Versatile help authoring tool makes print and web output easy

Bewertet am 16.7.2018
Kristin D.
Course Designer
Computer-Software, 1.001-5.000 Mitarbeiter
Verwendete die Software für: Mehr als 2 Jahre
Quelle des Nutzers 
4/5
Gesamt
4 / 5
Benutzerfreundlichkeit
5 / 5
Eigenschaften & Funktionalitäten
3 / 5
Kundenbetreuung
5 / 5
Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis
Wahrscheinlichkeit der Weiterempfehlung:
Unwahrscheinlich Äußerst wahrscheinlich

Kommentare: I use Flare every day, for a variety of projects. It is versatile and robust.

Vorteile: Flare allows for nearly limitless options of content output and organization. This makes maintaining print and web media, and even tablet and mobile versions of the same, easy and seamless. As a bonus, you really don't NEED to understand how XML, HTML, or javascript work in order to make help materials that make use of these languages. Once you learn Flare's user interface, which is set up very similar to many word processors I could name, authoring is simple.

Nachteile: Training and education is important. Like with many intricate tools, if you don't know what's there and don't know how to use it, Flare can seem complicated and unpredictable. Training is an investment, but it is well worth it.

Useful publishing program

Bewertet am 13.8.2018
Rachel S.
Educational Specialist
Professionelles Training & Coaching, 201-500 Mitarbeiter
Verwendete die Software für: Mehr als 1 Jahr
Quelle des Nutzers 
4/5
Gesamt
3 / 5
Benutzerfreundlichkeit
4 / 5
Eigenschaften & Funktionalitäten
4 / 5
Kundenbetreuung
4 / 5
Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis
Wahrscheinlichkeit der Weiterempfehlung:
Unwahrscheinlich Äußerst wahrscheinlich

Kommentare: Single sourcing for instructional design is incredibly useful. Consistent formatting and a decent import program from other software is also very helpful.

Vorteile: I use this mostly for print/PDF media as opposed to web, but it definitely meets my needs. I'm able to generate fairly quickly, utilize single sourcing, and not re-create the wheel repeatedly. Once you've got a handle on how to set up your style sheets and figure out what you do and don't need, it's a great way to promote single sourcing and consistent formatting.

Nachteile: There's definitely a learning curve, and the customization can be a little intimidating on the front end, but well worth it.

Great way to author and deliver a body of topics-based content as print and online outputs

Bewertet am 27.4.2015
R.b. V.
Consulting Technical Writer
Quelle des Nutzers 
4/5
Gesamt
4 / 5
Benutzerfreundlichkeit
Eigenschaften & Funktionalitäten
5 / 5
Kundenbetreuung
Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis

Kommentare: Madcap Flare provides a highly effective single-product way to create and manage a superset of topics based content that can then be packaged and delivered as required. When I began technical writing in 1998 the primary authoring method was to assemble chapter files into books for delivery as PDF manuals. Later that work flow was expanded to become "authoring tool plus something else", where "something else" was a separate tool that extracted content from the authoring tool's content files and generated that content in an online format such as online help (OLH). For today's technical communicator, it's a form of vocational suicide to imprison reusable information inside monolithic chapter files. The need is instead to create reusable topics that can then be assembled into a variety of output combinations and readily delivered in a variety of print and online output formats. Flare contains a rich set of topics-based authoring, content management, and output packaging features. I've been using the product for roughly five years and continue to find it to be a very cost effective way to create a "real" documentation and authoring work flow that can be expanded and refined to serve the needs of small to large content development and output requirements. Flare the product is enhanced by the quality of its vendor, Madcap Software. Madcap's sales and support organizations are so knowledgeable and responsive that they can rightfully be considered to be among Flare's key features. I've been using Flare for about five years now (I began with Version 7. We're now up to version 11). No company is perfect, but Flare the product and Madcap the company have so far provided extremely satisfactory product and customer experiences.

It's not bad

Bewertet am 28.1.2019
Jason B.
Tech Comm Manager
Medizinische Geräte, 501-1.000 Mitarbeiter
Verwendete die Software für: Mehr als 2 Jahre
Quelle des Nutzers 
4/5
Gesamt
3 / 5
Benutzerfreundlichkeit
4 / 5
Eigenschaften & Funktionalitäten
4 / 5
Kundenbetreuung
3 / 5
Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis
Wahrscheinlichkeit der Weiterempfehlung:
Unwahrscheinlich Äußerst wahrscheinlich

Kommentare: I've been using this application since 2008. It has gotten better over the years but there is still room for improvement.

