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2014

Which Tech Writing Tools Are the Most Used?

This past Saturday WritersUA came out with its 2014 User Assistance Tool Survey, based on a wide-ranging poll of those working in the technical writing field. If you look at the WritersUA page it simply displays the raw poll results without any analysis. It would be more useful if the data that came out of this was analyzed in some way, but it is not. DITAWriter to the rescue!

Written by K. Schengili-Roberts

August 08, 2014

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Using Multiple MasterPages in Flare

I often hear folks complain about being limited to one MasterPage per target in MadCap Flare. Although it is true you can select only one MasterPage per target, you can, however, assign MasterPages at the topic level. For example, in my case I provide popup help in the UI, and for the popups, I don’t want breadcrumbs or a mini TOC. So I created a separate “PopUp” MasterPage that I assign to topics used for the popup help. Here’s how you do it.

Written by Denise Kadilak

June 30, 2014

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Publishing in Flare - Best Practice Suggestions

I’ve recently had to look into best practices regarding the use of the Publishing feature in Flare, so I thought I’d share. For those not familiar with this feature, Publishing allows you to copy your Flare output to selected destination. Getting the process in place takes a number of steps, all of which are nicely outlined in the &rquo;Publishing Out to Destinations&lquo; chapter in MadCap’s Targets Guide.

Written by Denise Kadilak

June 25, 2014

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Advanced Conditions in Flare

I finally got around to the Advanced Condition feature in MadCap Flare. I’m not sure why, but I was expecting this to be a lot more complicated than it turned out to be.

Written by Denise Kadilak

June 17, 2014

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Moving from FrameMaker® to Flare

A few months ago I did a webniar for MadCap on my company’s move from Adobe® FrameMaker® to Flare. We made the move for a number reasons — lack of support for FrameMaker® from Adobe®, FrameMaker® was starting to look and feel &rquo;old fashion&lquo; — but our primary reason for the move was we needed the granular control offered in a topic-based authoring environment, and FrameMaker did not offer that.

Written by Denise Kadilak

June 06, 2014

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Using MadCap Flare is Like Driving a Formula 1 Racer

Daniel Ferguson, a certified MadCap Advanced Developer, is the owner of Write Degree Communications, a user help and technical documentation consultancy that helps companies create and deliver industry-best documentation and user help material. Here, Daniel shares why he loves MadCap Flare and how it changed the way he works.

Written by Daniel Ferguson

May 13, 2014

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Flare 10 – or one of the best ways to support topic-based authoring

I've been using Flare since about version 3 and watched it grow and become more robust over the years. I often recommend it to clients as the solution they're looking for because it does what's needed in a solid sort of way. If you are working in a topic-based environment, or want to, this is the Best In Class tool.

Written by Sharon Burton

April 10, 2014

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Speeding ahead to Madcap Flare 10

I can't easily explain my peculiar fondness for MadCap Flare. Just like choosing a new car to buy, it’s not always about its function, but more often about its form. And the way a particular form moves you — whether it's "cool" or "comfortable" or "smart" or "sexy" - or doesn't move you, is unique to each of us, our preferences, and our circumstances. In my case, from the start, Flare felt "sexy". :)

Written by Jay Manaloto

April 08, 2014

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MadCap Flare 10 – A Review

Flare is a relative newcomer to the tech docs world, debuting in 2006. But MadCap has been busily extending it, with its tenth release this week (March 4) offering major new features and many enhancements. In this review, I’ll focus on the major features – HTML5-based responsive output, slideshows, Eclipse Help, and project export – then review what I see as the major enhancements.

Written by Neil Perlin

March 06, 2014

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What’s new in MadCap Flare 10, the nitty gritty

Today, I’ll focus on the enhancements that I enjoy most – many of them are smaller improvements for heavy-duty tech comm users with large projects and many topics. (An earlier post covered the more obvious strategic enhancements.)

Written by Kai Weber

March 05, 2014

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Flare V10 is here and it is awesome!

