Introducing Mobile Help

Doc-To-Help 2012 introduces Mobile Help, an HTML 5-based output designed for display on mobile devices. You don’t have to format, code, or design. Just select the output and click build. You get an output complete with navigation, TOC, index, and multitouch support. Doc-To-Help will even scale your images!

See a sample at doctohelp.com/mobilehelp.

Generating Mobile Help is easy, just select it from Doc-To-Help’s target menu and click build.

Once it is generated, copy it to a file on your Web server. There is no complicated deployment process. No IT skills required.

You can use the theme designer change the appearance of your output, change the header, and add a logo and set other preferences. You can also use the jQuery UI Theme Roller (http://jqueryui.com/themeroller/) tool to completely customize your own theme.

Summary

  • Built with jQuery Mobile
    jQuery Mobile is the most flexible, powerful, and lightweight technology available. Since it’s based on HTML 5, it supports all major mobile platforms including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Palm WebOS, MeeGo, Opera, and Kindle. See a complete list of supported browsers here.
  • Easy to deploy
    To deploy Mobile Help all you need to do is copy it to a folder on a Web server. No special technology or skill is necessary.
  • Full multi-touch support
    Pinch, swipe, tap, and rotate all you want. It is supported.
  • Three levels of customization
    • Use the theme designer to add a logo, choose icons, and set preferences.
    • ThemeRoller compatible
    • The underlying style sheets, HTML, and jQuery files are also fully customizable, so you can do anything you want.
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About Dan Beall

Dan is a 15-year veteran of the software industry with experience including from web development, technical writing, marketing, and product management. Since 2003, he has worked on the Doc-To-Help team as a product manager. Most recently, he has used his experience to put Doc-To-Help on the path to be the go-to tool for web content delivery in the technical communication and administration industries. Today, Dan is responsible for the general marketing and position of ComponentOne’s entire portfolio of products.

5 thoughts on “Introducing Mobile Help

  1. jana22

    I imported a 28-page Word.doc that was created as a mock-up of one of my 300+ page user manuals. I selected Mobile Help for the Target and clicked Build, which yielded a nice-looking output. Now I would like to view the output – preferably on an emulator, but a real smartphone will do for the time being.

    To do that, your instructions state, “Once it is generated, copy it to a file on your Web server.” Specifically, what exactly do I copy? I don’t know what to give my IT guy so that he can place “it” on our Web server. And then what must I do to view it in my phone?

    Yes, clearly I’m a newbie. (sigh)

    Thank you for any guidance!

    1. C1_DanB Post author

      First…. It should say “copy it to a folder on your Web server,” so thanks for pointing that out.

      Now to answer the question. You need to copy the entire output folder. It is called Mobile Help by default and you can find it in your project directory. (/Documents/My Doc-To-Help Projects/YOURPROJECT/Mobile Help).

      I hope that helps.

  2. Brad Keller

    For offline users, they can copy the Mobile Help folder to their device and either add a shortcut to it or browse to the folder. I loaded a Mobile Help sample onto my Android phone to show to customers in case I don’t have service.

    Also, you could create your Mobile Help as an app. Here’s something we got from the developers:

    “It is possible to do today without us adding anything. Just get PhoneGap and build an app. Basically, any web site that consists only of plain HTML files and JavaScript, can be turned into a native app that way. So, on the one hand, we can claim that we have that feature now (but we need to check that it works, we have not done that). But on the other hand, only a programmer who knows how to use PhoneGap (and Eclipse plugin for it, and a few other things that are needed for that) can do it. It is a simple programming task, but it is a programming task.”

    As Dan mentioned, we’re looking into ways to bridge this gap so you won’t need to build an app yourself.

    1. C1_DanB Post author

      You can manually put the output files on a device and view them with the device’s browser. You can even create a shortcut to those files, but it is all a manual process.

      Some time this summer, we will have an app for the major devices that will allow the Help to be installed locally.

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