Tuesday, April 4 - Main Conference, Day 2
Introduction to MadCap Mimic
This session, presented by Matthew Ellison, introduces the key features of MadCap Mimic. It explains how to create a simple Mimic Movie that provides both demonstration and interaction, and shows how easy it is to integrate the movie into a Flare project.
Here a Proxy, There a Proxy, Everywhere a Proxy: Using Proxies in MadCap Flare
Ever popped open the list of MadCap Flare proxies and thought, “Wow, I wonder what all of these do.” Or are you at the stage where you’re asking yourself, “What is a proxy?” In this session, we will walk through every Flare proxy type and share best practices on when and how to use them. Once you get a handle on proxies, you will be able to add depth and dimension to your Flare outputs in dynamic ways. Come discover what Flare proxies can do for you!
Upgrade Your Archaic Image Maps to Modern, Sexy, Hover Maps!
Almost nothing has been done to update image map technology since it was first introduced in HTML 3.1 - 20 years ago! Learn how Mike Kelley developed hover maps as a way to modernize the image map user experience. Your users will no longer be confused as to where hotspots are. You no longer have to textually inform your users that an image is interactive. In addition, you no longer have to draw rough hotspot borders in MS Paint. It's time for a better user experience. It's time for hover maps!
Working with MadCap Flare and Confluence in a Dispersed Team
In this presentation, we will talk about the options and tools we evaluated for how to work most effectively with a dispersed project team in an agile environment. Through trial and error, we developed a collaborative paradigm that allowed us to complete the documentation development alongside the product development, whether the team is local or international. The secret was working in both Confluence and MadCap Flare. While Confluence and Flare do not natively integrate with each other, our global team needed to find a way to collaborate and rapidly develop content using both tools. We wanted to produce our initial content using the real time conversational Confluence environment, but we also wanted the robust, single sourcing Flare environment, as well as its professional, tech-comm centered tools, excellent single sourcing model, and responsive output. We will describe the hybrid solution, the ways in which this methodology supports fast-paced development, and how we made it work.
Break, Networking & Hospitality Lounge
MadCap Analyzer: The Missing Piece in Your Workflow
Have you ever published your documentation only to discover that the topic you meant to hide until next release actually made it through? Or even worse, that some of your links were actually broken? With MadCap Analyzer, you can utilize multiple default reports or create custom reports to incorporate into your workflow to prevent those “uh-oh” moments from happening. We’ll review the available default reports, as well as additional reports to tidy up your project, such as Unused Content Files, Unused Variables, and Style and Cross-Reference Suggestions. In addition, learn how to create a custom report, which items (such as Broken Links, Used Images, Undefined Glossary Terms Links, etc.) to include, and when and how to incorporate your custom report into your workflow.
To “Template” or Not to “Template”?
MadCap Flare is replete with factory project templates ready for use by new and experienced users alike. Need to create a brochure? There's a template for that. Want to start an online Help project that will sport a Top Nav-style UI? There's a template for that. Need to create both online Help and a traditional print-based user manual? There's a… OK, you get the point. In this session with Flare consultant Nita Beck, we'll tour several of these factory templates and explore how they can be easily adapted. Then next, we'll consider how using a factory template—especially one populated with a lot of files—might actually make the creation of a new project harder because much of the template's content assets end up unused. In those situations, a cleaner approach may be to build a project from scratch (and perhaps selectively add bits and pieces from a factory template to the scratch project). Finally, we'll discuss how one can save a project as a custom template.
Leveraging Word Content for MadCap Doc-To-Help
Microsoft® Word works seamlessly with MadCap Doc-To-Help to create documents in a variety of formats from the same source content. The keys to successful projects are planning and preparation in Word before importing Word documents into Doc-To-Help. By doing this, you can take advantage of Doc-To-Help’s features to quickly create your topics and organize your content. In this session, Cheryl Landes, Technical Communications Consultant and owner of Tabby Cat Communications, will provide tips for planning for migrating Word content to Doc-To-Help and how to set up the content in Word so that it converts easily. She will also talk about the benefits of using Doc-To-Help with Word to create long documents.
Five Ways Tech Writers Can Add Immediate Value to their Organizations
As the tech comm industry advances, the skills you need to succeed as a tech writer advance as well. With new technologies and higher demand for tailored experiences, writing and editing documents isn’t always enough to add value to your organization. In this presentation, you’ll learn how to apply the five most useful, forward-thinking skills that real technical writers believe add value to their organizations.
Lunch, Networking & Hospitality Lounge
MadCap Flare: The Best All-Rounder for a Winning Content Strategy
The trouble with implementing MadCap Flare at an organization is that there’s no end to its usefulness. You might have found your solution for technical documentation but you’ll soon get other jealous departments asking you to look at their marketing content, training materials, newsletters and corporate communications. A practical but innovative view of how Flare can help you deal with every single sourcing and responsive design challenge your company might throw at you.