I’ve been an early tester of Flare V10, so I’ve had my hands on it for the last couple of months, and I’m thrilled to be able to talk publicly about some of the amazing features in Flare V10. I have a forthcoming article in a European tech comm journal, and I don’t want to give away what is in that article, but today I want to take a minute to share with you some of my favorite V10 features.

Written by Paul Pehrson

March 04, 2014

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MadCap Flare 10 First Look Review

Although MadCap Software releases Flare 10 for general availability this morning, I participated in beta testing of MadCap’s new version and am able to give a sneak peek into this latest release. Like all beta testers, I am under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with MadCap. However, I do have written permission to publish an early review. MadCap did not influence my post before it was published. These opinions are my own and based on my own experiences with past and present versions of Flare.

Written by Andrea Altenburg

March 04, 2014

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MadCap Flare 10 released - my favorite feature

Although MadCap Software releases Flare 10 for general availability this morning, I participated in beta testing of MadCap’s new version and am able to give a sneak peek into this latest release. Like all beta testers, I am under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with MadCap. However, I do have written permission to publish an early review. MadCap did not influence my post before it was published. These opinions are my own and based on my own experiences with past and present versions of Flare.

Written by Peter Argondizzo

March 04, 2014

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What’s new in MadCap Flare 10, the hip parts

Flare 10, the annual major release of MadCap’s flagship Help Authoring Tool, includes several major enhancements that make Flare easier and faster to newcomers and editors of marketing content. And many smaller enhancements target the hardcore techcomm heavy users. The well-balanced improvements testify that MadCap listens to many of its users.

Written by Kai Weber

March 04, 2014

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2013

MadCap Software Provides PSU Students with Leading Technical Writing Tools

La Jolla, CA and Portland, OR – Portland State University (PSU) is joining forces with MadCap Software to ensure students pursuing its “Professional and Technical Writing” graduate program have clear competitive advantages when entering the workforce. The university is using MadCap Flare—the modern future-proof authoring and multi-channel publishing software that supports print, Web, desktop and mobile—to provide students with the most advanced authoring and publishing solution available today. As a result, students are gaining expertise in state-of-the-art technical writing techniques through hands-on experience with the software used by thousands of companies worldwide.

Written by Rebecca Hurst

November 19, 2013

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UCF Teams with MadCap Software for English Course

The University of Central Florida is joining forces with MadCap Software to empower students taking its 'Writing for the Computer Industry' course with the knowledge and experience that will give them a clear competitive advantage in the workforce. Through the MadCap Scholar Program, the university is licensed to use MadCap Flare, the authoring and multi-channel publishing software—supporting print, Web, desktop and mobile—to provide students with the most advanced authoring and publishing solution available today. By using MadCap Flare, students are gaining expertise in the modern techniques and software used by thousands of companies worldwide when they enter the corporate world.

Written by English Dept.

October 17, 2013

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Adobe® Has An Espically Abysmal Security Record

Adobe's® massive security breach last week is just the latest in its long, troubled history with hackers. But cybersecurity experts warn the company's security record is only going to get worse in the near future. Nearly everyone with a computer has used Adobe (ADBE) software at some point, whether opening PDF files with Adobe Acrobat or watching a video on YouTube with Adobe's Flash Player. But consumers likely aren't fully aware how riddled with security flaws Adobe's software is.

Written by Jose Pagliery

October 08, 2013

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Adobe® Patches Reader®, Acrobat®, RoboHelp® Bugs Unrelated to Recent Breach

Adobe®, still reeling from the public disclosure of a massive breach of source code and customer information, released two security advisories today patching vulnerabilities unrelated to the recent break-in. The first concerns a vulnerability in Adobe® RoboHelp® 10 for Windows that could allow an attacker to remotely run malicious code on the underlying system supporting the software. RoboHelp® 10 is publishing software that enables users to collaboratively develop HTML 5 websites. Content can also be delivered onto third-party software formats such as PDF and mobile apps.

