Tip – Single Source your Variables

July 24, 2014

Tip – Single Source your Variables

Being a Madcap Flare user for the last few years I always find myself in awe when I discover new tricks. The other day when our team of writers was pondering how to build out our new documentation beehive in Flare, we decided to single-source as much as we could. So we created one huge project, added a million snippets, a billion topics and created a ton of targets to implement our new strategy of small topic-based user guides.

So now the trick was to make all these guides pretty and uniform. Using Flare’s advanced out-of-the-box templates I was able to put together a nice layout that would work for all these guides. However, I didn’t really feel like creating separate title or cover pages for each guide with their respective titles. So then I thought, let’s use a variable. But wait, wouldn’t I have to change the variable in the *.flvar file every time I built a target?? F-that!

But then, I discovered something new and, instantly, I was compelled to share. I didn’t realize this before, but if you change the variable on your target file, it will save that variable for that target. BOOM!! Mind is blown!
So now for every new guide we create, we have a table of contents that reuses all the print output files. Then we control the title of our guides with the target variable. Thus making our work a great deal easier.

Editing the target variable makes it so it doesn’t affect things we don’t want to change and we don’t have to worry about changing the text every time we build each user guide.
Looking Pretty!

Hope this tip helps.

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