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Easy Single Source Help Authoring

Helpinator is a single-source WYSIWYG help authoring application that will help you to create the perfect documentation library in multiple output formats.

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What are people saying about Helpinator

Dmitri Popov I have to add something to this perfect description written by Derek. I'm not a master of words like him, but here it goes:

1. Helpinator allows you to create multilingual help projects. Topic structure and context ID's remain the same, you only need to write language-specific topic content. So when you switch between CHM files with different languages in your app you don't need to bother with context ID sync - IDs remain the same.

2. You can communicate with third-party translation services using XML Import/Export.

3. With Helpinator's "Image Library" you can store and manage screenshots easily and also you can add callouts and other decorations alike. The main purpose of Image Library is to allow you to update screenshots quickly when UI changes - no need to browse through all of the topics in your project. "Cloned" images serve the same purpose - "clones" share the same screenshot as a background but have different callouts. Once UI changes you only need to update "donor" image, "clones" will be updated automatically.

4. Helpinator allows you to create step-by-step guides to explain UI procedures users have to perform to accomplish certain task. It uses images from the "Image library", sharing the same concept - you can insert "guides" anywhere in the topic.
Major Mind Software - Dec 18 2011 at 1:32am Copy Link
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Marvin Adams Dmitri,

I was once a user of Helpinator 2. The reason why I switched to a different solution was lacking support for inline images.

From the screenshots I see that Helpinator is still using placeholders like {%IMG_Editor.png%} instead of inline images.

Is this correct? Or has a long promised inline image capability been added?

Thanks!
Dec 18 2011 at 9:13am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Marvin, actually "inline" images were there from the beginning :) There's "Insert Image" editor toolbar button, it allows to insert regular image, not the one from the library. Placeholders are for "library images" and are still there for backward compatibility, also they save editor space if you don't need to see an image. You can also insert "library images" in full size, using "Editor right click menu-Insert library image", images from the library will have "img lib: name" text above the image. You can see how it looks like in the video above.
Major Mind Software - Dec 18 2011 at 9:26am Copy Link
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João Teixeira I would want to buy Helpinator, but have encountered problems with the pt-PT language code, mainly with accentuation (the program does not accept it)

Does anyone has a workaround? changing the locale via SbAppLocale tool doesn't work and It seems that I'm helpless while trying to work in UTF-8.
Jan 6 2012 at 11:09am Copy Link
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Gonzo Looks like a great tool, Very complete and professional!
Unfortunately the price, even with the discount, is outside of my reach; however I'll give the trial a go and hope it'll be on sale in the future :)
May 8 2012 at 3:07am Copy Link
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Harry Good program and very inexpensive program with the discount and also it is good that with trial you can test and try Helpinator before you buy :)
Oct 26 2012 at 1:10am Copy Link
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Joss Great app, we have used it for making user guides.
Oct 26 2012 at 1:25am Copy Link
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Richard Andersen Is the tutorial on the Helpinator website made with Helpinator?
Mar 20 2013 at 6:11am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Richard,
actually there are several tutorials on the website :)
Main tutorial is partly made with Helpinator - screenshots and callouts.
Tutorials in WebHelp section were made with Helpinator only:
http://www.helpinator.com...oject.html
Major Mind Software - Mar 20 2013 at 6:17am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Richard,
the main tutorial is partly made with Helpinator - only screenshots and callouts. It was formatted like this (multiple pages) for SEO reasons.
Helpinator generates HTML/JS slideshows for tutorials that fit one topic page and are more compact. You can see examples in the WebHelp section of Helpinator website.
Major Mind Software - Mar 20 2013 at 6:24am Copy Link
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Richard Andersen OK, thank you!
Mar 20 2013 at 7:18am Copy Link
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Javier Gil Two questions:

a) Does this program support animated gifs?
b) Is there an option to optimise the output file for mobile devices?
Mar 21 2013 at 2:49am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Javier,
Actually you can use animated GIFs in PDF file, but only the first frame will be rendered.
If you need different images for different formats (in your example GIF for CHM and PNG for PDF) you can use conditional compilation with conditions like this:
{$IF FORMAT='CHM'$}
GIF image here
{$END$}
{$IF FORMAT='PDF'$}
PNG image here
{$END$}

Mobile-friendly output is sheduled for April release.
Major Mind Software - Mar 21 2013 at 4:17am Copy Link
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John Gee Generation for WordPress interests me.

