How do you provide documentation for your app?

I’d love to have a simple, approachable knowledge base/FAQ that can be updated by more than one person. I’d prefer not to have to self host but that is possible.

My app is cross-platform iOS, Mac, PC so I’ve been avoiding using the OS in built help systems. Plus Apple’s in built help is so slow that it’s… a remarkable achievement.

I use RapidWeaver for the manual website and a blog on the main site for extra topics.

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I use a built-in HTMLViewer that populates links from a hosted database. I can update/add/remove help links anytime and edit the hosted help HTML after the app is shipped.

It means that my app is much smaller.

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I used rtf files stored in a local folder as both global documentation and in Windows tips…

I also have an htmlviewer with html files in another project (as software manual).

Like david above, but the source fot the help is markdown, converted to html.
stored in a database, path to the database is asked to the app can be local or remote (postgres)
you can do all you want with markdown, external links too
xojo code so cross platform.
only one table to add to the current app database if any, or a new database in the app ressources
stores all the markdown, html end images for the help.


ps: currently adding a multi language transparent feature to the module.


For ARGen, Lifeboat, and Plugins Pro I also use RapidWeaver. I bundle the entire HTML help book into the app, and then open the index.html in a web browser for the user.

I use the Simple Business theme with some CSS modifications for dark mode. You are welcome to borrow them.

Do you provide a search feature? How is this done?

I haven’t added a search feature. With my projects, I haven’t yet had the need. I can usually answer questions by email. I’m not sure if there’s a RapidWeaver plugin to do so, but that would be handy.

I’m using LiveSearch (Live Search - RapidWeaver Stack). Works only online but then I don’t distribute the manual with the app anymore. There is no complex setup.

See Search .

Here is a discussion thread talking about adding search through Rapidweaver.

Link for Search with Rapidweaver

I use and I am very happy with it.

This is one my app’s documentation:


I use Pages and create a PDF that a user gets with the app download or can open it at the website.

My manuals are the same as Emilie’s, where an html file is viewed with html viewer. Some of my clients are in remote areas where internet is not available.

If my plight for sight is of any value, PDF documentation is the most difficult to use due to the lack of dark mode. I recommend against it, I dread working with the WebSDK docs.

Our documentation has basically become blog posts organized by category and tags. That and liberal use of help tags and explanatory labels. Back in the old days of printed manuals, I can’t count how many times I visited a client and saw the manual on the shelf, still in it’s shrink wrap. Nobody really reads the documentation.

I do send out cheat sheets, though, via email.

Oh man, Gitbook is a nice discovery, I just wish it wasn’t so pricey. $32/mo for their cheapest plan - aside from the free plan - is steep, especially when 4 of the licenses would be wasted for somebody in my position. And that’s paid annually too.

On the other hand, the only thing I’d actually use in the paid plan is the branding. That’s worth a lot to me, but $32 per month? Maybe I’d just leave off the branding.

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I have a tiny 10 liner Xojo app to convert my html pages to PDF. My users tend to be older and they always ask for a PDF version.

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Just wanted to point out he’s not a woman :wink:

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Oh !

Thank you Arnaud. I do not noticed the extra ‘i’ :wink:

There is something I do not understand here 'cause this “mistake is common” before people saw me, of course.

It started less than 10 years ago, and I never knew why.

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