Only Today Matters! (see Topics and Drivel for yesterday's views).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day 1 with Flare 4

I installed Flare 4 today and started playing around.

Things that I liked right away (disclaimer - these are in no way important, just stuff I liked):
  • File> Zip - you can make a zip file of your project right from the file menu. Very handy.
  • Footer in the help listing all the PDFs you can download from Madcap. Some very useful titles. If you are going to have a 7 line corporate address in the footer, you might as well do something useful at the left margin.
  • Select table cells, right click and viola! Cell Content Style menu selection - you can assign a style to multiple table cells. Good Glory!
  • The new printed output tools (Blaze inside) look good, and the interface is modern and clean. What Frame could be if Adobe hadn't neglected it for years (still love ya Frame, but I loved my 82 Chevy Nova too).
  • Review toolbar and X-Edit built-in. Not sure how Engineering will take to it. Maybe if I say XML repeatedly they will be interested.
  • Layout Dropdown - you can edit in a web layout or a print layout. Maybe some of my compadres will author more Flare First (rest of the group is book first help later; I am the opposite. If I wanted to write chapters, I'd be channeling Normal Mailer rather than [insert rich and famous web author here].
  • Font Properties button - Ok, it was there before. I am such a dedicated CSS-er that I never ever opened it to inline font properties, and saw that the example text was "The cute red cat in the hat"
  • Global Project Linking - This is one thing I am itching to try. We have the same stylesheet copied into over 40 projects, but god knows what has happened to them over the past several releases. They have probably been tinkered (I know I have changed things in one and not the others).
  • Video Tutorial on single sourcing in Flare. I will be watching this one in the morning.
  • Widow and Orphan Control - I just had to say that this always reminds me of some horror movie where single moms and abandoned children are turned into zombie slaves by a publisher.
  • Basic Madcap Analyzer inside - because my guess is that I could never get my boss to spring for the full product, at least I get some reports with V4.
The bad news is I have not found anything to complain about, so I guess I will have to go home and mock the cat to bleed off some aggression. He doesn't like it when I imitate him, but he puts up with it because I am the one who wields the food scoop.

There are scads of things that I haven't even looked at yet. This is obviously an incomplete and seriously quirky list, and not in anyway an attempt to review the product.

But I hope it was interesting anyway.

1 comment:

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