There are numerous features for designing online output, print-based output, or both.
Styles are used in Flare projects to control the look and feel of your documentation, and keep the content separate from its presentation. Most of the styling is based on Cascading stylesheets (CSS), which is an international standard for formatting web content, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (or W3C). See About Styles and Stylesheets.
Note: Local formatting is a way to change the look and feel of content directly so that the changes are applied only to that specific content (as opposed to applying the changes
A master page lets you apply certain content and elements (e.g., text, images, breadcrumbs, menus, toolbars, search bars) automatically to multiple topics in the output. A master page is primarily used in online outputs, but it can be used in Word output as well. For Word output, a master page lets you determine page specifications (such as size or orientation) and to apply certain content (e.g., header text or page numbers) to many topics in a manual. For print-based outputs other than Word, page layouts are used instead of master pages. See About Master Pages.
A page layout is used for page specifications (e.g., size, margins) and to apply certain content (e.g., headers, footers, page numbers) to many (or all) topics in print-based output. It allows for easy configuration through the use of content frames, bleeds, crop marks, registration marks, margins, padding, alignment features, and more. See About Page Layouts.
Page layouts are similar to master pages, but are more flexible and easier to use. The general rule is that page layouts are recommended for print-based output, and master pages continue to be the best method for automatically adding headers, footers, and breadcrumbs in multiple topics for online output. Another difference between page layouts and master pages is that page layouts can be used for either Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word), whereas master pages can be used only for Microsoft Word when creating print-based output.
A skin is a file that contains information about the appearance of an online output window, including navigation elements. See About Skins.
Depending on the type of output, a skin can help to determine the following:
- Pane position
- Slide-out menu style
- Main menu position
- Top menu depth levels
- User interface text
- How big the output window should be and where it should be positioned on the user's screen
- Which online elements (e.g., TOC, index, search) are included in the output and which one should be the default element (the one that is active when users first access the output)
- And other settings…
Following are some of the primary ways to format content in a project:
- Autonumbers Autonumbering is a feature where content is numbered automatically. It is often used to place numbers on chapter titles, table captions, image captions, and so on. Autonumbers are most commonly used for print-based output, but you can use them for online output as well. See About Autonumbers.
- Color You can apply color to text, as well as set the background color on many elements. See About Color.
- Fonts Flare supports both TrueType and OpenType fonts. You can perform multiple tasks, such as applying fonts to content, creating font sets, and pinning fonts. See About Fonts.
- Horizontal Rules A rule is a horizontal line (or bar) that you can insert into a topic. You might use a rule, for example, as a design element to separate your topic title from the content. See About Horizontal Rules.
- Lists Flare lets you work with numbered and bulleted lists in a variety of ways. This includes creating simple, multi-level, and custom format lists. See About Lists.
- Paragraph Formatting You can affect the look and behavior of paragraphs in various ways. These settings can be applied locally or to the style used for the paragraph. Modifying the style is typically preferable to changing the settings locally for a single paragraph. See About Paragraph Formatting.
- Positioning Elements You can adjust the positioning of content by using absolute positioning or floats. See About Positioning Elements.