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Schedule: Three Full Days, Evening Networking Events and More

Monday, June 4 – Main Conference, Day 1

7:00-8:30 AM

Registration, Breakfast

8:30-9:30 AM

General Session & Welcome Address

9:30-10:15 AM

Break, Networking & Hospitality Lounge

10:15-11:10 AM

Presented By:

Daniel Ferguson

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Unleashing your MadCap Flare TOCs

Track 1 MadCap Flare

Have you ever opened up your MadCap Flare TOC properties and wondered what all of those options are? Or wondered if you’ve structured your TOCs in the most efficient way? The Flare TOC is the backbone of your Flare project. It is also one of the most powerful single-sourcing tools available to us as Flare authors. In this session, we’re going to walk through the Flare TOC in depth. We’ll review the TOC editor and all of the properties you can set on your TOC and TOC entries. We’ll also talk about best practices for single-sourcing your TOCs. Understanding how to use TOCs in the best way will help you take your Flare project to the next level!

10:15-11:10 AM

Presented By:

Kearsty Dunlap Schneider

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Where Do I Start? Part 1: The KISS – Keep It Simple System for Creating New Projects

Track 2 MadCap Flare New Users Project Management

New to MadCap Flare or on a small Flare team? Did someone else build your project and now your project is getting out of control? For new users or administrators wondering how much time it takes to build a new project and where to start, this session is for you. This session is divided up into small tasks that can be tackled in about one hour per day, so that you can get a project going quickly. Kearsty Dunlap Schneider will cover what you need to know before starting to build a project, basic tasks on templates, master pages, and stylesheets, and tips and best practices on simplifying your project and documenting process decisions. This session is designed specifically for users who need a basic roadmap of where to start.

10:15-11:10 AM

Presented By:

Barb Einarsen

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MadCap Flare and the Globally Distributed Team

Track 3 MadCap Flare Source Control Team Management

In this presentation, Barb Einarsen explains how moving to MadCap Flare vastly improved her team’s ability to work as a globally distributed team. With writers all over the US and the world, the team struggled with the challenges of silo-ed writers as well as content that was locked in a proprietary, binary format. She discusses how using Flare and TFS as a light content management system, the team was able to branch and merge using modern source control practices. Publishing, which used to take several weeks for each brand, is now virtually instantaneous, with consistent results each time. Discover how an agile development environment can help global management teams achieve improved content quality and processes.

10:15-11:10 AM

Presented By:

Scott DeLoach

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Advanced Skinless HTML5 Design with MadCap Flare

Track 4 MadCap Flare HTML5 CSS

In this session, Scott DeLoach will demonstrate how to design and develop skinless HTML5 Top Nav targets. We will examine skinless HTML5 designs, discuss best practices for skins and skinless designs, and explore advanced design options when using skinless HTML5 Top Nav targets. All attendees will receive a sample project that includes the demonstrated techniques and sample designs. Note: This is an advanced session. Attendees should be familiar with creating HTML5 Top Nav targets and have intermediate/advanced knowledge of CSS.

11:10-11:30 AM

Break, Networking & Hospitality Lounge

11:30 AM-12:25 PM

Presented By:

Paul Pehrson

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Getting Started with Context-Sensitive Help

Track 1 Online Help

You know you want context-sensitive help (CSH) to assist your users, but maybe you are wondering how all the pieces come together to make the magic happen. In this session, you’ll learn about all the moving parts in a CSH implementation, including who is responsible for what, how to work with your development team to implement CSH calls, and how to manage skins and topic types to give your users the best possible CSH experience.

11:30 AM-12:25 PM

Presented By:

Paul Stoecklein

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The World’s Oldest Living MadCap Flare Project: A Study on Project Architecture

Track 2 MadCap Flare Project Management

Some of the most common questions we get at MadCap Software have to do with project architecture: “How should I structure and organize my projects? Which features are best to use? What are the pros and cons of the different methods?” After briefly tackling (or at least bumping into) these issues, Paul Stocklein will show you what we actually do for our own documentation at MadCap Software. Come see the world’s oldest living MadCap Flare project and find out.

11:30 AM-12:25 PM

Presented By:

Rosa Davis

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Going from a Single Writer to a Team

Track 3 MadCap Flare MadCap Capture Team Management Source Control CSS

After working as a sole writer in MadCap Flare, Rosa Davis, Documentation Manager, details the best practices involved when bringing in a new writer. This session will cover important information that new users need to understand the Flare project, such as default CSS stylesheets, the standard use of formatting styles, and what tools are used in conjunction with Flare, such as MadCap Capture. In addition, we’ll also review source control basics, the process for project commits and pushes, project collaboration and the use of a “documentation bible” to maintain standards.

