Best Tool to Write Documentation

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A lot of people have written about the best technical documentation. Some think it’s actually one of the best things to do while others think that it sucks. But in this article I’ll tell you why you should be writing documentation and more specifically technical documentation.

If you are a developer, I am sure you have not just one but multiple sets of documentation for your product. There is the documentation that you create personally for yourself and for your colleagues; there is the official documentation that comes with your product; and there are the wikis with end-user content.

If you’re doing regular updates, adding new features, making changes or enhancements to your application, you’ll need to create documentation. It’s required if you want to appeal to your customers and sustain a great deal of inbound leads

Technical documentation is a matter of time-management. No matter how great it is, you will have to invest a significant amount of time in order to create a really high-quality technical documentation. The fact is that this is time you can spend elsewhere. So, when you are creating technical documentation, the key question becomes What is the best tool to write documentation? There are several tools available for writing technical documents.

What is Software Documentation? 

Software documentation is an online document that explains everything about a software product, from what it is and how it is built to how it can be put to maximum use. It uses written text along with images and how-to videos to demonstrate how to execute steps and perform tasks. With all software information meticulously arranged in categories and subcategories, the document makes it easy for users to navigate through articles and get what they need instantly. 

A software document serves both end-users and developers. While it walks end-users through the basics of the software, it helps developers update their software programs regularly. 

1. ProProfs Knowledge Base

ProProfs knowledge base as technical writing tool

ProProfs Knowledge Base is a simple yet very powerful technical writing tool. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require technical expertise. This tool can be used effortlessly by people of all skill levels to write, edit, customize, and publish technical content.

This all-in-one software offers an impeccable reporting mechanism, a super-fast search system, smooth accessibility across various devices, and an exceptional user experience. Besides, it also provides unbelievable integrations with popular third-party tools like Zendesk, Freshdesk, Wufoo, etc., and sibling tools – ProProfs Chat and Help Desk.

ProProfs Knowledge Base has been used and appreciated by renowned brands like Acer, Nissan, Duracell, and many more.

Here’s an example of stunning technical documentation created using ProProfs.

Features:

✓   Professionally Designed Templates

Choose from over 25+ ready-made templates to create a technical document, manual, or help site. ✓   Anytime, Anywhere Access

Provide employees and customers anytime, anywhere access to your documentation, manual, or help sites. ✓   Customization Options

Explore a wide array of customization options – fonts, colors, and themes, to design your technical content. ✓   90+ Languages Supported

Create technical content in over 90 languages and cater to your diverse audience spread across the globe. ✓   Insightful Reports

Get actionable insights into how your technical content is performing. Measure its success with metrics like poorly rated articles, failed searches, broken links, and more. ✓   Roles & Permissions

Assign roles such as administrator, contributor, editor, and viewer to different individuals and groups. Define their responsibilities and help them work collaboratively. ✓   Contextual Help

Explain the jargon, technical concepts, and provide additional information with the help of tooltips, lightboxes, and popups. ✓   Conditional Content

Set rules and conditions to hide or display advanced technical content to a specific audience. ✓   Feedback & Ratings

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Allow customers to give ratings and drop comments on the articles. ✓   Built-In Ticket Forms

Embed ticket forms anywhere in your documentation to gather customer feedback. ✓   Workflows

Set workflows to ensure that your documentation is reviewed thoroughly before getting published. ✓   Seamless Integrations With Sibling Tools

Allow customers to raise tickets for unanswered questions and chat with a representative to get answers by integrating with ProProfs Help Desk and ProProfs Chat, respectively. Pricing starts at $0

(forever free plan)Get Started With ProProfs Knowledge Base Software For FreeOr Get a Demo

Why Use ProProfs Knowledge Base software?

Easy to Use

The software is designed for the convenience of users with minimum technical knowledge. No hassles of software download or installation. No HTML skills required. Customizable

You can customize the platform to match your branding. CSS helps you create documentation the way you want. Choose from over 600 fonts, themes, designs, and color schemes to customize your online document. Robust Reporting

Insightful reports provide you a comprehensive view of how your documentation is performing. Get actionable insights into the number of searches performed, articles read, popular and poorly rated articles, and much more. 24*7 Support

Worry not, regardless of when and where you get stuck. Aside from the self-service support, you can also get in touch with them to clear your queries. Trusted by Global Brands

Thanks to the software’s awesome performance it has assisted businesses across the globe to address their concerns, both relating to customers and employees effectively.

