The Kaizen Plugin for MadCap Flare

Using Lean principles to eliminate waste from workflows in MadCap Flare, the Kaizen Plugin makes you a more productive techwriter.

The ultimate goal of the Kaizen Plugin is to help you provide perfect value to your users through a perfect value creation process with zero waste.

Want to learn more about Lean in techcomm? Read my article in ISTC Communicator: http://techwritingengineer.com/keep-it-lean-become-more-productive-and-motivated/

Need help, have a feature idea, or found a bug? Send me an e-mail at mattias@kaizenplugin.com.

Download and Install

Click here to download the KaizenPlugin.dll.

  1. Download the plugin DLL.
  2. Find the Flare plugin folder, e.g. in C:\Program Files\MadCap Software\MadCap Flare 12\Flare.app\Plugins
  3. Create a new folder called Kaizen-Plugin
  4. Copy the dll file to the newly created folder
  5. Open MadCap Flare
  6. Go to File > Options > Plugins and click Enable to enable the plugin

Release Notes

The ambition is to release a new version each month, with both new features and updates to existing features.

2016-09-22 Custom file tags and the "Quick review" tool. Tested for MadCap Flare 11 and 12.

2016-08-17 Create topic files from CSV files, and remove all non-breaking spaces from a topic with just one click.

2016-07-22 The first version of the plugin is now available.

Features

Split topic by < h1 >

With this function, you can create multiple topics from a single topic, by splitting that topic by the heading level. This means that you can write all your topic content in a single file before splitting it into several other files. When you click the Split topic by < h1 > button, one topic file is generated per < h1 > heading, granted that each heading is unique. A corresponding TOC and Target can also be created.

To split a topic by heading 1, follow these steps:

  1. Open the topic you want to split.
  2. Click the Split topic by < h1 >.
  3. A dialog appears, asking if you want to create the corresponding TOC. Click Yes or No.
  4. If you clicked Yes, another dialog appears, asking if you want to create a corresponding PDF Target file.
  5. Your topics have now been created, and a report appears, listing how many files were created, overwritten, or skipped.

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Create topics from a CSV file

Create a template file, and link it to a CSV file to generate a massive amount of topics based on the data in a spreadsheet.

To set up a template, link it to a CSV-file, and create topics, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that the CSV file has headings in the first row, and that the first column is called Filename.
  2. Create a new Flare topic, and write [Field] to insert data from the CSV file with the corresponding column name.
  3. Click Link CSV to link the template file to the CSV file. Save the topic.
  4. To generate topics in the same folder as the template file, click Create topics.

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Remove non-breaking spaces

To remove all non-breaking spaces from a topic, make sure the file is saved, and then click Remove non-breaking spaces.

Update the CSS of multiple targets

To change the CSS in multiple targets at once, click Update CSS in multiple targets, select the new CSS file, and then select all the targets you want to apply the CSS to.

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File tag tools

To show all file tags applied to a topic, click Show file tags.

To remove all file tags from a topic, save the topic, and click Remove all file tags.

To create a custom file macro, follow these steps:

  1. Open a dummy topic and apply the tags you want in the macro. Open the Text Editor and select the value of the MadCap:fileTags element in the HTML tag, e.g. "FileTagSetStatus.Complete, FileTagSetAuthor.Author2".
  2. Click Edit file tag macros. A dialog appears, informing you that to be able to use the file tag macros, you must restart Flare after you've edited the text file with the macros.
  3. A text file opens.
  4. Write the name of the macro, e.g. "My macro", and add ";".
  5. Copy-paste the file tags right after the name of the macro, so that the resulting line looks something like this: "My macro;FileTagSetStatus.Complete, FileTagSetAuthor.Author2".
  6. Save the text file and restart Flare.
  7. The File tags section of the Kaizen Plugin now shows all your custom file tag macros. To apply one of them, click the button.

Quick review

To open a new e-mail in Outlook with the current topic attached as a PDF, click Quick review. To modify the conditions applied to the topic, you modify the KaizenTarget.fltar file found in the Targets folder in the Project Explorer.

Backup tool

Whenever the Kaizen plugin modifies a file, a backup is saved. To restore the latest backup, click Restore latest backup. Sometimes you need to close and open the file to see that the backup was actually restored.

About (us)

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Mattias spends his days as a techwriter in the financial services software industry, and holds a M. Sc. in industrial engineering and management from the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University

He is a Lean fanatic, and thrives on making continuous improvements, thereby creating simple and pragmatic solutions to big and complex problems.

Often drives the documentation manager nuts with questions like "Can we automate this?" or "Can we make this easier for the writers?"

Blogs about techcomm, Lean, MadCap Flare, and automation at http://www.techwritingengineer.com.

Report a bug

Let us know if you find a bug!

https://goo.gl/forms/pG3n7h0gi07sNZLx1

mattias@techwritingengineer.com

Request a feature

Tells about the feature(s) you'd like to see in the Kaizen Plugin!

https://goo.gl/forms/NmZj8PQzZSPOEKJI2