Written by Michael Mimoso

October 08, 2013

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UAH partnering with MadCap to bring new software to technical communications students

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is joining forces with MadCap Software to ensure that students pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Technical Communication have a competitive advantage when entering the workforce. Through the MadCap Scholar licensing program, students will learn how to use MadCap Flare to create technical documentation for online help, software documentation, policy & procedure manuals, knowledge bases, and user guides.

Written by Campus News

October 03, 2013

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MadCap's Creativity Captures Attention

Like most people, I try to keep up to date with what is going on out there in the world of software tools for Technical Communicators. We all have a million things to do in our busy day, and it’s not always easy to do, but we try to make that effort. Usually, I breeze through alerts and skim the surface so I can carefully choose what gets my attention. Time is a precious commodity.

Written by Liz Fraley

September 09, 2013

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Keeping Track of Your Flare Topics In Excel Using Pivot Charts

If you are using file tags to keep track of your topics in Flare (e.g. 01 Created, … , 06 Published), and if you need a way to get a quick visual overview of all your files, keep reading. n the Flare File List, search for *.htm to display all your topic files. Export the list as a CSV file. Import the CSV file to Excel. Create a pivot table, and a pivot chart – showing the number of topics with each file status tag. The chart gives you quick visual overview of where in the production flow your topics are.

Written by Mattias Sander

August 31, 2013

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Generating MadCap Flare Snippet Files Using Excel® (VBA)

If you have a list of phrases (e.g. a list of STE terms) you would like to quickly add to Flare as snippet files to make good use of Flare’s clever “auto suggest based on snippet” feature, keep reading. The idea is to copy or write the phrases into a spread sheet, add a column for the file name, and another column for the MadCap Flare snippet XML code, then write a short VBA script that creates a new snippet file for each phrase in the spread sheet, and saves the files on your desktop.

Written by Mattias Sander

August 23, 2013

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MadCap Software: Harnessing the Power of your Local User Group

Here at MadCap Software we’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of tech comm professionals creating user groups to discuss tips, tricks, and best practices, learn to use new tools, and share practical advice about their industry. Social channels such as LinkedIn, MeetUp.com, etc., make finding others using the same software tools you do easier than ever. As technical communicators, we know that the users we develop for learn and grasp on to material in variety of different ways, so having others in your industry available to discuss methods and best practices is key to staying ahead of the curve of new technologies and processes.

Written by Jose Sermeno

August 20, 2013

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MadCap Flare 9 has Much to Offer

The technical communication environment continues to grow ever more challenging. Markets and target audiences are truly global. Users expect content to be delivered on a daunting array of platforms using different technologies and screen sizes. Users want both online delivery--web-pages, links, videos--but also PDFs they can print. Users grown accustomed to social media increasingly expect to be able to question and comment on your online content.

Written by Patrick Lufkin

June 19, 2013

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The Growing Pains of New Technology in Tech Comm

In today’s world of ever-expanding technology solutions, standard content strategies are continually being tested. As technology progresses at this rapid pace, we burden ourselves with the growing pains of trying to keep up. This year I was tasked with the project of taking my company’s archaic documentation delivery methods and transforming them into a more current efficient process. To quote my boss

Written by Rich Forristall

June 10, 2013

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Creating faded edges and spotlights on screen captures with MadCap Capture

Like some technical writers, I habitually reach for an image-editing tool other than MadCap Capture. But having attended Paul Pehrson’s terrific session at MadWorld 2013 on Capture, I started rethinking my habit. As a MadCap Flare author, I already use Capture for callouts and for harnessing the power of variables and conditions from my Flare projects. But could I use Capture to make my screen captures more visually engaging?

Written by Nita Beck

May 13, 2013

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MadCap Software: Working with a Dynamic Editor - An Overview in Efficiency

As the scale, complexities and deliverables of technical communication content have evolved, authors and content creators have an ever-increasing arsenal of software tools at their disposal. "Single Sourcing", "Visual Editing", and "Multi-Channel Publishing" are all buzzword functionalities one can now expect from a modern technical communication tool. As "features" they’re easy to describe-but providing users with an interface that is easy to use and representative of the underlying structure or styling of the content, without overloading them, is a challenge.

