Hackernoon logo5 Software Documentation Tools That Make Managing Technical Documentation Easier by@trevthewriter

5 Software Documentation Tools That Make Managing Technical Documentation Easier

Software documentation is any written content, images, or video instructions available about the company's computer software. Software documentation might be quite different, as it is created for a specific audience. The main types of software documentation are: Requirements, Architecture documentation, Technical documentation, and End-user documentation. With these tools, you will get the following benefits: Perfect data management and accessibility. Better customer support team cannot cope with all the problems and problems on their own. High security allows users to solve their own problems on own documentation pages.
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Trevor Phillips

The amount of love for programming and marketing in my beard, you would know.

We live in the world of innovations, and every newly developed technology intends to make both our life and work easy and comfortable. Many people do their business online, which requires creating a lot of content for a website. Therefore, documentation software tools are the right choice for those who want to have a great helper in creating, publishing, and maintaining technical documentation.

However, the question about which one of the multiple online documentation tools offered on the Internet is the best still remains. Some of them are very advanced and combine a variety of options, while others fall behind. Below, you will find a list of the world's best-rated documentation software tools to choose from.

What Is Software Documentation?

Software documentation is any written content, images, or video instructions available about the company's computer software. The creation of software documentation is usually aimed at explaining how to use some service. Software documentation might be quite different, as it is created for a specific audience.

The main types of software documentation are:

  • Requirements. These software documents are usually created at the very beginning of software development. Requirements serve for specifying the expectations regarding the software being created. They identify characteristics, functional requirements, limitations, etc.
  • Architecture documentation. It is a kind of map of the software that allows a user to understand the structure of the created product. Architecture documentation aims to describe the main elements included in the system, their functions, and data.
  • Technical documentation. This type of documentation is intended for technical employees, such as software developers. Technical documentation represents the software code, interfaces, algorithms, APIs, etc.
  • End-user documentation. These are mostly instructions that help the end-user to understand how to apply the product.

Why Are Online Documentation Tools So Essential?

Keeping all the company's documents and materials in order, as well as providing access to them to all employees, even those who live in another country or continent, is possible thanks to online documentation tools.

We all know that the online working process can be efficient and comfortable only when every item is well-structured. These are online documentation tools that can help you improve your online business and make your work much easier. The reasons for using software documentation tools are obvious. With them, you will get the following benefits:

  • Perfect data management and accessibility. Not so long ago people used to store files in a filing cabinet, and an alphabetical order made the search of documents not too difficult. However, with a big database and its constant enhancement, you have many troubles with data management, and sometimes too much time is wasted on search. Online software documentation tools allow finding any file or documents you need within a few seconds. Just enter the information needed in the search bar, and the online documentation tool will do everything for you.
  • Mistake correction becomes easier. Working in a digital format means that any mistake can be quickly corrected online. Now you do not have to print the document and reprint it with corrections made after noticing mistakes.
  • Better customer support. Sometimes it happens that a customer support team cannot cope with all the questions and problems users have. In this case, companies usually make a FAQ page, and it is when online documentation is really helpful. In fact, online documentation allows users to solve the problem on their own.
  • High security. Online documentation tools always create and store backups. With cloud-based online documentation, the safety of your database is even better, because it is up to you who can access the document and use it, and who cannot.

5 Best Software Documentation Tools

There are different types of documentation software tools on the market. They differ in their selection of features, pricing, and ways you can implement them. Here are some of the most popular options.

1. ClickHelp

ClickHelp is an advanced browser-based technical documentation software that is successfully used for the creation and hosting of tutorials, user manuals, knowledge bases, and other materials.

Since it has been developed as a SaaS solution, it is quick to set up, and you don’t have to go through the installation process. ClickHelp is one of the most powerful documentation tools out there and is perfect for working on large projects.