11:30 AM-12:25 PM

Presented By:

Swapnil Ogale

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Estimate, Analyze, and Visualize: How We Turned Customers into Users (or Believers)

Track 4 MadCap Flare Case Study

In this real-world example, explore how Planifi, a software company building products for Architecture and Engineering (A/E) firms, worked with a technical writer remotely to migrate existing content from Adobe® RoboHelp® to MadCap Flare and then document their suite of project management tools targeted particularly at project managers and architects. Swapnil Ogale will look at how the documentation went from being field/screen level to task-based and how other content (hover image, videos, etc.) replaced and complemented text based on customer feedback. In addition, learn how this content was streamlined to be used for multiple purposes, such as product help, training, and customer support.

12:30-1:45 PM

Lunch, Networking & Hospitality Lounge

1:45-2:40 PM

Presented By:

Chad Kreiger

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Embracing the Power of Page Layouts

Track 1 MadCap Flare

Page Layouts are integral to any print-based output in MadCap Flare. At their most basic, Page Layouts are used to set text margins, but you can leverage them to do so much more. Along with basic settings, Chad Kreiger, Publications Specialist, will demonstrate some neat tricks to enhance your Page Layouts with the use of variables, snippets, and conditions. Once your Page Layouts are perfected, we’ll discuss the reasons for setting your Page Layouts at the target level versus in your TOC. Finally, learn about out-of-the-box solutions for inserting watermarks or images into your Page Layouts, as well as how to use a Page Layout as a topic in your TOC.

1:45-2:40 PM

Presented By:

Patrick Calnan

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Accessibility Matters: Creating Accessible Output with MadCap Flare

Track 2 MadCap Flare Accessibility

If your work is subject to accessibility standards such as WCAG 2.0 and Section 508, you already know that producing compliant output can pose additional challenges in managing your MadCap Flare projects. The good news is that Flare already supports a number of accessibility features for different kinds of outputs. There are also strategies and processes that you can use to further ensure that your output is accessible to people with disabilities. Patrick Calnan, Senior Technical Writer for the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, examines the specific requirements that are applicable to technical documentation and how you can use Flare to meet those standards.

1:45-2:40 PM

Presented By:

Jayna Locke, Joel Wilhelm

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MadCap Flare for Managers

Track 3 MadCap Flare Team Management

Jayna Locke and Joel Wilhelm discuss the MadCap Flare concepts and team workflow processes that managers should understand to effectively guide a team. Learn how to facilitate the decision-making process and ensure everyone is marching to the beat of the same drum. This session will cover the effective use of project templates, managing delivery of multiple output formats, and best practices to hiring talented writers who will be successful with MadCap Flare. We will also provide a mini-curriculum to help new tech pubs managers get up to speed quickly.

1:45-2:40 PM

Presented By:

Matthew Ellison

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10 Tips for Optimizing Search for HTML5 Outputs

Track 4 MadCap Flare Search

Most end users try to find the answers they need by using Search, but they often receive unhelpful results. Common problems include too few (or even zero results), or too many results including topics that are not relevant. This session covers a range of techniques, from quick-and-easy to advanced, for improving the search experience of users of your HTML5 output. Matthew Ellison demonstrates and clearly explains the effects and benefits of implementing each of the techniques. The overall result is that search will be turned into “Find”.

2:40-3:00 PM

Break, Networking & Hospitality Lounge

3:00-3:55 PM

Presented By:

Louis Lento

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First Foray: Adobe® FrameMaker® to MadCap Flare

Track 1 MadCap Flare Adobe® FrameMaker® Case Study

In 2016, we initiated the switch from Adobe® FrameMaker® to MadCap Flare, at least with our new product documentation. The first (daunting) task was to convert a 400-page medical device user manual. The import process is only one piece of a complex puzzle. We discovered that there is a lot going on behind the scenes that can make or break a successful transition. Through our own painstaking troubleshooting, as well as helpful analysis from MadCap Support, we were able to overcome obstacles and find solutions to our deliverable needs and FDA regulatory requirements. This session opens your eyes to what you could be in for, and how to tackle strange import phenomena with confidence rather than fear. Knowing how FrameMaker® and Flare behave helps to ease the migration burden. We are finally pushing the FrameMaker® boat away from the dock – it’s anchored in the harbor and just about ready to float out to sea.

