Editing Styles in a Regular Stylesheet

You can edit styles contained in a regular stylesheet to quickly change the look of your content.

Following are the general steps for editing styles in a regular stylesheet. Some common tasks for editing styles are also listed below.

How to Edit Styles in Regular Stylesheet

  1. From the Content Explorer, open the stylesheet that you want to modify.
  2. Complete one of the following sets of steps, depending on whether you want to use the Simplified view or Advanced view in the Stylesheet Editor.

    • Simplified The Simplified view displays styles in a grid view and is often best for brand new users.

      This view provides an easy way to apply properties to styles, with format options available from a toolbar and dialogs (similar to the way one would use an interface such as Microsoft Word). In some cases, only the most common property options are available in the Simplified view (e.g., font, letter/word spacing, paragraph alignment/indentation, autonumbering format, borders, background). One advantage of the Simplified view is that you can apply a property to multiple styles at the same time. You can also click a check box to hide the properties in the editor, allowing you to see only the styles.

    • Advanced The Advanced view displays styles in a tree structure, and despite the name, is user friendly for authors of all levels.

      For the properties, you can toggle between a grouped display and an alphabetical display. The Advanced view of the Stylesheet Editor lets you edit more settings than are available in the Simplified view. In addition, the Advanced view lets you see and apply settings to multiple mediums and media queries at the same time.

    Warning Mediums can be used if you want to use one group of settings for online output types and another group of settings for print-based output types. For example, you might use the default medium for your online outputs and the print medium for your print outputs.  From the Medium drop-down in the Stylesheet Editor, make sure the proper medium is selected before you begin. In the Advanced view, you can open multiple mediums at once; you just need to look at the title at the top of the medium pane and make sure you are working in the correct one. If you are not using stylesheet mediums for your different outputs or if you want all mediums to have the same settings, just leave the medium set to default and continue. Please note that Flare remembers the last medium that you used when working in the stylesheet, so it may or may not be the one that you want to use the next time around. See Mediums and Media Queries.

    If Using Simplified View

    1. In the local toolbar, make sure the first button displays (which means that the Simplified view is currently shown in the editor). If the button displays instead, then click it.
    2. (Optional) You can click in the styles drop-down field in the upper-left corner of the Stylesheet Editor to limit which styles are shown in the editor (e.g., All Styles, Paragraph Styles, Table Styles).
    3. From the grid in the bottom portion of the Stylesheet Editor, select a style.
    4. In the local toolbar of the editor, click . The Properties dialog opens.
    5. Use the Properties dialog to change values for the style's properties.

    6. In the Properties dialog, click OK.

    If Using Advanced View

    1. In the local toolbar, make sure the first button displays . If the button displays instead, then click it.
    2. (Optional) You can click in the styles drop-down list in the upper-left corner of the Stylesheet Editor to limit which styles are shown in the editor (e.g., All Styles, Paragraph Styles, Table Styles).
    3. On the left side of the editor, select the style that you want to edit.

      Tip If you want to limit the list of styles shown to only those that you tend to use in your project, you can disable styles that you do not want to see. This does not delete those styles; it merely hides them from view. See Disabling and Hiding Styles.

    4. From the Show drop-down list on the upper-right side of the editor, select any of the options shown to determine which properties are displayed below. This is simply a way to find the appropriate property as quickly as possible.
      • Set (Locally) Properties Displays properties that have been set explicitly in the stylesheet.
      • Set Properties Displays properties that have been set explicitly in the stylesheet. It will also show properties that have been set in an imported stylesheet or inherited properties that have been set in a factory stylesheet.
      • Assorted Relevant Properties Displays the property groups that are used most often for the selected style type.
      • All Properties Displays all the different groups holding the properties for the selected style. This is simply a way to organize the properties intro groups so that they are easy for you to find. If you want to see the values for a given property group, expand it.
    5. (Optional) You can use the toggle button in the local toolbar to show properties below in a group view or an alphabetical view .
    6. Locate the property you want to change.

      The property name is shown on the left. The right side is used for selecting and entering values.

    7. If you know how to enter the information correctly, you can click in the value field and type it directly.

      Otherwise, click the ellipsis button to the right of the property.

      Depending on the type of property, the appropriate controls and options display, allowing you to choose or enter values (e.g., select from a drop-down list, click a button, complete fields in a dialog or popup).

      As you make changes to a property's values, you can see how the changes look in the Preview section at the bottom of the editor.

    8. (Optional) If you are in alphabetical view, you can cut/copy style property values and paste them in to another selector.

