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John Daigle
Adobe Certified RoboHelp / Captivate/ Connect Instructor


Announcing a new (and free) Flare to RoboHelp converter (Updated)  






































Returning to RoboHelp
Movie of the converter in action
Items that convert
See you at WritersUA

Please email me and I will send you the converter directly.

For  MadCap Flare™ authors who are returning to Adobe® RoboHelp®

  • Simple to use, converts even large projects in a few seconds
  • Open source code for continuing development

Last year at WritersUA and STC in Atlanta, several folks asked me if it was possible to convert a MadCap Flare™ project to an Adobe® RoboHelp® 7 or 8 project. Now with this new converter it is. It's an easy way to return to the familiar favorite, RoboHelp, or if you just want to migrate to an easy-to-use tool that is powerful, author-friendly and is part of the new Adobe Technical Communication Suite.

Why there is a need: Before Adobe announced its support for RoboHelp, some authors had tried Flare because there was a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt that "RoboHelp was dead." Expectations were that Flare would be RoboHelp-like in its interface since some of the original developers were involved. But, to the surprise of many, the interface and workflow differences caused a steeper than expected learning curve.

Then, there was concern about Adobe's continued development. Now, Adobe has put that concern to rest with accelerated development and two releases in one year. Plus, RoboHelp is now part of the brand new Adobe Technical Communication Suite. It is clear that RoboHelp will remain the leader and continue its long-standing innovative path. 

Who would build a converter? So, I asked Adobe if they were going to make a converter available and was told the market is really too small to justify the investment. However, they said that if I wanted to develop a converter on my own, they would be glad to assist my developers with any questions they might have. I took up the challenge and the result can be downloaded on my website. Since this converter is incidental to my consulting work I decided that rather than charge for it, I would provide it for free on an "as is" basis.

Free to use it yourself, or hire a consultant to do the tweaking. The converter is now provided for free on an "as is" basis. There are some items that still require "tweaking" after the conversion. If an author prefers, I (and other independent Adobe Instructor/Consultants) will be available to polish up the project for a reasonable fee.

To see how easy it works, here is an Adobe Captivate Demo.

Source code to be available - Let me know if you are interested in making your own enhancements, I will also be making the source code available (as a Visual C++ project) and distribute it on a Common Public License basis.

So what does it convert? - Most of the project items convert remarkably well.

  • Topics
  • CSS
  • Dropdown Hotspots
  • Expanded Hotspots
  • Glossary Hotspots
  • TOC (requires minor post-conversion tweak which is provided.)
  • Index keywords (requires minor post-conversion tweak which is provided.)
  • Glossary
  • Snippets
  • User Defined Variables
  • Conditional Build Tags
  • Context Sensitive Help (CSH) Map files
  • Headers and footers are converted to Snippets similar to Flare

You will have to evaluate the results to see how they may impact your project.  Most of the testing to date has been on Flare 4.2 and Flare 3.1, though it has also converted Flare v2.5 as well. Presently, the output is to Adobe® RoboHelp® 7 only.


Adobe® RoboHelp® 7 is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved
MadCap Flare™ is a trademark of MadCap Software, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.  All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.