3:00-3:55 PM

Presented By:

Laura Dent

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Single-Sourcing and Localization Best Practices

Track 2 MadCap Flare Single Sourcing Localization

Translating your content into other languages is one of the greatest challenges in the technical communication process. We as technical communicators can meet these challenges with the combination of single-sourcing and localization. MadCap Flare provides an excellent suite of tools to manage your localization process. In this presentation hosted by Laura Dent, learn a combination of tools, best practices, tips and tricks for managing your localization projects.

3:00-3:55 PM

Presented By:

Kala Gorbett

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We’re All Human: A Case Study in People-Proofing Projects

Track 3 MadCap Flare Case Study Team Management

In this session, Kala Gorbett, Senior Documentation Specialist, details the issues and innovations that came with managing over 50 MadCap Flare projects in a department of 20 writers, none of whom had prior Flare experience before adopting Flare. In addition, the number of recent college grads coupled with a relatively high turnover rate meant having to find ways to “people-proof “ projects. On this journey, learn how the team developed methods that took full advantage of Flare ’s features to automate and single-source the documentation process to the point that it was difficult to mess things up. This case study will focus primarily on developing an understanding of global project linking and how manuals that shared topics went through a complete procedural and project overhaul. Kala discusses the strategy used to people-proof this process, lessons learned along the way, and why it ’s important to remove as many opportunities for human error as possible when it comes to maintaining clean projects.

3:00-3:55 PM

Presented By:

Ray Davis

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How MadCap Flare Promotes Safety and Effectiveness in Service Documentation

Track 4 MadCap Flare Topic-Based Authoring

The FDA has as its number one rule: “safe and effective”. Everything else stems from that single directive. A drug, a therapy, a product has to be provably safe for the patient, and provably effective against the condition that you claim to improve. “Safe and effective” is just as important for service and repair instructions, engineer repairing systems, and the doctors and technicians who eventually use these systems. For safety and effectiveness, consistency is key. Welcome to the world of topic-based authoring for service and repair instructions using MadCap Flare. This presentation will demonstrate how we use Flare to write and test across more topics, bring down errors and inconsistencies, and release more procedures, getting our surgical systems up and running faster, and positively impacting the lives and health of patients worldwide.

3:55-4:25 PM

Break, Networking & Hospitality Lounge

4:25-5:20 PM

Presented By:

Jennifer Morse, Justin Bondoc

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Photo of Justin Bondoc

MadCap Software Session

Track 1 MadCap Flare

Full session description to be announced at a later date.

4:25-5:20 PM

Presented By:

Jessica Matosky

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Transforming a Service Center, One Topic at a Time

Track 2 MadCap Flare Case Study

We’ve all experienced the same challenges with content management and technical writing: outdated content, poor design, difficult navigation, and issues of “search doesn’t work”. But what do you do when that content is relied upon by a Service Center? The goal of a Service Center is to answer phone calls accurately and efficiently. If either of those things are compromised, you’re losing money. With outdated, inaccurate, poorly designed and poorly written online content, the leadership wanted the team at MassMutual to update the content. But the challenge was to do so without spending any money or using any of their resources. In this session, Jessica Matosky shares her journey of how she did just that. Learn how she used MadCap Flare and sheer willpower to transform the Service Center’s online content, saving them time and money, while creating a roadmap for other business areas to do the same.

4:25-5:20 PM

Presented By:

Alan Williamson

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Case Study: Documenting Configurable Products

Track 3 Case Study

When you have a communications product that includes numerous models supporting many protocols, each with many different modes of operation, delivering a document that meets customer expectations can be a challenge. This session covers the author’s experience in keeping pace with rapid product development and release schedules in the high-tech world. An early observation that “less could be more” led to the use of highly conditioned topics and the need for a flexible means of defining document content. The result was a single-sourced project that can create any combination of products and features aligned to the customers’ needs.

4:25-5:20 PM

Presented By:

Neil Perlin, Thomas Bro-Rasmussen

Photo of Neil Perlin
Photo of Thomas Bro-Rasmussen

Converting Your MadCap Flare Target to an App

Track 4 MadCap Flare Mobile

So you’ve finished creating your MadCap Flare target, only to learn that management wants the content in the form of a mobile app as well. You could get IT to create the app, or convert the app yourself without extensive programming knowledge. Get the walkthrough from Neil Perlin and Thomas Bro-Rasmussen, where they’ll introduce a cloud-based tool that can turn a target into an app. You’ll learn the difference between targets and apps, as well as how to distribute and maintain the finished app.

6:00-8:30 PM

Evening Event & Networking

Note: Conference schedule is subject to change.