Technical Authoring Software

Best Technical Authoring Software for 2021

Here are my top 5 recommendations for technical authoring software:

1. MadCap Flare

MapCap Flare touts themselves as “The Leading Authoring, Publishing and Content Management Solutions for Today’s Content Developers.” Flare is designed for to make advanced topic-based authoring simple. It is based on single-source publishing and content management (CMS). You can create various types of output including self-service support and online Help sites, documentation portals, training guides, knowledge bases, and policy & procedure manuals to name a few.

You can easily import content from other applications directly into Flare including applications from Microsoft, RoboHelp, FrameMaker, Confluence, Author-IT, and DITA.

Key Features

  • Collaboration Tools
  • Document Indexing
  • File Type Conversion
  • Compliance Tracking
  • Document Assembly
  • Customizable Templates
  • Text Editor
  • Content Management

Pricing

MadCap Flare pricing starts at $109 per month per user.

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2. Paligo 

Paligo is a Component Content Management System (CCMS) for technical documentation. This application is topic based, featuring smart content reuse to allow your organization to publish document much faster. This is another cloud based application which allows for easy collaboration with your teams. Paligo is based on Structured Authoring, which ensures your content is “future-proof, robust, and consistent” per the Paligo website.

Migration of your current documents is a breeze with the ability to direct import documents from Microsoft Word, MapCap Flare, DITA, Docbook, and many others.

One of the thing I like is that it makes the review process super simple. By allowing your engineers, subject matter experts, and other teams and employees contribute right in the application.

Key Features

  • Make content reusable with conditional text
  • Filter content on product, audience, market, and much more
  • Structured authoring in a powerful editor
  • Translation management
  • version history and roll-back, version branching, and release management
  • Smart image management
  • Topic-Based Reuse
  • Powerful text reuse

Pricing

Paligo pricing starts at $179.

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3. easyDITA

easyDITA is described as “the only XML editor that allows multiple users to edit at the same time, and it’s the first system to prioritize the reviewer’s experience” on their website. easyDITA allows usres to publish the same content in multiple locations with variations that are determined based on the audience. This application scales from a single document to publications for the entire enterprise, and centralizes all translations.

EasyDITA is designed to allow your entire team collaborate on the entire process of publishing your technical documentation. IT is based on Single Source Content Management, and operates as a single repository for all of your content. From here you can publish content to multiple channels including LMS (learning management systems), knowledge bases, websites, and other resources where you need to display documentation.

Key Features

  • Structured content authoring
  • Multi-channel publishing
  • Single-source content management
  • Fully collaborate review
  • Custom workflows
  • Management analytics
  • As easy to use as Microsoft Word

Pricing

Pricing starts at $150 a month for individual users, $250 for business users, however enterprise pricing is not published.

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4. HelpNDoc

HelpNDoc is an HTML5 generating technical authoring application. It allows you to publish your content into multiple document formats including HTML websites, PDF files, CHM help files, DocX documents, and QT Help. You can create responsive HTLM sites for multiple devices, multiple screen sizes, and cross platform websites. It boasts a powerful template system so you an keep a consistent look and feel to your content.

The user interface looks very similar to Microsoft Word, so if you are already used to that application then HelpNDoc should be a small learning curve. It features as WYSIWYG topic editor, a keyword editor, and a library housing media elements such as pictures, videos, documents, code snippets and more.

Key Features

  • Seamless importation of multiple media elements
  • Add logo, custom CSS and JavaScript code to HTML documentations
  • User-friendly library editor
  • Sort help content, documentation headings or eBooks topics by title
  • Automate syntax highlighters and great SEO

Pricing

HelpNDoc has a free version that has “discreet banners,” a standard version prices at 99, and a professional version for 249.

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5. RoboHelp

RoboHelp is the first technical authoring software that I ever used. When I was employed at Unisys we used this application to write our process documents that our phone agents used to triage, troubleshoot, and route escalated customer service issues with. Since then RoboHelp has changed hands over to being owned by Adobe.

Some features of RoboHelp include HTML5 and CSS3 authoring support, intelligent content reuse, micro content authoring, and enhanced properties panel, and a cleaner project structure. You can import Microsoft Word files, and experience a smoother import of HTML and markdown files. RoboHelp also boasts a collaborate online review process.

Key Features

  • Conditional content usage
  • Create future-ready content with micro content authoring
  • Smoother import of Microsoft Word files
  • Enrich content with Scalable Vector Graphics
  • Collaborate using out-of-the-box Online Review
  • Collaborate easily using Git
  • Out-of-the-box translation support

Pricing

Pricing starts at $29.99 for individual users. Pricing for teams and enterprises is not published, you will need to contact Adobe for pricing.

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