Documentation Tools

Discussion/Comments about the TrainThing "Documentation"
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Ag2000
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Documentation Tools

Post by Ag2000 » Sun Nov 21, 2021 10:19 am

HelpNDoc https://www.helpndoc.com/feature-tour/ is the primary software tool used to write and generate TrainThing documentation. IBE Software offers a fully functional copy of HelpNDoc free for personal (non-commercial) use. The free version does add a “discreet banner” at the bottom of each topic/page similar to:

Image

The documentation section on the main menu was created using HelpNDoc. In addition to HTML, several other output formats are available. For example, I output a Microsoft Word copy of the documentation and use the Word review function to double check my grammar, etc before each web update.

Contextual help is another useful HelpNDoc output. In the TrainThing simulator there are “?” icons next to most program options which are links into the appropriate section of the simulator documentation. I use HTML links, but CHM files to use with Microsoft’s HTML Help Viewer can also be generated. On the main screen open the simulator <Simulator><Run Simulator> to see examples.

Also on the simulator drop down menu is a one page document of all the Simulator documentation generated by HelpNDoc.

In the simulator documentation there are several screen shots for illustration. These screen shots were captured and edited using Snagit by TechSmith. There is a 15-day free fully functional trial version available. Single user pricing is reasonable. https://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.html

Camtasia, also by TechSmith, was used to capture the screen video <Simulator><Quick Start Video>. The Camtasia video editor was also used to edit/compose the short videos on the main screen <Video> drop down menu. Although I haven’t done much with it, audio can be added/edited along with the video. The free 30-day trial version adds a watermark to the videos. Single user pricing is a little high but inline with other video editors. https://www.techsmith.com/video-editor.html

This bulletin board is a version of phpBB which is free software. To use it your host must have a current version of php, but most web host provide php. https://www.phpbb.com/

I used CorelDraw to make all the electrical schematics and mechanical drawings. Not exactly what it was designed for but in another life Corel was available and the packages I learned to use. I also use Corel Photo-Paint to edit and crop all the photos in the documentation.
Say what you will about Sisyphus. He always has work.

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