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Issue 5.5



Issue: 5.5 (July/August 2007)
Author: Tom Crawford
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,406
Starting Page Number: 8
Article Number: 5502
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In my eyes, the worst part about writing is creating a table of contents. I can only imagine how the guys who write indexes feel. Bleh.

HelpLogic alleviates the headaches by taking a gas-guzzling station wagon and turning it into a respectable sedan. It's not quite a coupe, but we'll get to that later.

Sporting a 3 pane interface, HelpLogic has a group of features that should appeal to any developer. The Source Files pane contains all of your HTML documents. You can populate this list by importing existing HTML documents, or creating your own through the use of the HelpLogic Code Editor. You can also use an external editor like Dreamweaver to edit your pages (more on this later).

The second pane is where you construct your table of contents and enter keywords for your source files.

The third pane is titled Workshop. This, my friends, is the slickest feature of HelpLogic. The Workshop is a customizable set of containers that allows you to store notes under a number of categories. This way, you don't have to rely on a separate app to track all of your bugs and feature requests.

The features don't simply end there. Exporting a number of formats is a breeze. Do you want web-based help? No problem. Do you want Apple Help, Microsoft HTML Help, or Unihelp? No problem--HelpLogic can do them all. How about PDF? Well, that's where the limitations start.

If you're anything like me, you're probably using CSS to style your webpages. Unfortunately, HelpLogic has a couple issues with CSS. For one, all styles must be inline (inside the <Style> tag of the page header) because HelpLogic doesn't see external style sheets. Luckily, you can create and define templates that contain all of your style information.

The biggest issue with HelpLogic involves CSS and PDFs. The PDF export function does not respect CSS, inline or external. This presents a big problem for a number of users. If you like getting dirty with the raw code, get used to using the <Font> tag.

Using an HTML editor is problematic as well because a good number of editors (Dreamweaver) are using some form of CSS to style text.

Should you export a PDF that contains CSS, be prepared to see the default HTML tags in action. The best option in any case is to use the included HelpLogic Code Editor.

Overall, HelpLogic is a great app. Is it worth $99? Go check it out for yourself.

End of article.