Flare’s interface is powerful and highly configurable. Learn about the default interface and how you can configure it in this video.
- [Voiceover] In this video you'll learn about Flare's interface, and how to customize it. I've got a little project open that we'll use to demo the features of the interface. So, let's take a look at the overall interface first. The basic interface is broken into three panes. Starting on the left, there's the left pane, which by default, opens showing two tabs down at the bottom called content explorer and project organizer. The content explorer pane contains all the content in your project.
The project organizer contains features that go beyond content to include things like a table of contents and so on. We also have a center editing pane, where you'll do your editing not only of topics, but any feature in Flare. Because every feature in Flare can be customized and you'll do that customization through the editing pane. On the right hand pane, right now we see the Dynamic Help. There are actually many features that display by default in the right pane.
Such as spell-check, or search and replace. Because these features are typically transitory, you do a search and replace, or a spell-check and you're done. You can close the right-hand pane to give yourself more room. So, by closing the right-hand pane, this gives me more room in the center editing pane. There are other features that I can display by clicking the view menu item. The view ribbon lists most of the features that you can view. To give you an idea, I'm going to select backups in the common group just to the left of center, and the backups pane now opens up in the left-hand window.
I can also customize the interface very broadly to make sure that the panes I want to use are displayed and I can control where they go on the screen, and we'll discuss this shortly. We also have the start page, you see this in the editing area. The start page lets you do a number of things. It lists primary tasks like opening an existing project, or starting a new one. It also lists a lot of help resources, templates, tutorials, and so on.
And at the bottom right, the news and updates section lists conferences at which MadCap may be exhibiting, new features and new version, and so on and so forth. Up at the top we have the global ribbon and each window has its own local toolbars. So, for example, I'm going to open the content explorer down at the bottom left, and you notice that the content explorer window has its own local toolbar. I can also customize the screen extensively.
I can move windows, re-dock windows, automatically hide windows, close windows, open windows and so on. And we'll do this by looking at the content explorer pane on the left. Every window has the same set of commands in its toolbar, or in its titlebar. To the left of the title, there's a little stack of horizontal lines, that's the movement icon. And, what I can do is put the pointer on that little stack of horizontal lines, and when I click, I can now drag that window out and position it anywhere I want.
This is a very handy feature if you have dual monitors. Because you can put certain panes on one monitor, different panes on another monitor, and give yourself a lot more room. I can also re-dock a window, and to do so, I click in that window's titlebar, and as soon as I start dragging, these little placement control windows open up the little squares. So to re-dock a window, I'm just going to move it onto the left hand square, the screen turns shaded to show you where the window will drop.
And when I've released the mouse button, I've re-docked the window. But you notice this window doesn't look quite the same as it did the first time. The first time we had tabs down at the bottom left. Now we have tabs at the top. The second feature is that little drop down icon toward the right-hand side of the window label. When I click on the drop-down, here are various window control options, and I decide I want to go to the accordions tab. I'll click on accordions tab, and I'm back where I started.
There might also be a time when I want to get rid of some of these windows. They're easy to close, just by clicking the x. But I might not wanna do that. I might simply want to tuck them out of the way. So what I'll do is click the little push-pin icon at the top of the window. And when I click the push-pin, that whole window seems to disappear. But if you look at the left-hand side of the screen, all three windows are actually hanging off the left side of the screen. You can see their tabs, and all I have to do is hover over any of them to have the window pop back out.
And the window stays popped out until I move the mouse pointer off that window. In which case, the window closes like this. It snaps shut. If I want to re-display the window, I click back on the tab. You notice that the push-pin is pointing to the left because I've pinned those windows to the left side of the screen. So, I'll click on the push-pin again. The push-pin is now vertical and the windows are re-displayed. In addition to all this, I can modify things extensively.
Sometimes you can modify things a little too much and you then have to try to figure out, what did I do wrong, and how do I get back to where I wanna be? You could spend a lot of time doing this, or you can take a shortcut, which is to do a layout reset. So what you do, is you click up on the Window, menu item, and I get the Window ribbon. If I click on reset layout, it's going to ask me, do I want to do this. Do I wanna reset all the settings to the out of the box factory settings.
I'll click on okay, and I'm back where I started, with the default layout. So, Flare is a very powerful tool, very powerful interface, very highly customizable. And in this video you got an introduction to Flare's interface and how to customize it.
- Creating content using topics
- Adding and managing topics
- Importing files
- Inserting graphics
- Creating a table of contents, glossary, and cross-references
- Adding hyperlinks
- Formatting documents with stylesheets
- Creating master pages
- Single sourcing content
- Using variables and snippets
- Generating output