Written by Jose Sermeno

March 15, 2013

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Review of MadCap Flare Version 9.0

MadCap’s What’s New In this Version documentation for Flare 9.0 describes Major New Features and Additional New Features. This is a blog about markup, programming, scripting, and automating in the context of MadCap Flare. But I’ll give my two cents about some of those listed as Major New Features.

Written by Thomas Tregner

March 13, 2013

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Top 5 things I like about Flare 9

MadCap Software has released a new major version of Flare, the help authoring tool I use, with much fanfare. I focus on enhancements that are most useful to me in my daily work. They are minor compared to, say, the new support of right-to-left languages, but I appreciate them because they make my work easier! For the major enhancements, visit the Flare product website.

Written by Kai Weber

March 06, 2013

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MadCap Flare 9 In-Depth: Versatility for Complex Help Authoring Projects

Flare’s wizard-based system is a joy to use. I am a longstanding command-line and text-editor devotee, but even I have to admit that a good GUI-based system is more effective and efficient in many circumstances. By using the appropriate wizard, you can create a new project, import a project, create or edit a stylesheet, export a project in one fell swoop, or other important tasks. Although I am sure there are ways to mess your project up, it is much harder to do so when choices are guided and constrained. One might say that Flare is “idiot-proof”, but I prefer to say that Flare helps protect a tech writer from the inevitable distractions faced during a typical day at the office.

Written by Lois R Patterson

March 05, 2013

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An Overview Look at MadCap Mimic 7

Mimic is a visual help or software simulation authoring tool from MadCap Software, maker of Flare. Mimic is available alone or as part of the MadPak suite, which includes Flare, Contributor, Analyzer, Capture, and Lingo. In this post, I’ll discuss what visual help/software simulation authoring tools in general and Mimic in particular do overall, then look at some specifics in Mimic and changes in v.7.

Written by Neil Perlin

March 05, 2013

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TechWhirl First Look: Madcap Flare 9

As usual, MadCap has listened to the users and made great updates to their flagship authoring tool, Flare 9. If you have never used any version of MadCap Flare before, this program is a must if you’re attempting any kind of single sourcing project. If you’re already a Flare fan, you may find that upgrading from version 8 just makes a good thing even better.

Written by Andrea Altenburg

March 02, 2013

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Quick Search Form for HTML5 Output

Here is a quick search form you can use on another page to open an HTML5 output search in the skin. To use it, change the value for uri (third line) to the URL for your Flare HTML5 help system’s main file. Then place the script and markup in the page markup where you want the form to appear on a web page.

Written by Thomas Tregner

February 27, 2013

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MadCap Flare for New Adopters

MadCap Flare is making headway as part of the technical documentation toolkit in New Zealand and overseas. In December 2012 and January 2013, I had substantial conversations with three different professional colleagues who were considering MadCap Flare.

Written by Emily Cotlier

January 31, 2013

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Single Sourcing Screen Captures to Print, Online, and Mobile Using Flare and Capture

The other week my colleague asked me to write down a few notes about how I handle images with Flare. I realized there’s a lot to know about images, especially when trying to single source them both to print and online outputs. In this post, I’ll jot down a few of the more tricky points when it comes to single sourcing images.

Written by Tom Johson

January 20, 2013

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2012

Some Initial Observations about MadCap Flare 8

MadCap released Flare 8 last week. As usual, it has a mix of enhancements to existing features and some interesting new features. Here's my quick take on what I view as the most significant…

Written by Neil Perlin

March 05, 2012

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MadCap Flare version 8 is released

We just installed version 8 of MadCap Flare and we thought we would share some of the new updated features. Our perspective of Flare is geared toward the ability to help our customers translate and publish their content in multiple languages as easily as possible.

