Toggle feature descriptions on/off.

File backup
More robust version available (costs extra)
Report problems and suggestions
Reports (Archived)Track the progress of a project through archiving reports.
Reports (Dynamic)Scans that allow users to click to open the content that the issue is located in.
Run reports
Test DotNetHelp links
Test HTML-based Help links
Test underlying HTML
Content Management
BranchingMerging, all permissions, rollback, status tracking, user permissions, version control, version control maintenance - footnote all because the functionality exists if the user has TFS.
Check-in/check-out: dynamic Dynamic check-in/check-out means that the HAT tracks which topics are currently opened for editing and by whom. As a user, all you have to do is open the topic to check it out. (No other application is required, and it may be possible to dynamically check out other types of content, like hyperlinks and images.)
Check-in/check-out: file (may need separate app)File-based HATs may include or integrate with an application that lets you check out the files that you need to work on. When you are finished making your modifications, you then check the file back in. A separate application may be required.
Check-in/check-out: project HATs that allow multi-authoring will also allow a user to check out the project so that it can be modified (for example, by modifying the table of contents or adding/removing files). A separate application may be necessary.
Cloud-based review using
Cloud-based review using SharePoint for RoboHelp
Contribution/SME WorkflowUsing Word, FrameMaker & MadCap Contributor
Controlled Language/Simplified Technical English IntegrationAuthors can use a standardized vocabulary and style to improve consistency, eliminate ambiguity and reduce complexity. Furthermore, authors can ensure compliance with corporate terminology and style guide rules using advanced interactive checker and quality measurement features.
Merging filesThe HAT lets you merge two topics together, incorporating edits from both.
Native (.aspx) output for publishing to SharePoint
Permissions: foldersWith Source Control Integration.
Permissions: groupsWith Source Control Integration.
Permissions: role-basedIf the HAT is also a content management system, it may provide for permissions based on the user's job (writer, editor, legal, and so on).
Permissions: usersWith Source Control Integration.
Project file databaseSome HATs store project information in a database, which tracks topics (files), images, and so on. Because a project database is only used by the HAT to track various types of information, this is not usually a "make or break" feature.
RollbackWith Source Control Integration
Roundtrip Acrobat PDF ReviewAuthor creates a PDF of an entire project or only selected topics, snippets, and master pages. The PDF is sent to authors and subject matter experts for edits. Using the free Adobe Reader, the commented PDFs are then returned to the author, who selectively accepts or rejects the suggestions.
Separation of content and presentation (ad hoc formatting allowed)"Separating content from presentation" means that what you see in development may or may not be what you see when you view the output. "Ad hoc formatting" means that you can override any applied styles in the editor. (For example, Microsoft Word lets users apply whatever formatting they want to text, thus overriding any styles defined in the template.) Ad hoc formatting results in style overrides in the published output, and requires more effort when formatting changes need to be made during development.
Separation of content and presentation (no ad hoc formatting allowed)"Separating content from presentation" means that what you see in development may or may not be what you see when you view the output. If the HAT does not allow "Ad hoc formatting", it means that users cannot override any applied styles in the editor. For example, XML editors do not allow ad hoc formatting. As a result, less formatting effort is required during development.
Source Control, IntegratedNative Support for Microsoft Visual SourceSafe, Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS), Subversion, Perforce, source control tools that use MS SCC API.
Status trackingThis feature lets you track the status of a topic (or possibly other object). It is known by different names, including release control, release states, and status.
Track Changes for Author-to-Author Tracking Authors can track the history of changes made to topics including dates, author name, and comments.
User permissions (security)HATs that are content management systems may let you apply various levels of permissions to your projects. For example, one group of users may not be allowed to edit topics in a specific folder.
VariantsFor snippets and variables.
Version controlIf the HAT is also a content management system, it provides for version control. This lets you maintain separate versions of topics (and is different from history, which tracks revisions to a specific version).
Version control: maintenanceIf the HAT is also a content management system, it provides for version control. This lets you maintain separate versions of topics (and is different from history). Version control maintenance means that you can apply global settings that will be used for version control.
View relationships between non-topic and topic objects in a projectWhen you are working on a project, it helps when you can view the various relationships between topics and other objects (like graphics, hyperlinks, table of contents, and so on). This feature only indicates that the HAT includes this capability at some level. Check the vendor's site to see what relationships the HAT reports on.
View relationships between topics in a projectWhen you are working with a project, it helps when you can view the different topic relationships. Some HATs provide this information in graphical form, while others provide it as a list.
Context-sensitive Help
AliasingThe HAT lets you provide aliases for the context-sensitive Help. Aliases let you specify that one topic should be substituted for another (WinHelp), or match topic IDs to HTML files (HTML-based output).
APIThe HAT provides an application programming interface (API) that can be used to "hook" the Help to the application.
Automatic mapping of topicsThe HAT provides the functionality needed to automatically create a map file for the application. (This doesn't mean that the Help will automatically link to the application; you will have to work with the application developers (engineers, programmers) to make sure that the map numbers correspond correctly.)