Will the help in WP be as Pages or Posts?

My Guess is Pages. if so i would not want them getting into my Menus automatically.
Mar 22 2013 at 3:34am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov John,
your guess is right :)
Current implementation creates menu items for pages, but you can select "parent" page to attach them to. Say, you have top-level menu item "Support" and "Articles", "Helpdesk" child items. Select "Support" as the parent page and set "page order" to 3, and your help system will lay in "Support" submenu, under item "Online Help".
But we'll surely add a switch - "Do not create menu items", thank you for the idea :)
Major Mind Software - Mar 22 2013 at 3:46am Copy Link
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Nick H Can you change the HTML or is it just a design WYSIWYG editor?
Mar 23 2013 at 12:08am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Nick,
you can change HTML of templates, topic editor is purely WYSIWYG.
Major Mind Software - Mar 23 2013 at 12:22am Copy Link
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Wide Glide Can't find the "activate"button..Any help would be appreciated!
Mar 23 2013 at 2:31am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov To register your copy:
Main Menu-Help-About, clck "Enter key" button in the left bottom corner.
Major Mind Software - Mar 23 2013 at 4:41am Copy Link
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JamesCGW May I create PDF templates using an existing Adobe FrameMaker template? Thank you.
Mar 23 2013 at 6:05am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov James,

Helpinator uses RTF files for PDF generation with it's own page structure and placeholders so I don't think that FrameMaker template will work without conversion and serious modifications.
Major Mind Software - Mar 23 2013 at 6:09am Copy Link
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bob roos The first page that comes up in the trial shows Actions, Samples, Getting Started and Recommended Reading. In the Samples section I tried More Samples and then Step by Step Guides and it was not found.... Others were found however. FYI

The program looks like it is easier to use than H&M.

I also saw mention of two months satisfaction guarantee. I am not at home for a few days and would like to take advantage of the BDJ offer. It sounds like if I get home and HE just does not work for my situation that I can uninstall it and ask for a refund?

Also on the "Thanks for installing" page at the bottom is a link to Good Tutorial Maker. Sounded like a good idea to check out, but the page is blank (at least in Opera).
Mar 23 2013 at 6:41am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Bob,

Thank you for the report, we'll fix this problem with samples right now.

Yes, you can ask for a refund if it does not suit your needs, but please make sure you are not making a mistake :) Refunds are not good for our merchant account and we can even lose it in certain circumstances.

"Good Tutorial Maker" is another our product under construction, will be featured on BitsDuJour too, stay tuned!
Major Mind Software - Mar 23 2013 at 6:58am Copy Link
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bob roos I understand about refunds. I am a software developer too (hence the need to make help files). I have H&M and Dr Explain and both are good but not perfect for every task.

I will look for Good Tutorial Maker. In the mean time you might change the page to say "Coming soon"
Mar 23 2013 at 7:16am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Bob,

thank you for the hint, we'll add some details and "Coming soon" too :)
Major Mind Software - Mar 23 2013 at 7:22am Copy Link
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Jonathan Matthews Will Helpinator allow me out output to html using templates (i.e., not to a CMS, to flat html files I can re-generate at will)?

If so, assuming the html template is valid, does Helpinator output valid html 5?

Is there direct support for versioning so I can have multiple copies of my documentation for different versions of the software?

Thanks.
Sep 25 2013 at 5:02am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Jonathan,

WebHelp is just a set of HTML files (with applied templates) with some JavaScripts (jQuery) to make things roll. No CMS required. WordPress CMS support is a separate feature.

Helpinator uses the same HTML output for all HTML-based formats so we stick to HTML 4 specification at the moment for compatibility reasons. But this may change in the nearest future for WebHelp format since HTML 5 has some attractive features.

You can create different versions of documentation for different versions (I guess you mean "editions"). Please check out our blog, it has recent posts about this feature.
If you mean "direct VCS support", then no. Helpinator has VCS-friendly storage mode so you don't need to check-in entire project file each time you change something, but it's up to you to set up a VCS software of your choice.
Major Mind Software - Sep 25 2013 at 5:17am Copy Link
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Jonathan Matthews Thanks for the swift response.

