In my company there are also discussions to choose
MadCap Flare as a common authoring tool.
I see different requirements among us. Some need
HTML or CHM, others only PDF.
The arguments from MadCap Flare users here are:
o Less bugs.
o Better conversion to CHM and HTML.
o Better support.
(I do not know if all these are also valid for FM 12 or upcoming FM 13!)

Can those who use or used Flare comment on these?
Are these arguments valid?

What other experiences do you have?
Which features do you miss?
I see that Flare does not allow text on top of graphics.
I could not find out whether you can enter simple tabs.
I have problems adjusting table column widths.
I have even problems to zoom in when I have the print layout selected.
Flare does not support separate DTDs.

Best regards


From: framers-boun...@lists.frameusers.com 
[mailto:framers-boun...@lists.frameusers.com] On Behalf Of Kevin Ryan
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 9:21 PM
To: framers@lists.frameusers.com
Subject: Frame vs. Flare for My Needs


I could use the advice of some Frame veterans on whether a switch from Frame to 
Flare might be a delusion-inspired wrong turn for me, or possibly the right way 
to go.

My company's primary documentation output is PDF user/training/reference guides 
authored on FrameMaker 7. Not the current Frame version, I know, but sufficient 
with our good templates to produce solid, professional-looking documents we're 
proud of. Other current deliverables include context-sensitive HTML topics 
produced via Mif2go and a limited number of "Process Assistance" MS Word 
topics.  These latter are a sort of MS-Word help equivalent that our customers 
can download from our application, edit if necessary, and even upload back into 
our application for others if they want to. I create Process Assistance MS-Word 
topics by cutting from Frame and pasting into Word, followed by manual 
reformatting (ouch).

Our customers (utilities) have been requesting another MS Word output:  
Editable MS Word versions of our 20-300 page PDF manuals so that they can edit 
them for their own purposes (such as internal training).  Unfortunately, we've 
been unable to find a workable Frame-to-Word conversion process to this end.  I 
can do manual reformatting to Word in our short Process Assistance topics, but 
to do it on entire manuals would give me a nervous breakdown.

So, with better MS-Word output generation as my primary goal, I've been 
considering a switch to Flare. Its capability to output in PDF, Word, and HTML 
seems as though it might ultimately streamline our processes. As I test Flare 
by my 30-day trial, though, I'm reminded of the many things FrameMaker does 
really well - things I might be losing if I made the switch:  For example, 
precise page layouts, complex graphics, robust tables. To its credit, Flare 
seems to offer output versatility, excellent documentation and support, and a 
lot of Marketing momentum.

Am I misguiding myself?  Barking up the wrong tree?

Thanks for any opinions or comments.

Kevin Ryan
Technical Writer
Systems & Software, Inc.
426 Industrial Avenue
Suite 140
Williston, VT 05495
802.865.1170 phone
802.865.1171 fax

Save the Date! 2015 Harris Customer Training 
October 21-23, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia - Atlanta Marriott Marquis.


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