Automatic workflow for creating context-sensitive Help for C++ applications
Context-sensitive Help APIs for Android and iOS
Context-sensitive Help: .NETThe HAT provides a customized output for .NET applications. (Note: .chm files can also be used. This feature is for HATs that have created an output specifically for .NET applications.)
Context-sensitive Help: existing (other) applicationsYou can use the HAT to create context-sensitive HATs for existing applications. The output that you produce will be used in addition to the application's default Help.
Context-sensitive Help: Test Dot Net output links internally.
Context-sensitive Help: Web/Mac/*nix applicationsThe HAT can be used to provide context-sensitive Help for Web applications on any platform. (This is typically some kind of HTML-based Help.) The HAT may include an API to make it easier for your developers to set up.
Context-sensitive Help: Windows applicationsYou can use the HAT to create context-sensitive Help for Windows applications. (Use the features under the Outputs category to find out what types of Help can be produced.)
Edit map numbers by topicThe HAT provides the functionality necessary to edit map numbers by topic, so that the Help author can apply the map numbers provided by the developer (programmer, engineer).
Embedded Help
Map Help topics to interface visually
Map number/context ID/map ID editorThe terminology changes as the years go by, but map number, context ID, and map ID all mean the same thing. (HAT-Matrix has standardized on "map number".) If the HAT provides a map number editor, it means that it provides a way for you to see all topics and map numbers at one time, and you can individually edit them as necessary.
Customizing the Outputs
Batch BuildBatch Build means create output for multiple deliverables to local system.
Batch Publish Batch Publish means send the latest build to its published location (typically server-based).
Automatic navigational links (HTML): BreadcrumbsThe HTML-based Help output will include breadcrumbs, which serve as an indicator to the end-user of where they are in the output.
Automatic navigational links (HTML): Browse sequencesThe HTML-based Help output includes browse sequence buttons (Next and Previous), which lets the end-user proceed from one topic to the next in the order specified in the project.
Automatic navigational links (HTML): FAQs (link or button)The HTML-based Help output includes a link or button to frequently asked questions.
Automatic navigational links (HTML): Index (link to Index in topic)The HTML-based Help output will include a link to the index, which may be displayed as either a link or a button which is usually customizable.
Automatic navigational links (HTML): Sections (parent/children/sibling topic links)The output includes navigational topic links that are assigned based on settings in the project. Typically, the hierarchy (or tabe of contents) is used to determine the parent/child/sibling relationships. These links are usually customizable.
Automatic navigational links (HTML): TOC (link to Contents in topic)The HTML-based Help output will include a link to the table of contents, which may be displayed as either a link or a button which is usually customizable.
Automatic navigational links: 'List of’ support
Automatic navigational links: Mini-TOC for print, online, or both
Automatic navigational links: Relationship table
Batch Build and PublishBatch Build and Publish means to create the output and send it to its published location.
Boolean search, phrase search
Built-in feedback form
Command line publishingYou can publish the output(s) outside the HAT. This option means that your programmers (developers, engineers) can publish the Help at the same time that they compile the application. In some cases, you can use a command-line script with a scheduler to publish the Help at an off-time (for example, during the middle of the night when the server load is decreased).
Crop and registration marks (Print)
Custom title page for printYou can include a custom title page that will be included when you publish to Microsoft Word or PDF.
Customizable layouts (output): Cascading Style SheetsYou can customize the different HTML-based Help outputs with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The HAT may or may not include a CSS editor (or some other way to modify the styles that will be used).
Customizable layouts (output): HTML templatesYou can customize the different HTML-based Help outputs with HTML templates. The HAT may or may not include the capability to edit the HTML template files.
Customizable layouts (output): PDF templateYou can create a customized template that can be used for PDF output. (Check the vendor's site to see if you have to create a custom Word template for PDF output.)
Customizable layouts (output): WinHelp stylesYou can customize the styles used in the WinHelp output. (Please note that WinHelp has been deprecated by Microsoft with the release of Windows Vista.)
Customizable layouts (output): Word templatesYou can create a custom Word template that will be used when publishing print output. (In most cases, it's best to create a copy of the vendor-supplied Word template and make modifications to it.)
Customizable layouts (output): XSL or XL-FOYou can customize the layouts for the different outputs by using Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) or XSL-FO (Formatting Objects).
Customizable layouts: Print configuration
Customize Glossary with choice of expanding, tooltip, or popup
Customize MS HTML Help (.chm) with WebHelp Skins
Customized Screen Profiles for author-defined device sizes
Display You can view a list of the most popular pages that visitors have requested.
Dynamic User-Centric Content User can filter content in the output by certain author-defined categories such as by Role, by Geography, by Application or any other category the author may define.
Enable “pinch to zoom” for iOS devices
External Content Search URL shows in results if user searches on a term prescribed by the author.
File extensions: customized for HTML-based Help output
GlossaryYou can include a glossary in the published output. The HAT may provide automatic linking of glossary terms; check the vendor's website.
Hyphenation control (print)
Margin notesMargin notes are small chunks of content, usually one paragraph, that appear in the left margin when publishing to Microsoft Word and as a popup when publishing to some form of online Help.
Master pageSimilar to a page template, a master page lets you include certain content in all associated topics. Master pages can be used for online and print output.
