In Flare you can apply conditions to traditional items such as topics, content, TOC items and indexes. What some folks may not know is you can apply condition tags to just about anything.

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You can apply conditions to any file in the Content Explorer, whether it is an image, an MS Word document, PDF, spreadsheet, or any file type for that matter. If the file is assigned a condition and is excluded from the target, every instance of the file will be removed from the output. This is an easy way to ensure that you get all of the references to a file removed from the help system or document.

Another nice feature in Flare is the ability to ‘unbind’ tags. Say that you have a lot of text boxes in your project for a Web Output. You are then required to provide another output where text boxes do not translate well. Instead of reworking your content, you can apply a condition to the DIV tags and set the exclude action to ‘unbind’, in essence removing just the tag, but leaving everything contained within.

One last note: You can also set conditions to multiple files, or an entire folder or folder structure.

About The Author

Jose Sermeno

About Jose Sermeno

With over 10 years of experience in the software industry, Mr. Sermeno brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the product evangelist team, helping introduce new users to everything MadCap Software. In his spare time, Jose is the Project Director for San Diego City Robotics, the San Diego community college systems robotics program, and enjoys working in software design and open source hardware development. Prior to joining MadCap in late 2010, Jose ran a Drupal development shop, and was an application manager for Temple University Health System.

Last Modified: June 30, 2011

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Comments

  • Patti June 30, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    I love condition tags. I have accomplished a task that some writers feel is daunting and hard to comprehend. I have created 23 separate online help systems from one TOC and with the use of just five condition tags in which each tag is based on a user role. Therefore, for each combination of user roles there will be an online help system. For example, if User A has two out of the four roles then they will only see the help content for those roles whereas User B might only have one role and they too will only see the help content for that role.

    I’ve not only used the condition tags for topics, but I’ve included them inside the topic. For example, I’ve embedded interactive tutorials and on the “About Tutorials” page I have a list of available tutorials. Rather than have an About page for each combination of user roles, I’ve used them within the content (i.e., an unordered listed within a paragraph tag).

    The trick with condition tags with the user of single-sourcing is that I’ve seen writers not understand the logic or the concept so they become frustrated. In other words, as long as the writer understands the logic then they can create many different types of documents from just one TOC.

  • Robin June 30, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    The problem with in-line conditioning is that they seriously break the readability of the text and this making the localizing if projects more difficult. At some point it is necessary to decide whether condition tagging a word isn’t better done by repeating a complete sentence or even a paragraph and making the necessary conditions on the entire sentence or paragraph.

    • Patti July 6, 2011 at 7:43 AM

      Robin, I agree. At this point in-line conditioning on a word or phrase is very limited in my project. I have, however, repeated sentences, or paragraphs, or both when necessary.

  • Neil Perlin Neil Perlin August 18, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    Robin, I also agree but for another reason. In-line conditionality makes the material hard to edit and review since each condition essentially creates a different version of the material. Speaking only for myself, it’s hard to read multiple, slightly different versions of anything before it gets hard to concentrate.

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