MadCap Acquires Doc-to-Help, Expands Lineup of Authoring Tools

San Diego’s MadCap Software, which specializes in software used to create help documents, owners’ manuals, user guides, and other types of professional documentation, says today it has acquired longtime rival Doc-to-Help from GrapeCity, the Japanese software and services provider.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Privately held MadCap was founded in 2005 by key members of eHelp (formerly Blue Sky Software), created in 1990 to advance RoboHelp authoring software that eHelp had created for Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Macromedia acquired eHelp in 2003, but was chiefly interested in its Flash-based software simulation program. Adobe acquired Macromedia two years later, but the San Dego team that had created RoboHelp felt even more forsaken.

MadCap CEO Anthony Olivier told me he resolved to avoid taking venture capital, saying that investors’ push for returns at eHelp had led to their unhappy experience following the Macromedia buyout.

Today, MadCap competes against Adobe’s RoboHelp, and such rivals as AuthorIT and Quadralay’s WebWorks. MadCap says it has thousands of customers around the world that use its software to create and manage documents and multimedia content for corporate intranets, help systems, policy and procedure manuals, user guides, instruction manuals, and other knowledge bases. The company says its flagship product, MadCap Flare, is now the industry’s leading native-XML multi-channel technical authoring software.

With the acquisition of all Doc-to-Help assets, MadCap says its product line now includes the leading multi-channel authoring software based on Microsoft Word.  Doc-to-Help team also is moving from GrapeCity’s ComponentOne business in Pittsburgh, PA, to MadCap’s headquarters in La Jolla. MadCap says Doc-to-Help is ideal for users who take a more book-like approach to content development.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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