Madcap Flare – Checking attributes the easy way

By Russell Austin

- AST Authors Team Member

My favourite Madcap Flare customisation

We are all familiar with how software can be customised for each of us. By resizing window panes, changing preference options, or opening windows that give us access to our most commonly used functions.

Madcap Flare is no different. The software has many settings, personalisation options and windows to help you use the software. Normally information can be accessed in different ways too. For example, finding out which style has been applied to a tag can be found in the Home ribbon, the Style Window, the Text Editor or through the right-click menu.

But which windows are worth taking up valuable screen space and are the most useful?

There is no wrong answer of course. It will depend on what type of work you are producing, the type of content you are creating and whether you are part of a team with a specific role or a solo author who is responsible for the whole project.

But let me share with you my favourite window, the one which I find most useful. The one which saves me mouse clicks. The one that allows me to enter information quickly and perform quality checks on the go.

The Attributes window.

The Attributes window is found in the Home ribbon. This simple but useful window provides immediate information that you would otherwise access through longer methods.

Within this window you can easily see useful tag related information such as whether any inline styling is present, any assigned events, the applied class, tag ID and for images, alt and title information for easy checking of accessibility.

The reason I find this so helpful is I often used to find myself switching to the Text Editor to look directly into the page’s code, or clicking through a number of menu options to enter a property menu. When you are doing this in every topic these little double-checks add up. This window saves me so much time.

When I find this the most useful is in the early stages of a document creation, where an existing document is being heavily edited or where an import has brought in a lot of extra styling. You can quickly get to grips with what you have, the quality of the content and what is missing. Also, where a document has been worked on collaboratively and you can’t be sure that everyone has added the same level of information.

There are of course other ways to access the same information. Flare’s Project Analysis feature is a great customisable tool, that will for example highlight missing accessibility information. But what I like about the Attributes window is that I can perform a casual check on content as I am writing, which reduces the amount of missing information and the level of follow up work required.

If you haven’t used the Attribute window, why not give it a try. And of course, we all have our own favourite customisations which are suited to our needs and way of working. So please feel free to share yours.

Thank you for reading!