This is a presentation I gave at MadWorld 2019 in San Diego. Here is the slide deck from the presentation:
This presentation was given as an advanced workshop at MadWorld 2019 in San Diego.
You can download the project files and PowerPoint slide deck at the following URLs:
This is a presentation I gave at MadWorld 2019 in San Diego. Most of the presentation was a live demonstration, but for reference, here are the slides:
On Monday at 11:30am (Track 1), I’ll be presenting at the MadWorld conference in San Diego. The presentation is on setting up context-sensitive help in a MadCap Flare project.
Here is a URL to the SlideShare with the latest version of the PowerPoint:
Here is a project you can download to see what we worked on in the session:
On Wednesday at the MadWorld conference, I join forces with the indomitable Daniel Ferguson for a presentation on advanced TopNav output.
In case you missed it, MadCap Software announced that due to the success of the annual MadWorld conference in San Diego, they are adding a new conference in Europe, MadWorld Europe.
The conference is scheduled for September 11 to 14, and will be held in Prague, Czechia.
If you are interested in presenting at MadWorld Europe, a Call for Papers is open until Jan 23rd.
Read more about it on MadCap’s blog:
When you are working in Flare, you may have encountered an issue that drove me crazy for a long time regarding snippets.
When you have some content in Flare that you want to convert to be a snippet, usually you can just select the paragraphs of text and click the Create Snippet button on the Home ribbon. However, if that selected content contains certain types of content (I’m looking at you, tables), the Create Snippet button isn’t available. So what should you do?
One option is to select the content, cut it to the clipboard, go create a new snippet file, then paste the content into the snippet file, and finally insert the snippet into the original topic. Don’t do that anymore.
Instead, when you have the content highlighted, press the Tab key on your keyboard, and from the pop-up window, select “div”, then click OK. Now, click on the div structure bar. The Create Snippet option is now available! Click it to convert your div’ed content into a snippet.
You can stop here if you want, or you can make the following additional change. In the new snippet file, right click on the div structure bar, and click Unbind, then save the snippet file. This removes the div HTML element from the content. It doesn’t hurt to leave it in; since the div doesn’t have an id or class it won’t change what the content looks like in the output. That said, there is no reason for it anymore, so you can delete it if you want to keep things clean.
There you go. It’s Wednesday, but we’re going to call this a #FlareTipTuesday anyway.
I’ve been talking with a good friend of mine about launching a Flare-specific podcast. We would include interviews with luminaries in the Flare community, tips and tricks in working with Flare, a broader discussion of technical writing in general, and other such topics.
To get started, though, I’m interested in hearing from you about what topics you would be interested in listening to. What kinds of questions would be best answered in a podcast format? Who are the people you’d like to hear from to learn their perspectives on help authoring, and on using MadCap products?
Feel free to submit comments to this thread, or you can use the comment form.
I look forward to hearing from you.
See that person in the picture? That is me. That is me looking at MadWorld 2017, from outside the fence looking in.
I’m devastated to report that I have had to withdraw from presenting at and attending MadWorld 2017. Most of my loyal readers probably already know that I do MadCap consulting and training on the side because I love working in Flare, and I love helping people catch my vision of how Flare can really improve a help author’s writing experience. But, as I said, I do it on the side. It is not my full-time job.
In my full-time job I’m a senior information developer for Venafi, the world-leading provider of software to protect large organizations by helping them manage their keys and certificates.
After I had been accepted to present at MadWorld 2017, I had a professional commitment come up where I need to travel to eastern Europe to meet with one of the product teams I work with. The week we are doing product planning in Europe is the same week as MadWorld.
So for the first time since the first MadWorld conference in 2013, I won’t be participating. I am pleased to let you know that a colleague and dear friend, Derek Warren, has graciously stepped in to present my sessions. Derek has previously presented at MadWorld, and he’s been using Flare for many years. I think he is especially well suited to take over these specific presentations. He will be presenting tips and tricks for things you can do to enhance your authoring experience in Flare. He’ll also be talking about tips and tricks for working with multiple authors in Flare. Derek currently manages a team of four writers (including me), who are not all located in the same state. In his session, he’ll share some great insights about how to make the multi-author experience as friction-less as possible.
Finally, Derek will be collaborating with another of my dear friends, Daniel Ferguson for a two-hour workshop on customizing TopNav output. The three of us are meeting next week to plan that workshop, and I think you are going to really like it. (They are even letting me come to the planning meeting, even though I don’t get to attend the conference anymore. Thanks guys!)
So, I’m really disappointed that this mandatory work trip is happening the same week as MadWorld. For many years now, MadWorld has been a highlight of my year. I love meeting so many of you in person. I love learning from–and with–you, and I will miss you all very much. However, I’m confident you will be in good hands.
I’d also like to publicly thank and acknowledge how awesome the MadWorld conference committee has been, especially with my late-breaking change in schedule. As always, the people at MadCap are top-notch professionals.
Those of you lucky enough to attend MadWorld are in for another excellent conference. I’ve said for four years now that MadWorld is the best conference in the information development/technical writing community. It has an amazing balance of knowledge sharing, professional development, fun, good food, and entertainment that I’ve never seen duplicated. I will miss you, even more than you’ll miss me!
But I can tell you this, 2018 is my year. I’ll be back!
A recent post in the MadCap forums addressed the question of putting a mini-TOC-like object at the beginning of a topic to show all the headings on the actual page.
In the past, I (like many of you, I assume) have tried to do this using a mini-TOC proxy in Flare. We then discovered that the mini-TOC proxy only shows TOPICS that are beneath the current topic in the TOC that this topic is a part of. In essence, a mini-TOC proxy is useful at the beginning of a chapter, so you can point out all the topics that are in the chapter. Among other things, this gives you content on the container topic in the TOC that begins the new chapter, which makes breadcrumbs and side-menus (in TopNav output) work.
The problem is that this doesn’t actually answer the original question. I want a dynamically-generated list of headings that are in the current topic.
The only thing I’ll add to Dave’s answer is the idea that you might not want to have this feature on every page in your content; maybe you want to apply this to specific pages or types of pages in your documentation. In that case, you’ll want to create this in its own masterpage that you can apply to topics that should use it. That way it isn’t an all-or-nothing decision.
Dave Lee blogs about MadCap Flare, and specifically about scripting hacks he’s created for Flare at https://ukauthor.wordpress.com/. Check out his site for other cool scripts you can add to your Flare projects.