MadCap Software, Inc. has announced MadCap Flare, a new XML-based authoring tool that is designed to empower technical writers, Help authors, and other documentation professionals to compose content in XML format without requiring any knowledge of the XML language or XML programming. MadCap Flare features a visual editor that allows users to compose content similar to how they would in Microsoft Word. The software maintains the content in pure XML format, allowing users to reuse and repurpose the content to other formats, standards, devices, or operating systems.
MadCap Flare combines established Help authoring standards with new features. Users can import existing content from a variety of sources, including Microsoft Word, HTML, RoboHelp, and Adobe FrameMaker. Content can be edited and enhanced using the visual editor, which is configurable for any XML-language using XML schemas and CSS style sheets. Advanced features such as conditional tags and variables allow authors to repurpose content, and automated wizards enable users to create a Table of Contents, Index, and Search. The software includes project management capabilities with document check in/out, as well as multi-language support, including Unicode support. Users can generate and distribute content in variety of standard formats, including cross-browser, cross-platform Help, pure Flash Help (no HTML), Microsoft Longhorn Help, Microsoft HTML Help (.chm), and printed documentation. Interested parties can register to receive a sneak preview version of MadCap Flare or sign up for the MadCap Flare beta testing program online.