Written by Peter Argondizzo

March 05, 2012

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Flare v8 Review

Today MadCap Software released version 8 of its flagship help authoring tool, MadCap Flare, and I think there is a whole lot to like about it. I was lucky enough to be a beta tester for Flare v8, and I'm excited to share with you some of the great new features you'll find in v8.

Written by Paul Pehrson

March 02, 2012

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Generating Quality Print Output from MadCap Flare or Blaze

Although MadCap Flare is known primarily as a Help Authoring Tool (HAT), one of its outstanding qualities is its ability to generate high-quality print documentation from the same source files as for the Help. In fact, its print capabilities has been engineered to the extent that MadCap Software has been able to market another product called Blaze, which is basically the same authoring tool as Flare but with the capability to generate only the print-based outputs including PDF, Word, and FrameMaker-effectively Flare without the Help outputs.

Written by Mathew Ellison

March 16, 2012

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Adding Flare to Your Translation Tool Kit

This is the inaugural Translation Tool review post on TranslationWire. And, ironically, the tool I am going to review is not strictly for translation. I am compelled to talk about MadCap Software's Flare Single-Source Publishing application. Flare was created by the original designers of RoboHelp. I guess the smart people who came up with RoboHelp back in the 90's got tired of seeing their brainchild being bought and sold like an old Honda Accord. They finally broke out on their own and put their best ideas into developing Flare.

Written by Scott Bass

March 16, 2012

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The Writer's Rough Guide to Everything Flare

Roughly Everything about Flare. All things Flare, Capture, MadCap Lingo and Analyzer.

Written by

March 02, 2012

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2011

Desktop Publishing Tool MadCap Flare Is Great for Complex Projects

While a typical word processing program is often focused on ease of use, and a desktop publishing program on design of output, Flare's strengths are in content management and is driven by a "write once, publish anywhere" paradigm. Documents in Flare are composed of Topics, which can be of any size. Topics are organized in the Content Explorer, using a typical hierarchical folder system.

Written by Ian Harac, PCWorld

April 26, 2011

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What's Become of Adobe FrameMaker?

I am sad to report that I have seen a precipitous drop in FrameMaker-based projects over the past few years. I'd estimate that anywhere from 30-40% of our FrameMaker business is gone. Instead, more and more customers are asking us to create content using XML editors, such as Arbortext and XMetaL.

Written by Content Rules

November 14, 2011

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The Passion Quotient

You've never heard of the passion quotient? That's because I just made it up. For example, if 5 authors report that they use Tool X and it is very important (5 on a scale from 1 to 5), then Tool X scores a perfect 5 PQ.

Written by Sarah O'Keefe

December 15, 2011

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MadCap Lingo V5 is here!

MadCap Lingo is a tool we use regularly to assist clients in translating the content in their MadCap Flare projects. Lingo allows us to easily translate all the required content in a help system without corrupting the navigation and intended flow of the help system.

Written by Argo Translation Inc

August 31, 2011

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Blog Post: Moving from Adobe FrameMaker to MadCap Flare

Moving from Adobe® FrameMaker® to MadCap Flare™ is easy. To get the best results, we recommend you do some planning before you start to import your existing content. The document below outlines our best practices for converting from FrameMaker to Flare, including suggestions such as how to make the import as clean as possible and using FrameMaker as an editor while generating your Help through Flare.

Written by MadCap Simon

June 06, 2011

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A Flare for Translation, By Scott Bass

Technical communicators wield real power. (I forgive you for reading that twice.) Yes, you wield real power. This may contradict your perception of your position in the corporate food chain. However, as the provider of translation services, from where I sit, you are truly powerful and can make the lives of numerous translators, project managers and desktop publishing (DTP) specialists blissful or hellish.

