in the Details view by default to provide better visibility of long file names.
  • It is now possible to create new style and script files right from the File Manager via a new toolbar command.
  • All file icons updated, new file format icons added for typical formats to make the file manager easier to use.
  • File manager navigation performance improved.
  • It is now possible to host existing HTML-based manuals, training / e-learning materials, etc. in ClickHelp Storage. Just upload the needed files and open them via direct URLs, like you do with any other hosting.
  • File manager loading behavior improved, now it’s smoother and nicer.
  • Double-clicking a file in file manager no longer causes the file manager dialog to close unless the dialog is used for file selection for opening or saving.

Version History

  • When no words were added or removed during an editing session, the “Formatting changes” label is now displayed as a description of changes made in such topic version.
  • Added headings and Close buttons to the Select Source / Select Target panels on the Versions Viewer page.
  • Changed the style of the Version History toolbar to make it more modern and easier to notice.


  • All imported projects now have minimal predefined styles applied for online and printed outputs to provide info/warning icons, default table styles, proper printed output preview and the ability to customize standard blocks (like info/warning boxes or See Also) easier. This change does not affect cases when import is performed to an existing project.
  • MS Word Import: CSS classes are no longer generated for the imported content by default and inline styles are used instead. However, it is still possible to generate CSS classes, if necessary, via the “Generate CSS classes” option.
  • MS Word Import: the standard CHTable class is now applied to all imported tables to give you centralized control over their look & feel and make sure you won’t get tables with invisible borders even when importing without styles.
  • MS Word Import: names of all image files now contain the name of the topic where the image file is first used (some common images may be re-used in multiple topics, though). This makes it much easier to figure out where each of the imported images is used.
  • MS Word Import: imported images are no longer placed in the “Images” subfolder. Instead, all images now go directly to the imported project folder or a folder specified explicitly in import settings.
  • MS Word Import: no empty tags are now generated when importing in the “Do not import styles” mode.
  • DOC and DOCX import formats are now merged into a single “Microsoft Word” format so you don’t have to figure out which format is used for your Word files and can import multiple files of both formats into the same project in a single action.

User Management & Security

  • It is now possible to specify time zone and date/time format for users explicitly. Auto-detection of these settings is enabled for all users by default.
  • It is now possible to forbid Power Readers from viewing their profile via a new setting located in “Global Settings | Reader Interface | User Management”. WARNING: If you were using a custom branding script to achieve this, make sure to remove the script to avoid JavaScript errors.
  • A new setting to forbid Power Readers from resetting or changing their password (useful when all Power Readers share the same credentials).
  • The user creation workflow has been improved to make it clear that password will be generated automatically and sent to the user’s email address.
  • Implemented two-step password reset process (added a confirmation email step).
  • Maximum number of invalid password enter attempts increased from 5 to 10.
  • Authors are now redirected to the Projects page automatically after login unless they log in from the Articles page.
  • User session expiration timeout increased to 48 hours.


  • It is now possible to control whether portal will be indexed by Google and other web search engines. It is also possible to specify custom robots.txt file contents, so some specific topics/projects can be excluded from indexing.
  • Removed the “Show advanced settings…” link – now, all portal and project settings are visible by default.
  • Removed the “Help me find my Profile ID” from sharing button settings.
  • A new setting to specify complementary HTML tags to be added before the closing “body” tag to each topic. It is now easy to create a standard topic footer for the entire portal, and integrate third-party tools that require adding their references at the end of the web page (HighlightJS, Lightbox, etc.).
  • Added a new setting to the “Footer & Head Tags” section to allow easy integration with Lighbox, HighlightJS and other JavaScript libraries. Now, it is possible to append any content at the end of each topic with just a single setting. It is also possible to use this setting to add footer markup to all topics in your portal or to all topics located in a specific project.
  • “Dynamic Output | Titles & Meta Tags” section renamed to “Topic Footer and Meta Tags”. New topic template settings and this section grouped into a new “Topic Template” group to make their purpose more clear.
  • Added the Delete button to image upload boxes (profile avatars, logo images, portal favicon, etc.).
  • The User Profile page now refresh automatically after changes are saved to a user’s profile to trigger possible avatar update in the application header.
  • Predefined values for CSS properties (e.g. “small”, “medium”, “large”) are now listed in logical order (smaller values go first) in all relevant CSS property combo boxes (e.g. in heading style settings during publication export).
  • After company logo, portal favicon or other company information properties are changed, the page is refreshed automatically so you can see the changes right away.
  • When leaving the User Profile page without saving changes, users are now prompted to save the changes.

