Contributor offers an extensive list of features to assist you in reviewing and editing topics from Flare authors. Following are some of the key features that make Contributor unique.
Following are some general key features in Contributor.
Contributor allows you to review and edit topics using four different kinds of workflows.
- Review Workflow (Registered) Using Contributor, you can review and edit documents sent to you by Flare authors. This workflow is for registered users, as opposed to those using the free annotation-only review mode. See Review Workflow.
- Free Review Workflow (Annotation) Using Contributor, you can review documents sent to you by Flare authors. With this workflow, you can add annotations to documents, but you cannot edit them. See Review Workflow.
- Contribution Workflow You can create original content that can be contributed to MadCap Flare projects, printed, or saved in formats such as PDF, XPS, and XHTML. See Contribution Workflow.
- New Document Workflow You can create and original content that can be printed, or saved in formats such as PDF, XPS, and XHTML, for purposes other than contributing to a MadCap Flare project. See Creating New Documents.
Even if you do not know anything about Extensible Markup Language (XML), you can use Contributor to create XML content (in Contributor's main content editor, the XML Editor). If you are experienced with XML, you will be able to take advantage of all of the benefits of this structured language in Contributor.
You can take advantage of cascading stylesheets (CSS files) to control the look of your output in one place. You can apply stylesheets to individual topics, or you can use a "master" stylesheet, applying it to all files at the target level or project level.
In addition to using stylesheets for topics, you can use separate stylesheets in Contributor specifically for tables inserted into topics.
You can insert images into
When you insert images into Contributor content, you can specify that the images should be displayed as thumbnails (i.e., much smaller versions of the image) in the output. This is a way to condense topics so that images are not taking up as much real estate. When you use this feature, you can specify ways that the user can enlarge the image to see its full size (e.g., by hovering over the thumbnail, by clicking the thumbnail).
You can embed Flash, Windows Media,
Also, numerous multimedia files are supported in PDF output. This means that those files play when viewing the PDF in electronic format. If you print the PDF, those files are simply displayed as static images.
Contributor provides the following features, which can be used to manage your files.
One of the ways Contributor supports team collaboration is that you can create mappings to external resources.
The External Resources window pane lets you select and maintain groups of external files that you want to share among Contributor projects. The paths of these files are written to the registry so they will be available for all your Contributor projects.
External resources can be virtually any local or network files that you have access to (e.g., images, PDF files, Contributor project files). From the External Resources window pane, you can easily bring external files into a project (i.e., a copy of the file is added to your Contributor project) and keep them synchronized with the source files through mappings.
The external resources feature is ideal for shared files that you expect to change over time (e.g., logo images, PDFs, stylesheets), as opposed to, say, a template file that is simply copied into your project and changed only in that project.
You can assign tags to topics and any other files in Contributor, even folders. You can use file tags for many different purposes, such as assigning authors or milestones to topics. Contributor lets you generate reports based on the tags that are assigned. This makes project development easier to track, manage, and schedule.
See About File Tagging.
Contributor supports integration with Microsoft SharePoint. If your company uses Microsoft SharePoint (software that allows organizations to collaborate, share files, and publish information to the Web), you can connect to a SharePoint server. Doing this makes it easy to access and edit the SharePoint files fromContributor.
Following are some additional key features of Contributor.
You can use absolute positioning for elements in a topic. When you position an element absolutely, it is removed from the normal flow of text and positioned relative to its first parent that is not static; if it does not have a non-static parent, it is positioned relative to the <html> tag in the document. In other words, when an element has an absolute setting in Contributor, it is freed from the main text so you can click and drag it anywhere in the topic to reposition it. Absolute positioning can be accomplished via styles or locally by selecting text wrap options in a context (right-click) menu of the XML Editor.
You can set absolute positioning on just about any kind of element, including images, div tags, paragraphs, lists, QR codes, and more. When doing this, you can also specify the element's location and resize it. In addition, you can determine if text should flow around it, and how.
Accessibility has to do with making sure that your documentation can be accessed by people with disabilities (i.e., individuals who have visual, hearing, and mobility impairments). Documentation is considered accessible when it is easier for those with disabilities to use and easier to read using assistive technologies such as Microsoft Windows Narrator, Connect Outloud, and JAWS (Job Access With Speech). Contributor has several features to help you ensure that your output is accessible.
This is just what it sounds like—a feature where content is numbered automatically. Of course, if you want to create simple numbered lists in topics, you can always use Contributor's quick list drop-down options
A cross-reference is a navigation link that lets you connect text in one topic to another topic (or a bookmark within a topic). This is somewhat similar to a text hyperlink. However, cross-references are more powerful in that the links can automatically be updated based on commands. You can also convert cross-references to elements such as page numbers for printed output.
You can also take advantage of context-sensitive cross-references, which are especially designed for generating print-based output. When you use a context-sensitive cross-reference, the text automatically changes based on the relationship of the link and the target location if they are on the same page or only one page away.
Let's say you have a cross-reference designed to display the text "See Figure 2.1." If the link and the target fall on the same page, the cross-reference is updated to display the text, "See Figure 2.1 above" or "See Figure 2.1 below." If the link and the target are on adjacent pages, the cross-reference is updated to display the text, "See Figure 2.1 on the previous page" or "See Figure 2.1 on the next page." If the document is double-sided with the link on the left page and the target on the right page, the cross-reference displays the text, "See Figure 2.1 on the facing page."
You can use macros in Contributor to automate frequently used commands or processes. After you record a macro, you can play it back to perform all of the steps in the macro with a single action. You can also assign a shortcut to the macro
You can insert a QR code into a
You can select a language for a project, target, topic, or even specific content. Selecting a language affects spell checking as well as the language skin used.