To be honest, you will find many software documentation tools in the market that portray a good picture and might or might not work for you. So you first need to jot down your requirements and then start shortlisting the tools that you think can work for you.
A friend of mine, who is running a small business of her own, uses this tool called ProProfs Knowledge Base software, and she is all praises about it. And that’s why I also decided to give it a shot and found it quite good.
I wanted something that could help our in-house developers get a ready document for reference, every time they work on a product. Something that could also enable new employees joining the development team to understand concepts better without requiring external assistance.
This software documentation tool has been of immense help, since the time we started using it. Let me give you a glimpse of some of my favorite features of this software.
Easy text editor - It has an editor that works exactly like MS Word, allowing users to author and publish content quickly. You can even upload existing content from PDF and word files, as well as PPTs. Adding multimedia can also be done easily with this online editor.
Google-like search - Its powerful search mechanism imitates that of Google. You can add a search bar where readers can find what they are looking for. Plus, its autocomplete suggestion feature allows you to provide relevant content suggestions as one starts typing in the search box.
Roles and permissions - This is one of the major features of this software. Using it, you can allot various roles such as administrator, editor, viewer, and contributor to different users. This ensures that users have pre-defined permissions and know about their rights and limitations. When everyone knows what they can and cannot do, work gets streamlined.
Contextual help - Your software document can be difficult to understand, especially those who are new to it. Adding contextual help to your doc by including tooltips, lightboxes, and popups, help you provide a complete understanding to readers. You can give a guided tour of your software, explain jargon, and even provide additional information to offer a seamless experience to readers.
Workflows - Everyone wants error-free content to gets published, and workflows help you ensure that content is reviewed before it gets live. You can set status such as Draft, In Progress, Under Review, or Published, depending on the progress of articles. Not just this, there is an option to set custom status. So if, for instance, a particular article is going through the second review, you can put its status as ‘Under 2nd Review’, or anything else that you find suitable.
Since I have used it myself and found it to be pretty good, I suggest you give it a shot. It’s better that you first try its free trial version of 15 days to get a gist of its features and functions. This will give you an idea of whether it has what you need.
Online documentation can become a cumbersome task for people who do not know how to code in the first place.
First, they’ll have to hire someone, create a roadmap on what needs to be covered, and finally work towards creating the online documents. That’s exactly what we did to record some of our business processes and product documentation.
Turns out, this process was:
Lowered the productivity of our developers
So, we did our research and decided to opt for online documentation software. We had to test many but decided to work with ProProfs Knowledge Base.
The documentation software:
Is easy to use
Doesn’t require prior coding knowledge
Publishes the articles faster
Easily imports HTML and CSS files
Allows team members to collaborate on files to avoid overwriting
Allows you to provide access to certain team members to edit, view or delete the documentation
Integrates with different platforms that allows us to understand which articles are performing well, what are the most-searched articles, and which of them need improvement
What’s even more awesome is how we could start off with their free plan first. It’s rare to come across providers who offer their products for free. Well, ProProfs Knowledge Base is available for free too.
So, just in case you’ve been looking for a tool like this, then this is the best pick in the market.
I hope my suggestion works for you the same as it did for us!
Finding a good software documentation tool is easy, but finding the one that offers exactly what you are looking for can be difficult. You need to do all the hard work of reviewing, analyzing, and comparing various tools in order to make the right decision.
Let me make your work a bit easier:
I am not very sure about other tools in the market but can give you my guarantee for the software documentation tool offered by ProProfs. It’s feature-rich and backed by powerful technology to provide you with exemplary results.
Authoring content is a breeze with this software, thanks to the online text editor it provides. The MS Word-like editor comes with various formatting options to help you style your document, in the way you want.
Its Google-like search mechanism helps you provide a smooth and seamless search experience to readers. As soon as they type a query or question, they will get suitable content suggestions in the results, making the browsing experience extremely effortless.
Besides, since its a software document you want to create, you can even add tooltips, lightboxes, and popups to your content, to explain technical terms, explain complicated concepts or to provide more information. This is basically known as contextual help - a feature of this software, that lets you provide a holistic understanding of the content to anyone who reads the document.
So, for instance, if your software document is used by new developers who have just joined your tech team. They will be easily able to understand your software, with contextual help embedded all across the document.
One best part about this tool is that it helps you build a document that functions well across multiple devices, be it a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. Your developers can access it anytime they want.
Is your technical staff spread across different locations? Fret not. The tool’s multiple language support helps you create the document in over 90 languages, helping you cater to a widely-dispersed audience.
It’s a great tool that comes with many more features. For more information, you can sign up for its free trial version of 15 days.
Amit Yadav, SaaS | Marketing | Analyst, Management, Delhi, India
Answered Jan 15, 2020
Writing, building, and implementing software is one thing, but it’s a whole different story when it comes to documenting the software codes. A robust software documentation software enables companies to document every single detail that goes into software development. Not only that, but such tools are also efficient in solving IT customer queries and help in reducing IT tickets too.
In my personal opinion, the top 3 software documentation software are:
ProProfs Knowledge Base
Process Street (for internal use)
Sublime Text 3
With the top tools in your shortlist, the best tool can only be chosen when you know your requirements properly. For that, you need to know what features you need in a software documentation software that best suits you.
A few features you must look for are:
Tooltips & Pop-Ups
Efficient Text Editor
Search Document Functionalities
Reports & Analytics
With these features, you can efficiently document every phase of software development easily. Not only that, you can:
Customize the text and change the format as per your requirements
Search for important information instantly
Explain jargon with tooltips
Provide crucial info with lightboxes
Add popups to simplify content
Find successful & failed searches
View popular & poorly rated articles
This way, you can improve your own documentation and perform better in the long run!
Check out the tools mentioned here and do take the free-trial to make an informed decision. :)
A technical writer currently associated with ProProfs. I like writing about emerging customer support products, trends in customer support.
Jason Grills, Technical Writer, Masters in Literature, Los Angeles, California
Answered Jan 10, 2020
There are many useful software documentation tools you can find on the internet, but zeroing in one is important. If every tool says it is the best, how would you recognize which one is beneficial for your business?
Good question, huh? Well, the answer is pretty simple: Create a list of features you need to create a software document.
Top 3 essential aspects you should check out while deciding on documentation software are:
Creating a central repository of technical information isn’t easy because you have to manage a multitude of questions and answers. So, seek a user-friendly interface that helps you create a document with ease.
Anytime, anywhere access
Being on-the-go has become a culture these days, and therefore it’s important that you choose a software that lets you create a knowledge base that works well on multiple devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets. This will ensure that information can be accessed anytime and from anywhere, as per the convenience of users.
Control over content visibility
For maintaining confidentiality, it’s important that you have the power to control content visibility. Hence, go for that tool, which comes with a conditional content feature that allows you to set conditions for hiding or displaying content to a specific audience.