Master TOC
Mobile output skin editorFor look-and-feel or localization.
Output templates: customizableYou can modify the output templates to reflect your corporate identity (also known as the "look and feel"). Check the vendor's website to see what's involved in making the customizations; some HATs include designers or wizards, while others require that you edit the templates using the appropriate editor (Notepad, Microsoft Word, an HTML editor, etc.).
Output templates: designer or wizardYou can use a wizard to create custom output templates. Wizards sometimes make it easier to create customized versions of the output.
Output templates: localizedCan use supplied localized templates or modify them.
Page Layouts (Print)
Permission-based accessOne common request on various email lists is how to present content based on the end-user's login information. HATs with this feature let you add end-user permissions to your HTML-based output.
Project SynonymsAuthors can create a synonyms that direct the end user to relevant content.
Publishing Profiles / Conditional Output
Responsive HTML5 Layout Customization Editor
Right-to-left outputs
Schedule BuildsLinks to Windows Task Scheduler (or some other application) so that builds can be scheduled.
Screen Layout Editor for HTML5 Output
Scripting after publicationCan be accomplished using the command line compile
Search HighlightingAuthor chooses the highlight color for the search result keywords.
Search Highlighting in HTML5 Output
Search in output: CGI (may require separate CGI script)Most HATs produce HTML-based Help that automatically includes a Search tab. However, HATs that let you use CGI search provide the functionality necessary to edit the layout of the output so that you can link to a different search engine instead.
Search in output: DHTMLThe content on the Search tab included in the HTML-based Help produced by the HAT is dynamic HTML, which uses JavaScript to create the results page. Because the search results are created when the output is created, it could take longer for the search results to display for large books.
Search in output: Natural The HAT includes a "natural" search engine that provides the content for the Search tab in the output. Natural search relies on statistical analysis to add enhanced natural language search functionality, which makes it language-independent.
Search Ranking An optional column shows the numerical ranking in search results pane.
Search Results with Context A brief sentence describes a topic to help the user determine the most relevant search result.
Security Settings (PDF)Lets you assign security settings to PDF files without using Acrobat.
Security Settings (Print)
Skinnable HTML Help (.chm) from WebHelp Skin
Synonym support in search (HTML-based Help)"Full-text search" lets users look for specific words that may be used in the Help. However, one of the weaknesses in full-text search is that users might be looking for the "wrong" term (for example, they might be looking for "changing" when the terms "modifying" or "editing" might be used instead). When Microsoft was developing Microsoft AML (their XML schema for Vista Help), they added the ability to include synonyms in the topic properties so that users could find the right topic, even if they typed in the "wrong" word. A HAT that supports synonym search has added this same type of functionality, which makes the search more powerful. This is especially helpful for Help files with no index (or a weak index).
Topic Search Keywords
User-Customizable: Home pageThe end-user can customize the home page that displays when they launch the HTML-based Help.
User-Customizable: SearchThe end-user can customize the results displayed on the Search tab.
Widow/orphan control
Database and Database Management
Content database: DB2Content is (or can be) stored in a DB2 database.
Content database: JDBC-compliantContent is (or can be) stored in an JDBC-compliant database.
Content database: JETContent is (or can be) stored in a JET (Microsoft Access) database.
Content database: MSDEContent is (or can be) stored in an MSDE database.
Content database: MYSQLContent is (or can be) stored in a MYSQL database.
Content database: SQLContent is (or can be) stored in a SQL database.
Content database: SQL ExpressContent is (or can be) stored in a SQL Express database.
Content database: XMLContent is (or can be) stored in an XML database. The HAT may let you use an existing schema or DTD (like DITA or DocBook), or may require that you use the vendor's schema or DTD.
Database maintenanceIf the HAT uses a database for content, it also provides database maintenance functionality. Note: The type of maintenance that is available is dependent on the type of database, and may require a database administrator instead.
OfflineIf the HAT uses a content database, it provides the functionality necessary to create a "copy" that can be worked on separately from the master database.
Re-synch databaseIf the HAT uses a content database, and lets you create an offline version to use, this option lets you re-synch the content in the offline database to the master database.
Development Environment
Adobe FrameMakerYou create content in Frame. Typically, the Frame files are added to the project and published on demand, but no editing of the Frame files takes place in the HAT itself.
Editor: built-in word processor (not specified elsewhere in this category)The HAT provides a built-in word processor that you use to edit your content, which is typically a lot like Word.
Editor: server-basedYou edit content in a server-based editor. (This is similar to a web-based editor, but runs over an intranet instead of the Internet.)
Editor: Web-basedAll content is (or can be) edited through a web-based editor. Check the vendor's site to see what features are offered.
HTML: any editor (for example, Dreamweaver, CSE HTML Pro, etc.)You can use any HTML editor to edit your files. You might lose some functionality from the HAT (because you're working in a different application). Check the vendor's site for more information.
HTML: built-in editorYou create content in a built-in HTML editor. Check the vendor's site to see which features their HTML editor includes.
Microsoft WordYou create content in Word. Typically, the HAT uses custom templates and DLLs so that Word is opened and contains specialized menus when you launch the HAT.
