Velasquez. Las Meninas (1656)


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Weekly Schedule

Sept. 25
Oct. 2
Oct. 9
Oct. 16
Oct. 23
Oct. 30
Nov. 6
Nov. 13
Nov. 20
Nov. 27
Dec. 4
Dec.11

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Course Overview

This course used to be called Technical Publishing with Adobe FrameMaker. The name was changed to designate Madcap Flare as the focus of this course.

MadCAp Flare help: 888-623-2271 and listen for the prompt for tech support )I think it is option 3). Anyone on the support team can help.

Can I Run MadCap Flare on a Mac? Oh, Yes!. From MadCap.
Guest post from Una Cogavin: A Review of MadCap Flare 2018 and MadCap Central May 2018 Release

This course begins with a general focus on MadCap Flare in which you learn basic and book-building skills, along with some formatting and writing exercises. You'll study tutorials and then send me files that demonstrate you have understood the Flare tasks in the tutorials. There will be several projects in this course in which you format existing text and graphics or write original documents. The final project involves a brief "book" that has all the formatting and automation elements we have studied during the course.

We use a free license made available by MadCap, which will have an extended expiration date, sometime after this semester is over. You can install two—and only twice. MadCap will terminate all licenses if anybody goes over this limit.

This course will feature new video tutorial recordings for the latest version of Flare.

Semester/year Fall 2018
Instructor David A. McMurrey
Class meetings None: online-only class
Office Northridge 4225
Office hours Thurs. 10:00-3:00, and by apptmt. (Always call before driving all the way out to Northridge Campus.)
Phone 512-223-4804
E-mail davidm@austincc.edu

Week of September 25

Getting organized. In the first week of this course, let's get oriented and organized.

Go to course startup, fill out the questionnaire, tell us about yourself, and read about the course, objectives, policies, and grades — due Oct. 1

Flare basics. Use the Flare basics tutorial to get familiarized with basic tasks such as creating and saving files, making text italics or bold, changing fonts, changing tabs and margins, applying standard tags (such as for headings or numbered lists).

Go to Flare basics practice, do the practice work, and send it to your instructor. — due Oct. 1

Items of interest:

Week of October 2

Flare tables. In this unit, use the Flare table tutorials to learn how how to create tables in Flare. (You'll need to use tables when you do the book-design project in one of the next units.)

Go to tables, do the practice work, and send it to your instructor, due Oct. 8

Tags and styles. Learn how to apply tags and how to modify them as necessary. The methods are different in Flare, but the results and advantages are the same.

Go to Flare styles, do the practice work, and send it to your instructor, due Oct. 8

Flare imitation project. In this project, you use existing Flare styles to format text so that it looks exactly like a PDF document (or very close).

Styles/tags project: do this project, and send it to your instructor, due Oct. 8

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 1 (writing mechanics): ReadMe 1 Quiz — due Oct. 8
ReadMe 2 (constructing text): ReadMe 2 Quiz— due Oct. 8

Week of October 9

Master pages. Learn about master pages in Flare.

Go to Flare master pages, do the practice work, and send it to your instructor, due Oct. 15

Page layouts in Flare. Review how to use, create, modify, and apply Flare page layouts.

Go to Flare page layouts, do the practice work, and send it to your instructor, due Oct. 15

Templates in Flare. Review how to apply templates, and learn how to create your own.

Go to templates, do the practice work, and send it to your instructor, due Oct. 15

Chapter-formatting project. Use graphics and unformatted text supplied by your instructor, create a well-designed technical document using Flare and the tags that you have specified.

Go to the chapter-formatting project, do this project, and send it to your instructor, due Oct. 15

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 3 (writing style): ReadMe 3 Quiz — due Oct. 15
ReadMe 12 (illustrations): ReadMe 12 Quiz — due Oct. 15

Brief procedure project 1. Get started on the brief procedure in which in at least two Flare pages you provide some instructions. Be sure to apply the guidelines on writing style, headings, lists, notices, and highlighting that you have studied previously.