For the versioning I was referring to keeping different versions for different versions of my software, i.e. separate help for v1, v1.1 etc. but I guess there's nothing to stop me copying the source files or as you rightly point out using a versioning system. In fact that sources could go in our existing CVS so they branch with the versions as normal. Nice.

On the html output; since asking I've run up the trial and started tinkering. It seems the topic templates are clean and customizable. My remaining concern is with the frames they're wrapped in. Is there any way to modify the template for the index frame or just to turn it off and have navigation above / below the topics in a single frame? Or even just move navigation over to a single index page linked to from every topic?
Sep 25 2013 at 6:23am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Jonathan,

you can customize WebHelp generation a little bit, but it's not fully customizable though.
In your case you have to use "Batch compile" feature (lightning bolt icon on the main tool bar). Add "WebHelp" task and select "Frameless" in the "WebHelp mode" drop down list. This option allows to generate WebHelp without frames and a "root" page with a table of contents in it. Topic pages will link to the root page via "Home" link in the breadcrumbs.
Major Mind Software - Sep 25 2013 at 6:33am Copy Link
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Jonathan Matthews Fantastic, thanks - that's exactly what I was looking for. I'll try out the product a little more over the next few days but I think there's a good chance I'll be buying.

Other readers please take note of the speed and accuracy of these responses - it looks to me like Dmitri's company is a pleasure to deal with.
Sep 25 2013 at 6:59am Copy Link
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Nerino Petro Helpinator is showing that the deal is coming soon. Any idea when or is it past?
Jul 22 2014 at 2:55pm Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Nerino,

the deal will become live on 23rd of July, exact time depends on the time zone.
Major Mind Software - Jul 22 2014 at 8:13pm Copy Link
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Jon Spain Dmitri

Hi, is this for Pro or Standard, please? I have Pro 3 from a previous deal and I know 4 will be out pretty soon. Does the $100 give me fully paid access to Pro 4, Pro 5 until whenever?

Jon
Jul 23 2014 at 1:16am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Jon,

yes, 100USD license is lifetime, e.g. forever.
However you can upgrade your license to lifetime for 80USD (click "Get this deal" and then select "Upgrade from yearly updates to lifetime updates" link.
Major Mind Software - Jul 23 2014 at 1:23am Copy Link
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Jon Spain Dmitri

Thank you but is it for Pro or Standard? That isn't clear, at least to me.

Jon
Jul 23 2014 at 1:35am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Jon,
Standard edition was dismissed some time ago, all Std licenses were upgraded to Pro for free, now all licenses on sale are Pro.
Major Mind Software - Jul 23 2014 at 1:39am Copy Link
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Jon Spain Dmitri

Thank you, you're still showing 3 editions at the URL below! Anyway, I've just upgraded and I have to say how impressed I am by the attitude. If only other software vendors were as pro-active!

http://www.helpinator.com...tions.html

Jon
Jul 23 2014 at 1:48am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Jon,

thank you! :)

"Compare editions" page is obsolete indeed, should be removed.
Major Mind Software - Jul 23 2014 at 1:57am Copy Link
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Kim N. Jensen I ran your sample helpinator.epub through epubcheck 3.01, and it yielded 392 errors. And although the file will open in Adobe Digital Editions (the standard reader application used in many ebook readers), only the Table of Contents is visible, nothing else. So even if the software seems very interesting, it's of no use to me (I haven't tested the other files, since the epub output was so disappointing)
Jul 23 2014 at 8:44am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Kim,
thank you for the report, sample epub was indeed from a very old version of Helpinator and it was not compatible with Digital Editions (was OK in epubreader however).
I reuploaded it, so please check it out, should work with DE 2.0 normally. epubcheck still shows a lot of errors, but they are from the same problem, so we'll fix it right away. Link to epub: http://www.helpinator.com...nator.epub
Major Mind Software - Jul 23 2014 at 12:26pm Copy Link
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Kim N. Jensen Better - one can read it in Adobe Digital Editions 3.0 :o) Still a lot of errors reported, around 400, both from epubcheck 3.01, Sigil and the Calibre Editor.