Written by Scott Bass

January 01, 2011

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Streamlining Your Workflow with Flare 7

Since its introduction in early 2006, MadCap Flare™ has maintained a steady course of evolution. Flare users have fostered this evolution through proactive feedback. MadCap obviously listens. Each new version of Flare has shown that the company understands its users, and Flare 7 is no exception. Packed with impressive new features and enhancements, Flare 7 provides full support for information development teams and their workflows.

Written by Eddie VanArsdall

March 19, 2011

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What's New in Flare 7 - QR Codes

Continuing my posts about features in version 7 of MadCap Flare… Here, I'll look at one of the more unusual features – QR Codes. QR codes are one of those features that's so unusual that the first reaction is "um, yes..." followed by "Whoa!" (Another such feature is the toggler link.) If you've recently seen something that looks like this, you saw a QR code.

Written by Neil Perlin

March 12, 2011

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Flare V7: an impressive iteration

Flare 7 has an impressive list of new features; it seems that the folks at MadCap have had a busy year. In just less than a year since V6 was released they have released the following new features. This list is NOT comprehensive, and is roughly ranked in order of how excited I am about these features.

Written by Paul Pehrson

March 09, 2011

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Flare v7 Alias Editor Improvements

I build a lot of context-sensitive help for my clients so I am uber-familiar with the Alias Editor in Flare. We have a love-hate relationship. I love it because it makes my job easier but I hate it because it's annoying and ugly. But the new Alias Editor in v7 is wonderful. Upon first glance, it just looks better – and I'm not just talking about the pretty colors. I'm talking about usability (and I do not purport to be a usability expert!). But guess what, it works better too!

Written by Laura Johnson

March 03, 2011

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What's New in Flare 7

Flare 7 adds many new features, including more powerful SharePoint support, native Subversion support, support for vector graphic formats like EPS and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), linking to external files to use in multiple projects, a revised editor for adding and maintaining context-sensitivity codes, the ability to preview topics in any target you defined, the ability to view generated output in any browser on your PC, QR (Quick Response) codes, an equation editor that uses MathML (Mathematics Markup Language), numerous enhancements to table support, and more.

Written by Neil Perlin

March 07, 2011

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Flare v7 is Here - Cue Angels and Choir!

I'll admit freely, I dig Flare…and the newest release of Flare has me all atwitter. I saw the new stuff as a beta tester and I could NOT WAIT for the release. The folks at MadCap have added some really incredible features that take Flare even further beyond Word and Robo. Here are some of the new things I'm most excited about: Tight integration with Subversion (At last!). Table enhancements. Increased support for Section 508 compliance.

Written by Laura Johnson

March 02, 2011

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MadCap Lingo 4.0: Jumping the Gap Between Authoring and Translation

In the growing landscape of translation memory tools, MadCap Lingo inhabits a special niche; no other tool fits so snugly in the content authoring and translation supply chain. The newest version, MadCap Lingo 4.0, brings new features that will appeal to both translators and technical publication departments who can use MadCap Lingo to manage their translation assets.

Written by Scott Bass

December 01, 2011

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2010

Using Flare with a Mac - It Can Be Done

Truth be told, I've used PCs and Windows since what seems like the dawn of time. I wrote papers in college using WordStar in DOS, took my Master's degree Comps in Word for DOS…and then finally moved in to Windows. For the past twenty years, I've used Windows machines and products – and have dealt with crashes, BSODs, etc, for just as long.

Written by Laura Johnson

July 05, 2010

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Review of MadCap Flare V6

If you are a technical communicator who pays attention to the latest releases of help authoring tools, you probably heard that MadCap Software released a new version of its flagship product, MadCap Flare. I've been using Flare V6 for a couple of months now, and this review is to give you an end user's review of the features and enhancements Flare V6 has to offer.

Written by Paul Pehrson

April 11, 2010

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MadCap Offers Native Support for Mobile Publishing

XML-based technical authoring tool provider MadCap is back with a pretty sizable load of updates. In addition to the newest releases of their product suites-MadPak and MadPak ML (multilingual)-their publishing software, Flare 6.0, has added support for authoring to mobile devices.

