HelpSetMaker - An application for authoring online help information


HelpSetMaker is a program designed for creating help information. It is designed upon the philosophy that structured help texts should be createable in an intuitive way and with the least possible overhead. The easier it is for the author to produce the text, the better the results are.

Special care has been taken for the integration with the JavaHelp system, even though the program can be used beyond that system.

HelpSetMaker features in particular

  • Creation of help information using a very simple command language, STML
  • Direct control of the produced output as a HTML view
  • Management of a tree of information pages with direct access to each page
  • Creation, control, and immediate check of links between the informationpages
  • Handling of link targets on top or somewhere in the middle of a page
  • Stand-alone images or images/icons in the text
  • Management of image libraries containing all the needed images
  • Export of fully self-contained file bundles containing all the needed parts for the complete set of information files.
  • Creation of HelpSets for the JavaHelp online help system for Java programs
  • Direct creation of JAR file containing the complete helpset ready-to-use
  • Creation of web page sets for display in a browser
  • Creation of LaTeX source to be passed through "pdflatex" for obtaining a PDF document
  • Included on-line help

More information and download

HelpSetMaker is hosted on, the world's largest Open Source software development website. Grab it from there:

Source code

The source code can be downloaded through our public git archive:

The web interface also allows to receive the source code without git ("snapshot" links in the overview on the right side).

License and Warranty

HelpSetMaker is covered by the GNU General Public License (GPL). I.e. you must not create a new product out of it which you are going to distribute without making the sources available. This does, hoever, not cover the license or anything of the things you create with HelpSetMaker. This is similar to the GNU C compiler, which is also a GPL'd program and can be used in any type of project. In case of any doubt, the official documents from the FSF are authorative:

HelpSetMaker is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

HelpSetMaker is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with HelpSetMaker; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA

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