Re: RoboHelp vs Flare

Subject: Re: RoboHelp vs Flare
From: Deborah Hemstreet <dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2010 13:54:56 -0700

I'm a bit late putting my two cents in, but would like to add the following: (note all refs to RoboHelp relate to V7)

Service and Support:
MadCap Software: Costly but worth every cent. Amazing and every question answered/related to
Adobe: Frustrating, costly, rarely get an answer right away, drove me nuts

Software Function:
Flare: High learning curve but amazingly powerful, style sheets don't get corrupted, support contract reduced learning curve. Rel Tables (outside of topics) make links between topics easy to do, help me find errors quickly.
RoboHelp: Moderate learning curve, buggy, crashed a lot, style sheet was always getting corrupted; links between topics are all in the topic, and you have to go into the topic to change them... can be really clunky with huge projects.

In-House Testing
Flare: All major browsers except Chrome (when I got it), including Safari on a Mac
RoboHelp: Claims compatibility with Safari on Mac but not actually tested

Flare and Capture: Simply awesome for single sourcing. Capture still has a ways to go for my standards (I'd like it to have everything it has plus everything SnagIt has to be perfect), but if you want to single-source graphics - it really works and is great. Also has a great thumbnail feature.
RoboHelp: Nothing remarkable that I can think of. I found working with graphics to be incredibly clunky.

I am currently working on two huge Help projects, one in Flare and one in RoboHelp. I am finding that once I got the hang of things in Flare, my work goes much faster, and is far less buggy. In addition, I am developing Help for a Mac application, viewed in Safari browser. MadCap Software was VERY helpful in helping me customize the skin and getting everything set up. We found a couple of bugs, found workarounds, and my client is VERY happy with the output.

Importing big projects into Flare or RoboHelp is time consuming. (I've done both) At the end of the day, I'd choose Flare for all my projects, if I could.

I hope this info is helpful.


P.S. Happy Thanksgiving


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