Microsoft Word 2007You can use Microsoft Word 2007 to develop the content of your Help projects. (Check the vendor website to find out if you must uninstall and reinstall the HAT, or if it will automatically recognize the new version of Word.)
Microsoft Word 2010
Microsoft Word 365
None (publishes existing documents)The HAT lets you build projects by specifying Word or Frame files that are accessed when the project is published. You use the specific editor to make changes to your files.
XML: any editor (for example, XMetaL)You can use any XML editor to edit your files. You might lose some functionality from the HAT (because you're working in a different application). Check the vendor's site for more information.
XML: any schema or DTDYou edit the files in an XML editor that lets you specify the schema or DTD that you want to use.
XML: built-in editorYou edit your content in the XML editor (typically proprietary) that comes with the HAT. See other entries in this category for information on DTDs and schemas that can be used.
XML: specific schema or DTDAll files are created according to a specific schema or DTD, such as the W3C's XHTML DTD or DITA. Check the vendor's website to see which DTD/schema they use.
Development Features
Author in Print Mode
Author in Web Mode
Auto SuggestionsWhile typing content, a popup may display below your text as you type. This is the Auto Suggestion feature, which analyzes text as you type and compares it to other content (e.g., phrases, variables, snippets) that already exists in the project.
Automatic content and screenshots from Microsoft Access applicationsThe HAT scans your Microsoft Access application and automatically generates the HTML files, screenshots, and other elements needed to make the Help file and user documentation.
Automatic content and screenshots from Visual Basic 6.0 applicationsThe HAT scans your Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 application and automatically generates the HTML files, screenshots, and other elements needed to make the Help file and user documentation.
Automatic content and screenshots from Visual Studio 2003/2005 applicationsThe HAT scans your Microsoft Visual Studio 2003/2005 application and automatically generates the HTML files, screenshots, and other elements needed to make the Help file and user documentation.
Automatic documentation from .NET assemblies
Character Map
CMYK Support
Code Editor
Code Editor (with Intellisense)The HTML/XHTML/XML editor included with the HAT a) lets you edit in code view and b) provides hints as to what attributes are allowed when you type a tag.
Code Editor: Corrects invalid HTML
Code Editor: CSS with Intellisense
Code Editor: Split View/Syncs with the topic editor
Code Editor: Validates against schema
Color selection tool
Conditional Authoring View
Conditional Build TagsConditional Build Tags shown in special “output view” during development with “Show Tagged Output” command
Contextual TabsContextual Tabs that appear when the author needs them. For example, when working in a table, the Ribbon tab expands to reveal commands to fit the task at hand.
CSS Editor (or ability to edit CSS style definitions)
CSS, Master: Project and target
CSS: Multiple applied to topics
Dynamic Content FiltersUsing conditional build tags and expressions, the author can create filtered content for the end user to view in Responsive HTML5 Layouts. End-users can then “self select” the content they wish to view by choosing a combination of filter criteria in the output. Filters dynamically affect the TOC, Index, Search and Topic content “on the fly” as the end-user selects the filters
File TagsYou can assign "tags" to files in Flare, even folders. You can use file tags for many different purposes, such as assigning authors or milestones to topics. Flare lets you generate reports based on the tags that are assigned. This makes project development easier to track, manage, and schedule.
Files: Open with drag-and-drop
Fonts: create list of favorites
Footnotes and Endnotes A footnote is a comment that is used to explain a specific area of the text. It is used primarily for print-based output. Both the area in the text and the comment contain a number or symbol that ties the two together. A footnote comment is typically placed at the end of a page where the corresponding number or symbol is placed in the text. Otherwise, you can place a comment later in the manual, such as at the end of a document, chapter, section, or book; in this case, the comment is usually referred to as an endnote.
FrameMaker Live LinkingLink to FrameMaker documents instead of re-importing after changes have been made. The original is kept on a shared network location. If the original changes, the author is notified to keep content synchronized.
Frames (HTML) editor
Full-text search (across projects)
Hanging Punctuation Support
HTML Help Controls
Lock Content and Elements
MathML SupportFlare supports Mathematical Markup Language (MathML), which is a way to describe mathematical notations in XML. Recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), MathML in Flare allows you to embed virtually any kind of mathematical equation in the XML Editor. You can simply type or paste your MathML into the code and Flare will render the appropriate equation in the editor.
Metadata: allowed in developmentYou can add metadata to your content for development purposes. This metadata does not get published.
Metadata: fields in development
Metadata: in output
Microsoft Word Live LinkingLink to Microsoft Word documents instead of re-importing after changes have been made. The original is kept on a shared network location. If the original changes, the author is notified to keep content synchronized.
Page Map
Paste text (specify formatting)
Plug-In API
Project templates
Pseudo-classes for drop-caps
Redacted Text Support
Right-to-left Authoring
Scripting after publication
Scripting in application (for example, macros)
Spellchecking: Add dictionaries and hyphenation sets
Structured authoring: enforced logically (headings assigned automatically)
Structured authoring: enforced technically (through DTD/schema/application)
Topic templates: built-in
Topic templates: customizable
Topics: Lock areas against editing
Use regular expressions in Find and ReplaceRegular expressions are text strings that define patterns. For example, if the HAT allows for them, you could use the following to search for any email address: \b[A-Z0-9._%+-]+@[A-Z0-9.-]+\.[A-Z]{2,4}\b
Visual structure indicators
WYSIOP editor
Development Features - Extras
Additional modules available
AIR Help APIDevelopers can use special APIs to call context sensitive AIR Help topics in their applications.
