Summary – Lightning Talks

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Panel: Nita Beck, Paul Stoecklein, Tony Self, Scott DeLoach, Neil Perlin, Daniel Ferguson, Mike Hamilton

Apparently, this is a MadWorld tradition. A really good concept to finish the day for some. 5 minute lightning talks from a panel of experts. It didn’t have to be about Madcap products either and it wasn’t too.

Daniel Ferguson

Daniel started the talks with a blitzkreig of things someone should have told him when he started!
Unbind feature – Drew a low whistle and a lot of exasperated sighs from the audience.
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Paul Stoecklein

Paul is the Documentation Manager at Madcap Software and probably knows the product better than anyone, and he let us into a few hidden gems about Flare.
Macros – Record a macros of your commonly performed actions
Custom shortcuts – Assign a shortcut
Style picker (Ctrl+Shift+H) – Pick a style quickly without using the Styles window.
Create a div with just an single space and apply page break after for creating a custom page break solution.
Use P.TOC1 to eliminate orphans and make sure you have set page-break-after: avoid;
Global/Custom dictionary – Add words to a custom dictionary and share it across the organisation.

Nita Beck

Nita is the person who started it all. Flare User Groups. She has been successfully running the Rochester Flare User Group for close to 6 years and shared her experiences/pain of how she goes about still managing it.
She explained the concept of Flare User Groups, what is involved, how it can work and how she uses all the tech she can currently to keep a dwindling base going. Some of the tools she uses these days are cloud folders, Trello and Skype (to host online meetings).

Mike Hamilton

Mike decided to go a bit away from tools, but gave us an interesting 5 min talk about what he thinks are the 3 secrets to success:
1. Know who are writing for – Business objectives, Manager’s Goals, Customer Needs
2. Know how to write a business case
3. Be able to show that you add more value than you cost.

Neil Perlin

In his lightning talk Neil spoke about a feature in Flare that is essentially a oops-moment saver: Flare project import
He quickly demonstrated how to create a master project to hold files to share and how to link each child project to the master. The master project essentially controls everything and sometimes that’s a good thing!

Scott DeLoach

Scott got under the “skin” of Madcap Flare. Literally. In his talk, he expounded on the idea of how to use skins to style content.
He was also of the opinion that tripane may not be completely dead, yet.

Tony Self

In his inimitable style, Tony spoke a few minutes about lightning. Yes, you heard that right. He brought the house down with his lightning talk.
While the audience was still zapped (pun intended), he also recounted an experience when he had to work with a SME who was adamant on the content being delivered in the printed output, much at the expense of the online medium. Tony’s experience summed up in his own words,
“Don’t make your online product weaker in order to compromise for the printed output.”

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