Flare: Ignore Publish

If you have access to the server where your project will be available to users, I recommend not using the Publish option to upload. Its FTP process is slow and sensitive to server delays.

Instead, use either your own FTP software or, better still, zip up the Output/user-name folder and copy that to the server, before unzipping it there. It’s much faster and far more reliable.

Adding a Bottom Border to Sticky Header in Flare

I needed to add a bottom border to a sticky header. There’s no way I could do this through the Skins section. Perusing the generated code revealed nav.title-header was the style used, but it was not accessible via the internal or external editors for any of the stylesheets. However, it can be done manually.

Add this line of code to the main stylesheet which is named MainStyles.css or Styles.css located in the Resources > Stylesheets menu.

Right-click the stylesheet. Select Open with > Internal Text Editor. Insert:

nav.title-bar
{
border-bottom: 2px solid #127fc2;
}

This will add a 2 pixel solid border with color rgb(18, 127, 194).  Change as needed.

 

Extend Footer Width in Flare

I don’t need footer-links or footer-icons, just the copyright text to extend to the width of the page, but I couldn’t find a way to achieve this. Support came to the rescue.

Open the StylesForHomePage.css in the internal text editor and change the width from 25% to 100% for “div.HomeMasterPageFooter > div:nth-child(1)”.

Simple when you know how.

Apply Hamburger Menu Icon to Desktop

My client wanted the hamburger icon to be used for all output types (desktop, tablet, mobile) and not just mobile, where it’s the default.

The only way to get this to happen was to set the tablet breakpoint to a larger screen width. To achieve this, In the Project Organiser panel, select Targets, the output type (e.g. HTML5 – Top Navigation Primary) and the Skin tab from the menu. Change the tablet breakpoint to 5000 as shown:

Et voilà:

Initial Experience

I’ve been using Madcap Flare for the past year or so and even now I feel I still have a way to go before I can claim to be proficient in its use. Fortunately, my client not only paid for the licence, but also forked out for Bronze maintenance. When you consider that this level of support is the lowest offered and costs US$500 each year, I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for it. On the other hand, it has been responsive and very helpful.

Using Flare, I’ve created a large online help system for users of a general insurance broking application.

I’ve been impressed by the power of Flare. It’s well worth spending the time needed to come up to speed.

Unusual Design

At first glance, the user interface (UI) is challenging. Fortunately, there are guides to explain its use. As with most UIs, the average user sticks to a limited subset of the available functions. I have both the Content and Project menus open. These are detachable and I place them them on a separate monitor.

Output Types

Flare works on the principle of “write once, publish anywhere”.

You use a process called “conditioning” to tailor the text to suit an output format instead of having different copies of the same text for different outputs.

The HTML5 output is responsive to the medium on which it is shown (desktop, tablet, and mobile).

Pricing

Madcap offers a perpetual licence for US$1,448.00 (includes 12 months of Bronze maintenance). Renewing Bronze maintenance is US$500.