Also, as an enhancement for a future version of helpinator, I would suggest enclosing the images in SVG-wrappers, so that they automatically size themselves to the screen.
Jul 23 2014 at 12:48pm Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Kim,
thank you for the idea :)
Major Mind Software - Jul 23 2014 at 12:52pm Copy Link
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Jan-Christoph Ihrens New version? Maybe the text should be given an overhaul, since the current version 3.11.6 has been released almost two years ago (see http://www.helpinator.com...whats-new/). In September 2014 there was a blog post mentioning a planned version 4, but since then there haven't been any news. Which is a pity, since the program itself is still great, but there are definitely some details that could be improved.
Feb 23 2016 at 2:25am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Jan-Christoph Ihrens, I decided to coincide 3.X branch update with this BDJ offer, it will be version 3.13 with some v.4 features in it. Most notably - new templates, updated guides, translation support improvements, FAQ builder and self-checkup trivias. Will be available for download tomorrow.
Major Mind Software - Feb 23 2016 at 2:43am Copy Link
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Jan-Christoph Ihrens @Dmitri Popov: That's good news, thank you very much for the information. I already feared the project might be dead, so I'm very pleased to hear that this isn't the case.
Feb 23 2016 at 2:49am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov @Jan-Christoph Ihrens, sorry for being so quiet :) Helpinator Team Server is a really big thing, not to mention HelpinatorLive SaaS team server and Helpinator TechComm CMS, but finally Helpinator is about to be a complete solution, not just a small time HAT.
Major Mind Software - Feb 23 2016 at 3:03am Copy Link
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Nelson Carvalho Hi,
Sorry my English.

I use Help&Manual, version 5.
I'm wishing to migrate to Helpinator.
I tried to import a project built in Help & Manual and getting unsuccessful.
Are there any restrictions to import existing projects?
What are the possible extensions that Helinator can import without loss of data / structure?
Thanks.
Feb 23 2016 at 5:55am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov @Nelson Carvalho, hello!
I'm not a native English speaker, so please sorry me too :)

We do not provide direct H&M project import. However, you can do the following:

1. Create or use existing plain H&M HTML theme, without bells and whistles that usually H&M themes contain. I also recommend to remove headers and footers too.
2. Create HTML Help Workshop project using H&M an theme from step 1. Could be done by publishing to CHM format with "Keep intermediate files" option on.
3. Import project created on step 2 to Helpinator using "Convert to Helpinator 3 project" tool that is in the same "Start" menu group with "Helpinator Professional".

