RE: Alternatives to MadCap Flare

Subject: RE: Alternatives to MadCap Flare
From: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>
To: "'Elisa R. Sawyer'" <elisawyer -at- gmail -dot- com>, 'Robert Lauriston' <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 2 May 2016 11:54:36 +0000

I'm doing the writing. The UX guy is in charge of making things look nice.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Elisa R. Sawyer
Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 8:05 PM
To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
Cc: TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Subject: Re: Alternatives to MadCap Flare

If it's just a matter of creating documentation with a new look and feel that the Web designer is creating, you can take the design specifications and apply the necessary colors, fonts, and graphical elements yourself using MadCap flare. The procedures to do this are well-documented.

If your Web designer will be doing a lot of writing, I agree with others that it seems better to have him learn MadCap flare. Since his title is Web designer, it would seem that writing takes second place to design, right?

I also prefer working on a Mac to working on Windows and sympathize with his sentiments. Perhaps a realistic cost-benefits analysis in terms of time needed for customizing say, an open source tool, and having him run Madcap on a VM will help. :-)

that said, for some projects I have used Sphinx-doc (the markup is restructured text or .rst), with Sublime Text as a text editor. I've gotten to where I can install Sublime Text and several useful plugins fairly quickly, and using these inexpensive tools, I can create documentation in HTML and output to pdf. There are some fairly large companies that are using restructured text in this way. It has potential but I still think that getting all the moving parts to work exactly as needed can be a time sink. A link: http://www.sphinx-doc.org/en/stable/ . Works great on a Mac and last time I tried, getting the pdf output to work well required a bit of tinkering on Windows.

I do think that in many cases lack of budget for tools creates requirements for time-consuming customizations. If you've gotten Madcap to doing what you need it to do, why make the change unless there are several reasons that are driving you to look for alternatives?

-Elisa

On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 10:53 AM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
wrote:

> Hmm. The only HTML format that Flare can round-trip is HTML Help, and
> then again we have the problem with the designer being on the Mac.
>
> Craig could generate HTML Help, give the designer the HTML Help
> Workshop source (which might require decompiling the CHM), the
> designer could modify it, give it back to Craig, and Craig could
> compile it and import it to Flare.
>
> That might work, but figuring out whether it does would take so much
> time that it doesn't make sense to try. Just buy Flare and Parallels
> or Fusion.
>
> On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 10:40 AM, Kathleen MacDowell
> <kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> > Robert, can you import a document with styles and then use those
> > styles
> for
> > a new template?
> >
> > On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 12:34 PM, Robert Lauriston
> > <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com
> >
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> Flare templates are CSS with proprietary extensions. Nothing but
> >> Flare can use them.
> >>
> >> He needs a copy of Flare to do what he wants to do. Flare's
> >> integrated stylesheet editor will properly display the inheritance
> >> and stop him from screwing things up. Any web designer should have
> >> no trouble using that editor. The only other thing you'd have to
> >> show him is how to generate output for the relevant targets to check the results.
> >>
> >> help.madcapsoftware.com/flare12/Content/Styles/Editing_Styles.htm
> >>
> >> On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 7:49 AM, Cardimon, Craig
> >> <ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com>
> >> wrote:
> >> >
> >> > I am researching inexpensive alternatives to MadCap Flare.
> >> >
> >> > I have a new collaborator in the office: our web designer. He
> >> > wants to be able to able to edit the stylesheet/template and then
> >> > hand it back
> to me.
> >> >
> >> > He wants a potential authoring system to run on Mac. He doesn't
> >> > bother with Windows. He doesn't want to bother with MadCap
> >> > Contributor. He
> doesn't
> >> > understand Flare, and I can't explain it to him as I learned how
> >> > to
> use it
> >> > on the forums.
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy
> and content development | http://techwhirl.com
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as elisawyer -at- gmail -dot- com -dot-
>
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>
>
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources
> and info.
>
> Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our
> online magazine at http://techwhirl.com
>
> Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our
> public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
>



--
Elisa Rood Sawyer
~~~~~^~~~~~
Technical and Creative Writer
"Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today." Mark Twain ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com


Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
Information contained in this e-mail transmission is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this email, do not read, distribute or reproduce this transmission (including any attachments). If you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately notify the sender by telephone or email reply.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com


Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


Previous by Author: Need recommendation for document management tool
Next by Author: Re: HATT Matrix
Previous by Thread: Re: LinkedIn job listings - any tweaks available for bettersuggestions ?
Next by Thread: Business Rule Catalogue


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads