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The Premier Technical Communication
and Content Strategy Conference

April 14-17, 2019 | Hard Rock Hotel

Main Conference Day 2

7:00 - 9:00 AM


8:00 AM

Technical Support Lounge Opens

9:30 - 10:30 AM


Track 1

Photo of Daniel Ferguson

How Did You Do That? Ten Hidden Tricks That Every MadCap Flare User Should Know

Presented by: Daniel Ferguson

We are all familiar with MadCap Flare's major features that enhance our authoring experience. But what about the little things that don't get as much attention or aren't as obvious in the interface? Have you ever looked through all the buttons on the Flare interface and wondered what they do and what you're missing? Have you ever considered all the options on a right-click context menu and made a mental note that you should look into some of them? In this session, we're going to look at ten of the small and hidden Flare features that every Flare user must know. Join Daniel Ferguson as he shares the Flare features that have produced the eye-popping "How did you do that?" moments for his clients.

Session Topics: MadCap Flare

Track 2

Photo of Luciana Voigt

System Internationalization with MadCap Flare, MadCap Lingo and MadCap Capture Integration

Presented by: Luciana Voigt

Sometimes a project starts out as something small, but then it grows at an imposing rate. Such is the case of Senior's Human Capital Management solution, the company's biggest product, which was rebuilt from the ground up along with its documentation to become more streamlined, match newer software development methodologies and with an internationalization strategy in mind. Bigger projects are harder to manage, and with translation and image-editing added, the process may become more difficult to work with and keep under control. In this session, Luciana Voigt will show the work behind the internationalization of this solution and its user manual; a process which uses MadCap Flare, MadCap Lingo and MadCap Capture to provide robust content in three different languages. You’ll understand the basic integration between these three MadCap products and how to consistently develop and maintain documentation projects using them in an Agile development method.

Session Topics: MadCap Flare | MadCap Capture | MadCap Lingo

Track 3

Photo of Paul Stoecklein

Micro Content: It’s Kind of a Big Deal

Presented by: Paul Stoecklein

Content just keeps getting smaller and smaller. From books and manuals, then down to chapters, split that into topics, carve that up with snippets… And now, you have micro content. In recent years, micro content has become instrumental in the many ways we all consume information. It’s central to social media, search results, chatbots, artificial intelligence, killer robots, and much more. Okay, maybe not killer robots… yet. In this session, Paul Stoecklein—Director of Documentation at MadCap Software—will explain what micro content is and why it can become your best friend. He will demonstrate in detail how you can use MadCap Flare to create it and benefit from it with very little effort. Along with tips and tricks, he will show some live examples and explain how the MadCap Documentation Team uses micro content in our own online Help.

Track 4

Photo of Homer Christensen

Transitions and Transforms: Animation Basics

Presented by: Homer Christensen

Animation is a great way to improve the user experience of your site. Not only does animation provide visual interest and movement that intrigues, it can also focus attention on aspects or bits of information that you want to emphasize. In this session, Homer Christensen covers the difference between transitions (such as fluidly opening drop-down content) and transforms (such as scaling an image on hover), and discusses intermediate concepts like keyframe animation. He’ll cover animation best practices, provide samples, and leave you confident and inspired to inject some liveliness to your site right away.

Session Topics: Tools Neutral

10:30 - 11:00 AM

Break and Networking

11:00 - 12:00 PM


Track 1

Photo of Heather Hadley

Determining the Best Search Engine for Your HTML5 Output

Presented by: Heather Hadley

With the introduction of Elasticsearch in MadCap Flare 2018, you have a choice of search engines to index your HTML output. But which search engine should you use? In this presentation, we'll compare the three main search choices for your HTML5 output: Google Search, Elasticsearch, and Flare's own MadCap Search. You'll learn the pros and cons of each search engine, explore customizing your search database, and optimize your content according to which search engine you choose.

Session Topics: MadCap Flare | Search

Track 2

Photo of Peter Kelley

Using MadCap Flare’s Find and Replace Feature to its Full Potential

Presented by: Peter Kelley

In this session, Peter Kelley focuses on the capabilities for replacing and reformatting text in multiple topics at the same time using both the Regular Text and Regular Expressions options. He’ll demonstrate how his team at Visa reformatted their DITA imported topics to put metadata into File Tags that Flare recognized, and how they reformatted a consistent string of text into a preset table style for 2,500 topics at once. Get an explanation of the Regex used, how to test in a single topic before taking the plunge, and examples and links to helpful Regex syntax websites.