AIR Help Skin EditorA visual design editor allows the authors to create a branded color scheme and icon set for AIR Help output.
Author CommentsYou, as the Help author, can leave yourself notes that are visible during development, but are not published. Some HATs let you do this with styles; at least one calls them "sticky notes".
Build tags: keywords
Build tags: other project files
Build tags: topics
Build tags: unnecessary; handled by application
Build tags; apply custom tags (variant)
Build tags; unnecessary handled by creating different books
Content WidgetsWidgets that can be inserted into content to provide structured formatting and/or interactivity.
Create and view media queries with Visual CSS Editor
Custom mark-up language
Customize tool GUI (personalize)
Customize which Compile Errors/Warnings are displayed
Export all or part of a project Based off of: Target, Conditions, Topic Tags, or Selected files
FAQ creation template
Flexible licensing
Link Viewer See links into and out of a specific topic.
Manage recent files list
Management: document
Management: project
Menu/Toolbars: Dreamweaver
Menu/Toolbars: FrameMaker
Menu/Toolbars: FrontPage
Menu/Toolbars: Microsoft Word
Mobile Simulator Built-in simulator for testing mobile output.
Multi-screen HTML5 Previewer across screen sizes and devices
Multiple glossaries per project
Multiple indexes per projectYou can create more than one index in a project, which lets you publish multiple deliverables that aren't identical. Typically, if you can create multiple indexes, you can also use conditional content.
Multiple TOC: per project
Object Variants (multiple variations)
Quick Access Toolbar with commands customized by the author
Real-time publishing
Recently used styles list
Remote access
Responsive Design – Content reflows and adapts with screen size
Ribbon User InterfaceMenu items logically grouped in tabs according to common workflows.
Roadmap available (upcoming features)
Scripting and automation supportA scripting engine and editor is provided with the ability to run either ready-made scripts or create custom scripts for "macros" and other repetitive tasks.
Themes of light and dark colors according to author’s preference.
TOC: Master at project and target level
Topic reviews and contributions
Development Platform
MojoPacMojoPac lets you store Windows and frequently used applications on a USB 2.0 thumb drive, iPod, or external hard drive. If the HAT supports MojoPac, it means that you can store your Help project on a drive and use it on any Windows system.
Windows 7RoboHelp 8 has been certified for Windows 7, 32-bit.
Windows 8
Windows VistaThe HAT can be installed on Windows Vista and will run without any problems. (Check the vendor website to see if you need an updated version of the HAT.)
Windows XP
Edit/audit historyHistory tracks changes made to previous revisions when you save the topic, or tracks when changes were made (even if the exact changes aren't tracked). The vendors use different terminology for this functionality, so check the vendor sites for more information.
History maintenanceIf the HAT includes historical functionality, you may be able to apply global maintenance settings (for example, when history should be saved).
History settings (Audit trail)HATs that provide version control use history to track changes between revisions. (HATs that don't have version control but that do have history, sometimes call history "version control". We know it's confusing.) "History" (whatever it's called) tracks changes when you save the topic. (HATs that are also content management systems typically track history for all types of content, including images, hyperlinks, and so on.)
Topic backupCan create topic backup before making changes for reversion purposes.
Add with drag-and-drop
Conditional Image Map Areas
Image callout support
Imagemap/SHED editor (built-in)
Insert Flash Movie in Word
Minimum/Maximum height and widthIf the original image is larger than the maximum width or height that is set, it will be reduced in size so that it is no greater than the maximum value. If the original image is smaller than the minimum width or height that is set, it will be enlarged so that it reaches the minimum value.
Movie-making application: built-in
Movie-making application: separate but integrated
Output controlled by settings
Resize with style
Resize with template
Resize within editor
Screen capture application: built-in
Screen capture application: separated but integrated
Support vector graphics
ThumbnailsWhen you insert images into Flare content, you can specify that the pictures should be displayed as thumbnails (i.e., much smaller versions of the image). This is a way to condense topics so that pictures are not taking up as much real estate. When you use this feature, you can specify ways that the user can enlarge the image to see its full size in the output (e.g., by hovering over the thumbnail, by clicking the thumbnail).
Import Content From ...
Adobe Captivate (.swf)Author can either import an existing Adobe Captivate movie or create a new one.
Adobe Captivate 6 HTML5 Output
Adobe Captivate 8 Responsive HTML5 Output Adobe Captivate 8 Responsive HTML5 Output including scalable output of video
Adobe FrameMaker (.book)
Adobe FrameMaker (.fm)
Adobe FrameMaker (.mif)
Adobe PDF (.pdf)
ForeHelp projects
HTML files
HTML Help file (.chm)
HTML Help Project (.hhp)
Madcap Flare projects
Microsoft SandcastleYou can import content from Microsoft Sandcastle files.
