MadCap Software Releases Mimic

Feb 06, 2007

MadCap Software, a provider of multi-channel content authoring, has introduced Mimic. Mimic lets individuals create movies that simulate actions on a computer screen and produce interactive instructional videos. Mimic is the newest addition to MadCap Software's integrated "dream suite" of native XML, multi-channel authoring software for creating and publishing content--in print, on intranets, across the web, and around the world in local languages.

The newest product from MadCap is designed to support sales and marketing, technical support, eLearning, and Help systems. With Mimic, users have a choice between creating standalone movies or producing multi-movie collections based on projects. Output can be generated in Adobe Flash or in Mimic's proprietary movie format. Mimic also will fully support output in the Microsoft WPF/E format when it is released. Regardless of the format used, Mimic automatically provides built-in navigation for multi-movie collections. Mimic is a flexible, open-architecture application that produces XML files. This is designed to allow users to open movie files--before or after generation--and edit text in individual movie frames. Because Mimic provides Unicode support for all left-to-right languages, access to these XML files is especially useful for translating movies into different languages. Mimic is tightly integrated with Flare, designed to make the software simulation application particularly user-friendly for authors of online and web content. Mimic can be launched from within the Flare interface, and Flare authors can insert links to Mimic movies from topics, tables of contents, and browse sequences. The smaller size of videos generated in the Mimic movie format means authors can include instructional movies while ensuring that the overall size of a Help or training system does not become bloated.

A feature of Mimic's integration with Flare is the use of variables (content that can be customized as needed for delivery to different audiences). Not only can a user insert variables directly into Mimic movie content, he or she can also create a link to a Flare project, so that the Flare project's variables can be inserted into the Mimic movie. The same ability to link variables exists with MadCap Capture. Therefore, a user can modify a definition for the linked variable in Flare, and it will change everywhere simultaneously--in Flare content, in Mimic movies, and in Capture images. Additional key features of Mimic include full-motion recording, a variety of recording options, a visual timeline, audio integration, palettes for re-using buttons and other frame objects, input boxes, animated typing boxes, and various special effects. Mimic will begin shipping in early February 2007. It is priced at $299 per license. Annual support starts at $149 per year.