Style and Script Editor

  • Ribbon icons changed, Source editor buttons for auto-formatting re-arranged and their size increased.
  • If the style/script is minified (there are long lines without line breaks in the source), the editor now suggests automatic formatting.


  • Topics: it is now possible to obtain the list of topics belonging to a specific project or publication via the API. It is also possible to obtain a specific topic, including its full content. For example, this gives more freedom for custom authentication schemes if you do not want to use SSO. Topic retrieval requests can be optionally performed without authentication (only public publications are available in this case) and can be performed from JavaScript via CORS.
  • Full-Text Search: it is now possible to perform full-text search via the API – either in the entire portal or in specific projects. The returned results can optionally include topic titles with matches highlighted as well as matching topic content snippets (similar to those displayed by Google search). It is also possible to control the number of results returned to return top N results. Also, full-text search can be optionally performed without authentication (only public publications are searched in this case) and can be performed from JavaScript via CORS.
  • User management: it is now possible to obtain the list of publications available to the given Power Reader account via the API.
  • Project management: it is now possible to retrieve the full list of projects and publications available on the portal as well as publications available to a specific Power Reader and information on a single given project by its URL.

Other Improvements

  • General performance improvements.
  • Performance improved when opening topics containing automatic Next / Previous links.
  • Performance dramatically improved when navigating from topics to index keywords (especially for large indexes).
  • It is now possible to specify query subject when sending a support request from the Projects page.
  • Smarter keywords highlighting for full-text search: keywords and all their inflectional forms in topic titles on the Search page are now highlighted.
  • Context help popus heading now has a specific font defined (Arial, sans-serif) to avoid popup look&feel changes in different pages.

Fixed Issues

Topic Editor

  • YouTube and Vimeo videos inserted into help topics can now be maximized to full screen.
  • When uploading a new version of an image through the Insert Image dialog, the image preview is now updated correctly (previously, you could still see the old image cached by the web browser after the new image was uploaded).
  • Fixed issues with Next/Previous links not being generated correctly (were pointing to incorrect topics).
  • Fixed application crash when opening topics having automatic Next/Previous links and having sibling TOC folders in the TOC.
  • Breadcrumbs are now rendered correctly.
  • Topic content no longer gets cleared and page URL and topic editor view / edit mode no longer gets out of sync when a topic is first locked and then unlocked by a different user and the current user clicks the “refresh” link in the red locking info message.
  • The “Object reference not set to an instance of an object” error no longer occurs when trying to edit a topic and the project’s CSS style file contains syntax errors.
  • Smart image resizing algorithm now handles image margins, paddings and borders correctly (they were not included in calculations previously and therefore auto-sized images could still not fit into screen width).
  • Images with height attributes specified are now auto-sized correctly (could be stretched vertically previously if not fitting into page width).
  • When pasting content from clipboard, you will no longer get attributes like data-aspx-saved-src=”[object Object]” added to HTML nodes having CSS classes assigned.
  • Topic-level SEO properties are now copied to publications correctly.
  • Meta description property specified for a topic is now rendered to a correct meta tag.
  • Fixed image auto-sizing not working for iPad.
  • Review Notes editing now working correctly (changes were not saved previously).
  • Fixed browser popup saying “There is an error in XML document (1, …)” which may start appearing when you edit a topic.
  • Fixed topic editor suddenly “jumping out” of editing mode with a yellow warning panel saying changes were made to the topic in the DB.
  • When trying to edit a topic locked by a different user, the Lock&Edit, Properties and other buttons may not become disabled, even though the actions are not available for the current user – which could cause issues if topic properties are edited this way. Now, all the buttons are disabled correctly in this situation.
  • Delete keystroke now works correctly when selecting variables, labels for snippets, conditional blocks, etc. (was not deleting the element previously if only the element and nothing else is selected).
  • Fixed default icons for TOC nodes in TOC node properties – wrong default icons were displayed previously.
  • It is no longer possible to type text on the same line where the <hr> element is located (the text was generated outside of any paragraph in this case previously).


  • When making changes to the portal Home page HTML source and then clicking the “Save changes” button in global settings, the settings page no longer hangs.
  • Additional meta tags are no longer added to the section of the portal’s home page. As documented, the meta tags are only applied to the section of help topics and thus never affect the application’s interface neither for authors nor for readers.
  • The “Input string was not in a correct format” error no longer occurs when trying to create a style file from topic template editor. The “Open project style file” has been removed from this editor, because topic template is global and does not have a specific project associated with it.
  • When editing the list of Power Readers who can access a Restricted publication, unselecting a user no longer leads to all users being unselected.
  • When editing the list of Power Readers who can access a Restricted publication, selecting the (Select All) node now leads to all nodes being selected (previously, only roles were selected/unselected and user nodes may have remained unselected).
  • The “Translation:” label not associated with any controls is no longer visible in the Reader Interface section of project settings.


