The help section that you design can make or break the success of your software project. So with this in mind, going with XML often times makes sense being it works well in help files for Windows, Linux and Mac.
Excel Software began shipping QuickHelp 2.0 for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. QuickHelp is a development tool for creating and deploying application help on Windows 95 through XP, Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Linux. QuickHelp is unique in its ability to author, maintain and test application help in a single tabbed window running on your platform of choice, then deploy the help system to virtually any computer. Help information resides in an XML file distributed with a royalty-free, native viewer executable for each platform.
QuickHelp 2.0 adds configurable actions, tables, parameters, default options, precompiled indexes and other performance enhancements making it 2 to 3 times faster than previous versions. Configurable actions include running an executable, presenting a popup message, linking to different topics based on platform, running COM methods, sending Apple Events, running a compiled AppleScript or presenting QuickTime movies. In addition to traditional tables with bordered rows and columns, tables can present tabular data without borders or various styles of itemized lists providing infinite formatting possibilities. Developers can parameterize topics, actions, tables and other aspects of the help system when installing or running their application. For example, a single help file can provide customized help that is tailored to different platforms or product editions. [Read the rest]