Using Contributor, you can create original content that can be contributed to MadCap Flare projects, printed, or saved in formats such as PDF, XPS, and XHTML.
(Optional) Save Contribution Template A Flare author might email you a contribution template for you to use when creating new documents. Contribution templates are simply files with certain settings already in place. They are a quick way to create and edit documents in a pre-set format that the author wants you to use. You can save a contribution template and then use it later whenever you need to create new documents to send to a Flare author. By saving the template file in a folder called "Documents\My Templates\Contributor" you can easily select it when you create a new document. See Saving Contribution Templates.note
Note: Any templates that you created in the past for X-Edit can still be used in Contributor, but those files will need to be relocated to the new Contributor folder location in order to use them when creating new documents.
Create You can create new documents from the Contributor interface. See Creating New Documents.
You can create new documents in the following ways.
New From TemplateRead more… You can create a document from a factory template or your own saved templates. Following are the various types of documents you can create by selecting templates provided by Contributor.
- Document.mcdoct Read more… This template creates a basic document with a header and a little body text. You will end up with a document that has an .mcdoc extension. Select this option if you want to create a standalone document, rather than a contribution topic that will be sent to a Flare author.
- Topic.mccot Read more… This template creates a very basic topic file with a header and a little body text. You will end up with a document that has an .mcco extension. An MCCO file is the same as an MCDOC file, with the exception that it indicates the file was created specifically for use as a contribution topic. If you create an MCCO document, you can quickly email it to Flare authors for incorporation into their projects.
XHTML Document.htm Read more… This template creates a very basic document with a header and a little body text. You will end up with an XHTML document that has an .htm extension. An HTM file is a good option if you want to post the file on the Internet or an intranet, where others can view it in a browser window.
Note: You can quickly create a new XHTML document by pressing CTRL+N on the keyboard.
Stylesheet.css Read more… This template creates a cascading stylesheet (CSS). You will end up with a file that has a .css extension, and it will open in the Stylesheet Editor. A CSS file can be used to create elements with formatting. You can then apply the formatted styles to content in a document to change how it looks.
Note: If a Flare author has provided you with a contribution template, chances are that you will use the styles provided by the author, rather than creating your own stylesheet.
Page Layout.mcpglt Read more… This template creates a page layout file. You will end up with a file that has an .flpgl extension, and it will open in the Page Layout Editor. A page layout is an element that you can create in order to determine page specifications (e.g., size, margins) and to apply certain content (e.g., headers, footers, page numbers) to your document for print-based output. Page layouts allow for easy configuration through the use of content frames, a snap-to grid, dragging and dropping, alignment features, and more.
Note: If a Flare author has provided you with a contribution template, chances are that you will use the page layout provided by the author, rather than creating your own page layout.
New from existing Read more… This lets you choose an existing file of the same type as a starting point for your new file. As with template files, your new file will take on all of the settings contained in the file you select. To use this option, click the browse button , use the Open File dialog to find a file, and double-click it.
- (Optional) Insert Comments You can insert annotations (comments) that are associated with specific areas of text in the document. These annotations do not become part of the content in the document, but rather are intended for internal use between you and others.
See Inserting Annotations.
- After you finish a document, you can do the following.
- Send You can send a finished document to a Flare author so that it can be incorporated into a larger project. See Sending New Contribution Documents To Authors.
- PDF You can save the document as an Adobe PDF document.
See Saving Documents as PDF Files.
- XPS You can save the document as a Microsoft XPS document (similar to a PDF document).
See Saving Documents as XPS Files.
- XHTML You can save the document as an XHTML file (with an .htm extension).
See Saving Documents as XHTML Files.
- Print You can print the document directly from the Contributor interface.
See Printing Documents.
Note: Because documents in Contributor are often used as part of Flare projects, you may sometimes see them referred to as "topics." In Flare, authors refer to these files as topics.