Automation and Postprocessing Tools

Market overview of recommendable automation and post-processing tools, especially in connection with the creation of technical documentation and user assistance

AutoHotkey

Lets you automate almost any task within almost any Windows application. Can for example be used to auto replace text, to insert special characters with a click of a button, or to call a sequence of commands from menus and dialogs. From the AutoHotkey web site you can also download SciTE4AutoHotkey, a free editor for AutoHotkey scripts that provides syntax highlighting and context-sensitive help.

Price: free (open source)

AutoIt

Alternative to AutoHotkey. Scripts are compatible to some extent.

Price: free (freeware)

indoition Hotkey Script Collection

Timesaving writing macros and lookup macros that work in any program. Especially designed for technical writers and translators.

Price: approx. €49

Sikuli Script

Implements automation based on screen captures.

Price: free (open source)

RoboTask

Price: approx. $180; there’s also a free version with a limited feature set available

Automation Anywhere

Price: approx. $995 (“Standard”)

AIM Keys and AIM Tools

Price: approx. $30 and $60

Jitbit Auto Text and Jitbit Macro Recorder

Price: approx. $23 and $69

Macro Express

Price: approx. $40 (“Standard”) and $60 (“Pro”)

PhraseExpress

Price: approx. €50 (“Standard”) and €100 (“Professional”)

Text Workbench

Can search and replace text in files of various formats. Fully supports regular expressions and Unicode. Can be run via a graphical user interface, from the command line, or via the Windows scripting host engine.

Price: approx. $50

TextPipe

Available in different versions for simple search and replace operations up to sophisticated data mining.

Price: approx. $30 (“Lite”), $199 (“Standard”), and $395 (“Pro”)

PowerGREP

One of the most powerful search and replace tools for text files available. Can be run both via a graphical user interface and from the command line.

Price: approx. €119

AKS Text Replacer

Quite similar to Text Workbench but with fewer functions. Includes a comfortable batch file making utility. Works with text files and Microsoft Word files.

Price: approx. $40

FAR HTML

Toolbox for editing and compiling help files. Also includes a powerful search and replace utility.

Price: approx. $72

TextCrawler

Can search and replace across files, extract, insert and delete text. Supports regular expressions and batch mode. Unicode compatible.

Price: free (freeware)

FART

Command line utility for finding and replacing text.

Price: free (open source)

Swiss File Knife

Among other features also provides a binary find and replace tool for the command line.

Price: free (open source)

Rainbow

Provides multi-file find and replace, various conversion options, plus a number of other useful features.

Price: free (open source)

MegaReplacer for Microsoft Word

Finds and replaces multiple text strings (characters, words, phrases), text formatting, or styles within one or multiple documents.

Price: approx. $30

ChangeAssistant

Automatically searches for words or expressions within Microsoft Word documents, based on a list of terms. You can then decide whether the alternative term shall overwrite the term searched for, or be placed after it. Colors can be applied to highlight replacements. This approach enables you to maintain lists of undesired words and to search for them within your document in one go. At the press of a button, all undesired words are replaced or highlighted. You can use this, for example, to apply stand terminology very efficiently.

Price: approx. €99

Perl

Programming language that has a particular strength in handling texts.

Price: free (open source)

PatternStream

Automates publishing workflows. Information can be acquired directly from any standard relational databases, or from XML, HTML, and other files. The gathered information can then be automatically imported and placed where needed in the final document (FrameMaker, InDesign, HTML, XML, Excel).

Price: not published

Miramo

Automatically formats information extracted from databases and other data sources, such as XML. Uses Adobe FrameMaker.

Price: not published; there’s also a free Personal version available

Prince

Converts HTML, XHTML, and XML based documents into PDF. Also works on a web server for web applications.

Price: starting at approx. $495

Pandoc

Universal document converter. Among others, converts between markdown, reStructuredText, textile, HTML, DocBook, LaTeX, MediaWiki markup, and OPML.

Price: free (open source)

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This page was last updated 10/2014.

 

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