Session Topics: MadCap Flare

Track 3

Photo of Mallary Silva-Grondin

Localization Musts and the Key to a Trusted Vendor Relationship

Presented by: Mallary Silva-Grondin

TraceLink is preparing to release content across four languages within the product. This took an immense amount of preparation from writing style, to defined terminology, to vetting for the right vendor. In this session, learn how TraceLink liaised with MadTranslations to ensure a smooth translation and localization process. You’ll understand the key items involved in preparing and ensuring translation quality, but also the importance of having a trusted translation vendor by your side through the process.

Session Topics: Case Study | MadTranslations

Track 4

Photo of Andrea Maliska

Minding the Gap: How to Create a Custom Training Program For Your Audience

Presented by: Andrea Maliska

In today’s world, learning and development departments have a tough job. Not only are they expected to create engaging, right-on-time and effective content with minimal budgets and short timeframes, their content also has to speak to an increasingly diverse population of learners. The generational span in the industry today is creating a unique problem. One size does not fit all. Content developers and curriculum specialists have to be able to speak to a variety of learning styles, social habits and deeply ingrained ideologies on learning and development. This session will talk through the differences in needs and how to successfully build a program that is not singularly focused on one learning style, but meets the expectations of a diverse audience.

Session Topics: Tools Neutral | Learning and Development

12:00 - 1:30 PM

Lunch and Networking

1:30 - 2:30 PM


Track 1

Photo of Paul Pehrson

Global Project Linking: To Link or Not to Link

Presented by: Paul Pehrson

What is a global project? Why would you use it? Come learn about global project linking. We'll talk about what Global Project Linking is, when it is best used, how to set it up, and how to work around some of the challenges that can arise in projects. Paul Pehrson will share more than ten years' worth of experience working in MadCap Flare to give you best-practice ideas on working with global projects.

Session Topics: MadCap Flare | Global Project Linking

Track 2

Photo of Nita Beck

Analyze This! Making the Most of MadCap Flare’s Analysis Features

Presented by: Nita Beck

Starting with MadCap Flare 2018, MadCap Software has integrated much of the universe of functionality of its standalone Analyzer application into the Flare user interface. Come learn from Nita Beck how to not only analyze but also optimize your Flare project with the new Analysis features. No longer mainly a set of text reports, the dynamic Analysis features give us the means to find and fix all sorts of broken links; to improve our content with suggestions for index keywords, snippets, variables, accessibility attributes, and new styles; to identify frequent and similar segments so that we can standardize phrasing and even turn repeating content into snippets; to find and address undefined variables, condition tags, and styles; and much more.

Session Topics: MadCap Flare | Analysis

Track 3

Photo of Robin Stefani

MadCap Doc-To-Help Single Sourcing for Multiple Outputs

Presented by: Robin Stefani

Meeting the needs of both your software developers and your end-users without duplicating efforts can be accomplished using the multiple output capabilities of MadCap Doc-to-Help. In this session, Robin Stefani details how Doc-to-Help provided a single-source method to supply developers with CHM and HTML output files and customers with HTML and PDF output files from six different documents through one project.

Session Topics: MadCap Doc-To-Help | Single Sourcing

Track 4

Photo of Nathan Wolf

Cleaning Up the Clutter: Refresh Your MadCap Flare Project Design

Presented by: Nathan Wolf

Ever inherited a MadCap Flare project you didn't create but now have to work from? You may or may not know where things are located, what files are used for, what settings are enabled, or how the previous team/author may have even used the project. Take control and give the project a refresh so you are not constantly discovering roadblocks that impede your work. In this session, Nathan Wolf will discuss some options to refresh design, including global project linking, removing local formatting, using regular expressions, and good old fashioned project organization.

Session Topics: MadCap Flare | Design

2:30 - 2:50 PM

Break and Networking

2:50 - 3:50 PM


Track 1

Photo of Ray Davis

Putting MadCap Flare in the Driver’s Seat with Data-Driven Images

Presented by: Ray Davis

Learn how to use a topic-based authoring approach with MadCap Flare’s post-build processing functionality to create multiple variations of images based on a single Adobe Photoshop template, and then re-use that data to drive your documentation. Ray Davis explore the ways that data-driven images can be used, such as disc labeling, inventory reports, and parts catalogs. This approach couples the inherent advantages of a technical writer’s two most important tools: Flare’s content re-use and Photoshop’s strength in creating images. It’s topic-based authoring for images, driven by MadCap Flare.

Session Topics: MadCap Flare

Track 2

Photo of Joe Bleasdale

Adding Additional Styling Elements to MadCap Flare Skins

Presented by: Joe Bleasdale

The provided skins in MadCap Flare are a great way to quickly get started on a project, but customizing beyond the exposed parameters in a skin can be hard for users not entirely used to CSS. This session aims to show how to use the chrome dev tools in conjunction with Flare to customize items in the skins, without breaking Flare compatibility. Get an overview of skin elements, and finding elements that are not exposed in the editor using the chrome dev tools. Learn how to change the behavior of top navigation sub/side menus, and how to define custom content. A demo project can be provided for attendees.

