The beta version of this program, code name e-Writer, is a stand-alone HTML-to-EXE compiler that produces Windows executables with an integrated HTML viewer from a Help & Manual Webhelp output, or from any other HTML source you specify.
This stand-alone compiler is for testing and to get user feedback. The display engine and the compiler will be integrated into Help & Manual later. Help & Manual will directly create these e-books from a H&M project file. The new e-book format will replace the current EXE e-book output in Help & Manual. We also plan to release this HTML-to-EXE compiler as a stand-alone product.
Comments are welcome!
Some differences between the old EXE e-books and the new format...
The most eye-catching difference is the optical appearance of the content and the user interface. While the old version had a fixed table of contents, keyword index and search tab (very similar to compiled help files), the new version uses a fully customizable HTML user interface, based on the Webhelp output of Help & Manual.
Benefits of e-Writer eBooks
- You can package any HTML files or websites as an e-Writer eBook, complete with all the layout and dynamic features supported by HTML.
- Consistent presentation: no nasty surprises because of different displays in different browsers.
- Advanced security: provides levels of protection impossible in CHM files or WebHelp.
- Context help support – use eBooks instead of CHM files or WebHelp for software documentation.
- Make advanced eBooks with rich features not possible in conventional, plain-text eBooks.
- Make a portable version of any websites in a single compact file that is accessible anywhere.
- Kiosk mode for interactive demonstrations and presentations.
- Password protection.
- Prevent copying and printing.
- Prevent access to the source code of your HTML pages.
- EBooks with expiry date that can automatically open a specific web page when opened after expiry.
- Support for digital signing for added validation and protection.
- Allow eBooks to be opened only by Administrator Windows accounts.
- CHM and WebHelp do not support access control and security features, e-Writer does.
- EBook and viewer combined in a single compact file. WebHelp must be stored in a folder containing many files and requires a web server to work properly.
- Unlike WebHelp, every call from your application to the eBook is opened in the same window. Every call from an application to WebHelp opens a new browser window.
- Full support for context help with complex URLs. You can interpret all the components of the URL command line just as you would in a normal web browser, but the user never sees the command line.