Microsoft Word
RoboHelp for Word projects
RoboHelp HTML projects
RTF (from Word)
RTF (tagged for WinHelp)
Text files
WinHelp Help file (.hlp)
WinHelp Project (.hpj)
XML: built-in schema
XML: DocBook
Import Features
Batch import
Context IDs (map IDs) in .h/.hh/.hm file
Context IDs (map IDs) in project
FrameMaker Equations
FrameMaker images with callouts
FrameMaker markers
FrameMaker master pages
Generate images for anchored frames (FrameMaker)
Import profiles
Import rules
Link imported source files to project
Map formatted FrameMaker tables to table styles
Map inline styles to CSS styles
Map styles from HTML files
Map styles from Word or FrameMaker files
Preserve source styles
Reference documents (edited in original application)
Saved settings for referenced files
Split imported docs: character count
Split imported docs: style
“See” and “See Also” support
Advanced Index Styling
Automatic indexing: hyperlink hotspot text
Automatic indexing: topic titles
Dynamic Filtering of Index according to end-user preference
“Sort as” Index sortingAllows you to sort a term as something else.
Localization and Translation
Customizable language skins
Development support (can have multiple languages within the project)
External translation support
External translation support: generate XML file
External translation support: SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)
Localized interfaceThe HAT lets you choose which supported language you want to use for the interface. This is a "nice to have" feature if members of your team are native speakers of one of the supported languages.
Select language for spell check
Specify Localized Character Encoding At the time of generation, the author may choose the character encoding for a particular Single Source Layout output.
Support for: double-byte languages
Support for: RTL (right-to-left languages)
Support for: single-byte languages
Support for: UNICODE
Track localization process within project
Translation memory: built-in
Translation memory: integrated
Adobe AIR output: Application
Adobe AIR Single Source Layout
AIR Help Comment Moderation and StorageAuthors can enable comment moderation and designate a network location to store the comments.
AIR Help CommentingEnd users and authors can add comments to published topics. Comments can be limited to the end user, or shared with other authors or end users.
DHTML (HTML, CSS, + JavaScript)One of the HAT's supported outputs is Dynamic HTML, which combines HTML, Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript, and the Document Object Model (DOM).
DITAOne of the HAT's supported outputs is XML that validates against the DITA schema.
DocBookOne of the HAT's supported outputs is XML that validates against the DocBook DTD.
DotNet Help (proprietary)One of the HAT's supported outputs is a proprietary HTML-based Help system that supports .NET applications. A custom viewer is required.
eBookOne of the HAT's supported outputs is an eBook, which is usually a Windows 32-bit executable that looks very similar to an HTML Help file (although customization is possible). Check the vendor's site to see what features are offered for their eBook format.
Eclipse Help
End-user self-selected content This persona-based content reflects the end-user's ability to self-select their Geographical Location, Role, Product focus, etc., when filtering content while using the TOC, Index and Search.
EPUB 3 Support
EPUB 3 Validation
ePub formatConforms to open standard format for ebook readers and handheld devices.
ePub support for embedded custom fonts
FrameMaker (.book)One of the HAT's supported outputs is FrameMaker (.book) files. Check the vendor site to verify the FrameMaker version.
FrameMaker (.fm)One of the HAT's supported outputs is FrameMaker (.fm) files. Check the vendor site to verify the FrameMaker version.
Generate installable Native apps for Android and iOS
HTML 4.xOne of the HAT's supported outputs is HTML 4.x.
HTML Help 1.xOne of the HAT's supported outputs is HTML Help 1.x, originally released by Microsoft in 1997. HTML Help is in maintenance mode, which means that no new features will be added and only critical updates will take place. Due to changes in various Microsoft security patches, HTML Help can only be run from a network location if the registry is changed.
HTML-based Help (IE7 compatible)One of the HAT's supported outputs is HTML-based Help that has been optimized for IE7.
HTML-based Help (Local Chrome Support)You can view our WebHelp system off of your local files structure using Chrome.
HTML-based Help (possibly named)One of the HAT's supported outputs is HTML-based Help. This output causes the most confusion because of various naming issues. Some vendors have named their output (for example, RoboHelp calls theirs "WebHelp", and Flare uses the same term). As a result, questions on various email lists require several passes to verify which HAT is involved and if the question is specific to an vendor's output or related to any HTML-based Help output.
HTML-based Help (server based)
HTML-based Help AIR
JavaHelp 1.xOne of the HAT's supported outputs is JavaHelp 1.x, an HTML-based Help format created by Sun Microsystems.
JavaHelp 2.xOne of the HAT's supported outputs is JavaHelp 2.x, an HTML-based Help format created by Sun Microsystems.
KeyHelpOne of the HAT's supported outputs is KeyHelp, a free ActiveX control that enhances the capabilities of Microsoft's HTML Help. KeyHelp's features include popups, embedded windows, auto-sizing windows, information types, and script extensions.
Kindle Fire (.mobi or KF8)
Microsoft Help System
Mobile App creation Mobile App creation of native iOS and Android apps installable on smartphones and tablets.