      To Cut Style Property Values

      1. With the properties displayed in alphabetical view, right-click the property (or properties) you want to cut. You can hold the SHIFT key to select a range, or you can hold the CTRL key to select individual items.
      2. From the context menu select Cut.

      To Copy Style Property Values

      1. With the properties displayed in alphabetical view, right-click the property (or properties) you want to copy. You can hold the SHIFT key to select a range, or you can hold the CTRL key to select individual items.
      2. From the context menu select Copy.

      To Paste Style Property Values

      1. Choose a selector where you want to paste the properties.
      2. With the properties shown in alphabetical view, right-click in the properties grid.
      3. From the context menu select Paste.
    9. (Optional) If you are in alphabetical view, you can delete style property values from a selector.

      To Delete Style Property Values

      1. With the properties displayed in alphabetical view, right-click the property (or properties) you want to delete. You can hold the SHIFT key to select a range, or you can hold the CTRL key to select individual items.
      2. From the context menu select Delete.
  3. Click to save your work.

Inheritance—Why Some Styles are Gray

When making changes to styles in the Advanced view of the Stylesheet Editor, you may notice that some styles are gray. These are called "inherited" styles. That's because they do not yet have explicit settings on them, so they are inheriting default values from somewhere else (e.g., a factory stylesheet located where you installed the application). As soon as you make a change to one of these styles, it ceases to be an inherited style (or at least the property you set is no longer inheriting from the default value), and the style name turns from gray to a darker font. You can click Hide Inherited in the local toolbar if you want to hide these inherited styles.

Also, if you hover over an inherited style, Flare displays the path to the stylesheet from which the style is inherited.

For more information, see Inheritance.

Common Style Editing Tasks

There are hundreds of tasks that you can perform in Flare by using styles. Following are some of the more common tasks.

Autonumbers

Autonumbering can be used when you want to create content where certain portions are numbered automatically. This can be accomplished through the use of autonumber formats. See Creating Autonumber Formats for Styles.

Breadcrumbs

After you create breadcrumbs for online output by using the Breadcrumbs proxy, you can modify the look of those breadcrumbs by using styles. There are numerous ways that you can change the look of breadcrumbs. See Editing the Look of Breadcrumbs.

Comments

If you are familiar with using cascading stylesheets (CSS) in a text editor, you probably already know that you can add comments to styles. This is simply a way to remind you or others about information related to a style (e.g., which situations are appropriate to use a certain style). In Flare you can add, edit, and view these style comments through the user interface. See Adding Comments to Styles.

DITA

In this version of Flare, you cannot edit DITA files natively. However, you can edit style classes that result from imported DITA elements. See Editing DITA Styles.

Equations

You can change the appearance of all equations through the use of the MadCap|equation style. See Editing Equations.

Footnotes

  • Borders You can modify the default border that is added above footnote comments. You can change the border thickness, color, style, and other settings. You can also remove the border altogether. See Editing the Border Above Footnotes.
  • Comment Font Settings You can modify the font in a footnote comment. This includes changing the font family, size, color, case, and more. See Editing Footnote Comment Font Settings.
  • Comment Position You can change the location where a footnote comment is placed in the output (e.g., end of page, document, chapter, section, book). See Editing Footnote Comment Position.
  • Comment Spacing You can modify the spacing for the footnote comment text. This includes the ability to change the spacing above or below the comment text, the white space between words or characters, or the indentation before the number and text. See Editing Footnote Comment Spacing.
  • Number Formats By default, a decimal number (e.g., 1, 2, 3) is used when you insert a footnote. However, you can select a different format. For example, you can change the format to uppercase alpha (e.g., A, B, C) or lowercase Roman (e.g., i, ii, iii). You can also replace the number with a symbol, such as an asterisk. See Editing Footnote Number Formats.
  • Numbers—Look You can change the look of the footnote numbers (both in-text and in-comment), by creating and modifying span style classes. Alternatively, you can use the MadCap|footnote style or a class of it to modify the look of both the in-text and in-comment footnote numbers. The difference is that the span style lets you change the look of one or the other, rather than both at the same time. See Editing the Look of Footnote Numbers.
  • Restart Numbering When you insert footnotes, the numbers are incremented throughout your manual. However, you can restart the numbering at a certain location (e.g., at the beginning of the next chapter or section). See Restarting Footnote Numbering.

Glossaries

  • Look of Generated Glossary You can use styles to change the appearance of a glossary. You can modify the look of individual elements within the glossary, as well as the entire container holding the glossary. See Editing the Look of a Glossary.