Written by Chelsi Nakano

April 11, 2010

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2009

Author-it and MadCap Flare comparison, Anne Gentle

I've had more than a few questions asking for a review of Author-it or MadCap Flare or a comparison of both. So I decided to do some homework. Initially, I wasn't sure why they are categorized together. Is it due to the price point? Or is it due to the single-sourcing all-in-one software package aspect? I suspect it's the latter since the former seems more disparate lately.

Written by Anne Gentle

February 10, 2009

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Discovering Relationship Tables

Lately I've been creating context-sensitive help for an online application. As part of my strategy, I've been trying to follow Theresa Putkey's advice in "Usability in Context-Sensitive Help." In her article, Theresa recommends providing more than just the steps for a specific task in the context-sensitive help window. Instead, she says to show more contextual links, including answers to why, when, and who questions, because too frequently the user who searches for help may have needs outside the specific task you describe.

Written by

August 03, 2009

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Pre-Release Review of Flare V5

Let me begin by saying that I love Flare, and I think Flare 5 is a great enhancement on an already great product. I am biased; I'm a certified Flare instructor, have been a VIP in the Flare Forums for 2+ years, and am a certified MadCap Advanced Developer for Flare V4. But being biased doesn't necessarily make me wrong (grin). I'm under NDA for this project, but I've received permission to give you a preview of what you can expect from the soon-to-be-released version 5.

Written by Paul Pehrson

June 03, 2009

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Is MadCap Flare a Better Tool than RoboHelp?

One of the questions I get asked from technical writers and content managers is whether or not they should move to Madcap Flare. Many of you will have already invested time and energy in RoboHelp (when it was owned by Macromedia), and now that it is part of the Adobe family, may have some thoughts about its long term viability. RoboHelp was, and still is, a great product. But Flare has a lot going for it to. Here are few reasons you should save your RoboHelp budget and upgrade to MadCap Flare.

Written by Scott DeLoach

March 01, 2009

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All the reasons to be Mad about it!!!

Madcap is the brainchild of people who had moved in from diverse sectors of documentation and can be safely labeled as the complete solution for ALL documentation requirements of a company.

Written by MK Anderson

March 20, 2009

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MadCap Flare: First Impressions

I've started the migration to MadCap Flare. I chose a simple project for my first one, a short story. See? I do use FrameMaker for everything. I wanted to submit a short story to a contest that ended last month. I had these templates for manuscript submission I've been using for years. MadCap claims Flare can completely replace FrameMaker. We shall see.

Written by MK Anderson

February 10, 2009

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MadCap Flare 4.2: A Welcome Update

Users of MadCap Flare were greeted in their e-mail inboxes today with the announcement of an update to Flare V4.2. If you missed it, it might be because it was buried in a message about the new Feedback Server 2 that is now available. To get all the benefits from Feedback Server 2, you have to upgrade to Flare 4.2. That said, I'm not a Feedback user, so I don't have a lot to comment about on that front. Instead, I'll focus on some major improvements in Flare 4.2 that make this upgrade a "must."

Written by Paul Pehrson

February 02, 2009

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Why I Want to Bust a MadCap in Adobe® Ass

I'm a technical writer. Have been for more than 15 years. I have used FrameMaker since it was at version 2 and was owned by company called Frame. I have owned RoboHELP Since the early days of Blue Sky Software who used to spam my work fax with "specials". Both Blue Sky and Frame eventually found their way into Adobe's family of products.

Written by MK Anderson

January 14, 2009

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2008

RoboHelp® Vs Flare

Recently I needed to choose a help authoring tool for a client. I figured RoboHelp or Flare would do. After reviewing the RoboHelp features list, I downloaded the new version of RoboHelp, part of Adobe's Technical Communication Suite. I figured that Flare and RoboHelp would basically be the same now that RoboHelp has added snippets and variables. Well, amazingly enough (or not), I was not impressed with RoboHelp at all. Even though Flare is a bit more expensive once you purchase the Madpak and Acrobat, I gave these reason to the client for choosing Flare instead of RoboHelp

Written by Theresa Putkey

July 25, 2008

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MadCap Flare, the help author's dream tool

First, I'd like to talk a little about MadCap Flare, the new software I began using a little over a month ago. It's really top-notch. I've lucked into a great situation here at my new job, since I'm the first (and currently only) technical writer. So, I got to pick the software program I wanted to use. After a week of serious comparisons, I chose Flare.