2. Confluence

Confluence technical writing tool

Confluence is another great technical documentation tool built primarily for internal teams. Cloud-based and feature-rich, it works great for knowledge management, project collaboration, and employee engagement.

Everything can be created collaboratively with the help of Confluence, from something as simple as meeting notes and company announcements to complex documents like project plans and strategies.

The tool is noted for its amazing templates, team collaboration options, advanced security, and powerful integrations.

Features:

✓   Customizable Templates

Create your own template or pick your favorite one from the template library and start writing content instantly. ✓   Powerful search system

Make your content easily searchable with Confluence’s robust search mechanism. ✓   Analytics

Analyze user engagement and know about the number of pages created, updated or viewed, and keep improving your document’s performance. ✓   Page Versioning

Track previous changes made to a page, compare different versions of the page, and restore a previous version. ✓   Apps & Integrations

Integrate with your favorite third-party tools as well as in-house tools to get added benefits. Pricing:

starts at $0.

3. Document360

Document360 technical documentation tool

Document360 is a cloud-based tool that can be an asset for your technical writing team. Simple yet powerful, this tool comes with a user-friendly interface and comprises awesome features that help your team write, edit, collaborate, and publish content effortlessly.

If you have a knowledge base created using some other tool and want to migrate it to Document360, the tool provides easy options to migrate from over 100 sites.

Features:

✓   Versions

Have multiple versions of your articles. Restore to a previous version whenever you want. ✓   Advanced Search

Get instant search results as you start typing in the search bar. ✓   Markdown Editor

Write content using Markdown editor. Use shortcuts to expedite the process of content creation. ✓   Advanced Customization

Customize your document with CSS, add fonts, colors, and give the desired look to your content. ✓   Export & Import

Export and import content with a single click. Pricing:

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starts at $49/project/month.

4. KnowledgeOwl

Use KnowledgeOwl as a technical documentation tool

Cloud-based, 100% customizable, and easy to use, KnowledgeOwl is loaded with features that help you construct technical documentation with ease. It’s an all-encompassing tool covering features around various aspects of technical writing.

The tool lets you write and customize the content, manage users, capture feedback, and keep your content secure. Its unique features and simple user interface make it one of the best technical writing tools in the market today.

Features:

✓   WYSIWYG Editor

Write content the way you would on Microsoft Word. Edit, format, and style your content easily using this online editor. ✓   Status

Choose from 6 article status – draft, ready to publish, rejected draft, published, needs review, and deleted while writing articles. ✓   Private Domain

Set up a custom domain for your technical document and give it an identity of its own. ✓   Versions

Create different versions of articles, restore to a previous version, or publish the latest version instantly. Pricing:

starts at $79/user/month.

5.Help+Manual

Help+manual technical writing tool

Help+Manual is packed with powerful features that work together to simplify documentation for you. The tool’s highlight is its comprehensive suite of features that help you with multi-user editing, translation management, project management, slideshows, and much more.

Help+Manual’s plug-in system is quite commendable as it allows third-party software firms to add their plug-ins directly to Help+Manual. The tool offers two plug-ins with DeepL and PDF Peer Review.

Help+Manual’s latest version is available for download now.

Features:

✓   Team Authoring

Allow multiple authors to work on your document at the same time. ✓   Version Control

Create different versions of your document, restore to a previous version, compare two versions, and much more. ✓   Easy Publishing

Write once and publish in multiple formats – HTML help, Web help, PDF files, or ebooks. ✓   Translation

Translate your document with tools like SDL Trados easily. Pricing:

Available on request

6.HelpnDoc

HelpnDoc for technical writing

What makes HelpnDoc one of the best technical writing software is its ability to produce documentation in multiple formats – HTML sites, PDF files, ebooks, Word Docs, and more. The tool allows you to write and import content, export files, customize as you like, and publish instantly. Loved by some of the world’s leading brands, HelpnDoc is noted for its powerful editor that powers you with the ability to write compelling technical content.

