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MadCap Software Introduces Content Authoring Industry Firsts in Language Support and Single-sourcing With Flare 2.5

MadCap Flare 2.5 is the first content authoring software to support four language interfaces in the same product; Flare joins MadCap Mimic and MadCap Capture to form MadPak, the first true single-sourcing suite for multi-channel publishing

San Diego, CA, USA – February 13, 2007 — MadCap Software, the leader in multi-channel content authoring, today announced two industry firsts with the introduction of its Flare 2.5 native XML content authoring application. Flare 2.5 is the first content authoring software to offer four language interfaces in the same product—English, French, German and Japanese—allowing users to work in their language of choice. Flare 2.5 is also a central component of MadPak, the first true single-sourcing suite for multi-channel publishing (see also today’s press release announcing MadPak and Capture 2.0).

The product offerings are the newest innovations from MadCap Software, whose team includes the original creators of RoboHelp®. Designed for customers’ real-world requirements, MadCap Software provides enterprises with the single-source, multi-channel publishing they need to deliver content for user Help systems, sales and marketing, training and eLearning, technical support, policies and procedures, and knowledge bases—in print, online, and on the Web.

Multiple Language Interfaces, New Import/Export Options

Previous versions of Flare offered full Unicode support for authoring content, allowing users to produce documentation and Help systems in most languages, including Eastern European and double-byte languages such as Chinese and Korean. With MadCap’s newest release, language support extends to Flare’s own interface. In addition to English, authors now have the option of viewing the interface in French, German, or Japanese—all in the same product. Choosing a language is simple. When users initially launch Flare 2.5, they are asked to select a language preference. Based on their selection, the user interface is displayed in that language. At any time, users can switch to a different language if their preferences or authoring needs change.

The Flare Help Viewer in version 2.5 also extends support for multiple languages. Previously Flare users could create output with a Help interface in any non-English language if they sent the output to WebHelp and used language skins. Now with the Help Viewer, users also have the option to create output in DotNet Help in any of the four languages supported by the interfaces in Flare 2.5.

“As commerce grows more global, enterprises face greater demands to publish documentation in multiple languages, as well as multiple channels. With other content authoring solutions, customers have had to buy a different copy of an application for each language they needed to support, making it more difficult to maintain consistency,” said Bjorn Backlund, CTO of MadCap Software. “Flare 2.5 represents a significant industry first in offering four language interfaces in the same software package. Now companies with international publishing needs have the flexibility to see the interface in any of the languages available.”

Flare 2.5 also extends the list of import and export options with support of the new Microsoft Office 2007 (Office 12) and Vista. Users can now import Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) DOCX files and generate output in DOCX and XPS formats. In addition, enhanced functionality in Flare 2.5 allows Word 2007 users to create PDF output without Adobe Acrobat or Distiller.

“Flare is leading the way in delivering solutions for today’s documentation and training needs through its use of native XML, the emerging standard for software, and single-source publishing to multiple outputs—from HTML to Adobe® FrameMaker® or Microsoft Word. These were key factors in my decision to replace Adobe® RoboHelp® with Flare,” said Edward VanArsdall, founder of Edward VanArsdall Information Design and Development, a provider of technical documentation, training, and instructional design for Fortune 1000 companies. VanArsdall is also a senior member of the Society for Technical Communication. “Flare 2.5 significantly enhances its enterprise publishing functionality with support for Microsoft’s latest technologies in Vista, Office 2007, XPS, and DOCX.”

MadPak Single-Source Publishing Suite

Flare 2.5 joins MadCap’s Capture 2.0 and Mimic 1.0 applications to form MadPak, the industry’s first multi-product single-sourcing suite for multi-channel publishing. Mimic is a state-of-the-art software simulation tool. Capture is a cutting-edge screen capture and graphics editing program. The tight integration among the MadPak products allows Mimic and Capture to be launched from within the Flare interface. In addition, Flare authors can quickly insert Capture images into content, and they can insert Mimic movie links from topics, tables of contents, and browse sequences. Thanks to these links, Flare project variables (content that can be customized as needed for delivery to different audiences) can be inserted into Mimic and Capture. This enables a user to modify a definition for the linked variable in Flare. If the definition for the linked variable is changed in Flare, it changes everywhere simultaneously—in Flare content, in Mimic movies, and in Capture images. The result is true single-sourcing between three integrated products.

Pricing and Availability

Flare 2.5, now available, is priced at $899 per license. Upgrades for current users are available for $499. The MadPak, which includes Flare 2.5, Capture 2.0, and Mimic 1.0, is priced at $1,099 per licensed user. Fees for support start at $449 per year.

About Flare

MadCap Flare is the first native XML content authoring application designed for the single-source, multi-channel publishing demands enterprises face today. Bridging the gap between highly technical documentation tools and popular, intuitive applications like Microsoft Word, Flare serves the needs of documentation professionals and the growing number of business content owners, who are becoming content authors. Key features of Flare include:

  • Legacy content aggregation. Flare allows users to import content authored in Microsoft Word, Adobe® FrameMaker®, or HTML; RoboHelp® projects; and even HTML Help projects—and convert it to the XML format. HTML also can be directly converted to XHTML.
  • Multi-channel publishing. Flare includes all of the transforms necessary to generate documentation for Web, intranet, print, or software desktop needs, including the new Microsoft Vista. These include a new Help format for .Net applications (DotNet Help), WebHelp, Microsoft HTML Help, Microsoft Word, Adobe® FrameMaker®, PDF, DOCX, and XPS.
  • Single-source publishing. The ability to produce several documents from one central project is enabled by Flare’s support for conditional tags, variables, a content-management library of re-usable content (snippets), and multiple tables of content. In addition, Flare’s tight integration with MadCap Capture and MadCap Mimic makes it the first Help application to allow single-sourcing of images and movies (different settings for various outputs, all from one image and/or movie).
  • Patent-pending new visual XML editor. The editor provides access to the underlying XML structure of documents in a comfortable visual authoring environment; no programming is required.
  • Multi-language support. Through full support for Unicode, Flare enables the creation and easy translation of different languages, both single-byte and double-byte.
  • Standards compliance. Flare’s code adheres to the W3C XHTML schema specification, making it easy to integrate with other XML or XHTML applications, and all Flare project files are XML files.
  • Easy customization. Users can open multiple documents simultaneously for easy cross-editing, design browse sequences visually with simple drag-and-drop, use the command line to compile output, and take advantage of auto-numbering.

MadCap Flare 2.5, MadCap Mimic and MadCap Capture are core components of MadCap Software’s vision of an integrated “dream suite” of native XML, multi-channel content authoring software designed specifically for creating and publishing content—in print, across the Web, and around the world in local languages. Other components include MadCap Blaze, an alternative to Adobe® FrameMaker® for producing long printed documents, which will be released in 2H 2007.

About MadCap Software

MadCap Software is a trusted resource for thousands of companies around the globe for single-source, multi-channel authoring and publishing solutions designed to streamline the process of developing and delivering training content, learning and development programs, technical documentation, online Help, knowledge bases, and more. From authoring, publishing and translation, to cloud-based content management system, to contribution and review in the cloud, you can streamline content delivery and manage the entire content development lifecycle with MadCap Software. MadCap Software’s services include product training, consulting services, translation and localization, and an advanced developer certification program. Headquartered in San Diego, California, with offices in Austin, TX, 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.