West Wind HTML Help Builder


I’ve been playing with Help Builder again (I used an earlier version for a while) and have to say this really is one of the best products I’ve used in a long time. And here I’m talking about the effort to productivity ratio. This is a product you can install and use straight away to create really good help files. (To be fair I haven’t tried any others to compare it with, and frankly I won’t be bothering – I’m really happy with Help Builder.)

It has too many featues to mention, but the one I like best is how you can publish your help straight to the web. It is so easy in fact that I am thinking of writing all my static web sites in Help Builder. eg take the OzFox site last year which i managed mostly in tables and VFP script to generate the HTML. Easy enough I guess but still annoying (I had to edit the tables etc). For my next effort it will be all written in HTML Help Builder and then published to the web (you can change the style sheets to suit). (And then the other benefit is I can send the entire web site to anyone as a CHM file.)

But seriously, you may not want to use it in trivial ways like this, after all it was intended for producing great help files, and that is what it does.

I’m now trying it on our Terminal Server (at Talman we all develop on a central Terminal Server) to see how it handles multiple users working on the same help file at once (if that works well there’s an Enterprise license coming your way soon Rick).

It integrates with .Net projects and is exposed as a COM object for scripted content input (which is how we generate a lot of our extended database schema help).

Well worth the price. Its been around for a few years now so is stable and well supported.

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