  • Anchor links in exported PDF manuals now work correctly.
  • Images mentioned in Branding.css file (like custom TOC icons) are now exported correctly when generating Web Help (image URLs were not auto-changed in Branding.css previously and thus images were not found in Web Help).
  • It is now possible to switch between heading level settings in the “Headings” step of export preset. Thus, it is now possible to remove automatically generated headers from printed output.
  • Heading previews in the “TOC and Cover” and “Headings” steps of export preset now display correct styles when opened for the first time. Previously, default styles were used until at least one style setting is changed even if there were already some saved styles defined.
  • It is no longer possible to select a topic from a different project / publication as a cover or TOC insertion point in export presets – only topics from the current project / publication can be selected.

Context Help

  • The Allow popup moving option now works correctly. Previously, snippets for popups with headings were always generated as if the option was enabled even if it was disabled.
  • Wrong numbers specified for topic frame width / height no longer break context help popup preview.


  • When importing HTML files without the tag (say, Web Help master page file generated by some legacy tools), a clear error message is now displayed in import log instead of a generic error.
  • When importing Word files that contain no alphanumeric chars (Latin letters or digits) in the first heading, the resulting project is now opened correctly – caused a “too many redirects” error before.
  • When importing Word files that contain more than 50 topic titles consisting entirely of non-alphanumeric chars (e.g. from Russian chars), the import now finishes successfully (was causing an error saying there are too many folders in c:\temp previously).
  • When importing Word files with bullet lists in modes other than “keep precise styles”, the bullet lists are no longer converted to ordered lists.
  • Empty lines with headings styles or non-zero outline levels no longer cause topics with the “Topic” title being created.
  • Importing a manual that contains topics with non-alphanumeric file names (names without a single alphanumeric character) no longer leads to creation of a topic with empty URL (the first such topic had an empty URL previously). Also, other such topics now get URLs like topic-1, topic-2, etc. (were just 1, 2, etc. previously).
  • Imported files drop area in the wizard can now be scrolled if there are too many imported files (the file names were overflowing the drop area previously).
  • The “MSHelp 1.0 project decompilation failed with exit code 2” error no longer occurs when importing some CHM manuals into ClickHelp.
  • Import logs are now saved after the operation is over. If import fails, the failed operation log link is no longer broken.
  • The project selection combo box now contains newly created projects (previously, you needed to refresh the page to make a newly created project become available for import).

Table of Contents

  • Custom TOC icons are now preserved for icon images located in a project’s files folder when publishing the project in the Update mode.
  • The “Object reference not set to an instance of an object” error no longer occurs when a reader is navigating between topics in a publication that has already been deleted.
  • Clicks on TOC folder nodes in web help are now handled correctly.

File Manager

  • Image thumbnails are now updated correctly when files are replaced.
  • Incorrect file modification dates were displayed in some situations (the dates were not updated even though the file content has been changed).
  • The Cmd+A shortcut now works correctly on Mac to select all items.

Version History

  • Workflow field changes (Status, Assigned To, Owner) and Title field changes are now displayed correctly in version history.
  • Changes information is now displayed for the latest version record as well.
  • The “Show this version…” link is now displayed in the Versions Viewer page header only if the viewer is in the comparison mode (previously, was always displayed even if already viewing just one version).

Single Sign-On

  • It is no longer possible to enable an SSO provider which is not properly configured.
  • Users who log in via Azure AD now get their e-mail addresses matched to ClickHelp user accounts correctly (were not matched and received an error previously).
  • Disabled users can no longer log in via Azure AD.
  • If your Open ID provider requires TLS 1.2, ClickHelp now works correctly with it (was failing previously).

Other Bug Fixes

  • Saving mechanism no longer breaks for styles / scripts editor when saving again while another save operation is ongoing.
  • Context Help popups in right-floating containers no longer appear at a wrong position for a moment when being displayed for the first time.
  • Fixed footer snippet URL in the Coffee Break template.
  • An attempt to delete a non-existing project no longer leads to wizard hanging.
  • Previous publication settings are now initialized correctly when updating an existing publication for the first time. Thus, you no longer have to populate them anew in this situation.
  • The “Error during serialization or deserialization…” error no longer occurs when trying to navigate from TOC to a huge index containing thousands of entries.
  • The Current Project submenu items are now enabled on the Project Statistics page.

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