    Note If you want to change the look of glossaries in online output, you can do so by modifying styles within your skin. See Editing Skin Settings, Standard Skin Styles, and HTML5 Skin Styles.

  • Ignoring Glossary Terms You can configure a target to convert glossary terms to links automatically when they are found in topics. In addition, there is a way to purposely ignore some terms so that they are not converted to links. This can be done by setting the mc-disable-glossary-terms property on a style. By default, this feature is turned on for h1 through h6 styles, as well as hyperlinks (i.e., content with the <a> tag). This means that if a glossary term is found in a heading or text hyperlink, it will not be converted to a link. However, if the same term is found in, say, a regular paragraph, the term will be converted to a link (as long as you do not turn this feature on for that paragraph style). See Ignoring Glossary Terms in Styles.

Horizontal Rules

After you insert a rule ("horizontal line") in a topic, you can edit its settings (e.g., size, color, position) by modifying the hr style in the Stylesheet Editor. See Editing Horizontal Rules.

Images

  • Background You can add background settings to an image. This includes the ability to specify a color, another image, and a repeating pattern for the background image. Normally you would not see an image's background, but if you give the image a certain amount of padding, you would see the background around the edges of it. See Adding Backgrounds to Images.
  • Borders You can add borders around an image, specifying the border size, color, and type. See Adding Borders to Images.
  • Margins You can adjust the margins around an image so that there is extra space above, below, to the right, or to the left of it. See Adding Margins to Images.
  • Padding You can add extra space between an image's border and the image itself. See Adding Padding to Images.
  • Positioning After you insert an image, you can adjust its positioning on the page. This includes the ability to wrap text around an image or float an image outside the frame holding the regular flow of text. See Using Absolute Positioning and Using Float Positioning.
  • Resize You can resize many images at once by using the img style in the Stylesheet Editor. See Resizing Images.
  • Thumbnails When you insert images into Flare 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). See Showing Images as Thumbnails in Output.
  • Watermarks You can add a background image on topics by using the body style. See Creating Watermarks.

Indexes

If you incorporate a generated index into your printed output (see Creating an Index Manually for Print), you can customize the way the index entries look in the output. This includes adjusting properties such as font family and size, word space, space above/below, and more. You can also change the look of the entire container holding the generated index. See Editing the Look of Your Print Index.

Note If you want to change the look of indexes in online output, you can do so by modifying styles within your skin. See Editing Skin Settings, Standard Skin Styles, and HTML5 Skin Styles.

Links

  • Concept Links You can edit the style (e.g., font, color, wording) of a concept link. When you edit the style for a concept link, the style changes for all concept links in any topics in your project. See Editing Concept Links.
  • Cross-References You can edit the style settings (e.g., format, font, color) of cross-references. This includes the ability to incorporate page numbers and context-sensitivity into a cross-reference format. See Editing Cross-Reference Style Formats and Editing Text for Context-Sensitive Cross-References.
  • Drop-Down Text You can edit drop-down effects that you have inserted into topics. See Editing Drop-Down Effects.
  • Expanding Text You can edit expanding text effects that you have inserted into topics. See Editing Expanding Text.
  • Keyword Links You can edit keyword links that you have inserted into topics. See Editing Keyword Links.
  • Related Topics Links You can edit related topics links that you have inserted into topics. See Editing Related Topics Links.
  • Relationship Links You can edit the style settings (e.g., font, color, leader format) of relationship links. See Editing Relationship Link Styles.
  • Text Hyperlinks You can edit the style settings (e.g., font, color) of text hyperlinks. See Editing Text Hyperlinks.
  • Text Popups You can edit the style (e.g., font, color) of the hotspot or the popup body in text popups. See Editing Text Popups.
  • Togglers You can edit the style (e.g., font, color) of the hotspot for togglers. See Editing Togglers.
  • Topic Popups You can edit the style (e.g., font, color) of the hyperlink for topic popups. See Editing Topic Popups.

List of Concepts

After you use the Concepts proxy to create a list of concepts, you can change the look of that list by using styles. You can modify the look of individual entries in the list, as well as the entire container. See Editing the Look of a List of Concepts.

List of Elements

After you use the List-Of proxy to create a list of elements (such as a list of figures or tables), you can use styles to determine the look of the generated list. See Editing the Look of a List of Elements.

