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Madcap Launches Flare 5.0 And Blaze 2.0, First Authoring Software To Support Dita Publishing With No Programming Or Third-party Tools Required

MadCap’s Newest Versions of Flare and Blaze Products Facilitate DITA Adoption and Integration With Traditional Content Formats

La Jolla, CA, USA – June 9, 2009 – MadCap Software, the leader in multi-channel content authoring and a showcase company for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Visual Studio 2005 and Microsoft XPS, today announced the availability of MadCap Flare 5.0 and MadCap Blaze 2.0, featuring robust DITA support. Flare is a powerful native XML multi-channel publishing software for print and online content, and MadCap Blaze is the native XML alternative to Adobe FrameMaker for long print documents. The newest versions of Flare and Blaze are the first authoring software products to support transformation and publishing from the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) standard—without requiring Java development or third-party toolkits, such as Open Toolkit.

MadCap Flare 5.0 and Blaze 2.0 join MadCap Lingo 2.0 in providing DITA support, which will be extended across MadCap’s family of content authoring and publishing software in 2009. Through direct, seamless integration of Flare and Blaze with MadCap Lingo, X-Edit, Capture and Mimic, MadCap offers the most powerful integrated authoring and localization workflow available.

“DITA is rapidly being adopted by enterprises as a standard XML-based architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering technical information. However, many initiatives are being hampered by the complexity of publishing DITA content and integrating it with existing content,” said Anthony Olivier, MadCap co-founder and CEO. “With MadCap Flare 5.0 and Blaze 2.0, enterprises now have two powerful publishing solutions that provide unprecedented ease-of-use to facilitate DITA standardization, as well as collaborate with business groups relying on more traditional content formats.”

Flare and Blaze Let Users Mix and Match DITA and Traditional Content

Flare 5.0 and Blaze 2.0 can import DITA maps and associated DITA topic files at the same time and transform and publish the content in other traditional outputs, such as Microsoft XPS and Word, Adobe PDF and FrameMaker, and plain XHTML, to name a few. At the same time, both products can also import content in traditional formats and publish or export it as DITA content. Most significantly, Flare and Blaze allow users to easily mix and match DITA content with other existing content into a single project. Both products can, for example, import a DITA map, three Word documents and a FrameMaker file, and then publish the content without changing any of the formatting.

Other key features of the DITA support in Flare 5.0 and Blaze 2.0 include:

  • Support for DITA maps, which correspond to the tables of content in Flare and Blaze projects; related DITA maps simply become additional linked TOCs.
  • Support for DITA relationship tables, which hyperlink abstract concepts; relationship tables can also be used for all other content in Flare 5.0 and Blaze 2.0.
  • Conversion styles wizard provides full import mapping, including tag, mark-up, and style sheet selection.
  • Preservation of DITA formatting includes image maps, chapter breaks in book maps, index keywords, tables and lists, and more.
“Like DITA, Flare and Blaze are based on XML and take a topic-based approach, which has made the addition of DITA support a natural extension to our authoring software,” said Mike Hamilton, MadCap vice president of product management. “Not only have we been able to incorporate the key concepts required to support the DITA standard, we’ve also been able to extend powerful DITA

functions, such as relationship tables, to our core Flare and Blaze software—providing a state-of-the-art authoring environment for all of our customers.”

Flare 5.0 and Blaze 2.0 Enhance Editing and Global Project Linking

The newest versions of Flare and Blaze offer several other new features and enhancements to facilitate editing, single-sourcing, and publishing.
  • Advanced global project linking now includes condition tag support. Multiple projects can attain a consistent look and feel through links to a master Flare or Blaze project and the use of conditional markers. For example, “If condition A exists, then use style sheet A from the master.” Whenever there is a change in the master project, for example an updated logo or style sheet, the change is automatically propagated to the “child” projects.
  • Text redaction helps legal groups and government organizations to conceal sensitive information from a document so that it may be distributed to a broader audience. Flare and Blaze meet the legal requirements for redacted text to exist under the black bar. The use of condition tags makes it easy for authors to specify that when a document is published internally, it appears as normal text, and when it is published for a broader audience, the text is blacked out.
  • A new text editor supports line numbering and color-coding for authors who want to view or work within the XML code.
  • Enhanced cross-product integration is enabled by support by Flare and Blaze for condition tags in MadCap Capture for image capture and graphics editing. Flare also supports condition tags in MadCap Mimic for creating software simulation movies.
Also new to Flare 5.0 is the ability to generate automated thumbnails. Instead of going through a seven- or eight-step manual process, authors simply drop in an image, apply a single image style, and Flare automatically makes a thumbnail—potentially saving authors hundreds of hours. Additionally, the newest version of Flare features a topic toolbar function that lets authors insert a customized “WebHelp” toolbar anywhere inside any topic in any Web-based output. New to both Flare 5.0 and Blaze 2.0 is enhanced JPEG compression and PDF support for higher quality print documents.

“I’ve been beta testing Flare 5.0, and it is a great enhancement to the Flare product line,” said Paul Pehrson, instructor for DocGuy Training. “If you are in the market for a help authoring tool or if you are using DITA, check out Flare 5.0; it will knock your socks off. If you already own Flare, upgrade when it is available. Kudos to MadCap for coming up with a great product with enhancements that really improve the technical author’s workflow, making producing great content faster and easier than ever before.”

Availability and Pricing

MadCap Flare 5.0 and MadCap Blaze 2.0 are available today. Pricing per license is $899 for Flare and $699 for Blaze. Flare is also available as part of the MadPak, the industry’s first true single-source suite for multi-channel publishing. Other solutions in the MadPak, which sells for $1,299 per license, include MadCap Analyzer, MadCap Capture, MadCap Mimic, and MadCap Echo for Web 2.0 audio functions. Maintenance (support and subscription) fees start at $199 per year for the Bronze Level, $299 for the Gold Level, and $499 for the Platinum Level. Discounts for multiyear maintenance contracts are also available.

About MadCap Software

MadCap Software, Inc. is a trusted resource for the thousands of companies around the globe that rely on its solutions for single-source multi-channel authoring and publishing, multimedia, and translation management. Whether delivering technical, policy, medical, marketing, business, or human resources content, MadCap’s products are used to create corporate intranets, Help systems, policy and procedure manuals, video tutorials, knowledge bases, eBooks, user guides, and more to any format, including high-end print, online, desktop or mobile. MadCap services include product training, consulting services, translation and localization, and an advanced developer certification program. Headquartered in La Jolla, California, MadCap Software is home to some of the most experienced software architects and product experts in the content development industry.


MadCap Software, the MadCap Software logo, and MadCap Flare, are trademarks or registered trademarks of MadCap Software, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries.