ClickHelp Release Overview — Oasis

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ClickHelp, an online software documentation tool, has recently released the Oasis update. It is going to be just as rejuvenating and feature-packed as it sounds, let's take a closer look!

Global Find and Replace

The first helpful feature Oasis is Global Find and Replace. This is another huge leap towards supreme usability. It will now become possible to find and replace text (including source HTML code), topic links, file links, CSS class names and more!

A user will be able to search for all these things almost everywhere inside the portal: topics HTML source, style files, script files, ToDo items, Index keywords, TOC node titles, Unresolved/Resolved/Deleted review comments.

But here’s more — now it is possible to use extra filters when searching for text, like match case, match whole words, use regular expressions. The results of the search can be exported for preview with match highlighting, so a user can act on them later.

As for replacing — a technical writer can either choose to replace all matches automatically or manually pick the ones they would like to be changed.

Even if users replace something important and need to cancel that, it is possible — the system will automatically create a Version History record for Topics for each replacement they perform.

How can a tech writer make the most of this brand new feature?

  • Using Global Find and Replace for post-import cleanups. Manually removing third-party master page markup, inline styles or scripts is painful, but it’s gone now due to this feature!
  • Changing CSS class names, deleting classes or finding unused classes is a walk in a park thanks to the new functionality!
  • Searching for a specific word/phrase or a source code snippet and then replacing it with a variable, snippet, or conditional block.
  • Using the Global Find and Replace feature to rename variables or output tags.
  • Going through rebranding? Find and replace colors or fonts in all the style files in one go!
  • And that’s just a few examples of how this feature can be used.

A very nice addition to this feature is the automatic link validation and update functionality, available in ClickHelp Oasis. This means that the system will look for all links when a topic or file URL changes and suggest updating them automatically.

More Accessibility

ClickHelp reader UI becomes even more accessible with this new update. Now, the reader interface ClickHelp displays is compliant with two major accessibility standards: WCAG 2.0 Level AA and Section 508.
This is a very important topic — making technical documentation accessible to as many people as possible.

New Beautiful Reader UI Templates

Since ClickHelp is creating a help authoring tool for technical writers who are going to create an online documentation portal for their readers to see, the team is always trying to balance out the two aspects of the tool: the author interface and the reader interface. Both are equally important.

With the ClickHelp Oasis update, tech writers get more great opportunities to configure the reader UI to certain requirements. The update includes over 30 new settings and ready reader interface templates to choose from!
Now users can create publications that will have different main menus for readers. This can be achieved by selecting custom items to be displayed. They can fine-tune the menus in a brand new Reader Menu Editor. For example, a Knowledge Base and a User Guide in one portal can have different Reader Layout to provide different navigation types. Also, products can have unique docs with various logos and colors of UI interfaces.

Also, new settings are added to the portal UI layout. They can be applied to the whole portal or specific publications.

Featured Snippets

There's one more feature that deserves a special mention — featured snippets. The portal Search page is what readers use a lot to get answers. With the Featured Snippets function, they can see their answers right on the Search page even without opening a topic!

An author can define which topics will be displayed this way and which topics will not in the topic properties. If this setting is enabled for a specific topic, and it appears in the Top 10 search results, it will be displayed as a Featured Snippet.

As a reminder, the ClickHelp Full-Text Search engine takes into account the Index Keywords when indexing the content. If a technical writer want some topic to be shown as a Featured Snippet for a specific search query, just that query should be added to the Index Keywords list for that topic.

In this release, the most outstanding features of the Oasis update were mentioned, however, it is much more than that. The latest update contains many usability and performance improvements that will make technical writing experience even more enjoyable. A full list of all changes the update brings can be found at the ClickHelp website:

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Alexander Muravyev
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