Five Cascading Style Sheet Techniques That Every Technical Writer Should Know
We all know how to style in word processors but too many writers seem reluctant to learn CSS techniques. In this session, Mike Hamilton shares five easily mastered CSS techniques to help and build confidence in writers at any skill level. Since the CSS language is the basis for modern markup languages, the more you learn about CSS the more it will benefit your career. Learn the basic techniques for the beginner, and some intermediate techniques for those more advanced. In addition, Mike will then finish with a prototype CSS technique allowing for vocabulary control over your content in a Responsive Design situation.
Streamlining the Translation Process: MadCap Flare, MadCap Capture, and MadCap Lingo
This presentation will cover the tight integration between MadCap Flare, MadCap Capture and MadCap Lingo to manage the translation process and facilitate the task of generating and formatting translated user content. Learn how MadCap Lingo easily parses Flare projects for translation delivery, easily exports translated content to a new Flare file, and maintains important project files across this transition. Project files, such as stylesheets and page layouts, easily control formatting in the translated output. In addition, you’ll learn how MadCap Lingo can pull text objects from MadCap Capture images to aid in automating the creation of translated image text.
A New Look at Extending HTML5 Targets with jQuery
In this advanced session, Scott DeLoach will share new and updated/improved jQuery scripts that attendees can use to enhance and customize their HTML5 targets. We will discuss how MadCap Flare uses jQuery, how to interact with and customize MadCap's plugins, where to find plugins, how to customize plugins, and how to add plugins to Flare. If you’re ready to take your HTML5 targets to the next level, this is the session for you.
Synergy in Teamwork: Multi-authoring Tips and Tricks
Working on your own in MadCap Flare is straightforward, but how do you add a second, third, or fourth writer? In this presentation, we'll talk about the challenges and benefits of team authoring in Flare, with best-practice recommendations on planning, writing, tracking, reviewing and publishing content as a team.
Content Reuse Functionality Using MadCap Lingo
In this session, CMS Specialist Karen Miller demonstrates how to save on translation costs by fixing your source language. As a member of a development team, Karen describes the process she takes to standardize content before sending it off for translation. Learn how she used MadCap Lingo to achieve a high match rate, saving valuable time and cutting down on translation costs.
Mastering Page Layouts in MadCap Flare
Virtually all documents produced by a technical writer will have several distinct sections. A typical document could contain, for example, a title page, a table of contents, a few pages of legalese, the main body of the document, an index and a back page. Each of these sections will have its own distinct look and way of displaying the associated content. Flare uses Page Layouts to define and control the look of each of these sections. Because there are so many options and ways of using Page Layouts, the process can be confusing. This presentation will go step-by-step through setting up a Page Layout, explain the various options available and how to connect the Layouts to the document TOC to create the desired output.
MadCap Flare & Git, A Love Story
Last year, MadCap Flare introduced integrated support for the distributed source control system Git. Learn how to turn Flare and Git into a loving couple by avoiding the mistakes Morgan Hancock and the Bazaarvoice technical writing team made when migrating to Git! This session will cover why Git, the much loved source control system among software developers, is worth climbing the steep learning curve and how to make Flare and Git play nice together.
Break, Networking & Hospitality Lounge
The Technical Communication Industry – Myths, Trends, and the Future
In this session Mike Hamilton will have some fun discussing a few of the bigger talking points to come out of recent industry trade shows, broadcast over social media, or heard in the general rumor mill. Which will be classified or considered trends? Which will be something we will likely see in the future? And what might be classified as myth to be ignored? Navigate some of the industry buzz and find out what you need to know, what you can afford to ignore, and what the future may hold for the industry.
Upgrading Legacy Projects to Handle Responsive Output
Responsive output opens new venues for technical communication; we can create outputs for almost any device from PCs to smartphones. But old projects can be hard to make responsive because they often have features that don’t support responsive output well or at all – local formatting, graphics inserted by using hidden tables, fixed-width tables, excessive content, information in large, static tables, and more. And what about changing “click” to “tap” as the output displays on different devices? This presentation first reviews responsive output’s rationale and technology. It then looks at technical and design problems and presents solutions. Finally, we’ll look at some code that can be used in topics and a CSS to automatically change “click” to “tap” as the screen scales, solving a long-standing writing problem. You’ll leave this presentation with a solid understanding of how to deal with legacy project problems and how to improve your projects going forward.
Cultural Belief Systems and Communication–Build Bridges and Avoid Pitfalls
Discover the nature of communication and miscommunication across cultural belief systems. You can apply these concepts to your content intended for localization to improve translation quality and reduce costs. Learn the best practices on understanding the pitfalls of translation and how to avoid them, all while working to maintain a culturally sensitive voice.
MadCap Flare Wishlist: An Open Forum Session with MadCap Software
Back by popular demand, this session is your opportunity to discuss feature requests, pinpoint specific workflow issues or pain points, suggest your top integration requirements, or share any general issues you hope will be addressed in the not-so-distant future. Join representatives from MadCap Software as we listen to your feedback, share workarounds and answer questions regarding MadCap Flare and its future development. Attendees are also encouraged to come and share any tips and tricks they think might be useful for the audience. Note: Due to the nature of the session, attendees are encouraged to direct project specific technical questions to the Hospitality Lounge.
Main Conference Closing Event
After two full days of sessions, we’ll wind down the main conference with music, food and drinks on the fourth floor rooftop of the Hard Rock Hotel.