Your software documentation is a roadmap for future developers working on a project, and a guide for users learning to integrate the software into their workflow. Documentation can also help developers learn from past mistakes, making future projects easier to de-bug.
Software documentation doesn’t have to hang heavy on your to-do list. With the right tools, you can quickly create documentation that’s easy to read, use, and share. We explore 10 of the best software documentation tools in 2023 that you’ll want to use on your next development project.
What are Software Documentation Tools?
Software documentation describes how developers created the software and how the end user should use it. It might contain user manuals, application programming interface (API) documentation, and technical specifications.
The right knowledge management tool should make creating, managing, and sharing technical documentation easy. Such tools help you generate documents faster and with minimal hassle. The software documentation platform might generate documentation from code, produce a knowledge base, maintain version control systems, or host how-to guides for users.
What Should You Look for in Developer Documentation Tools?
When you start searching for the right software documentation tool, look for one that offers:
- Ease of use: Your software documentation tool should have the necessary functionality within a user-friendly interface
- Automation: The more automation, the better. Look for a tool that can use your source code to generate documentation and automatically produce up-to-date information
- Collaborative features: Development is rarely a solo project. The best software documentation will allow multiple team members to work on the same page simultaneously
- Search functionality: Software documentation is only helpful if you can use it to find the information you need. Look for a tool with powerful search functions and filtering features to help you find specific information
- Integration options: The best tools will integrate with your tech stack to make the software documentation process faster
The software documentation tool you choose should align with your project’s goals. You want something that fits your team’s unique workflow and budget. Many of the tools on this list offer free trials—a great way to test a few options and see which works best for your team’s needs.
The 10 Best Software Documentation Tools To Use in 2023
The project management tool that’s a favorite with teams worldwide can also be your best friend when it comes to software documentation. ClickUp is a terrific solution for software developers who need a knowledge management tool or space to build their software documentation. There’s even a software development template to help jumpstart your process and ensure you’ve thought of everything.
Features such as ClickUp Docs allow you to create documentation and link related documents to build software wikis. You can even create trackable tasks within the document text to ensure you don’t overlook any item on your to-do list.
ClickUp has also recently introduced its powerful ClickUp AI feature, which you can use to generate web pages, create a table of contents for your user manual, or copyedit your technical writing. The AI tools can even help you turn tricky technical jargon into easy-to-understand prose.
If you want an all-in-one platform where you can plan and manage your software development project and turn it all into easy-to-use documentation, ClickUp is worth a look.
ClickUp best features
- AI tools can help you write your software documentation, including document summaries and tables of content
- Integration options allow you to work with over 1,000 apps and platforms, including Google Drive, GitHub, and Slack
- Thousands of free templates can help you make a quick start on your project and complete your documentation sooner
- Lots of ways to automate your tasks mean you spend less time documenting and more time building your next big software innovation
- Great collaborative features allow team members to work on a document simultaneously for better knowledge-sharing
- ClickUp AI is only available on paid accounts, so you won’t get to use this fantastic, easy-to-use tool if you stick with the free version
- Free Forever
- Unlimited: $7/month per user
- Business: $12/month per user
- Enterprise: contact for pricing
- ClickUp AI: Available for purchase on all paid plans at the price of $5 per Workspace member and internal guest per month
ClickUp ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.7/5 (8,900+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (3,800+ reviews)
2. ProProfs Knowledge Base
ProProfs Knowledge Base is a cloud-based platform for creating software documentation. This easy-to-use tool allows users to build comprehensive knowledge bases and publicly and privately share them. There are some excellent customization options available, too.
One of the best features of this software documentation tool is that you can integrate it with your helpdesk or live chat platform, making it even more helpful for your support teams and end users.
ProProfs Knowledge Base best features
- Integration capability with your helpdesk and live chat platforms makes your software documentation even more useful
- Easy-to-use content creation tools allow you to effortlessly produce articles, guides, FAQs, and other software documentation
- Excellent search function helps you quickly locate the information you need within the knowledge base software
ProProfs Knowledge Base limitations
- There are fewer integration options available than you’ll find with other software documentation tools on the market
ProProfs Knowledge Base pricing
- Free: up to 25 articles
- Business: $29.99/month for up to 100 articles
- Custom Domain and White Label: $30/month
ProProfs Knowledge Base ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.6/5 (25+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (25+ reviews)
Document360 is a software documentation tool offering an intuitive drag-and-drop user interface. This makes building internal and external documentation easy, enabling you to add links, images, videos, code blocks, and more to create handy guides.
The platform offers a robust version control system to roll back to previous versions anytime. Handy analytics tools also help you track how users interact with your documentation.
Document360 best features
- Nice selection of integrations and extensions to make the documentation process smoother
- Great version control to let you easily roll back information with a few clicks
- Templates to help you apply consistent documentation styles and maintain formats and designs
- While the integration options are available within the documentation tool, some users complain they can be difficult to set up
- Free Forever
- Standard: $199/per project per month
- Professional: $399/per project per month
- Business: $529/per project per month
- Enterprise: $599/per project per month
Document360 ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.7/5 (360+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (190+ reviews)
4. Dropbox Paper
Dropbox Paper is a collaborative document editing and sharing platform from the popular cloud storage provider. Dropbox Paper allows multiple team members to work on documents, notes, and project plans in a user-friendly interface. While the platform isn’t a fully-fledged software documentation tool, it’s still useful in the documentation process, especially for smaller teams that might be unable to afford more robust platforms.