Vorteile: I like that once everything is set up (css, masterpages, targets) creating a decent output is a relatively easy process.

Nachteile: This application is a memory hog. You better have an above average computer to run this thing. And setting up the css, masterpages etc is an exercise in patience. Seeing an output before it's built can be a challenge. Preview takes a while to load.

Very good authoring tool for structured authoring

Bewertet am 8.2.2018
Vinayakrishna B.
Assistant Manager, Technical Publication
1.001-5.000 Mitarbeiter
Verwendete die Software für: Mehr als 1 Jahr
Quelle des Nutzers 
5/5
Gesamt
4 / 5
Benutzerfreundlichkeit
4 / 5
Eigenschaften & Funktionalitäten
5 / 5
Kundenbetreuung
4 / 5
Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis
Wahrscheinlichkeit der Weiterempfehlung:
Unwahrscheinlich Äußerst wahrscheinlich

Kommentare: We use Flare for end-to-end documentation purpose in our organization like user guides, release notes, online help API doc etc.

Vorteile: I like the following aspects:
1. Less manual work as the styles can be created and re-used to enhance the look and feel of the document.
2. Image handling is better compared to other authoring tools. Don't want to name other tools here.
3. DITA authoring is masde very user-friendly in this.

Nachteile: Flaws which I encountered:
1. Sometimes, the application freezes while importing any image of heavy size.
2. More web layouts must be provided for online help.

This is a great tool but it takes time to learn

Bewertet am 24.4.2019
Verifizierter Rezensent
Project Manager
Computer-Software, 13-50 Mitarbeiter
Verwendete die Software für: Mehr als 1 Jahr
Quelle des Nutzers 
4/5
Gesamt
3 / 5
Benutzerfreundlichkeit
5 / 5
Eigenschaften & Funktionalitäten
Kundenbetreuung
Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis
Wahrscheinlichkeit der Weiterempfehlung:
Unwahrscheinlich Äußerst wahrscheinlich

Kommentare: After thing are setup/configured it is a strong tool and great time saver.

Vorteile: We create our own brochures for several verticals. The software is great for allowing us to create 1 brochure and then using code to hide or add sections on text depending on the vertical. We can have 1 master document which saves us a lot of time when it come to updating text that applies to all verticals. Now it did take time to create this master document, but once created it has been a great time saver.

Nachteile: To really be able to use this software you should strongly consider training. In our office we have an employee who is very knowledgeable in MadCap and has used the software for years, so they were a big help. Otherwise the software would have been overwhelming.

Steep & Slippery Learning Curve - Especially Importing Existing Content

Bewertet am 25.7.2019
Shelley L.
Technical Writer
Computer-Software, 501-1.000 Mitarbeiter
Verwendete die Software für: 1-5 Monate
Quelle des Nutzers 
3/5
Gesamt
1 / 5
Benutzerfreundlichkeit
5 / 5
Eigenschaften & Funktionalitäten
3 / 5
Kundenbetreuung
4 / 5
Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis
Wahrscheinlichkeit der Weiterempfehlung:
Unwahrscheinlich Äußerst wahrscheinlich

Kommentare: I've spent months learning Flare to import large documents (total ~100,000 words; ~2,400 images) to produce online help. Haven't yet used it as an "authoring" tool because I'm still working on the import. The pieces that must come together to produce a project are tucked away in various nooks and crannies, and good luck finding them on your own because nobody's going to tell you where they are. "Bronze" tech support,(email only) often doesn't know the answers. But that's OK, because by the time they get back to me (supposed to be 24 - 48 hours, but often more) I've usually figured out the answer on my own. Several times I've written back to tell them there IS INDEED a way to do what I wanted, or there's a BETTER way than what they said. I haven't experienced Platinum tech support, but at least then you find out right away if they don't know the answer. Or maybe they're more knowledgeable? Dunno. OTOH Support once went above and beyond and called me with a complex answer. I'm not saying the support folks are rude or deliberately unhelpful - just inexperienced. You can't simply get trained to support this product. You have to use it yourself in the real world. Be prepared to learn HTML, CSS, and Regular Expressions if you don't already know them. I put off learning Regular Expressions and did a lot of hand work that could have been automated. But the output is nice, and I'll try to leave another review once I've been "authoring" new content.

Vorteile: It does everything they say it will do...

