If you are a technical writer and want to ease your daily work, you might already know about the existence of Help Authoring Tools or HATs. Starters will quickly realize that a professional free Help Authoring Tool can significantly assist in work. Finding the right HAT is something you must do before you take any project, no matter whether you need editing instruments or just access to the company’s documentation.
HATs allow you to communicate with each department without the need to call or walk to them. All you need to do is collect documentation in one place and allow your co-workers to edit it. Together, you can create a gigantic and useful base. The already created product might save you from lots of misunderstandings with customers since HAT contains all the features to provide you with user-friendly manuals and guides.
HAT or Help Authoring Software is a program that contains numerous instruments for your work with technical documentation. Usually, it is a third-party app or website you can use online to create the articles you need. This program offers you to edit, create, and update the documentation. It has a store where you can keep all the files you gather for each particular project. The most popular features are:
- simple access to the library with all the documents of the project;
- editing instruments that allow you to fix anything in the document;
- direct and understandable information to the customers;
- informative documentation about the product that was created and the concept behind it.
Popular HATs in 2021
To start, you should read the reviews on the HAT you want to download. Find out the features and tools it offers. Here is the top list of HATs in 2021:
- ClickHelp. This is an advanced helper that allows you to export your writing in DOCX and PDF. It allows you to work online and review the documents in real-time. You can keep all the files you need in one place. There is a 14-day free trial;
- MadCap Flare. Offers both import and export features. It helps with the translation of the documents and improves your total performance on the market. The program improves your collaboration with colleagues. It costs $14 per month;
- Archbee. This free app is great to start with. It works incredibly fast and supports API and Developer docs. There is a team knowledge management option. To make the program advanced, you have to pay a $20 per month subscription;
- Dr. Explain. Lots of tools in this desktop software can ease your work. It offers advanced document editing. The license costs $250 for the program.
Think about everything you require from a Help Authoring Tool, including whether you need translation or document support. Some HATs provide impressive libraries, while others contain manuals. It would be a wise decision to try all of them before you find the one you need. Pick the program that matches all your needs at work and benefit from the features it provides. Have you ever encountered using HATs in your work, or is it your first experience with such programs? Please, leave your thoughts in the comments below.