Mobile Output
MS Help 2 (Visual Studio .NET)One of the HAT's supported outputs is MS Help 2. Although this version of Help was never publicly released and is not designed for creating general applicaiton Help, it is used by Visual Studio .NET Help and the MSDN library.
MSReaderOne of the HAT's supported outputs is Microsoft Reader .lit files, which are based on HTML Help (.chm). Note that Microsoft no longer supports the .lit file format in Office 2007.
Oracle HelpOne of the HAT's supported outputs is Oracle Help, an HTML-based Help format created by Oracle. Oracle Help can be distributed for use on desktop systems using Java, or over the web using a Java servlet.
Palm ReaderOne of the HAT's supported outputs is Palm Reader .pdb files, which is a binary file used for eBooks.
PDF (Microsoft Word 2007 .pdf)One of the HAT's supported outputs is Microsoft Word 2007 PDF.
PDF (Portable Document Format)One of the HAT's supported outputs is PDF. You may or may not need Adobe Acrobat or another similar application installed. Check the vendor's site for more information.
PDF (Unicode)One of the HAT's supported outputs is unicode PDFs, which are typically required when publishing Russion or Asian languages. While Adobe PDF does not currently support Unicode, it is possible to generate it if you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat installed.
Print (Microsoft Word .doc)One of the HAT's supported outputs is Microsoft Word document (.doc). (Check the vendor's website to see what flavor of Word is supported, as Word 97-2007 can produce .doc.)
Print (Microsoft Word 2007 .docx)One of the HAT's supported outputs is Microsoft Word 2007 Office Open XML (.docx), which uses XML and compression.
Responsive HTML5 output Author uses customizable layouts to generate responsive output for desktop, phone and tablet breakpoints, including Right to Left outputs.
Right-to-Left Outputs
RTF (Rich Text Format)One of the HAT's supported outputs is RTF, a file format supported by many applications.
Search Output of Microsoft Office documents
Search Output of PDF documents
Search Output with user option for “AND” Search
Search Results Context is customizable Search Results Context is customizable by the author for each topic to help end user choose the best topic
Slide Presentations One of the HAT's supported outputs is slide presentations. Typically, these slide presentations run through a browser, but check the vendor's site to verify.
Socially-enabled Outputs
WinHelp 4One of the HAT's supported outputs is WinHelp 4. Please note that WinHelp is not natively supported in Windows Vista. (It is possible to run WinHelp on Vista, but users must download the WinHelp engine, which cannot be redistributed.)
XHTML 1.xOne of the HAT's supported outputs is XHTML 1.x. Typically, HATs include the necessary navigational tabs (Contents, Index, and Search), although it is usually possible to customize the results.
XML (Microsoft Word 2007 .xps)One of the HAT's supported outputs is Microsoft's XML Paper Specification (XPS), which is a subset of the Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML). The XPS viewer is included in Microsoft Vista.
XML (validated against built-in schema)One of the HAT's supported outputs is XML that is validated against the vendor's schema. If the vendor also provides an XSL file that transforms the content to HTML, the XML file can be viewed through a browser.
XML + CSSOne of the HAT's supported outputs is XML that is formatted with Cascading Style Sheets. (This isn't the recommended method for formatting XML, but it works.)
XML + XSLOne of the HAT's supported outputs is XML that is formatted with XSL (which is the preferred method).
XML transforms (.NET) These allow advanced users to apply transforms to our XML output.
XML transforms (XSLT) These allow advanced users to apply transforms to our XML output.
Reusable Content Across Projects/Multi-project Features
Alias files (content-sensitive Help)
Auto Index Sets
Auto Suggestion Sets
Browse Sequences
Conditions/conditional tag sets
Custom Formatted Lists
File Tags
Global Project Linking
Glossary / Glossary Objects
Header file (for context-sensitive Help)
Header Files
Hyphenation Rules
Images and Multimedia
Imported files
Index entries
Index Link Sets
Index/index objects
Language Skins
Page Layouts
Project settings
Publishing destinations
Relationship Tables
Reusable formatted chunks of content
Reusable formatted chunks of content (programmable)
Search filter sets
Shared Linked ResourcesAuthors can reuse content that is stored in a shared network folder. Authors are notified if changes are made to the original so that topics may be updated.
Skins/layout design
Style Sheets
Synonym Files
Table Styles
Templates: external
Templates: internal
TOC/TOC objects
Topic/topic objects
Variables/variable sets: used in development
Variables/variable sets: used in output templates
Reusable Content Within Projects
Conditions/conditional tag sets
Equations Flare provides an internal Equation Editor that allows you to create and embed equations in your content.
Frame text inset
Index entries
QR (Quick Response) CodesYou can insert a QR code into a content file (e.g., topic, snippet) using the XML Editor. A QR code is a type of barcode that can be read by devices such as smart phones. The data encoded in the QR Code can be text, a website URL, an email address, contact information, or SMS (Short Message Service, which is used for sending text messages). Basically, QR codes are a way to bridge the gap between a static print document and searchable, more detailed online information at your fingertips.
Relationship TablesA relationship table is an element used to link related topics together. It is similar to concept links or related topics links. Although a relationship table is a common feature in DITA, you do not need to be using DITA or know anything about DITA in order to take advantage of relationship tables in Flare or your other outputs.
