Best Software to Create Documentation

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If you are into software development, chances are you are spending a lot of time writing documentation. It could be written as part of the code (docstrings) or some more general documentations, using a static website generator or FrameMaker. If you are not writing documentation yet, it might be high time to start. Writing good documentation for your team can help save hours, tons of frustration and even make your company significantly more money.

There are a lot of great software development tools out there that solve problems for us and help us keep our code clean. But, how often do you run into a problem that isn’t solved by one of the existing libraries? In this article, I’ll walk you through great documentation tools for developers which will help you create professional-quality source code documentation. You’ll also get to see and download free software documentation tools that can be used directly.

No matter if you are a blogger, developer or project manager, creating documentation is a major challenge. Whether it’s for your personal use or your team members to understand the code, write and update documentation is tedious job.

Without proper software documentation, your product and its features are hidden from the rest of the world. Only you know how to use it. But at the same time, creating documentation may be challenging, especially without suitable tools. In this post, we are going to figure out the best software documentation tools for 2022. Let’s go!

Types of Software Documentation Tools

There are different formats and editors that can be used to write a well-structured documentation. The most common one is documentation written in markdown format. Documentation written in Markdown format can be done either through a Markdown Desktop Text Editor (installed on your local machine), a Markdown In-Browser Online Editor, or Automatic Generation Software Documentation Tools, such as LaTex (generally used by academia and scientific documentation).

Bit.ai

Bit.ai is a new platform for document creation. It helps teams collaborate and track their progress. It suits individual writers, small and large companies. Bit.ai offers a great variety of integrations to provide better communication — you can add to your notes videos, cloud files, charts, etc. You can use this tool to create all kinds of documents: knowledge bases, technical docs, training guides, etc. This tool allows you to work from any place you want. That is why it is ideal for the work from home period.

ClickHelp

ClickHelp is an innovative software documentation tool. A feature-rich environment for tech writers. It is cloud-based — you can work from anywhere, no installation is needed. It is a perfect solution for teams that want to centralize and organize their work even if the teammates are in different places. You need to sign up, and that’s it. It is easy to import and export content — ClickHelp supports various formats. ClickHelp allows to create both internal and external documentation in one portal and create several versions of the same document. This tool has a flexible system of roles and permissions to control reviewers’ and authors’ access to documentation. Besides, it is possible to create password-protected manuals, which is a great advantage today. You can create all kinds of documents you want, including knowledge bases (KB) and FAQs. This tool offers ready-made templates for your tech docs — you need just to choose. A great solution to make your work efficient!

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ProProfs Knowledge Base

ProProfs Knowledge Base is another tool that will help you easily create online knowledge bases, user manuals, and other types of technical documentation. They offer customizable templates for KBs, which simplifies the whole process. The main idea of this tool is to reduce the number of tickets that every support team gets. Your customers can find relevant information in your KB. There is no need to make support teams answer the same questions again and again. ProProfs Knowledge Base is easy to use for customers. Its search engine is Google-like, so it finds relevant information very quickly.

Tettra

Tettra is a tool for internal use. It is a smart solution for those companies that want to keep their knowledge in one place and to update it easily. A tool like that helps to eliminate knowledge gaps among employees and make the onboarding process smoother and quicker. There is no need to answer repetitive questions again and again. All the relevant information can be found in the knowledge base. Building a KB with Tettra is easy. And, to keep the information up to date, you only need to verify it regularly and add new things if something has changed.

While writing documentation for software products is not a new phenomenon, it has become more important than ever as technology continues to advance and software becomes increasingly complex. Simply put, the demand for documentation has grown exponentially over time. It can be a daunting task to write good documentation, but with the right tools and techniques in place, anyone can produce clear and concise documentation that will benefit both your users and colleagues alike.

What are the tools used for software documentation?

Software documentation is the process of creating and maintaining any form of informational support for a software application. It may be in the form of text documents, images, video, or audio recordings. The purpose of documentation varies; it may be intended for designers, developers, clients, or end-users of the software application.

 Let’s see the top software documentation tools together;

1- Document360

Document360 software documentation tool

Document360 is a documentation tool that helps companies in the process of software development by providing support with their processes and workflows.

Document360 provides support in the process of software development by helping companies with their processes and workflows. This documentation tool supports projects from conception to deployment, showing everyone on the team what’s coming next, who’s working with what, and when it’s due. Document360 is an innovative product designed to manage your documents.

2-UserGuiding

UserGuiding software documentation tool

UserGuiding is a site that allows users to create and share guides on any topic imaginable. The high demand for guides inspired the idea with deep insight into specific topics. Guides of this nature are often hard to find or expensive due to the immense time and effort it takes to compile such rich information. 

UserGuiding can be used to turn software manuals into interactive guides, and the resource centers widget can be integrated with knowledge bases to offer in-app browsing of the knowledge base. With UserGuiding, you can create interactive guides for your software. Guides are an easier way to learn software than reading long manuals and help make the process of learning new software less painful.

With UserGuiding, you can create:

  • Interactive Product Tours,
  • Tooltips and Hotspots,
  • User Onboarding Checklists,
  • Resource Centers,
  • NPS Surveys,
  • And custom user segments.
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3- Apiary

Apiary is a documentation tool designed specifically for software developers and API creation. It’s not only for documenting data but also for designing and testing APIs. Customers can make a server mock for API design available for their team members or clients, so they can try out the API. They also have access to an open-source blueprint with server mocks, validations, and code samples through an integration with API Blueprint. 