The downside is its user interface that is simple but conventional at the same time. Unlike other similar tools, HelpnDoc doesn’t offer a cloud-based experience, meaning you will have to download and install the software to use it.

Features:

✓   Clean & Simple UI

The complicated task of technical writing gets extremely effortless with HelpnDoc’s simple user interface. ✓   Configuration options

Give your technical document a personalized look by changing its fonts, colors, paragraph styles, and much more. ✓   Reuse templates

Templates can be reused for creating different documentation, so you don’t have to start everything from scratch. ✓   Powerful Editor

Write and customize the content, add headers and footers, table of contents, and change title styles easily. Pricing:

starts at $0.

7.Paligo

Paligo technical documentation software

A compilation of stellar features, Paligo helps you create and deliver excellent documentation in minutes. This cloud-based technical manual writing software helps you with topic-based authoring, content reuse, one-click publishing, and team collaboration. The tool is powered by amazing integrations with tools like Zendesk, Freshdesk, Salesforce, Memsource, and many more.

Features:

✓   Conditional Filters

Set conditions to filter content specific to a particular product, audience, market, etc. ✓   XML Editor

Make technical writing effortless with the tool’s easy-to-use editor. ✓   Translation Management

Integrate with Memsource to manage your translations and avoid content duplication. ✓   Version Management

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Rollback to a previous version, track changes, compare versions, and much more. ✓   Powerful Integrations

Integrate with your favorite tools – Zendesk, Salesforce, Intercom, Algolia, Mixpanel, among many others. Pricing:

starts at $159/user/month.

8.ClickHelp

ClickHelp technical writing tool

What makes ClickHelp one of the best technical writing software is its easy, flexible, and browser-based nature. The tool works great on multiple platforms and browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Mac, and Microsoft Windows, and generates documentation in various formats – PDF, HTML5 help file, MS Word, and more. With over 25000 users in its kitty, ClickHelp is certainly growing at a fast pace.

Features:

✓   Workflow Customization

Set workflows for your articles and keep them in sync with internal processes, to ensure that error-free content is published. ✓   Templates

Pick from 6 documentation templates provided by ClickHelp and start writing content instantly. ✓   Customization options

Change the style, domain name, colors, fonts, and themes of your documentation to give it the desired look and feel. ✓   Integrations

The tool teams well with over 20 popular tools like Google Analytics, Zendesk, Salesforce, Live Chat, Google Translate, and more. ✓   Single Sign-On

Authenticate readers and authors with a single log-in system before they access your documentation. Pricing:

starts at $50/user/month.

9.Plan.io

Planio technical writing tool

Plan.io is a cloud-based tool that is trusted by global firms to manage business information and ensure that it is easily accessible to their target audience. A versatile tool, Plan.io, helps you in issue tracking, project management, version control, file syncing, and more.

Designed for project managers, teams as well as startups, this tool is extremely effortless to use, keeps the chaos at bay, and provides a secure system for data protection.

Features:

✓   Role-Based System

Assign roles and permissions and exercise full control over who is responsible for what. ✓   Workflow Management

Create workflows to maintain clarity and transparency regarding the status of a particular task. ✓   Your Content, Your Way

Use the variety of formatting features to style your content and give it a professional appearance. ✓   Structure

Create parent and child pages and a table of contents to shape your document in the way you want. Pricing:

starts at 149€/month

Ready to Adopt the Best Technical Writing Tool?

  • So, now you have a complete list of the 10 best technical documentation software. Compare features, pricing, and understand how they can help you before zeroing in on one.
  • Picking one tool is definitely challenging, especially when each one offers something unique. The only way out here is to identify your requirements and shortlist a few tools that you think best meet your criteria. Post that, go through their trial versions, if they offer, and make the final decision based on your experience with the product.

Conclusion

Documentation is one of the top tools used by developers. Documentation and technical communication should be the primary focus of any team that needs to deliver code to others. Many times, documentation is not prioritized as much as it should be. Teams need to bring attention to documentation, and that’s what you will find out about in this post.

When we start using a new open source product, or purchase a commercial software, we sometimes have troubles to understand how it works. I think that reading official documentation is the most time-consumind activity for this problem. Sometimes it’s very hard to find the documentation of some particular function or technology. But in most cases, there is an article about some particular technology and this article helps you to better understand how it actually works.

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