Reusable formatted chunks of contentAlso known as "snippets", "embedded topics", "rich content variables", and others, this feature lets you create formatted chunks of content that can be re-used in other topics.
Templates: external
Templates: internal
TOC/TOC objects
Topic/topic objects
Add Content, Images, Equations, Snippets, etc. to review packages
Automatically Include snippets with containing topics sent for review
Free Review through ContributorUsing annotations
Free Review through PDFSave any topic as PDF through File > Save To and send it for review.
Free Review using Flare
Hide Content from reviewers using Conditional Expressions
Lock Text and Elements for Review
Select Variables to be displayed to the reviewer based off of Targets
Send topics for review through UI
Send topics for review using the TOC
Track Changes
Single-sourcing Features
Automatic mini-TOCs for sections
Automatic Related Topics/See Also links
Conditional build expressions Conditional build expressions can be customized for more author-friendly names rather than long strings of boolean logic
Conditional Content: any file type
Conditional content: flags or tags
Conditional content: inclusion/exclusion
Conditional content: styles
Conditional output variablesYou can create variables with multiple values that resolve according to the selected output profile, which could apply to a specific output type, client, or both.
Embedded topics (nesting topics)
Modular Help
Variables, development: custom date and time
Variables, development: file object
Variables, development: list of values
Variables, development: multi-definition
Variables, development: system
Variables, development: text
Variables: used in output templates
Email list: private: (must register)
Email list: public
Email support (free)
Email support (paid)
Knowledge Base
Newsgroup/user forums
RSS feedsThe HAT vendor provides RSS feeds for its website, blog, or support forums (or more) so that you get the latest news as soon as it is published.
Submission/contact form
Subscription plan
Support: incidentYou can file a support call for a single discrete issue. Check the vendor's website for their definition of "incident" and the associated costs.
Support: limited during evaluation
Support: unlimited during evaluation (typically email)
Telephone support: free (may be limited)
Telephone support: paid
Training: from independents (consultants and trainers)
Training: from vendor
Trial (evaluation) available: crippled development
Trial (evaluation) available: crippled output
Trial (evaluation) available: time limit
Trial-to-full version: insert serial number/key.
Trial-to-full version: reinstall
System Administration
Clear locks
Customize HAT GUI
Define supported languages
Integration with Active Directory
Integration with SharePointIf your company uses Microsoft SharePoint (software that allows organizations to collaborate, share files, and publish information to the Web), you can connect to a SharePoint server. Doing this makes it easy to access and edit the SharePoint files from any of your Flare projects. You can even copy SharePoint files to your project with mappings that let you keep them synchronized with the source files. In addition, you can use the SharePoint server to store any kind of template files supported in Flare so that they can be used by any Flare users in your company.
Maintenance: groups
Maintenance: users
Organize project support filesFolders in the Project Organizer
Publish directly to SharePointEnter the SharePoint site destination to streamline publishing.
Search engine tuning
Separate application (may be named)
Sitemap creation
Table Editor
Add ‘Continued from” to table captions
Change text direction in a cell
Drag-and-drop columns
Drag-and-drop rows
Lock Table
Page breaks on table rows
Preformatted quick tables
Repeat table captions on each page
Row sortingSorts rows of table in ascending or descending order.
Table mergingMerging If you have two tables in a content file (e.g., topic, snippet) that are positioned one after the other, you can merge those tables so that they become one. You can do this by using the paste icon that may appear to the right of the tables. Merged tables will become part of the table that it was merged into, inheriting the styles of the ‘parent’ table. You can choose to: Merge Up, Merge Down, Don’t Merge and set a default behavior for the next time you merge tables.
Table properties
Table StylesYou can modify the look and feel of multiple tables at once by editing the properties in a custom table style sheet. These table style sheets let you easily and quickly create patterns, page break, and different looks for tables. Table styles also contain mediums, so you can have other styles that only apply to the table when output to another format (i.e., print). ("Reusable across projects").
Table Styles editor
Text-to-table/Table-to-textEasily convert selected text directly to a table or convert your existing tables to text.
Web Standards and Accessibility (#a11y)
Accessible application (
Accessible output: Priority 1
Accessible output: Priority 2
Accessible output: Priority 3
Accessible PDF files (tagged)The HAT can produce PDF files that include metadata to make them more accessible.
Built-in W3C code validator:
Section 508 Compliant
Valid (W3C) CSS
Valid (W3C) HTML output
Validate Strict XHTML
AutomaticThe HAT provides for an automatic workflow process, based on status entries applied by users.
ManualThe HAT provides workflow functionality, but you (and any other users) are responsible for maintaining the correct status entries to track the workflow.
Setup (may require separate app)In HATs where workflow functionality is provided, you (as the user) can set up how the workflow progresses (for example, you can customize status entries). If the workflow is provided as a separate application (which may cost extra), you have more control when managing the workflow.
Workflow (additional module)The vendor provides a separate optional module for tracking and maintaining workflow processes. (It may cost extra.)
Workflow (built-in)The HAT includes workflow functionality (although it may be limited). See the vendor's website for more information.