Creating Micro Content

The first step in using micro content, for whatever purpose, is to create it in Flare. This entails adding a micro content file to the Content Explorer and then adding phrases and responses within it. This can be done directly within the Micro Content Editor or from a topic or snippet.

How to Add a Micro Content File to a Project

  1. (Optional) Create a subfolder to store a micro content file.
    1. Select View > Content Explorer.
    2. In the Content Explorer, select the Resources folder.
    3. In the local toolbar, click . A folder with the temporary name "NewFolder" is added.
    4. Type a new name for the folder (we recommend using MicroContent as the name) and press Enter.
  2. Right-click on your Resources > MicroContent folder (or whatever you have named it) and from the context menu select New > Micro Content. The Add File dialog opens.

  3. In the File Name field, type a new name for the micro content file.
  4. Click Add. The micro content file is added to the Content Explorer. The Micro Content Editor opens to the right, displaying micro content phrases on the left and an area to the right for the response. There is one phrase/response already added, which you can remove or rename/replace.

Note Each micro content file can hold as many phrases and responses as you need. So you might need only one micro content file. However, you can create multiple micro content files to help organize your phrases and responses into different groups.

How to Create Phrases and Responses in the Micro Content Editor

  1. From the Content Explorer, open the micro content file.
  2. Add phrases and alternate phrases.

    Main Phrase

    1. In the local toolbar of the editor, click . A new row is added to the phrase area on the left, with "New Phrase" shown as the default name.
    2. Type your phrase and press Enter on the keyboard.

    Alternate Phrase

    Not only can you create phrases, but you can also add alternate phrases. These are extremely useful because it is impossible to predict the phrasing a person will use. By adding alternate phrases, you are improving the odds that the matching response will display in most circumstances.

    1. To the right of the main phrase, click . A new row is added below the main phrase, with "New Phrase" shown as the default name.
    2. Type your phrase and press Enter on the keyboard.
    3. Repeat these steps to create more alternate phrases.

    Note The main phrase does not carry more weight than any of the alternate phrases. They are simply a way to connect to the same response as the main phrase.

    Note For explanations of additional phrase options in the Micro Content Editor (such as using variables), see Phrases.

  3. After selecting a phrase on the left, add a response directly in the area to the right, or link to a topic or snippet.

    Use Micro Content Editor

    1. In the area to the right, enter text and other features, just as you would edit a topic or snippet. It is recommended that you link to existing content when possible (e.g., insert snippet links), instead of creating new content that isn’t used elsewhere in your project.
    2. Click to save your work.

    Link to Topic or Snippet

    1. If necessary, click to the right of the main phrase. This expands the area below the phrase.
    2. Click Add Link.
    3. In the Select File dialog, locate and select the topic or snippet.
    4. (Optional) If you want to point to a bookmark, click . Then find and select the bookmark in the dialog and click OK.

      If you link to a bookmark, the featured snippet in the output will display all of the content that is found after that bookmark. None of the content above it will be seen.

    5. In the Select File dialog, click OK. The response content is shown to the right, but it is read-only since it is linked. In order to edit the content, you need to edit the topic or snippet.
    6. Click to save your work.

How to Create Micro Content From a Topic or Snippet

Not only can you create micro content directly in the Micro Content Editor, but you can also do so from a content file—a topic or snippet. The great benefit of using this approach is that you can choose a specific block of existing content that will be used as the response.

These steps are different than linking to a topic or snippet from a micro content file. In that case, the response would consist of the entire topic or snippet, or the content from the bookmark to the bottom of the file, if you decide to use a bookmark. In this case, the response consists only of the specific content in the topic or snippet that you select.

  1. Open the topic or snippet.
  2. Do one of the following:

    • Select the content that you want to use as a response for a micro content phrase. Then in the Home ribbon, click Create Micro Content.

    • Right-click selected content, or the structure bar to the left of the content, that you want to use as a response for a micro content phrase. From the context menu, select Create Micro Content.

    The Create Micro Content dialog opens.

  3. In the Phrase field, enter the text that a user would enter to make the response appear as a result in the output.

    Note After you have finished, you can open the Micro Content Editor and add alternative phrases to be associated with the response as well.

  4. (Optional) You can also click if you want to insert a variable as the entire phrase, or as part of the phrase. The following syntax for the variable will be used:

  5. If you have more than one micro content file in your project, use the Micro Content File field to select it.

  6. Click OK.

    The micro content file will be updated with your new phrase linking to that content.

    Also, you might notice that the selected content in the topic or snippet is now wrapped in a special MadCap:microContent tag.

  7. Click to save your work.

In the output, when a person uses your phrase (or something close to it) to look for information, the selected content will display by itself as a result, even if the topic or snippet has other content above or below it in the source file.

How to Use Micro Content for Advanced Purposes

Follow these steps if you want to use micro content in a chatbot or for another purpose that cannot be produced completely from Flare.

  1. After generating HTML5 output that includes micro content phrases and responses, you can open the Project ribbon and click Open Output Folder.

  2. In Windows, open your target folder, then double-click the MicroContent folder.

    This folder contains HTML files named after your phrases, with the associated responses contained inside.

  3. At this point, a developer would need to do some extra programming and work outside of Flare, pointing to the files in your MicroContent output folder as necessary. You might find the need to use third-party applications as well.