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In The Press

MadCap Software Launches MadCap Analyzer, First Software to Proactively Suggest Content Development Improvements

MadCap Analyzer Also Provides Over Twice the Reporting Functionality of Any Competitor, Including Industry’s Only Customizable Reports

La Jolla, CA, USA – January 14, 2008 — 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 debut of MadCap Analyzer, the first software to proactively suggest document development improvements. MadCap Analyzer also provides the most comprehensive project reporting in the technical documentation industry, delivering more than twice the functionality of any competing solution.

MadCap Analyzer works with MadCap Flare, the company’s flagship native-XML authoring product, and MadCap Blaze, the native-XML alternative to Adobe® FrameMaker® for publishing long print documents, which will be generally available in early 2008. With Analyzer, documentation professionals can get an entire picture of their Flare or Blaze projects—and fix most issues right in Analyzer. There’s no need to flip between products or to print the list of problems and then search through a Flare or Blaze project. Analyzer’s reporting of more than 50 issues is complemented by the industry’s only customizable report functionality.

MadCap Analyzer is being announced today in conjunction with MadCap Lingo, an XML-based, fully integrated translation memory system and authoring tool, which eliminates the need for file transfers (see press release also dated January 14, 2008). Together, the products represent a significant milestone in MadCap’s development of the industry’s most complete product suite, delivering solutions for authoring, collaboration, analysis, and translation. Based on native XML and offering full Unicode support, MadCap’s software uniquely addresses the documentation requirements of today’s global, Internet-enabled economy.

“For too long, authors have had to manually review and correct their documentation. With so much detail to evaluate, at best it can take hundreds of hours to identify issues and make the necessary changes. Worst case, authors are literally overwhelmed, and they publish documents with errors and inconsistencies, or they miss important improvements,” said Anthony Olivier, MadCap CEO. “MadCap Analyzer applies nearly two decades of best practices in documentation design to powerful reporting and analysis capabilities. For the first time, authors can immediately see what is and isn’t working in their content and design, and they can implement improvements based on proven techniques. Manual content review and revisions that previously took hours can now be accomplished in minutes with a few clicks of the mouse.”

Using MadCap Analyzer is easy. An author simply uses Analyzer to open a Flare or Blaze project. The author then immediately sees a list of issues and suggestions for the project. The author can fix the identified problems and make suggested changes. Information captured in Analyzer includes:

  • Statistics on modification dates plus tallies of words, segments, images, snippets (reusable content pieces), broken links, undefined variables, undefined styles, and topics.
  • Links, such as broken hypertext, bookmarks, image links, external links, absolute links, outgoing links, and incoming links.
  • Topic issues, including topics that are not included in the index or the selected table of contents (TOC), duplicate TOC items, non-XML topics, topics with images, and duplicate context-sensitive help (CSH) map IDs.
  • Unused or undefined elements, such as undefined glossary terms, variables, condition tags, or styles; topics that aren’t linked; or unused items such as content files, images, variables, condition tags, styles, or CSH IDs.
  • Used components in a project, including conditional tags, language tags, variables, index keywords, index keyword links, concepts, concept links, images, and style sheets.
  • Reports, which can be completely customized by selecting the types of issues to include (any of the issues already mentioned, plus many more), as well as the look of the report; authors can save reports and open reports in a browser window to print them.

“We have been MadCap Flare users since version 1.0 and have always liked its workflow. From start to finish, working with our templates through to the single-source output, Flare allows us to concentrate on content rather than the process. Now MadCap Analyzer takes it one step further.” said Steve Salter, documentation specialist and trainer at Local Government System Inc. “We no longer need to worry about usability testing because Analyzer will examine our topics and suggest ways to take advantage of Flare’s advanced single-source features. It also checks links and provides advanced reports. In fact, deploying Analyzer is like employing another member of our documentation team—one that handles all the mundane checking without a single complaint!”

Analyzer suggestions can help improve content in several ways. One of the most important is suggesting where authors may want to replace content with snippets (reusable formatted content) or variables (reusable non-formatted content). For example, Analyzer reports on matching text (phrases or segments) that an author has written in many places, and if no snippet or variable exists, encourages the author to create a snippet for that matching content, greatly improving the project and simplifying future changes.

Similarly Analyzer can help authors to make better use of existing snippets. Sharon Burton, the MadCap product manager responsible for Analyzer explains, “Let’s say that you have written a tip into a snippet because it is repeated in dozens of places throughout your project. Later, perhaps you write the same tip in new topic, forgetting that you have already created a snippet for it. This is where Analyzer comes in. Analyzer realizes that you created content that matches an existing snippet, so it suggests that you replace the new text with that snippet. This feature—unique to Analyzer—allows you to take full advantage of Flare’s single-sourcing capabilities, reduce localization costs, and maintain your project consistency.”

Analyzer also uses suggestions to find locally formatted text (for example, text that authors have made red and underlined by using buttons in the text format toolbar) that matches existing styles in a project. In this case, Analyzer suggests using the style instead of the local formatting. If the author does not yet have a style that matches the locally formatted content, Analyzer recommends creating one and then helps the author build it.

Significantly, Analyzer allows authors to add or edit content (for example, topics, snippets, variables, styles, index keywords, concepts, glossary terms)—and complete spell checking—all from the Analyzer interface. Even though the author makes the changes in the Analyzer interface, the modifications actually occur in the Flare or Blaze project that is being analyzed. If authors prefer to work in the Flare or Blaze project, they can also select a particular content file in the Analyzer interface and tell it to open the file in the Flare or Blaze project. In either case, the author can choose which is more convenient.

Availability and Pricing

MadCap Analyzer is available today either separately or as part of the MadCap MadPak, the ultimate authoring suite that also features Flare for multi-channel content authoring, Mimic for simulation movies, Capture for graphics, and Echo for audio. A standalone license for Analyzer is $299, but is available at an introductory price of $199 for a limited time. Flare maintenance customers can purchase Analyzer for $99, and the software is free to MadPak maintenance plan customers. A new license for the MadPak, featuring Flare, Analyzer, Mimic, Capture, and Echo lists for $1,299, which represents a $416 savings over purchasing the products separately.

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.