It allows you to easily export and import content and also provides excellent performance metrics to help you know exactly how your team is performing. Another advantage it has is a full-text search that makes it possible for readers to find the topics in seconds. You can always access password-protected online help to get all the answers you need. What is also great is that ClickHelp supports Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

Pros:

  • Features more than 20 integrations.
  • Offers support for a wide range of technical documentation types.
  • Has plenty of customization features.
  • Comes with more than 30 metrics for content analysis and reporting.
  • Supports multiple editing roles (an author, a reviewer, and more). Has an advanced search engine.

Cons:

  • No custom domain support as part of the basic plan.

2. Document360

Document360 is a widely used SaaS platform used to build a knowledge base for internal users and customers. With the help of Document360, it’s possible to create, publish, and edit content in real-time.

The software offers a range of customization features, discussion boards, security tools, product cataloging, version control, and more. With this solution, you get access to extensive categorization features, so it’s easier to maintain a proper structure in your documentation.

Pros:

  • Offers a selection of formatting tools that include callouts, code blocks, and more.
  • Provides various customization opportunities according to brand guidelines.
  • The available search engine is AI-powered.
  • Features a WYSIWYG editor that allows you to quickly create content.
  • Allows you to choose roles for editing technical documentation.
  • Provides tools for advanced categorization.

Cons:

  • The price might be too high for small businesses.

3. Knowledge Owl

Knowledge Owl has been created as a knowledge management solution for different types of businesses. It is cloud-based software, and its main features include not only knowledge base creation, but also reporting functions, extensive navigation tools, user management, and more.

It is possible to properly organize information with the help of categories and subcategories. Also, you can make finding documents easier with the help of tags. This solution is easy to set up and allows you to customize how your technical documentation will be displayed.

Pros:

  • Offers a complex system of categorization for any technical documentation.
  • Allows you to offer various user permissions (you can control who edits and accesses files).
  • Has a feature that displays related content.
  • Comes with a useful autosuggest function.
  • Allows you to restrict access to certain documentation.
  • Provides a feedback feature so that you can see how the content performs.

Cons:

  • The software doesn’t offer other languages.
  • Fewer customization features compared to competitors.

4. Helpjuice

It is another software on the list that deserves your attention. Whether you need to create and manage external or internal knowledge bases, this solution can help you with that. This cloud-based knowledge base tool can be accessed without any configuration and is easy to work with.

This documentation software tool has a range of styling and designing tools that are highly useful for the creation of QAs. It is possible to tag questions, track searches of specific topics, and also see which articles are referenced most often. The knowledge base solution is well-organized and has many customizable features.

Pros:

  • Has an approval or editorial workflow.
  • Comes with an in-depth editor with many formatting options.
  • Provides many ready-to-go themes and an opportunity to customize them.
  • Has an effective search feature.
  • Provides you information on the content performance.
  • Supports multiple languages.

Cons:

  • Adding pictures is quite tricky.
  • Prices might be too high for some users.

HelpNDoc

Last but not least, another knowledge base software that has to be mentioned is HelpNDoc. It is a help authoring tool that can be used for generating a range of documentation formats from one source.

HelpNDoc can be used for hosting and creating technical documentation, and its features allow you to properly maintain it and keep it up-to-date.

It is possible to easily create CHM and HTML help files by using this solution. The same applies to PDF manuals, Kindle eBooks, ePub files, and more. HelpNDoc includes a template engine, a project analyzer, a media library, and more.

Pros:

  • Offers plenty of customization features.
  • Provides a wide range of formatting tools (tables, callouts, HTML blocks, and more).
  • Has a high-quality search feature in place.
  • Provides you with information on how the documentation is received.
  • Offers different roles for users to work on documents simultaneously.
  • Gives access to a selection of templates, so it’s easier for you to start.

Cons:

  • More expensive if you want a plan with several languages and other features, such as access control.

Use Software Documentation Tools to Your Advantage

At the moment, there are numerous software documentation tools available on the market. It is important to choose the right one based on your needs, how much you are willing to pay, and which features are essential for you. All the software options mentioned in this article, and ClickHelp in particular, have received positive reviews and provide many useful functions. You can choose one based on your preferences and how you plan to use it.

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