Nachteile: ...But good luck learning how. Over 7,000 pages of documentation, but you'd better know their lingo before you search for answers. Documentation tells you to do an action, but not where to find it or what it's called. If you're starting with a large document import, expect to spend months. I could have cut-and-pasted faster. Tech Support is less helpful than their forums, which are indispensable.

Robust Content Management

Bewertet am 12.4.2016
David G.
Chief Learning Architect
Quelle des Nutzers 
5/5
Gesamt
3 / 5
Benutzerfreundlichkeit
Eigenschaften & Funktionalitäten
4 / 5
Kundenbetreuung
Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis

Kommentare: If you are looking for an extremely robust content management solution, MadCap Flare is a great option to explore. The features are very deep and span web, mobile/tablet, and print outputs and solid stylesheet editing for each. The indexing and search tools to help both users on the front end find what they need, and authors on the back end find issues that are woven throughout large documentation are the best I have seen. Despite being user-friendly, users will not expose the true power of the platform without investing some time. So an average "ease-of-use" rating has more to do with setting expectations of the user. To fully benefit from the product, you must really get in depth with real content management. And as far as content management tools are concerned, I feel this is the easiest to use to leverage advanced features (so from that context, it rates high in ease of use). I have not needed to contact customer service often. When I did, one response was superb with the respondent screensharing and walking me through a complex scenario. It is important to note that we have purchased the top tier support package. A second issue I reported had to do with how the Microsoft Edge Browser was not rendering certain content correctly. It was noted as a known bug, but I have yet to receive follow up, which is disappointing (it has been weeks).

Flare for everyone

Bewertet am 13.8.2018
Michele M.
Software Education Representative
Computer-Software, 1.001-5.000 Mitarbeiter
Verwendete die Software für: Mehr als 2 Jahre
Quelle des Nutzers 
4/5
Gesamt
3 / 5
Benutzerfreundlichkeit
4 / 5
Eigenschaften & Funktionalitäten
Kundenbetreuung
4 / 5
Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis
Wahrscheinlichkeit der Weiterempfehlung:
Unwahrscheinlich Äußerst wahrscheinlich

Kommentare: At first it was cumbersome because I wasn’t sure what I was doing. Now that I’ve received some training and reviewed helpfules, I feel more confident using the software.

Vorteile: Once you get the hang of how the software works, it’s not too difficult to use. I recommend spend some time actually learning the software before you try to implement it to make sure you’re using it to the fullest.

Nachteile: If you don’t use the help files available, you may be a little lost. Sometimes figuring out which files your associated with certain content or TOC can prove difficult, it again, this all stems from lack of proper training or research before using the product.

Great for Editing Large Documents!

Bewertet am 17.11.2018
Verifizierter Rezensent
Writer
Personalwesen, 10.001+ Mitarbeiter
Verwendete die Software für: Mehr als 1 Jahr
Quelle des Nutzers 
5/5
Gesamt
5 / 5
Benutzerfreundlichkeit
5 / 5
Eigenschaften & Funktionalitäten
Kundenbetreuung
Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis
Wahrscheinlichkeit der Weiterempfehlung:
Unwahrscheinlich Äußerst wahrscheinlich

Vorteile: I like that this software enables multiple users to make changes to documentation while keeping the versions very organized. I also like that there are many functionalities.

Nachteile: It is very complicated when learning how to use it.

A decent choice

Bewertet am 9.9.2019
Julian jacques M.
Office Automation Developer
Computer-Software, 51-200 Mitarbeiter
Verwendete die Software für: Mehr als 2 Jahre
Quelle des Nutzers 
4/5
Gesamt
4 / 5
Benutzerfreundlichkeit
4 / 5
Eigenschaften & Funktionalitäten
Kundenbetreuung
Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis
Wahrscheinlichkeit der Weiterempfehlung:
Unwahrscheinlich Äußerst wahrscheinlich

Vorteile: We use MadCap Flare to create our help for our enterprise software solution. The generated documentation - as PDF as well as interactive website - is easy to use and looks nice.

Nachteile: It's sometimes a bit unintuitive​ to use. Collaboration is difficult.

Good Product

Bewertet am 19.11.2014
Jason B.
Knowledge Management Coordinator
Quelle des Nutzers 
5/5
Gesamt
5 / 5
Benutzerfreundlichkeit
Eigenschaften & Funktionalitäten
5 / 5
Kundenbetreuung
Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis

Kommentare: The initial contact and webinar were very straight forward. The amount of these products on the market is substantial but the way this company approached ours was not pushy or sales like. We didn't feel pressured and felt we were given all the tools to make the right decision.