Users can link Apiary to their chosen GitHub repository, which then updates commits when users update their Apiary documentation. 

The Apiary CLI Gem tool provides command line capabilities like automating workflows, validating blueprints, or previewing a document. Developers can send API calls through a debugging proxy that reveals detailed data to help them fix problematic calls. 

Key differentiators

  • API mock sharing with teammates or customers
  • Integration with open source API Blueprint
  • API call traffic inspection 
  • Connection to GitHub repository of choice
  • Apiary CLI Gem software for command line features 

4- ClickHelp

ClickHelp software documentation tool

ClickHelp is a cloud-based documentation tool that helps your business create, manage and publish online help desk content. With ClickHelp, you can customize the reader experience with UI templates, visual settings, and CSS. ClickHelp is an online documentation tool that enables businesses and individuals to create, edit and share step-by-step guides. Now you can create helpful ‘how to’ guides for customers in a snap. 

What You Get:

# Marketing-friendly Features

# No Installation or Server Setup Required

# Completely Cloud-Based Solution

5- MarkdownPad

MardownPad software documentation tool

MarkdownPad  is a high-quality, easy-to-use software documentation tool that makes creating READMEs and other documentation as simple as writing in plain text.

MarkdownPad helps you focus on the essential parts of your writing. It’s a new way to write that keeps track of what you write and brings all the tools you need for editing and formatting in-line. This makes it much easier to see how your document will look when it’s published or exported. MarkdownPad is a free and open-source markdown editor for Windows. They offer extensive customization options such as layouts, fonts, and sizes. Plus, you can add your custom CSS to sheets. 

6- ProProfs

ProProfs software documentation tool

ProProfs is a SaaS platform that helps you create beautifully designed, easy-to-understand documentation. With ProProfs, you can add images and videos to your articles and include live code snippets and interactive guides. You can also set up configurable email notifications so users will receive automatic emails when new content has been added to your site. 

  • Enhance searchability of content
  • Create mobile-friendly documents
  • Explain technical terms & concepts 

7- Tettra

Tettra software documentation tool

Tettra is a lightweight documentation tool for software developers that makes creating and updating documentation easy. It’s suitable for both technical and non-technical content. It does not require any programming experience to use Tettra, and it can be used to build technical or marketing documentation. It features an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. This makes it a great choice for technical writers, developers, and editors looking for a tool to create elegant, high-quality tech docs that help them communicate effectively with the rest of the team.

8- Confluence

atlassian software documentation tool

Confluence builds a knowledge base for documentation & product requirements. There are advanced search and page tree options and dozens of templates that are ready to use. Plus, you can connect your plans to development work with Jira integration. They have multiple plans available for you; free, standard, and premium.

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Confluence is a great way to keep your team on the same page. It helps you get work done faster, better, and more efficiently. By bringing together all of your organization’s data sources into one place, Confluence allows you to easily share information and ideas with your entire company in real-time.

9- Doxygen

Doxygen software documentation tool

Doxygen is a documentation system for C, C++, Java, Objective-C, Python, IDL (Corba and Microsoft flavors), Fortran, VHDL, and to some extent, PHP. It can be used to create both online readable documentation and printed manuals. Doxygen offers point-and-click support for creating references and links in the generated documentation.

10-  Helpjuice

HelpJuice software documentation tool

HelpJuice is a platform that allows you to create engaging, effective, and easily shareable tutorials and guides. Helpjuice is a cloud-based WordPress help desk software that allows businesses to provide exceptional customer service by streamlining the support process. The best thing about Helpjuice is that it doesn’t require any coding skills or website modifications. Their lite plan starts with $199 per month up to 4 uses with all features, customer care, and expert customization options. Lite

11- Whatfix

Whatfix software documentation tool

WhatFix is a next-generation software onboarding tool that allows you to provide interactive, omnichannel documentation and support via your team’s onboarding process. WhatFix is a free tool that takes the hassle out of creating interactive product documentation. They help you create awesome content in just a few clicks and make it easy to add videos and images. They have custom pricing according to customers’ needs. 

12- Tallyfy

Tallyfy software documentation tool

Tallyfy is a cloud-based documentation and automation tool mainly between co-workers and clients. Tallyfy is modern and proven software that lets anyone document and automate any process without complex flowcharts and ineffective docs. They have a 14 day trial for free. 

What are software documentation tools?

Software documentation tools are applications that provide content creation, collaboration, and organization capabilities for software developers to maintain software and write programs. Documentation includes lists of instructions with helpful tools, such as videos and links, so developers can quickly access and update processes. Many documentation tools aren’t just for developers, either: technical writers and other employees within an organization also use them to document company processes that don’t involve software development or engineering. 

The main benefits of documentation tools are: 

  • Organization of a wide range of company processes and tasks, including software installation and development
  • Centralized content management, so that new documents can be published and updated in one place
  • User-based access permissions and customizable notifications

Conclusion

Software documentation is a way of sharing code and ideas to improve the software development process. There are times when you may need to write documentation. This could be for new developers joining your team or for in-house documentation, it doesn’t really matter where and why, what matters is that you do have a good documentation strategy in place.

There are at least two ways to create documentation for software. First, developers can write and publish documentation on their own websites. Second, they can use ready-made platforms to collect feedback from target group and improve documentation. The latter solution is usually preferred by development teams.

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