On May 10, 2016, the monthly STC San Diego Chapter meeting was held at the Hera Hub Sorrento Valley facility in San Diego. Mike Hamilton of MadCap Software led an introductory discussion on the use of MadCap Flare as a comprehensive solution for developing and publishing content for simultaneous viewing on mobile, desktop, and print outputs.
STC San Diego President Alice Brzovic led the business portion of the meeting, which included a structured employment networking activity with on-site participants. Job seekers were invited to provide 30-second introductions of themselves to the group, following which all attendees were encouraged to meet and network with someone on the other side of the room.
The meeting included 22 on-site participants and two remote attendees, who participated live via Adobe Connect. In-person attendees networked and enjoyed pizza from Times Square Pizza & Bagels, accompanied by salads, cheeses, fruit, dessert and drinks from Sprouts Carlsbad.
Participants emerged from Mike’s presentation and the ensuing Q&A session with a clear understanding of Flare’s main features, add-on capabilities and inherent ease of use.
Following are some highlights of the practical responses to audience questions which emerged during the Q&A session:
- Informative educational webinars and product demonstrations are available for viewing free of charge under the Webinars section of the Resources page of the MadCap web site. Two to three live webinars are held monthly, and recordings spanning multiple years may be accessed (sign-up is required). Example topics include:
- Skin creation and editing
- Cascading Style Sheets
- Graphics and images with CSS techniques
- Flare is intended for use by technical writing professionals. For other content contributors such as SMEs (subject matter experts) and engineers, a companion tool called MadCap Contributor is available, which features limited editing capabilities.
- Support for localization needs is available via MadCap Lingo, a translation and localization tool that is tightly integrated with MadCap Flare.
- The transition to Windows 10 has not resulted in significant issues with MadCap Flare overall. A Windows 10 issue related to Adobe Acrobat did occur in Flare 11, which was resolved in Flare 12.
- Examples of web and smartphone outputs were shown, modeled using the Flare emulation capability.