PowerShell HelpWriter 2017: Service Release v2.1.33 Plus Markdown

Today we released a new build of PowerShell HelpWriter 2017 (v2.1.33).

In this article, we will discuss the new features introduced in this build.

 

Exporting Help

We added the ability to export the help files into two useful file formats:

  • Markdown
  • HTML

To export your help files, use the Ribbon menu:

Ribbon->Home->Export

Ribbon-Export

We introduced two ways of exporting your help:

  • Per file
  • Per cmdlet.

File Export

When exporting a whole file, the application will ask you to select the target folder.

For projects, the default location is set to the Exported Files folder, which is located under the project’s directory.

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A new file will be generated for each cmdlet in the help file. Each file will be named after its cmdlet.

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For large help files, you will be presented with a progress bar which includes the option to cancel.

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Cmdlet Export

When exporting a single cmdlet, you have the option to specify the file’s name. The default will still be set to the cmdlet’s name.

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Now let us take a closer look at the export formats.

Markdown

For those of you who use GitHub, you can now export your existing PowerShell help files to markdown (*.md) files and use them directly in your GitHub repositories.

Markdown is a plain text formatting language that is used to convert text into HTML. Websites such as GitHub use markdown to display formatted help documentation.

Markdown Example

PowerShell HelpWriter follows the community approved markdown schema for PowerShell help to generate the file.

 

HTML

You can also export your help files to HTML and use the resulting files to display your help directly on the web.

HTML Example

When distributing your html files, be sure to include the accompanying style.css file.

 

About Files and Sub-Headers

In this release, we added syntax coloring support for sub-headers.

Sub-headers are denoted when there is a single space after a new line and the text contains all capital letters:

About File Sub Header

And yes, you can also export your existing about files to markdown and HTML:

About Markdown

As you can see, sub-headers are formatted in the exported files.

 

Generated Help File Update

We also updated the help files generated by the application to include extra meta-data such as:

  • Is the command a workflow?
  • Does the command use common parameters?

This additional information will be utilized by PowerShell Studio to generate modules from help and by PowerShell HelpWriter for exporting.

 

Please continue providing your feedback. Many of the new features included in the service builds are suggestions from users like you. Therefore, if you have any suggestions or feature requests, please share them with us on our Wish List and Feature Requests forum.