Written by The docuMentor

August 07, 2008

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Help Authoring Tool Surveys

Recently the Hat Matrix Blog (aka, the Mad Hatter) published the results of a tools survey that included 590 participants. The respondents were asked what authoring tools they used on a regular basis. They answered as follows

Written by

October 15, 2008

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MadCap Flare 4 Preview (aka Ten Things to Love about Flare 4)

In today's post, I'll give you a brief rundown of several new features and changes in Flare 4. In the next several days, I'll flesh out each topic with more detailed information about how it works, and what you can expect. After Flare 4 is released (soon, I'm told; very soon….) I'll blog with some tips and tricks for migrating from Flare 3 to Flare 4. So, here we go with ten things to love about Flare 4.

Written by Paul Pehrson

September 02, 2008

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2007

More Tech Write Tips

In this post we dig a little deeper into Flare's neat XML Editor. If you've not read the previous post on this it would probably be a good idea to swing by and read that first.

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January 11, 2007

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Content Reuse Wrap up: Putting it all together

When we talk about content reuse, we mean writing content once and then creating multiple outputs from that single source of content. Flare is a help authoring tool created by MadCap Software that allows you to single source your content in powerful ways. Flare includes tools for using variables, snippets, and conditional text to create a powerful source from which you can create multiple output targets.

Written by Paul Pehrson

December 01, 2007

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A first in the industry. Flare supports two different work flows…

I'm proud to welcome another sponsor to the Tech Writer Voices podcast: MadCap Flare. You may be wondering exactly what sponsorship involves. Basically, it's different for each company, but I'm offering promotion on my podcasts in exchange for a free copy of the company's product. This is actually something that Heidi Hansen, my co-host, encouraged me to do long ago.

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November 05, 2007

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Emerging technologies applied to technical writing

I'm excited to upgrade to RoboHelp 6, but would you believe that RoboHelp 6 isn't compatible with Word 2007? Oh my.

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January 18, 2007

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The Art of Writing Technical Articles

Help Authoring Articles for Software Developers

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January 01, 2007

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Coredump: New product announcements- MadCap Feedback Server

In their continuing drive to totally dominate the technical communication world, MadCap Software have announced yet another new product – the MadCap Feedback Server.

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April 01, 2007

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Coredump: New product announcements- MadCap Lingo

MadCap Software seem bent on filling every possible niche in the technical communication software market. Yesterday, they announced MadCap Lingo, a translation tool.

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May 01, 2007

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Flare and AuthorIt

Recently, I've been evaluating Flare and AuthorIt for a client. They're moving away from RoboHelp since this product is, in the words of another blogger "craptastic". I can't even get a printed documentation output to work, but I really don't feel like bothering either. If it is inherently craptastic, then I won't be able to fix the problem!

Written by Theresa Putkey

August 25, 2007

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Six Reasons to Love Flare

You may not be able to tell from that post, but I absolutely love Flare. I think it is a fantastic product. Truth be told, I've only used two HATs, Flare and RoboHelp X3, so my experience is understandably limited. However, I'm so pleased with Flare, in general, that I'm not even interested in considering other tools.

Written by Paul Pehrson

June 18, 2007

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2006

WritersUA: Training and Information for User Assistance Professionals

Better UX through Better UA. Training and Information for User Assistance Professionals

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January 01, 2006

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Tech Write Tips

The first of our mini-series of tips for Flare, here we consider how to leverage that old RoboHelp licence to squeeze some extra information out on your Flare HTMLHelps.

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July 06, 2006

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