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Nita Beck

Owner, Technical Communications Strategist, Nita Beck Communications

Nita Beck is a certified MadCap Advanced Developer and the “propellerhead-in-chief” of the Rochester Flare User Group, the first in-person community of practice dedicated to all things Flare, which Nita founded in 2009. As owner of Nita Beck Communications, Nita offers technical communication and information architecture services to clients around the U.S. Passionate about exchanging ideas with other Flare users, Nita is thrilled to return as a MadWorld speaker for the fourth time, having offered popular prior sessions such as “Rapidly Prototyping a Flare Project” (using mindmapping tools) and “Turbocharging Your Flare Authoring: How to write quickly with MadCap Flare.”

MadWorld 2017 Sessions Presented by Nita Beck:

Monday, April 3

10:00-10:55 AM

Go Easy on Yourself: Designing Easy-to-Maintain MadCap Flare Projects

Track 1 Basic/Intermediate • MadCap Flare • Getting Started

MadCap Flare authors typically consider design issues in service to users: skin layout and elements; navigational methods; stylesheets and table stylesheets; searchability; accessibility; context sensitivity; subject-matter accuracy, completeness, and comprehensiveness; localization; and responsiveness. But what about maintainability? How easy are your team’s Flare projects to maintain? How easy it is to add new authors to the authoring team? In this session, Flare consultant Nita Beck offers best practices for designing Flare projects that also serve you and your teammates well. Among the ideas we'll explore are starting with a design plan; devising good folder structures and naming conventions; creating topic templates, with instructions on their use; creating "starter" snippets, with instructions for their use; adding author comments to your content, stylesheets, and other project files; keeping a tidy project; and maintaining authors' guidance right within the project.

Tuesday, April 4

10:55-11:50 AM

To “Template” or Not to “Template”?

Track 2 Basic/Intermediate • MadCap Flare • Templates

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.