Note that we do project migration service as a gift for customers who order Unlimited license.
Major Mind Software - Feb 23 2016 at 6:35am Copy Link
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Steve333 Hello Dmitri: Is this version available to existing users of 3.11.6?
Feb 25 2016 at 10:39am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov @Steve333, yes, if you have a license with lifetime free updates or bought your one-year license after 02/24/2015.
Major Mind Software - Feb 25 2016 at 11:29am Copy Link
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Steve333 OK, I missed out by a few days - I bought my licence on 02/13/2015! I don't know if it is a one-year licence ... so for $80 I can have access to lifetime updates - is that correct?
Feb 25 2016 at 11:53am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov @Steve333, I won't block your key in this update, feel free to use it. And yes, you can upgrade to lifetime updates for 80USD with this offer.
Major Mind Software - Feb 25 2016 at 12:22pm Copy Link
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Steve333 Thanks very much, Dmitri!
Feb 25 2016 at 1:45pm Copy Link
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Paul Heinrich Hi, excellent to see. How do registered users get this download? Website lists latest as 3.12 :In this update:
- New feature: “FAQ Maker”
- New feature: “Self-checkup Quizzies”...
This version 3.13, but download from main site: http://www.helpinator.com/download.html
still 3.11.6
Feb 25 2016 at 2:41pm Copy Link
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Keith Sheppard hi, what does lifetime updates mean when the fine print states payment for any future updates ?
Feb 25 2016 at 4:55pm Copy Link
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Steve333 I also can't find the download link for 3.13 ...
Feb 25 2016 at 9:43pm Copy Link
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Jan-Christoph Ihrens I guess Dmitri meant 3.12, not 3.13 (which would make sense as 3.11.6 was the version before). In the release notes (http://www.helpinator.com...whats-new/) you can see that version 3.12 was released on February 24.
Feb 25 2016 at 9:51pm Copy Link
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Nico Westerdale Great News! Major Mind Software has agreed to extend this deal for another day - Enjoy!
BitsDuJour Admin - Feb 26 2016 at 12:11am Copy Link
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Ryan User I have a lifetime licence...how do I get this download?
Feb 26 2016 at 12:57am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov @Ryan It seems like I messed things up and me website still dispatches v.3.11.6 instead of 3.12. Fixing it right now, sorry for this.
Major Mind Software - Feb 26 2016 at 1:27am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov @Preston, sorry for inconvinience, but v.4 is a real development hell, the hardest project that I ever had. Frankly speaking it was far easier to develop a new product from scratch instead of trying to make a smooth transition from v.3 to v.4 for existing users. So now I decided to pull new features to v.3 branch little-by-little, and then switch to v.4 at some point. I'll answer your private question by email.
Major Mind Software - Feb 26 2016 at 1:34am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov @Keith - may be there's an error somewhere, we offer two updates subsciption plans: yearly and lifetime at a different price.
Major Mind Software - Feb 26 2016 at 1:36am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov Dear BitsDuJour community members, if you are not satisfied with Helpinator updates delay - please drop a line to salesmajormind.com and we will send you a FREE lifetime key for another tech support tool that you may find interesting and useful.
Major Mind Software - Feb 26 2016 at 1:40am Copy Link
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John User Looks interesting but on installation of the trial on Windows 10 64 bit pc with all latest updates I get an error:
Runtime error 216 at 00406572
and the program crashes out
How do I solve this please?
Feb 26 2016 at 4:10am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov @John, do you get this message when running the installer or Helpinator itself?
Major Mind Software - Feb 26 2016 at 4:15am Copy Link
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John User I get the problem when running the program - Installation seems to go OK.
It shows me the error dialogue box, then when I click OK that box disappears then
the countdown box appears, OK gets enabled in that box and then the program crashes. Very keen to test this so hope you can resolve it.
Feb 26 2016 at 4:19am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov @John, please check your email.
Major Mind Software - Feb 26 2016 at 5:45am Copy Link
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Steve333 Website still dispatches v.3.11.6 instead of 3.12
Feb 26 2016 at 11:43am Copy Link
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Dmitri Popov @Steve333, yes, there are days when all the troubles come knocking at your door at once :)
Major Mind Software - Feb 26 2016 at 12:03pm Copy Link
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Stew Cam Come on, Dmitri - how hard is it to update the download link? Still showing version 3.11.6.
Feb 26 2016 at 3:31pm Copy Link
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Steve333 Not sure what happened here - still not able to download 3.12!
Feb 27 2016 at 10:38am Copy Link
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Constantin Florea @Steve333, I just contacted the vendor regarding the issue you mention.
BitsDuJour Admin - Feb 27 2016 at 11:11am Copy Link
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Steve333 OK, thanks
Feb 27 2016 at 11:22am Copy Link
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Shamila Something not quite right here...
- No release for almost 2 years, version 4 reported in blog with a release date July-August 2014:
http://www.helpinator.com...version-4/
- Deal after deal posted on blog - may with 1 year of updates!
- Unable to upload latest version for registered users..
- Screenshots for this release show version 3.6.4 - would be interested to know what the purchased version shows!
Feb 28 2016 at 1:33am Copy Link
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Stew Cam Vendor has now failed to update download link for 3 days - epic fail!
Feb 29 2016 at 3:05am Copy Link
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Jan-Christoph Ihrens 9 days later, and the downloaded version is still 3.11.6, although the label says "Current version: 3.12". What's up there? Gone back to hibernation? ;)
Mar 8 2016 at 3:46pm Copy Link
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Paul Heinrich Out of interest, as a lifetime license holder and on version 3.11.6, anyone who took up this offer - what version did you get?
Mar 10 2016 at 2:13am Copy Link
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