Brief procedure documentation project 1 — due Oct. 22

Week of October 16

Brief procedure project 1. Don't forget—this thing is due this week.

Brief procedure documentation project 1 — due Oct. 22

Anchored frames & graphics with Flare. Learn how to create and incorporate graphics into documents as well as how to use screen captures as well as create simple drawings.

Go to frames and graphics, do this practice, and send it to your instructor, due Oct. 18

Basic page design. Study some of the standard specifications for headings, lists, notices, cross-references, tables, highlighting, simple typography and layout issues, and other. Explore what is common or standard, focusing particularly on page design concepts for written instructions and rhetorical strategies for writing effective instructions.

McMurrey. Page design
Page design quiz — due Oct. 18

Procedure-writing review. To get ready to write a good instructional procedure, read the link below. This is a collection of topics you may not have encountered before. But getting writing style, headings, numbered and bulleted lists, highlighting, graphics, and tables standard is critical inthe brief procedure projects.

McMurrey. Procedure-writing review

Week of October 23

Flare file extensions. By default, Windows does not display file extensions. To display them for a folder, click Organize > Folder and search options > View, and then uncheck Hide extensions of known file types.

File extensions (opens in a popup window)

Autonumbering and variables with Flare. Learn how to automate any numbering stream in a book, how to enable diiferent versions of the same documents using conditional text, and how to create variables for rapid updating.

Go to autonumbering, do this practice, and send it to your instructor, due Oct. 26

Simple book building and TOCs with Flare. Learn how to build a book and generate, format, and update automated tables of contents.

Go to simple book building, do this practice, and send it to your instructor, due Oct. 26

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 10 (document types): ReadMe 10 Quiz — due Oct. 29

Week of October 30

Cross-references with Flare. Learn how to create various styles of cross-references—both within the same document and between documents.

Go to Cross-references, do this practice, and send it to your instructor, due Nov. 1

Book-formatting project. Your project will be to build a book—complete with automated page numbers, cross-references, tables of contents, indexes, headers, and footers—from text supplied by the instructor.

Book-formatting project — due Nov. 12

Readings in documentation. Please read these chapters before you start planning your project.

ReadMe 14 (GUI): ReadMe 14 Quiz — due Nov. 12

Week of November 6

Visit a forum. Post a question or search for an answer in a Flare forum.

Flare forum visit — due Nov. 8

Book-formatting project. Don't forget—this thing is due this week.

Book-formatting project — due Nov. 19

Final project startup. Find some computer hardware or software product to develop a user guide for. Use the same ideas for project possibilities listed in the brief procedure project.

Project ideas
First draft — due Dec. 10
Final draft — due Dec. 17

Week of November 13

Indexing with Flare. Read about standard process and guidelines for indexing hardcopy books, and then learn how to create indexes.

Go to Indexing, do this practice, and send it to your instructor, due Nov. 15

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 18 (indexing): ReadMe 18 Quiz — due Nov. 15
McMurrey. Indexing
Indexing quiz — due Nov. 15
ReadMe 17 (glossaries): ReadMe 17 Quiz — due Nov. 15

Week of November 20

Final project—continued. Keep working on your final project.

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 8 (international): ReadMe 8 Quiz — due Nov. 22
ReadMe 9 (legal): ReadMe 9 Quiz — due Nov. 22

Week of November 27

First draft. Turn in the first, or "preliminary" draft of your final project. I'll turn it back around to you with comments as fast as I can.

First draft — due Dec. 10

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 11 (editors): ReadMe 11 Quiz — due Dec. 3
ReadMe A (publications): ReadMe A Quiz — due Dec. 3

Week of December 4

Final draft. Using my comments, complete the final draft of your project and send it in.

Final draft — due Dec. 17

Final draft. Using my comments, complete the final draft of your project and send it in.

Final draft — due Dec. 17

Informal course evaluation. Help me improve this course.

Course evaluation form


Information and programs provided by davidm@austincc.edu.

Week of December 11