MadCap Flare Overview | Authoring and Publishing for Print, Online, Desktop and Mobile Documentation > MadCap Software

By: Madcap Software  11-11-2011

Single-sourcing—to produce multiple results from one source—allows you to enjoy greater consistency, accuracy and delivery of your documentation by managing content from a single source. In Flare, you can make use of single-sourcing in many different ways:

Global Project Linking:

You can import content and project files contained in another Flare project, thus allowing you to maintain the information in one location but reuse it in any other project.

Multiple outputs from one project:

Flare allows you to generate output in a variety of online and print-based formats, creating as many different targets as you want from the same project.

Single-source images:

MadCap Capture, the screen capture and graphics editing application, contains many unique features that are especially useful for online documentation authors, including the ability to single-source images in Flare projects. For a single image, you can provide one group of settings for online output, and another group of settings for printed output.


Variables are pre-set terms that you can use in your project over and over. They are stored in "variable sets," which can hold multiple variables. Flare provides you with an initial variable set, but you can add as many additional variable sets as you like. Variables are used for brief, non-formatted pieces of content (such as the name of your company's product or your company's phone number).

Style sheets:

Cascading style sheets (CSS files) can be used to control the look of your output. Style sheets can be applied to individual topics, or you can use a "master" style sheet, applying it to all files at the target level or project level.


Snippets are pre-set chunks of content that you can use in your project over and over. Snippets are used for longer pieces of content that you can format just as you would any other content in a topic. Insert tables, pictures, and whatever else can be included in a normal topic.

Snippet conditions:

Snippet conditions are condition tags that you can apply to content within snippets. Separate certain snippet content so that it displays in some topics or master pages but not in others. Whereas regular conditions are included or excluded at the target level, snippet conditions are included or excluded at the topic or master page level.

Mediums for topic styles:

Let's say you want one style setting (e.g., underline font) to be used for online output and another setting (e.g., do not underline font) to be used for printed output. You can use a medium in your style sheet to create different settings for the same style. When you apply a particular medium to a target, it will be used for that output.

Table print styles:

A table style sheet allows you to single-source your formatting by setting the properties in one place and reusing them wherever you insert tables in your project. But what if you want the tables in online output to look one way and the tables in your printed output to look another way? One solution is to insert two different tables (one for online output and another for print) throughout your project and then use condition tags on them. A better solution is to insert a single table at each location, using a special version of the table style for print-based output.

Condition tags:

You can apply condition tags at all levels in Flare—character, paragraph, file, and more.

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SMEs can pop in and out of the documentation task without having to set aside swathes of time, and the content they produce can be integrated much faster. My colleague handles the operations manual, and at times has up to 10 contributing authors using the Contributor template. Even then everything looks consistent, and that's important because we put a priority on standards..