MadCap Flare 8.0 Offers Ease-of-Use and Single-Source Advances

MadCap SoftwareMadCap Software, Inc., multi-channel content authoring provider to technical communications organizations, today announced the launch of MadCap Flare 8.0.  MadCap Flare 8.0 builds on MadCap’s single-source publishing to print and online functionality with the addition of HTML5 Web output, EPUB eBook output, and enhanced PDF print functionality. Additionally, Flare 8.0 features a new Microsoft-style ribbon user interface (UI) designed to help reduce the learning curve and retain easy access to Flare features.

“Our customers recognize the strategic value of letting readers choose the way they receive content, whether it’s in print, on the Web, on desktops, or on their mobile devices. Only Flare delivers on that demand by allowing authors to create a single project and then directly publish to it to any of these channels,” said Anthony Olivier, MadCap founder and CEO. “Flare 8.0 takes this leadership to a new level by becoming the only publishing application to offer modern HTML5 Web output, a choice between mobile Web and eBook formats for their mobile devices, and rich PDF print functionality.”

Expanded Options for Technical Communications Teams: HTML5 Browser-based Help and Mobile Content

MadCap Flare 8.0 delivers a Web output format that supports the HTML5 standard, providing significant enhancements in appearance, usability and searchability.  Designed to be consistent with the look and feel of modern browsers, such as Google Chrome, MadCap Flare 8.0 output can be customized by technical writers so that it conforms to organizational branding and image standards. Because HTML5 output is frameless, search engines can crawl through the content and index topic pages making it visible to search engines. Flare 8.0 also automatically generates an XML sitemap for all Web outputs and allows for metadata tagging of topics.

With the addition of EPUB output to its platform-independent WebHelp Mobile , MadCap Flare can deliver content in more formats specifically designed for mobile devices.  The Flare 8.0 EPUB output facilitates navigation and anytime access.

Other New Features in MadCap Flare 8.0

MadCap Flare 8.0 introduces customizable PDF settings that allow technical communications authors to insert named destinations into content, link to named destinations in existing PDFs, and convert existing bookmarks to named destinations on output.  PDF settings also provide more flexibility in setting page breaks,  initial views, and tables of contents (TOC).

Flare 8.0 adds a number of new Microsoft-style features including a new ribbon UI is the default interface and a Quick Access Toolbar similar to the one in Microsoft Office.  In addition to default toolbar buttons, Flare allows users to add up to 20 custom shortcut buttons.

“Many times, we have had customers request that we add features to Flare only to discover that those features already existed. They were just difficult to find using our old user interface, which was designed more like a traditional Help publishing tool,” said Mike Hamilton, MadCap vice president of product evangelism. “With Flare 8.0, we’ve taken a design cue from Microsoft Office—the most popular suite of office applications on the market—to create a modern, intuitive UI that makes it faster and easier than ever for users to take advantage of the deep bench of functionality we offer with Flare.”

Collaborative reviews can be streamlined using Flare 8.0 and Contributor 4.0, a new Table Of Contents (TOC) View feature. The technical writer send a review package directly from the TOC, which displays the topic within the TOC to the reviewer.

MadCap, a showcase company for Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft XPS, also launched the newest version of its MadPak technical communications suite. The MadPak suite comprises six products that integrate the content authoring and publishing workflow: Flare 8.0, MadCap Contributor 4.0 (collaborative authoring and reviewing), MadCap Analyzer 5.0, and MadCap Capture 6.0 (image capture and graphics editing)which all launched March 1. Additionally, the MadPak includes MadCap Mimic 6.0 (publishing software simulation movies, video and audio), and MadCap Lingo 5.0 (content translation and localization).

MadCap Flare 8.0 is available both separately and as part of MadCap’s MadPak technical communications suite, and can include several maintenance and support subscription options. With this release, MadCap introduces two new licensing models to support the enterprise users:

  • The Multi-User license allows companies to buy a single license key for as many dedicated users as they need. A single license key manages all users and activations without the need for registering individual users.
  • The Floating license applies to organizations that standardize on Flare and Contributor, and it is based on concurrent users rather than dedicated users.  MadCap’s software can be installed on a central server to allow remote access. Floating licenses include access to all product upgrades and updates as they become available.

Both licensing options include MadCap technical support.

Visit the Madcap Software website.

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