Session Topics: MadCap Flare | Design | Skins

Track 3

Photo of Neil Perlin

Project Management in MadCap Flare and MadCap Central

Presented by: Neil Perlin

Looking for tips on how to keep your MadCap Flare projects under control? Techniques on how to coordinate a project with reviewers or contributors of new material? In this session, learn how to manage the technical side by using MadCap Flare’s Reports and File Tags features and the Analysis feature in Flare 2018. Take a look at the review and contribution coordination side using Flare, MadCap Central and MadCap Contributor, as well as task management using MadCap Central. You’ll leave this session better able to keep your projects and project teams on the straight and narrow.

Session Topics: MadCap Flare | MadCap Central | MadCap Contributor | Project Management

Track 4

Photo of Tony Vinciguerra

Holy Grail Part 2: Increasing Feature Usage with Effective Release Documentation

Presented by: Tony Vinciguerra

What if you could prove that your release documentation increased usage of your company’s products, improving customer satisfaction and retention in the process? In this case study, Tony Vinciguerra, Senior Manager of Technical Writing at athenahealth, a SaaS company that offers billing, medical record, and network services for hospital and ambulatory clients, will share the details of how he worked with many tools and teams inside and outside of his company to capture, measure, and evaluate data in an effort to show how his team’s release documentation increases feature usage - half of the so-called Holy Grail of technical documentation. Come with him on this year-long journey, in which he looked to help his team see the real-world results of what they write and help management see the value of the documentation that his team produces.

Session Topics: Case Study

3:50 - 4:20 PM

Break and Networking

4:20 - 5:20 PM


Track 1

Photo of Carl Christensen

Enhancing Your Translation Workflow: How to Make the Most of MadCap Lingo

Presented by: Carl Christensen

Translation experience isn’t common for most technical authors or documentation managers. Despite this, technical writers are often tasked with translation management. Whether starting a new translation project or managing an existing workflow, MadCap Lingo can provide valuable insights into translation quality, simplify your content translation process, and help reduce costs and inefficiencies. In this session, learn how MadCap Lingo can alleviate the stress and provide the essential tools you need to ensure success in getting your project translated. In addition, Carl Christensen will explore the MadCap Flare-specific features that makes MadCap Lingo an essential part of the content development cycle.

Session Topics: MadCap Lingo | Translation

Track 2

Photo of Scott DeLoach

Dynamic User Assistance in MadCap Flare

Presented by: Scott DeLoach

Users often have very different goals, needs, and preferences based on accessibility, their preferred language, their experience level and/or job role, and the version of the product they use. In this session, we will discuss how to allow users to adapt designs, how to detect a user's goals/needs and auto-adapt content, and how to save user settings and preferences. Scott will share numerous real-world examples and code samples attendees can use in their own projects.

Session Topics: MadCap Flare | Design

Track 3

Photo of Jenny Pittman

Enhancing Your MadCap Flare Skills with Regular Expressions

Presented by: Jenny Pittman

When you need to make a project-wide change in MadCap Flare, what’s your process? Do you search for a keyword and pick through the results list? Do you make an educated guess as to which topics need to change? Do you (shudder) read through every topic? With even a beginner’s understanding of regular expressions, you can make finding and replacing in Flare a quick and relatively painless process. Take away examples of how BeyondTrust Tech Com uses regexes to manage content, along with references and tips to create your own regexes for Flare’s Find and Replace feature.

Session Topics: MadCap Flare

Track 4

Photo of Jason Ross
Photo of Chelsea Santos

Mature Migration: Growing Your Documentation Set With MadCap Flare

Presented by: Jason Ross, Chelsea Santos

Many writers have experienced the challenges of migrating from FrameMaker, XMetaL, or other legacy tools to MadCap Flare. As your organization matures, how do you migrate from one Flare project to another? With increasingly configurable product offerings, specialized regional needs, and rapid changing technology, Chelsea Santos and Jason Ross discusses how the team at Illumina transitioned their static PDF guides set into flexible, searchable HTML help. This session explores the details of that transition: the content architecture to lay the groundwork, a DITA-inspired styles model to categorize content, conducting usability testing, and training a large and diverse team of writers to write and tag content differently.

Session Topics: Case Study | MadCap Flare | Legacy Tools | Migration

5:30 PM

Technical Support Lounge Closes

6:00 - 9:00 PM

Main Conference Closing Reception

location iconHard Rock Hotel, Fourth Floor, Woodstock

After two full days of sessions, your adrenaline is high and your head is about to explode from information overload. It’s time to sit back and relax, network with your new conference pals, and enjoy hosted food, drinks, and music on the outdoor patio of the Hard Rock Hotel.

Main Conference Closing Reception