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Course owner: your_name
Course instructor: instructor_name
Instructor e-mail: instructor_email
Course start date: start_date

This is your main working page for your noncredit online course in MadCap Flare for Content Development. Flare is the designated authoring tool for this course. We have it available for free.

From this page you can go to study materials, read about project requirements, find out what to name your files, see when projects are due, go to the online textbook and other resources for this course.

When you complete a unit, click the Completed button for that unit. If you mistakenly mark a unit as completed, contact your instructor (or just wait until you've actually completed it.)

Note: Links have been omitted from this page.

Unit 1. MadCap Flare Overview, Install, Plan your Project

In this unit, you get an overview of MadCap Flare and then install it on your own computer. In addition, you review the common characteristics of traditional hardcopy documents (which in this course we will produce as PDFs).

MadCap Flare course overview

Read about MadCap Flare.

Download and install MadCap Flare on your own computer.

Review traditional print document structure; plan your own project

Take a look at how traditional print books are structured. You'll be developing something similar in MadCap Flare. After that, sketch out your own ideas about a print book (PDF) you would be interested in developing. You'll post your ideas on Open Forum.

Due date: unit1_date

Unit 2: Create Topics, apply Simple Formatting, and Build

Create topics, apply simple formatting, and build.

In this unit, you start simple by creating a one- or two-topic Flare project, do some formatting (which will be familar to you if you use Microsoft Word), and "build" the project both as HTML5 (online output) and PDF (which is our focus in this course).

Add images, tables and a TOC to your MadCap Flare project.

In this unit, you continue checking out Flare basics by adding images and tables. But most important, you see how to build a table of contents (TOC) in Flare. Very big deal.

Due date: unit2_date

Unit 3. Set Up Project Files, H1 Style, Page Layouts and Footers

Create the project files.

First things first: create all the files (topics)n that go into this project.
Note: If studying these units takes up all your time, just use placeholder text in these files: Lorem ipsum.

Create the page layouts

In this unit, you set up all the files for your Flare PDF project. It's a lot of files, but it will prepare you for practically any complex project. Plus, it can act as a template for future projects!

Set up H1 headings for incrementing

An all important part of this unit is setting up the H1 styles which will be at the top of all your project files, some of which will increment automatically (such as chapter numbering).

Set up the footers

In this unit you design the layout of the different page types in your project (for example, two-column glossary and index layouts) and set up the footers which will display chapter or book titrle and page number.

And now, at long last, when you finish with the footers, you will have the bare bones of a Flare project that you can send to your dear old prof.

Due date: unit3_date

Unit 4. Use CSS and Set up a Master Page in Flare Project

Create a master page in your Flare project

A master page is useful for text that gets repeated a lot and that must remain consistent. A copyright line appearing at the bottom of every page is a good example. (Master pages in Flare only work in HTML5 output.)

Use CSS in your Flare project

Cascading Stylesheets (CSS) are an essemtial framework for MadCap Flare. Take the time to understand how CSS works uin Flare.

Due date: unit4_date

Unit 5. Set up the Master TOC with all Document Parts

Set up the master TOC

The master TOC is the critical piece in building Flare projects. It really goes in the preceding week. I'm working on it.

Create the glossary, footnotes, and index and add to the TOC

Add a glossary, footnotes and an index to your Flare project. If you run out of time, use Lorem ipsum as placeholder text.

Due date: unit5_date

Unit 6. Create Variables, Snippets and Cross-References

Create variables and snippets

Snippets enable you to reuse chunks of text rather than laboriously retyping them or having to hunt them down to copy. Variables are similar but are used for shorter text such a product name. When you change a snippet or a variable, all instances of it in your project change accordingly.

Create cross-references

Cross-references are those See and See also things that point readers to related infornation.

Due date: unit6_date

Unit 7. Chapter Drafts

Send in one or more chapter drafts for your instructor's review and your protection from nasty surprises on final-draft review.

Send me one more chapters of your PDF project, or the entire project in its interim state as this point. I can review and tell you about any major pronlems.

Note: If you don't intend to do a final draft, send me two chapters of user-guide-like files.

Due date: unit7_date

Unit 8. Create the Front Cover for Your Project and Finish

Create the front cover for your project

Keep certain topics from showing in the TOC

Double-check project requirements

Due date: unit8_date

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