Help Authoring Tools

Market overview of recommendable tools for creating software documentation, especially for the creation of user manuals and online help files. Many of these help authoring tools, online documentation tools, and other user assistance development tools can generate printable user manuals (PDF) and online help systems from the same text base (single source publishing).

Note: Most programs listed on this page are commercial help authoring tools, but there are also some free help authoring tools—many of them open source. If you are looking for a free tool for creating online help, in particular look at the sections “Tools with a focus on code and API documentation” and “Static Site Generators”.


On this page:

The market leaders

Other general help authoring tools

Rapid help development tools

Converters for Microsoft Word and FrameMaker documents

Tools with a focus on code and API documentation

Web-based help authoring tools and online documentation tools

Tools with a special focus on building knowledge bases for customer self-service and and FAQ

Wikis and similar systems

Static Site Generators

General purpose HTML and CSS editors

Mere HTML and CHM compilers and converters

Tools and scripts for embedding information into (web) applications (onboarding; walkthroughs; contextual help)


See also: Choosing a Help Authoring Tool













Did you benefit from this guide? Did it save you some time compared to search via Google or other search engines? Please help me to keep the guide free and up to date also in the future. Buy a copy of the PDF version (approx. 120 pages).

Thank you.

Order the Technical Documentation Tool and Web Guide

This page was last updated 03/2018

Legal Notes:
This page may contain paid advertisements, which are marked as such. Apart from this, the linked web sites and their publishers are not associated with or endorsed by indoition Technical Communication Services Marc Achtelig, and do not reflect the opinion of indoition Technical Communication Services Marc Achtelig. Copyright of linked materials by their respective copyright holders. Note the license terms given on the linked pages! Any pricing and licensing information given on this page is only for prior information and without guarantee.