NEW: 39-page Quality Assurance Plan Template in MS Word/Excel

Looking for a Quality Assurance Plan template? We’ve spent most of the week polishing this fella and now he’s ready for prime time. See what you think. Quality Assurance Plan Template This template pack includes a 39-page Quality Assurance Plan Template in MS Word, an Audit checklist and Schedule Forms, and 7 Excel spreadsheets. You […]

MadCap Flare: How to Update Stylesheets

In the Madcap world of Flare (yes, I promise never to say that again), you can use stylesheets to give your tech docs a real edge. For me, styles are one of the hidden secrets in Flare. So, if you plan to publish your tech docs to PDF, Web, or HTML5, a crash course in CSS […]

MadCap Flare: Conditional Text 101

Conditional text is one of those writing tactics technical writers love to talk about… but never seem to use. It’s a shame as conditional tagging can save you a lot of time, especially if you have technical documents which share 90% of the content but the other 10% needs to be tweaked for each release. […]

5 Part Formula for Writing Error Messages

How can we write error message that are both helpful and human? Error messages fall into three categories: informational, warning, or errors. Error Message: 5 Part Format Most messages contain these parts: Error number — a one-to-five-digit number that identifies the message. User-defined messages may contain more digits. Description — a Unicode string that contains […]

Madcap Flare – Close all Open Documents Except Active One

Ever want to close all the open documents in Madcap Flare except the one you’re working on? Yes? If so, here’s how you do it: In Flare, click the Window tab. In the Open Windows section (far left), click the Close All Documents button. This opens a drop-down list. Click Close All Documents Except This […]

How to Write Error Log Messages

You know in Star Trek, when they’re looking into the Captain’s Log? I bet they also had an Error Message log for when things went real bad. You know, like when the Klingons actually won and took over the Enterprise. Ok, so what’s this got to do with tech docs? Well, it’s a roundabout way […]

[Checklist] How to Review Troubleshooting Guides

Making a list, checking it twice… or three times… How do you test your Troubleshooting Guide after you write it? One way is to create a checklist and test each part individually. This also helps System Administrators and Software Testers to double-check that all procedures have been completed correctly. Ok, less talk from me. Let’s […]

Madcap Flare: Snippets 101

Snippets? Sounds familiar but what are they? In the Madcap world of Flare, snippets are content ‘fragments’ you can re-use in different parts of your Madcap Flare projects. Use snippets to insert: Text Tables Images Video Why Use Snippets If you find yourself typing the same text over and over, create a snippet instead. Create […]

Review Checklist for Technical Documents

Making a list, checking it twice… How do you review your technical documents? You just don’t eyeball them, right? Before you send your shiny new user guide into the wild, use the following checklist to review your technical documents: Title Is the title consistent across all documents? Note lower, mixed, and upper case combinations Product […]

Madcap Flare: Logo Size and Settings for WebHelp

Want to replace the default MadCap Flare logo for your online help? Before you do, a few things to consider: For IE 6 or older uses — save the logo as GIF with a transparent background. If you use PNG, the transparent portion of your image appears as black. For IE 7 or newer — […]

How to Create (Stunning) Web Forms

Creating web forms is harder than you’d think. Yes, it looks easy but… Before I forget — try Formstack if you want stunning-looking web forms. So, let’s say you’re designing a form for your company’s website. How can you make sure uses don’t get frustrated, impatient, or annoyed and leave your site? The last thing […]

Web Help: 5 Index Guidelines

Do you provide an index for your online documents? I’m not sure if today’s customers actually want an index. Maybe they prefer to search. Of course, not everyone agrees with me. Lori Lathrop, author of An Indexer’s Guide to the Internet, helps firms index their technical publications for software, manufacturing, and science. She highlights four […]

Madcap Flare: how to improve Search Engine Optimization

Using Madcap Flare to create your WebHelp? Did you know you can add SEO information to the page headers? This improves their results in search engines queries and helps customers find information faster. Want to know how? Follow these steps, grasshopper. Madcap Flare: how to improve Search Engine Optimization In Project Organizer, click Targets, then […]

Madcap Flare: How to Create Variables

Are you using variables in your technical documents? If not, you might be missing out. They save a lot of time and help keep the documents accurate, for example, if you need to change a product name across the entire doc set. If those puppies were hard-coded, you’re in trouble. We use Madcap Flare. The […]

How to Remove the MadCap Logo in WebHelp Output

When creating WebHelp with Madcap Flare, you can add your own logo instead of the default Madcap logo. Here’s how to do it. To remove the MadCap logo and replace it with your own logo: Open the skin want to remove the logo from. Click the Styles On the Tool Item category, click Logo. Click […]