Summary – You’re using Capture with Flare, right?

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Presented by: Paul Pehrson

I’ve been using Madcap Capture with Flare for more than 15 months, especially now that Capture comes free with Flare licence and also because I was mildly aware of how well it integrates with Flare content based on another presentation by Mike Hamilton at a TW conference in Bangalore in 2013. My use of Capture had mostly involved adding callouts and other info on screenshots already taken from another image capture tool.
Paul Pehrson’s presentation changed a lot of that. As Paul pointed out, the vital difference between Capture and other tools (such as SnagIT, Faststone Capture etc) is that Madcap Capture is XML based.

What this allows us is to add information to the image file externally (via a text editor). Some of the things you can do with the image properities are:
a. You can open the .props file that gets automatically created in the same folder as your images to manipulate the image data (size, shape etc).
b. Edit individual layers
c. Use Find And Replace (FAR) in image .props to search and replace for text, saving you the trouble of opening multiple files for making changes.

Another cool thing that I learnt was that Capture resizes image based on additional info (ex text callouts) added to the image. So, for example, if you resize the image to fit your style guide specifications, Capture will automatically resize the additional components (callouts etc) to fit the image.

You can also add all sorts of callouts and text based on your style guide and add it to a Custom Palette that can be used across multiple projects. If you are working on changing content between version releases, and have used Capture for getting images in the previous version, you can use the “Recapture” tool to get new images. So long as you have the .props file in the same folder as the images, Capture will remember the dimensions of the captured area and allow you to recapture the updated image, without any manual cropping required.

You can also apply some of Flare’s single sourcing concepts to captured images:
a. Set image properties in Capture to display the same image differently for screen and print outputs. For print outputs, Paul suggested using a setting that he believes works best: 150dpi, TIFF format.
b. Set variables in an image to use the same image across multiple outputs.
Paul also demonstrated another cool thing with Capture: Profiles. If you make changes to a particular image and would like to use those modifications for future images, you can save the settings to a profile. You can then use the profile across multiple projects.

This session gave me quite a few tips and tricks about using Madcap Capture with Flare, that I could use in my projects right away.

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