A few weeks ago, I showed you how to create a page layout for a PDF document using multiple decoration frames.

Today, I’m going to show you how to create a title page. There are several moving parts here:

  • Page Layouts
  • Topics
  • Conditional Tags
  • CSS

For the title page, I want to add the following:

  • Company Logo
  • Title, Release Date, and Version Number of document
  • Contact Info

There are a number of places to start, but for this exercise, I’ll start with creating a new topic. This is necessary because I need a ‘container’ for the content and a placeholder in the TOC.

So, I create a new topic and call it Printed _Title. It’s important to use something like “Print” or “PDF” – something to remind you that this is the title page for a printed doc.

I’ve called mine Printed_Title so it sits next to my printed TOC, Index, and Glossary pages.

The next thing I do is set this topic to print only by right-clicking on the topic itself and selecting Properties.  I select the Conditional Tags tab and check the PrintOnly option.

If you don’t have online output, you can skip this step.

I click OK and when I get back to the Content Explorer, I see that the Printed_Title topic is now red, the color for the print only condition.

Now I need to create a page in a page layout that will hold the topic. This layout will be called Front_Matter and it usually contains the layout for the Table of Contents, any legal content, and the title page.

I create a page layout called Front_Matter and then add a title page to it.

I right-click on the PageLayouts folder under Resources on the Content Explorer tab. Then I select Add Topic – and when the Add File window opens, I change the file type to Page Layout.

I select New from template and then scroll down to and select FrontMatterResizable.flpgl.  I leave the folder location as is and name the page layout Front_Matter.

Here’s the new page layout.

When I open the page layout, I see that there are a number of default pages already added:

  • Left
  • Right
  • First
  • Title
  • Empty

Since I’m focusing on only the title page here, I’m going to remove every page but Title. To do that, I’ll just right-click on each page type and select Remove Page.

When I’m done, all that’s left is the Title page.

Now to add the logo.

I click on the Title page icon (shown above) and it will open in the Page Layout Editor.

Since the logo is an image file, I’m going to add an Image frame to this layout. I click on New Frame and select New Image Frame.

I add the logo via the Insert Image window. It pops up on the page layout like this.

The image frame is not in the right place so I just drag it up and to the left. Unfortunately, it’s still overlapping the body frame.

To fix this, I click on the body frame and once the orange dots appear, I simply reduce the size of that frame. But I want the body frame to be a lot smaller so I resize it until it’s shorter and narrower. The only text that I want to show in this frame is the title, version number and release date. The company info will be in another body frame that I’ll add now.

I add the second body frame the same way I added the image frame and resize it the way I want it.

Here’s what the page layout looks like right now:

You’ll notice that the body frames FLOW from the large one to the smaller one. This is important because I want the contact info to be contained in that smaller frame, not in the larger frame that will contain the doc info. You’ll see what this does in the PDF output shortly.

Now I go back to Printed Title topic and add the document info AND contact info there.

For this page, I created two new style classes:

  • H1.title
  • P.title

Within those two classes, I added the font sizes, colors, etc. for the content. Then I applied those classes to the <h1> and the <p> tags respectively.

Now I have to make this info show up on the title page – because right now, I have the title page and the content – but no link between the two.

To create that link, I’m going to add the new topic to my print TOC.

I’m almost done – I just have to do one more critically important thing: I have to assign a page layout to the new topic.

I right-click on the User Manual topic in the TOC and select Properties. I open the Printed Output tab and here’s where I’m going to assign a page layout.

For Break Type, I select Page Layout Break. And for Page Layout, I select Front_Matter (remember, that’s where I created the title page layout).

And then for Page Type, I select Title. My selections look like this:

I do a quick build of the PDF output and I get this:

My title page is done!

Try it out and let me know if you have any questions.

About The Author

Laura Charles Johnson

About Laura Johnson

Laura Charles Johnson, a 20-year veteran of the government contracting scene as a technical writer and online help developer, is a certified Advanced Flare Developer and Trainer. She has worked with Flare since version 1 and provides expert consulting services to companies throughout North America. Ms. Johnson specializes in PDF output from Flare. She also writes a blog about Flare at www.flareforhelp.com and is available via her Twitter handle: FlareForHelp.

