Styles for .ipp objects - or import to HelpXplain

This is the place for questions on using Impict, Help & Manual's integrated screenshot editor and enhancer.

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Rob Davis
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Styles for .ipp objects - or import to HelpXplain

Unread post by Rob Davis » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:45 pm

Hi
I asked, a while ago, whether there could be some sort of 'style' capability in Impict. I know that the capability is now in HelpXplain - but then I asked the obvious question of whether I could import the .ipps into HelpXplain, etc. etc. and the answer was no :( .

For background - we have hundreds of .ipp graphics, and we take full advantage of the ability to use .ipp files directly in H&M projects - it is very valuable to be able to modify callouts (or replace background screenshots) without exiting, creating new graphics, saving them, and coming back!! We regard this as a major H&M feature.

Recently we have started re-issuing our main products with updated look and feel, and so there are lots of .ipp graphics (i.e. screenshots plus callouts) to re-do.

For the new release, we are migrating all our Help files from .chm to your new .exe eBook - (at your suggestion) - we need uniformity and we need to match our new skin/UI. For new subjects we will use HelpXplain and have the benefit of styles/themes - but it leaves the question about the old .ipps.
We need to update all the .ipps with a uniform (new) style for callouts - different font, different colors for outline and background and so on. At the moment we have to redo these individually. Changing the font and colors of callouts is tedious to say the least!

So I am repeating the question (plea?) - can you suggest any way I can get better uniformity across a library of images.

First choice would still be to be able to do a either import .ipps as a graphics type into .xplain files or to do a one-time import of .ipp files into .xplain format - this would also allow us to use these as the basis for many animated tutorials that we are planning.

Alternatively, if there could be some sort of 'styles' or 'theme' capability for the .ipp objects, we could more easily do the editing of existing files and still maintain them as .ipp files.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
Rob

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Tim Green
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Re: Styles for .ipp objects - or import to HelpXplain

Unread post by Tim Green » Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:10 pm

Hi Rob,

I'm going to check on this again, but I'm afraid I can't hold out too much hope for this, at least not at the moment.
For the new release, we are migrating all our Help files from .chm to your new .exe eBook - (at your suggestion)
Note that although the ".exe" part still works, it is now really a thing of the past. As long as you generate the books with the .ewriter extension, the new eViewer Windows Store app gets installed automatically on Windows 8 and 10 as soon as you open an .ewriter file. For developers you can get the Win32 version for installing together with your software directly from the eWriter page, it works both with Windows 8 and 10 and with older versions (XP, Vista and 7):

https://www.helpandmanual.com/ewriter/
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Rob Davis
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Re: Styles for .ipp objects - or import to HelpXplain

Unread post by Rob Davis » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:10 pm

Thanks Tim - I'm on the edge of my chair!

Regarding the eWriter - I need to update myself and our team urgently on this - I'll talk to our developers and see what the target machines are on which we install the application - we do have users on various Server editions rather than only simple 'Windows 10' - but this is all a black art to me.
From what I see, the Publish option still outputs a .exe - Have I got this wrong?
Is there a link where our developers could see the relevant information? - we are just in the process of defining file names, folder destinations, etc. in the various build variations - so they need this information sooner rather than later.
Thanks
Rob

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Tim Green
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Re: Styles for .ipp objects - or import to HelpXplain

Unread post by Tim Green » Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:11 pm

From what I see, the Publish option still outputs a .exe - Have I got this wrong?
That's just the default. If you enter a different extension Help+Manual recognizes that automatically and publishes a book without the embedded viewer, which is what you need now. This was always possible for separating the viewer and the book, but you used to have to "create" the viewer by also publishing a stub .exe version with at least one topic and using that as the viewer. But that also meant you had to sign it yourself. Now both standalone viewers are signed by us, although you can also re-sign the Win32 version yourself to distribute with your software if you want. That's absolutely fine.

If you're distributing .ewriter books as software documentation you will want to install the Win32 viewer, even on Windows 10. It is very compact, works on all Windows versions and then you know where it is. The best way to get all the information you need is to install the free, standalone eWriter Creator application from the eWriter page:

https://www.helpandmanual.com/ewriter/

The help included with that has all the up-to-date information about the new eViewer viewers, and the command line syntax, distribution and deployment information and so on. They already work with .ewriter files created with HM7.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Alexander Halser
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Re: Styles for .ipp objects - or import to HelpXplain

Unread post by Alexander Halser » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:38 pm

Some minor additions...

The precompiled (new) eWriter viewer runs on Windows XP/SP3 and any newer Windows. That should be sufficient, now that Windows 7 support is ending.

The eWriter viewer available from the Microsoft Store, however, is for Windows 10 only. Not that it wouldn't run on earlier Windows versions, but the automatic download-from-store-connection works for Windows 10 only. Windows 8/7/Vista/XP users can download the installer from our eWriter website: http://ewriter.com

This stand-alone eWriter viewer registers the file extension ".ewriter" for itself and will attempt to open all ewriter-files by default. That's fine if you distribute an eWriter data file (help file) without the viewer.

If you plan to replace your application help with the eWriter format, we strongly recommend to distribute the viewer executable with your own software. It is a relatively small EXE with just 4 mb in size. The self-distributed viewer does not need to be explicitly installed, nor is it required that you use the file extension ".ewriter" for the help packages. Take the executable "eViewer.exe" (included in the eWriter "Creator" installer) and place a copy of it in the folder of your own application. You can rename it as you like, and optionally sign it with your own code-signing certificate.
Alexander Halser
Senior Software Architect, EC Software GmbH

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Rob Davis
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Re: Styles for .ipp objects - or import to HelpXplain

Unread post by Rob Davis » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:57 am

HI
Thanks Time.
I've passed this on to our developers.

Your support, as always, is amazing - much appreciated.
Rob

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