RE: Question for Flare Users

Subject: RE: Question for Flare Users
From: "Stephen Arrants" <steve -at- mbfbioscience -dot- com>
To: "Jennifer Randel" <jennifer_randel -at- khsd -dot- k12 -dot- ca -dot- us>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 12:20:54 -0400

Jennifer Randel asks:
> Hi all,
> I've been evaluating various applications for creating online help and
> I'm pretty impressed with what I saw in a recent Flare demo. Any Flare
> users out there who'd like to share their feelings about the software?

I've been using various online and print tools since the mid-80s (I remember originally writing Windows Help on Macs because the of RTF issues--gee I feel old...).

I like Flare. I've used it to single source print and online for 4 of our products using one set of files. (Each of our products shares interface, menu, etc. similarities.) It was difficult to set up, involved a lot of experimentation, and trial and error. Once set up, it is now really, REALLY easy to apply conditions and set a target for a whatever product and whatever output we want. We distribute CHM files and a PDF to the end user, as well as a ~250 - ~400 page printed manual, btw.

We switched from RoboHelp and haven't regretted it. Support from Madcap is great. There's a very active Help Community, as well as many webinars on Flare and writing.

There are a few things I don't like--after a while, Flare slows down and I have to quit and restart. Some of the editing/selecting isn't intuitive or as easy as with Word. And some action across files (applying conditions to a phrase across topics is tricky) can be frustrating.

Download a trial copy and see if you like it. I think that features are one thing, but how you like working with the software counts for a lot, too.

Steve Arrants   steve -at- mbfbioscience -dot- com
MBF Bioscience  (Microbrightfield, Inc.)
+1.802.288.9290 ext: 124


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Question for Flare Users: From: Jennifer Randel

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