Last Modified: September 12, 2012

This entry was posted in MadCap Flare, MadCap Software, Tech Comm, Tips & Tricks, Tutorials and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  • Riley September 14, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    I have a variation for the step that assigns a cover page via TOC —> Topic Properties —> Page Layout.

    First, create variables for document titles, version numbers, etc. (Handy for more than one reason.)

    Next, create a Target for a given manual, then in Target Editor —> Variables specify a given variable’s definition in that Target. So, for example, the User Guide’s “local” Target variable for the document title specifies User Guide, the Admin Guide’s Target specifies Admin Guide, and so on. (Use a Batch Target to efficiently build multiple Targets…)

    The benefits are: A single cover page layout can be used across multiple members of a docs set’s product family; one can use the Target’s Conditional Text settings to customize what is included in or excluded from that Target’s outputs; in PDF Options —> Document Properties one can customize the PDF tile (that appears in the PDF viewer’s Title Bar), the document’s keywords, etc.

    I hasten to add that I’m not dogmatic about using Targets. But they do provide an alternative workflow which in some contexts may offer advantages over separate cover files for a given member of a doc set’s family…

  • RN December 6, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    Hi Laura, I have found this little difficult to replicate. After I add frames, the PDF is picking only what is there in the topic file even after linking the topic to the title page layout. What exactly is the benefit of adding new classes? What if I create topic file as a title, format it and use it as a title page?

  • UR June 10, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Hi laura, I’ve having the same issue as RN. After adding the frames, the generated PDF/Word is displaying only what was entered in the topic file – even after linking the topic to the title page layout as you’ve said to do. Could you please help me sort this out?

  • Joy Williams June 18, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Thanks for your help. I have a question. I followed your steps but when I view the PDF, the layout is spread over the entire project. I even made sure each topic has the original default layout except for the title page in the TOC. I know it has to be a setting someplace but I can’t figure it out.

  • Tony July 30, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Hi Laura,
    I didn’t have any success with this as well. I can’t see my logo when I insert in the frame unless moving it around or re sizing it and it disappears completely when I generate the PDF.

    I also created two body frames for the title and version number but they just appear one right after the other giving me a generic looking page.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. We’ve been trying to crack this one around the office and this was the only instruction I could find anywhere.


  • Fritz August 3, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    How did you get your document info and contact info to go to their separate body frames?

    • Justin Bondoc Justin Bondoc August 12, 2016 at 10:01 AM

      For body frames text will automatically flow between frames. However, you can have greater control of the flow of elements by using “frame-break” CSS properties. The way I would recommend going forward with this would be to use a div tag to group elements together. A div class can be created with the style property “frame-break-inside: avoid” then the document info and contact info can be grouped separately with the div.

      CSS Code Example:

      frame-break-inside: avoid;

      This will make it so that all the content that is grouped within the div will avoid separating the content within the frames which will place them in their separate frames.

      • Allen Marshall June 19, 2018 at 2:13 PM

        This property frame-break-inside is apparently non-compliant with CSS? So we should assume Flare knows what it is but does not validate against the standard?

        • Justin Bondoc Justin Bondoc June 19, 2018 at 3:42 PM

          Hi Allen,
          Yes Flare will understand “frame-break” properties but they are not part of W3C’s CSS spec. These were created by MadCap Software specifically to support this functionality.

  • Mark May 3, 2018 at 1:11 AM

    This nearly works for me but when I build it, the logo (image) appears on every page in the pdf output document. Also, the TOC embedded in the pages has many page breaks which means the TOC only has 4 entries per page. Is there a way to ditch the TOC in the pdf and just use the TOC tree in the right hand window?

    I really need to find a work around for this so any guidance would be much appreciated.

  • Stephen T May 30, 2018 at 2:41 AM

    I’m using Flare 2018, and when I create a pagelayout, I don’t see any title page. Any ideas?

  • Jacek August 11, 2018 at 6:10 PM

    I managed to create the page and everything.. But all other pages took this layout. (I see, that “default” layout has only “Page Type= normal” – no idea if this is correct as I took the project after someone else)

    how to set Default layout as default – the way it was before adding this Cover?

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