With each release of MadCap Flare, you often find a new feature that makes you happy. Maybe because it saves you a bunch of time, a bunch of clicks, or maybe because it’s just fun! For me, the new Dynamic Preview window pane in Flare 2017 is one of these features.

The ability to preview what a topic, snippet or master page will look like with certain target settings applied has always been available. Since topics are raw neutral content, invoking a quick preview of what it may look like when it’s generated into a PDF can be really handy. You might want to check out how it fits in the margins you have set up for your PDF outputs, or perhaps page break behavior if it happens to be a longer topic. You don’t have to generate the entire target just to see how the topic will look or flow.

With previous versions of Flare, if you want to preview what a Topic, Snippet or Master Page will look like in a target, you would click the preview button in the XML editor:

MadCap Flare 2017 - Dynamic Preview Window

However, if you want to make a quick change to the file, see the file with different target settings, or preview a different topic, snippet, or master page altogether, you have to close the Preview window first.

In Flare 2017, the preview window is dynamic, allowing you to keep the preview open while you work and see changes as you make them in the XML Editor.

MadCap Flare 2017 - Dynamic Preview Window

The ability to apply a conditional tag in the preview window to see how it may affect the file has always been available. With the new preview window, you can also choose to preview a different topic, snippet or master page in your project, or toggle to preview the file in a different target altogether, without having to close the preview window, load the file in the editor, and invoke the preview again.

We are saving clicks, which is always a good thing!

When the preview window is opened, it floats. However, if you have a dual monitor set up, you can drag the preview window over to the second screen and keep it open. Another option —you can dock it so that it locks itself in place:

MadCap Flare 2017 - Dynamic Preview Window

The dynamic preview window was built with the idea to reduce clicks, and can really help speed up development time. If you have had the opportunity to try it, let me know what you think!

Get Started On a Free Trial

Want to try out the Dynamic Preview window on your own? If you’re not taking advantage of the latest version of Flare, you can get started on a free, fully functional 30-day trial anytime. During the duration of your trial, you have free access to our technical support team, ready to answer any questions you may have.

You can request your free trial here:


We hope you enjoy the latest release of MadCap Flare! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out at jmorse@madcapsoftware.com.

About The Author

Jennifer Morse

About Jennifer Morse

Jennifer Morse, Director of Product Evangelism at MadCap Software, has over 16 years of experience in the technical communication industry. Since joining the company in 2006, Jennifer has played an integral role in MadCap Software's growth, helping to increase MadCap Software's market share in the United States and overseas markets including Europe, the Middle East and India.

Last Modified: March 6, 2017

This entry was posted in MadCap Flare. Bookmark the permalink.


  • craig March 7, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    Damn…I really could have used this feature in the last couple of weeks, but didn’t know it existed!

  • CH April 4, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    The new preview window takes a LOT longer to load. Like 30 seconds to a minute. At first I thought there was something wrong with Flare and started to submit a ticket. Is there a way to revert to the old preview window?

    • Jennifer Morse Jennifer April 13, 2017 at 11:50 AM

      Hi CH, thanks for your comment. It shouldn’t take that long to load. I suggest opening a case with support, they will want to help you trouble shoot this.

  • JC May 9, 2017 at 3:10 PM

    After I updated, I played around with the preview window to see how it worked. It is now automatically opening every time I open a new topic rather than just when I want to open the preview. Is there any way to turn this feature off (and back on when I do need it), and how/where would I do that?

    • JC May 10, 2017 at 12:11 PM

      I should clarify a bit more. The preview window automatically opens every single time I open a topic and opens a new one every time I hit save. That is not happening to anyone else here, even though they have all updated as well.

      • Justin Bondoc Justin Bondoc May 10, 2017 at 1:11 PM

        Hi JC,
        Currently this cannot be enabled or disabled. However, since this seems to only occur on your machine one thing I would recommend is to delete your “CatapultMDIEditor”. This essentially resets the Flare user interface. If you have any layouts you wish to save, go into the CatapultMdiEditor folder and please save the layouts to a different location (this is for the Flare layout and won’t impact outputs).
        To delete CatapultMDIEditor:
        1) Go to: C:\Users\[Your User]\Appdata (make sure hidden files and folders are turned on)\Roaming\Madcapsoftware\Flare\
        2) Delete the CatapultMdiEditor folder
        3) Restart flare and try again.

        If you find you are still experiencing the issue after taking these steps feel free to reach out to me at jbondoc@madcapsoftware.com!

        • JC May 11, 2017 at 2:01 PM

          Thank you, Justin!

        • JC May 12, 2017 at 9:36 AM

          And it seems to have worked! Thanks so much!

Have Something to Say?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *