Tech Write Tips

October 16, 2006

Flare 7: File List

Filed under: Information Types,Madcap Flare,Technology,Tip,Tool — AndyR @ 12:09 pm

filelist.gifFlare 2.0 further substantiates the breeding we have come to expect from the Madcap stable. This version introduces new features and beefs up performance. This is the first of a few posts that will focus on different features of Flare 2.0.

Today we address the new File List pane, available by selecting View | File List from the menu. As with all components of the Flare interface, this can be positioned to provide easy access as is appropriate to your working style.

The File List pane enables you to view all the files in your project in one list. This list can then be ordered and filtered as required. at first this doesn’t seem all that significant, but when combined with other components of Flare’s flexible interface it enables a number of productivity enhancements.

  • Image Pallet: By filtering the list to include images (*.gif; *.jpg) you can use the list as a source of images for your topics. Rather than having to browse to the required image you can simple drag-and-drop the image from the File List to the topic. Ensure you drag the image icon rather the the text.
  • Edited Files Pallet: By filtering the list to include html files (*.htm; *.html) and ordering by Date Modified you can use this as an unlimited recently list list. This complements the File | Recent Files menu, as it provides a longer list and potentially quicker access to the files.
  • StyleSheet Management: By filtering the list to include html files (*.htm;*.html) you can view the style sheet in use by each topic. Order the list by Style sheet to group the different style sheets together. This enables you to weed out old style sheets and ensure all topics are on the latest version of your style control.
  • Condition Management: By multi-selecting a collection (hold CTRL) or range (hold SHIFT) of topics, right-clicking and selecting Properties from the pop-up menu, you can specify Basic, Topic, Conditional and Language properties on multiple topics. This is particularly useful when managing conditional topics. You can also use the list, ordered by conditions, to further assist the management of conditional topics.
  • Topic Type Editing: By filtering the list by a particular file name you can edit a certain type of topics. (Assuming you have consistently named your topic files) This enables you to rename and edit these topics to ensure they are consistent. For example, filter by ‘*about.*’ to work with all the about topics.

All-in-all the File List pane provides some excellent additional ways of working. Once it includes the ability to view which topics are in the TOC and Index, and filter by folders it will become a key way of working with Flare 2.0.


  1. There are some quirks with the File View. (You have to select an image before you can drag it over. If you just grab the image icon without selecting it first then you end up dragging the image that IS selected [highlighted].)

    Comment by ltinker68 — November 1, 2006 @ 11:02 am | Reply


    To select a topic by its Title rather than its file name…

    …there is a workaround if you put a title in the Topic Title field in the topic’s Properties screen (i.e., instead of letting it use the first heading). The workaround is to open the File List pane (View > File List). There is a column “Title” about four or five columns in. You can either drag that column further to the left so that it’s just to the right of the “Name” column, or you can decrease the width of the columns between the “Name” and “Title” fields. Once you get the File List pane set up so that you can see the icon to the left of the “Name” field while seeing the “Title” field, then you can select text in the topic, left-click on the topic icon in the File List, and drag the icon to the selected text in the topic. The hyperlink window will open and you can go on from there.

    Unfortunately, like I mentioned, the Title column only displays a value if you typed something into the “Topic Title” field in the Properties screen. It would be nice if it would pick up the value of the first heading if the “Topic Title” field is blank. I’ll submit a request for that.

    If you haven’t populated the “Topic Title” field, then this workaround won’t work because the Title field will be blank in the File List and the only other columns that might be useful are the “Name” and “Path” fields, but that pretty much is all you see now in the hyperlink window.

    Comment by ltinker68 — November 3, 2006 @ 9:48 am | Reply

  3. very good post from our team

    Trackback by swissreplica7 — January 15, 2007 @ 11:49 am | Reply

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