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For MadCap Flare™ authors who are upgrading to Adobe® RoboHelp®
At WritersUA and STC Summits, folks have asked me if it was possible to convert a MadCap Flare™ project to an Adobe® RoboHelp® 7, 8 or 9 project. Now with this converter you can in most cases. 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 four releases since the Macromedia purchase. 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 here. 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 (or other independent Adobe Instructor/Consultants) will be available to polish up the project for a reasonable fee.
Depending on the combination of Flare and RoboHelp versions that are used, these features are usually converted successfully:
Please register and download here.
Installing the Flare2RoboHelp Project Converter application:
Certain versions of Flare features in combination with different versions of RoboHelp features will impact the degree of success your conversion will have. Presently, the output is optimized for Adobe® RoboHelp® 7, although it should work in most cases for Adobe RoboHelp 8 and 9 as well. Though not thoroughly, the converter has been tested with Flare as far back as 3.1 through v7.2 and RoboHelp 7, 8 and 9. Most conversions are smooth and work well. But, the only way to know how successful your conversion will be, is to use it and evaluate the results.
As the documentation cautions, you must be careful to back up any Flare and/or RoboHelp projects before using this converter. You will have to evaluate the results to see how they may impact your project. There are many combinations of features, versions of Flare in combination with different versions of RoboHelp which will impact the degree of success your conversion will be. The version of Flare in combination with a particular version of Adobe RoboHelp Presently, the output is optimized for Adobe® RoboHelp® 7, although it should work in most cases for Adobe RoboHelp 8 and 9 as well.
Because the converter is free and provided "as is", support is very limited. However, any questions or suggestions for future enhancements are welcome by emailing John Daigle.
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