Dropbox Paper best features
- The documentation tool comes free with your Dropbox subscription, so it’s a great way to create software documentation if you can’t afford another tool in the tech stack
- Great collaboration features allow teams to work together on software documentation, even if they are working remotely or asynchronously
- The user-friendly interface means you can quickly start creating software documentation
Dropbox Paper limitations
- As its design isn’t specifically for software documentation, it lacks some of the automation features you’ll find in other tools
Dropbox Paper pricing
- Free with your DropBox plan
- Plans start at $9.99/month for personal use and $19.99/month for professional use
Dropbox Paper ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.1/5 (4,400+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (200+ reviews)
GitBook is a popular online platform for documenting software projects that puts collaboration front and center. It allows teams to collaborate on creating and maintaining software documentation through a user-friendly platform that employs Markdown files.
GitBook best features
- Robust import and integration options allow you to bring existing documentation into the platform, so you don’t have to start from scratch
- Nice collaboration features ensure that technical and non-technical team members can contribute to the software documentation process
- Powerful search features mean you can find the information you need within an intuitive interface
- There aren’t a lot of customization options, so you may not be able to create a desired look or align with company branding guidelines
- Personal: free forever
- Plus: $6.70/month per user
- Pro: $12.50/month per user
- Enterprise: contact for a custom price
GitBook ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.7/5 (130+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (15+ reviews)
Tettra is one of the best software documentation tools for internal documentation. It gives you a central space to bring together all of your documentation, organize it, and then use it to create a comprehensive knowledge base.
Tettra best features
- Facility to quickly create wiki-style knowledge bases where you can create, organize, and edit internal documentation
- Excellent monitoring system to alert you of unowned or stale pages so you can keep information up to date
- Possibility to submit questions for experts to answer later if you can’t find answers using the powerful search function
- There aren’t a lot of integration options, so if you want to plug this into a big tech stack, you might find it disappointing
- Basic: $5/month per user
- Scaling: $10/month per user
- Professional: $15/month per user
Tettra ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.6/5 (85+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.1/5 (5+ reviews)
Whatfix isn’t a classic documentation tool but a digital adoption platform. It’s an excellent platform for user onboarding and a natural extension of your technical documentation. It has a range of tools that make it easier to put your software to work, including the ability to create interactive walkthroughs.
Whatfix best features
- Facility to build user guides for specific tasks so you can see exactly how to put your software to work
- Automation of repetitive tasks within the platform so you can do more with a single click and minimize the risk of errors
- Analytics to tell you which areas of your software users need the most help with
- While this is a great platform for creating user manuals and interactive user guides, it may not be suitable for creating other types of technical documentation
- Contact for a custom price
Whatfix ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.6/5 (290+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (75+ reviews)
Scribe is a documentation tool that automatically captures the steps in a process and turns them into easy-to-follow instructions. It’s an effortless way to build software documentation. You can then modify and share the documentation as necessary.
Scribe best features
- Lots of pre-designed templates to enable you to keep your documentation visually consistent with minimal effort
- Option to use the tool as a Chrome extension or desktop application to capture your processes
- Facility to easily export created documentation and embed instructions in your knowledge base, wiki, or other technical documentation
- Some of the best features of this documentation tool are behind a paywall
- Basic: Free
- Pro Personal: $23/month per seat
- Pro Team: $12/month per seat with a five-seat minimum
- Enterprise: schedule a demo for a custom price
Scribe ratings and reviews
- Capterra: 4.9/5 (5+ reviews)
Bit.ai’s design has collaboration in mind. The platform’s documentation tools allow teams to create, organize, and manage documentation using versatile workspaces within the app. The coediting and commenting features make it easy to compile knowledge and ensure everyone has their say in the process.
Bit best features
- Notification features alert team members about new content they need to review or contribute to
- Nice integration options allow you to connect with apps such as Slack, Trello, and Google Docs
- Access controls help you keep sensitive documentation private
- Limited formatting options are available, so you’ll need to like the look of the types of software documentation Bit.ai creates for you
- Pro Plan: $8/month per member
- Business Plan: $15/month per member
Bit.ai ratings and reviews
- G2: 4/5 (20+ reviews)
- Capterra: 5/5 (5+ reviews)
Nuclino is a feature-rich software documentation tool that supports collaboration, offers version control, and has an easy-to-use intuitive interface. The platform makes it very easy to create custom document structures so you can set up your internal documentation in a way that makes sense for your team.
Nuclino best features
- The clean interface makes it easy to create documentation without depending on a lot of technical knowledge
- Real-time collaboration allows teams to create and edit information quickly
- Document-linking makes it easy to build comprehensive software wikis
- Some users report issues with large amounts of documentation, so it may be best for small to mid-sized software teams
- Standard: $5/month per user
- Premium:$10/month per user
Nuclino ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.7/5 (20+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.8/5 (60+ reviews)
Streamline Your Software Documentation Process With ClickUp
Good software documentation is the foundation of improved future development. The right software documentation tools can help you build effective documentation, foster collaboration, and create a better end-user experience.
Some excellent software documentation tools are available in 2023, but ClickUp stands out as an all-in-one solution. ClickUp simplifies every aspect of the development process, including creating comprehensive user manuals and tracking project progress.
Sign up for ClickUp today and make your software development process easier than ever.