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Mike Hamilton V.P. Product Management MadCap Software MadCap Flare – Content Control and Publishing Techniques: (Part 2)

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Presentation on theme: "Mike Hamilton V.P. Product Management MadCap Software MadCap Flare – Content Control and Publishing Techniques: (Part 2)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mike Hamilton V.P. Product Management MadCap Software MadCap Flare – Content Control and Publishing Techniques: (Part 2)

2 Slides Slides are available on Mikes blog at:

3 Agenda Welcome/introductions Load files on laptops/Skill survey Tables Conditional Markers Variables Snippets Multiple TOCs Master Pages/Page Layouts Mediums in CSS Publishing Targets Programmatic Publishing Print publishing in depth

4 Tables: Creating, editing, styles

5 Tables Creating a Table Table formatting using CSS Table editing Advanced table techniques

6 Tables Two types of tables Inline formatted Table Style Sheet formatted

7 Inline Formatted Tables Pros Complete formatting control Most flexibility Best for complex tables Cons Can be a challenge for single-sourcing Can not be controlled from a central style sheet

8 Style Sheet Formatted Tables Pros Hundreds of tables can be centrally controlled Extremely powerful with conditionals/single-sourcing Best for simple tables Cons Styles can get complex Requires practice/experimentation

9 Tables What parts of a table should be controlled where? TD and TH elements The P element trick

10 Single Sourcing

11 Overview What is Single-Sourcing? Why Use Single-Sourcing? How to Build a Single-Source Work Flow Summary

12 The Old Way Multiple Source Publishing Original Draft Employee Manual Hourly Employee Manual Management Employee Manual Management Manual Dallas Management Manual Los Angeles Hourly Manual Dallas Hourly Manual Los Angeles But… We need a version for hourly employees and a version for management. But… We need a version for each of our offices.

13 The Old Way Multiple Source Publishing Original Draft Employee Manual Hourly Employee Manual Management Employee Manual Management Manual Dallas Management Manual Los Angeles Hourly Manual Dallas Hourly Manual Los Angeles Inconsistency It is very easy to miss an edit in one or more versions. The result is inconsistent information going to your customers Expense The edits that should only need to be done once must be performed multiple times on multiple versions This costs more than it should This takes longer than it should

14 Why Single Sourcing? Save Money –The same documentation can be maintained with single edits instead of multiple edits –This means fewer editing hours Save Time –Fewer edits mean less time editing –Documents can be published on demand Ensure Consistency –One place to make edits –No multiple-handling of documents

15 How Can Software Help? By providing a set of features that facilitates a simple, intuitive process for creating a set of all- inclusive master documents while allowing content to be identified as being unique for any publishing purpose

16 The Process Create Master Source Files Add Conditional Tags/Variables Define Publishing Targets Generate Output Print Only Enterprise Version Standard Version Target – Enterprise Help Include Enterprise info Exclude Standard info Exclude Print Info Define other specific attributes Target – Standard Print Include Standard info Include Print info Exclude Enterprise info Define other specific attributes Target – Standard Help Include Standard info Exclude Enterprise info Exclude Print Info Define other specific attributes

17 Techniques for Single Sourcing Conditional Markers Variables Snippets Multiple TOCs Master Pages Mediums in CSS Publishing Targets Programmatic Publishing

18 Techniques for Single Sourcing Conditional Markers Variables Snippets Multiple TOCs Master Pages Mediums in CSS Publishing Targets Programmatic Publishing

19 Conditional Marker Identify any content or asset as being unique for any reason –Audience (basic, advanced, language etc.) –Publishing media (print, desktop, web) –Version (standard, enterprise) –Work flow (in progress, ready for review) Apply at the character, sentence, paragraph, page, or file level Apply to any element (graphics, tables, etc.) A great tool when you know the content in advance

20 Conditional Marker

21 Techniques for Single Sourcing Conditional Markers Variables Snippets Multiple TOCs Master Pages Mediums in CSS Publishing Targets Programmatic Publishing

22 Variables The technique to use when you know where the content needs to go, but you wont know the content until you publish Great for –Feature names for software –Personalization (i.e. customer names) –Employee contact information –Any data that may change between when you write and when you publish

23 Variables

24 Techniques for Single Sourcing Conditional Markers Variables Snippets Multiple TOCs Master Pages Mediums in CSS Publishing Targets Programmatic Publishing

25 Snippets A library of reusable content Can contain any content from a few characters to full pages of information Can contain text, tables, images, or any other content Great for –Warnings, Cautions –Common procedure steps –Legal information such as copyright –Any content used in multiple places throughout the documentation

26 Snippets

27 Techniques for Single Sourcing Conditional Markers Variables Snippets Multiple TOCs Master Pages Mediums in CSS Publishing Targets Programmatic Publishing

28 Multiple TOCs Tailor a custom Table of Contents for any need or audience and save them all to the project A different TOC can be created for different delivery formats (online vs. print) or for different audiences (different language TOCs) Or a master TOC can be customized automatically using Conditional Markers within the TOC

29 Multiple TOCs

30 Techniques for Single Sourcing Conditional Markers Variables Snippets Multiple TOCs Master Pages Mediums in CSS Publishing Targets Programmatic Publishing

31 Master Pages A tool for making global updates to all online pages when needed –Add headers and/or footers –Add copyright information –Add navigation elements like Breadcrumb trails

