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Macromedia Announces RoboHelp X5; New Version Delivers XML Support and Content Management Features That Enable Companies to Cut Costs and Increase Productivity.

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 20, 2004

Macromedia (Nasdaq:MACR) today announced the immediate availability of Macromedia(R) RoboHelp(R) X5, the latest version of the industry standard help authoring tool used by developers and technical writers to create professional help systems and documentation for desktop and web-based applications. Macromedia acquired eHelp, the makers of RoboHelp, in December 2003. With RoboHelp X5, users can leverage powerful new features including support for XML, PDF import/export, content management, distributed workforces, team authoring capabilities, as well as the newly released JavaHelp(TM) 2.0 from Sun Microsystems, Inc.

RoboHelp X5 also includes FlashHelp(TM), a bandwidth-efficient and firewall-friendly help format based on Macromedia Flash(TM) that is consistent across popular browsers and platforms. With more companies delivering rich Internet applications using Flash, the ability to include integrated help within these improved user experiences will further their adoption. For more information or to purchase RoboHelp X5, visit http://www.macromedia.com/go/robohelp/.

"Macromedia is very excited to add RoboHelp to our product portfolio and we plan to continue the tradition of excellence that has made RoboHelp a market leader," said Rob Burgess, chairman and CEO, Macromedia. "This product is the best in its class for help authoring, and we look forward to enabling developers to seamlessly integrate Flash-based help and tutorials into the digital experiences they create."

"RoboHelp X5 was created with the developer and technical writer's 'wish list' in mind," said Anthony Olivier, senior vice president and general manager, Macromedia. "We've added XML support as well as content management and team authoring capabilities to take advantage of industry trends like telecommuting, remote office support, and occasionally connected computing. As the newest member of the Macromedia family, we remain committed to pioneering innovative technologies that advance the help authoring industry."

As the industry standard in help authoring, RoboHelp provides the foundation to millions of online help and user assistance systems currently in use around the world. RoboHelp allows developers and technical writers to easily create professional help systems and documentation for desktop and web-based applications, including .NET and rich Internet applications (see attached quote sheet).

"RoboHelp enables us to send users movies, web pages, and content showcases all within online help," said Mark Bevins, software development manager, Orion Studios. "Once content has been created, RoboHelp publishes and updates online tables and indexes instantly. Orion Studios considers RoboHelp a vital solution for help and customer support. RoboHelp X5 is extremely intuitive and easy to use, proving once again that it is an indispensable tool for your business or website."

Macromedia RoboHelp X5 includes many versatile new features including XML support, content management, distributed workforce support, team authoring capabilities, and PDF import and export. The XML support in RoboHelp X5 enables easier data interchange and opens new possibilities to repurpose content from disparate sources. Users can import any valid XML content for use in their help system, including DocBook XML or XHTML formats, and export standardized projects or individual topics. The content management features help users throughout the content lifecycle with features including version rollback, time and date stamping, audit trails, labels and comments, file comparison, and integration with leading version control software.

The product also empowers distributed workforces with the ability to remotely check-in and check-out files, contribute information to help projects, and synchronize changes to files when computers are back online. Team authoring support in RoboHelp X5 makes it easier for teams to contribute and collaborate on the same project, coordinate workflow, and generate the final help system through features like check-in and check-out capabilities, permissions, password security, and administrative tools.

Intelligent PDF import in RoboHelp X5 makes PDF content both editable and exportable as native help content. The product also supports Sun's new JavaHelp 2.0 format. For more information on the new features in RoboHelp X5, visit http://www.macromedia.com/go/rhnew/.

Pricing and Availability

RoboHelp X5, priced at $999, is available for immediate purchase today from the Macromedia Online Store at http://www.macromedia.com/store/. Upgrades from RoboHelp 2002, RoboHelp X3 or RoboHelp X4 are priced at $499. Upgrades from RoboHelp versions 4 through 9 are priced at $699.

About Macromedia

Experience matters. Macromedia is motivated by the belief that great experiences build great businesses. Our software empowers millions of business users, developers, and designers to create and deliver effective, compelling, and memorable experiences -- on the Internet, on fixed media, on wireless, and on digital devices.

Developers Praise Powerful New Features in Robohelp X5

American Healthtech

"I've used RoboHelp since the old WinHelp days, and I've always been pleased with the product's attention to customer requests and continual development to give help authors more choices. The interface is sensible and intuitive, and has changed little over the years because it works. I could not be happier with RoboHelp X5 and I look forward to additional development and consistency in the future."

-- Jeff Kersh, technical writer, American Healthtech

Employment Law Advisory Network

"RoboHelp is the main software I use to develop my employment law software. My publications are electronic tutorials and reference guides on employment law. My primary output is the WinHelp 2000 format that only RoboHelp offers, which produces the tri-pane look that most Windows users have come to expect with HTML Help, but with a much more refined interface that always gets great customer comments. The ability to use the same source files to quickly generate WebHelp and FlashHelp versions of my electronic books is also great. RoboHelp X5 makes the process of producing help files a breeze -- moving from content to finished help file is incredibly easy. I cannot imagine doing my work without it."

-- William T Simmons, president, Employment Law Advisory Network

Evergreen Online Learning, LLC

"We work in a multi-writer environment, so it's easy to 'step on one another' if two writers are working on the same project. Technical writers are always paranoid about losing work. Source Control in RoboHelp X5 ensures you don't lose valuable content and allows us to work more smoothly and efficiently. Source control is even helpful in a single-author situation because you can do file comparisons to locate previous modifications and versions."

-- John Daigle, president, Evergreen Online Learning, LLC

Help Solutions, Ltd.

"A lot of companies find their own workarounds to allow groups of authors to work on the same projects, but RoboHelp X5 addresses that issue and does more. If you share your workload with other authors, you will find lots of new features to help automate content management and true version control workflows. Another very welcome release."

-- Craig Clarke, director, Help Solutions, Ltd

Mitek Industries

"We use RoboHelp as our company's entire e-learning and training platform, comprised of software demos, quick fixes, tips from the pros, self quizzes, and an online help system. We have more than 80 RoboDemos, and we also use Macromedia Flash, so the FlashHelp functionality in RoboHelp X5 definitely appeals to us, as well as the streamlined way to created printed documentation from the same information."

-- Charles Palmgren, software technical writer, MiTek Industries

NEW Corporation

"Having evaluated 16 different help authoring tools five years ago, I decided that RoboHelp offered the best and the most functionality, and I am pleased to say that RoboHelp X5 is still the cream of the crop among help authoring tools. No other tool provides the flexibility and the number of possible output formats."

-- Steve Shipe, instructional designer, NEW Corporation

Sygate Technologies, Inc.

"About a year ago, Sygate Technologies started using RoboHelp as the only authoring tool. Although the transition to a single authoring tool took a while, it is now much easier to maintain both our online and print documentation. We are looking forward to implementing some of the new features such as version control, conversion to print, and separate print table of contents."

-- Elke Vorheis, information developer, Sygate Technologies, Inc.

Macromedia, the Macromedia logo, RoboHelp, FlashHelp, and Macromedia Flash are trademarks or registered trademarks of Macromedia, Inc., which may be registered in the United States and internationally. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 20, 2004
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