32 Page Layouts Define page layout options for print deliverables Headers/footers, variables and so on –Highly customizable Assign the type of page –Right, Left, Title, Normal, and Empty

33 Master Pages

34 Techniques for Single Sourcing Conditional Markers Variables Snippets Multiple TOCs Master Pages Mediums in CSS Publishing Targets Programmatic Publishing

35 Media Types A CSS technique that allows multiple style definitions for the same element but within a single style sheet The Media Type assigned determines which style definition will be used for a given Publishing Target You can define a single style sheet to support all of your publishing needs

36 Media Types

37 Techniques for Single Sourcing Conditional Markers Variables Snippets Multiple TOCs Master Pages Mediums in CSS Publishing Targets Programmatic Publishing

38 Publishing Targets The key piece for single-sourcing A Publishing Target stores all of the attributes that make a document unique –What conditions to include/exclude –What variables to override –What TOC to include –Etc. You should create a separate Publishing Target for every deliverable you provide

39 Publishing Targets

40 Techniques for Single Sourcing Conditional Markers Variables Snippets Multiple TOCs Master Pages Mediums in CSS Publishing Targets Programmatic Publishing

41 Any document defined by a Publishing Target can be built programmatically from a command line interface Documentation can be built just in time using this model Documentation can also be scheduled and scripted for building during off peak hours

42 Programmatic Publishing cd\program files\madcap software\madcap flare v2.5\flare.app madbuild –project c:\MyProjectFolder\MyProject.flprj –target WebHelp

43 Summary Why use Single-Sourcing –Save time and money –Ensure consistency Techniques Conditional Markers You know the content in advance VariablesWhen the content may change SnippetsReusable content library Multiple TOCsAs many as necessary for publishing needs Master PagesGlobal updates to all pages published CSS MediumsSupport all deliverable formatting in a single style sheet Publishing TargetsDefine the different documents you need to deliver Programmatic Publishing Build documentation programmatically from the command line or scheduled script

44 Print Publishing

45 Creating a print TOC – controlling the order of content Proxies – The way to get print TOC, Index, and Glossary generated automatically Using the Medium option to tailor a CSS to support print publishing – control the look/feel of content Page Layouts–controlling page layout Cross References – links designed to support print publishing Auto-numbering – The key to numbering for all things beyond lists

46 Creating a print TOC Why create a separate TOC for your print outputs? Complete control, not just of what information is included but on the exact order of the topics. Eliminate topics referenced more than once. While this is common for online, it is a bit odd for print. OK, we have a custom print TOC, what kind of document does this give us? Link

47 Including Proxies A Proxy is just a place holder. You insert a proxy wherever you want a print TOC, Index, or Glossary with automatically generated page number references. Create new topics to contain your proxies Add proxies to the new topics Link to the new proxy topics from your TOC We have added everything necessary for an automatically updated TOC, Index, and Glossary in our print document. Link

48 Using CSS Medium Settings The styles used for online are not usually optimal for a print experience. CSS Mediums allow for adjusting style properties. Change text properties Control backgrounds Adjust where page breaks occur automatically Now with adjusted CSS properties our document is really looking close to publishing. Link

49 Using CSS Medium Settings The document is looking better, but the CSS changes have caused our TOC, Index, and Glossary to flow together with the topics. It would be tempting to add some page breaks in the Word document, but we dont want this kind of post processing We will create two sub class styles in Flare, one for H1 styles and one for P styles This will give us control over the page break locations while keeping a single-source work flow Now with adjusted CSS properties our document is really looking close to publishing. Link

50 Master Pages Master Pages provide you with page level and section/chapter level formatting Start, odd, and even page formatting including headers and footers Two different ways to implement: –At the publishing target (quick, easy) –At the TOC (much more powerful) Link

51 Page Layouts Page Layouts provide you with page level and section/chapter level formatting Each Page Layout can contain separate layout pages for start, odd, even and empty page formatting including headers and footers Two different ways to implement: –At the publishing target (quick, easy) –At the TOC (much more powerful) Link

52 Auto-Numbering Auto-Numbering can be used to allow for automated figure or table numbers, for government style paragraph numbering, or for automatically generating chapter numbers Create a custom style class Add auto-numbering to the style class Use the new style class in the Master Page Link

53 Cross-References Cross-references allow for an extremely elegant single-source handling of linking Controlled by CSS Can look like standard hyperlinks for online publishing Converted to proper page number references when going to print Link

54 Suggested Reading List 1.Watch all of the built in Flare tutorial videos. 2.Read as much of the online help overview information as I could handle. 3.Build a couple or three test projects to get a feel for what is going on. 4.Coming from RoboHelp, get a copy of Scott's great book. MadCap Flare for RoboHelp Users by Scott DeLoach ISBN-13:

55 Suggested Reading List HTML, XHTML, and CSS, Sixth Edition (Visual Quickstart Guide) by Elizabeth Castro ISBN-13: Technical Writing 101: A Real-World Guide to Planning and Writing Technical Documentation by Alan S. Pringle and Sarah O'Keefe ISBN-13: CSS: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition by Eric Meyer ISBN-13: DHTML and CSS for the World Wide Web, Third Edition (Visual Quickstart Guide) by Jason Teague ISBN-13:

56 Questions?

57 Thank You! Mike Hamilton V.P. Product Management MadCap Software


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