Lists

  • Alignment You can format lists or items within them so that the text is aligned right, left, centered, or justified. See Aligning Lists.
  • Background You can set a background color and/or image on lists or items within them. See Setting the Background for Lists.
  • Borders You can add borders around lists or items within them. Borders can be added on any side (left, right, top, bottom), or all around. See Setting Borders for Lists.
  • Custom Formats Because custom list formats are written to your stylesheet as complex selectors, you can edit these formats in the Advanced view of the Stylesheet Editor. See Editing Custom List Formats.
  • Images for Bullets You can change the image used for bullets in lists. For example, if you have a small check mark icon that you want to use instead of round bullets, you can select your image. See Selecting Images for List Bullets.
  • Indentation You can indent lists or items within them so that they start or end at a certain distance from the left or right side of the window or page frame. See Indenting Lists.
  • Line Spacing You can specify the amount of spacing between lines of text in a list. See Setting Line Spacing for Lists.
  • Page and Column Breaks You can apply a page or column break to lists or items within them. You might do this if you want a list to end with a particular item on one page and begin with another list item on the next page or column, without interrupting the flow of the list. You can do this by setting manual page breaks (Insert > Page Break) or by using style settings. For example, you could create a class of the li style and you could call it something like "PageBreakBefore" (li.PageBreakBefore). For most items in a list, you could use the parent li style, but if you want a page break to occur on a particular list item, you could apply your li.PageBreakBefore style to it. This feature is used for print-based output. See Setting Page and Column Breaks for Lists.
  • Spacing Above/Below You can specify the amount of spacing above and below lists or items within them. See Setting Spacing Above and Below in Lists.
  • Type You can specify the type of list (e.g., circle, square, decimal, upper alpha) for a style. See Specifying a List Type for a Style.

Mini-TOCs

  • Look of Mini-TOC  For generated mini-TOCs, you can use styles to adjust properties such as font family and size, indentation, word spacing, spacing above/below, TOC width, page number alignment, and leader settings (e.g., the dots between the headings and the numbers). The headings in the mini-TOC will take on the settings that you specify. You can also modify the look of the entire container holding the generated mini-TOC. See Editing the Look of a Mini-TOC.
  • Page Number Suppression If you are generating PDF output, you can suppress page numbers for specific levels in the table of contents (TOC) or mini-TOC. This can be done by modifying the TOC or mini-TOC style (e.g., p.TOC1, p.TOC2, p.MiniTOC1) and selecting an option in the mc-pagenum-display property. See Suppressing Page Numbers in a Print Mini-TOC.

Paragraphs and Headings

  • Alignment You can format a paragraph so that the text is aligned right, left, centered, or justified. See Aligning Paragraphs.
  • Background You can set a background color and/or image on a paragraph. See Setting the Background for Paragraphs.
  • Borders You can add borders around a paragraph. Borders can be added on any side of a paragraph (left, right, top, bottom), or all around it. See Setting Borders for Paragraphs.
  • Borders—Rounded For most output formats, you can use CSS3 border-radius style properties to create rounded borders on block elements, such as paragraphs and blockquotes, as well as tables.  See Creating Rounded Borders on Paragraphs and Tables.
  • Drop Caps/Initial Caps You can create an effect on a paragraph so that the initial letter is different than the others and drops down to the lines below. See Creating Drop Caps Effects and Creating Initial Caps Effects.
  • Frame Breaks For PDF output, you can apply breaks to page layout frames, similar to the way you can apply page breaks to content such as headings or paragraphs. See Setting Frame Breaks on Paragraphs and Headings.
  • Hanging Punctuation You can use styles to create hanging punctuation on block items such as paragraphs in Flare. Hanging punctuation lets you "hang" certain punctuation characters outside the block element, allowing the text to align.  See Creating Hanging Punctuation.
  • Hyphenation You can specify whether words at the end of a line in a paragraph should be hyphenated before continuing to the next line. You can also determine minimum word and character settings to be used for hyphenation. See Setting Hyphenation.
  • Indentation You can indent paragraphs so that they start or end at a certain distance from the left or right side of the window or page frame, whether that means the entire paragraph or just the first line (like a traditional "tab"). See Indenting Paragraphs.
  • Line Spacing You can specify the amount of spacing between lines in a paragraph. See Setting Line Spacing.
  • Multiline Indentation Using a style property called "mc-multiline-indent" you can specify additional indentation for content that wraps to more than one line. Although this property can be used for any block-level element (such as paragraphs), it is most useful when applied to print index, table of contents (TOC), and mini-TOC entries. See Creating Multiline Indentation.
  • Next Style You can specify that a particular style should be used when you press Enter at the end of the current style. For example, after you type text for a heading and press Enter, you might want the next style to be something like p.TopicText, rather than the main p style. See Setting a "Next" Style.
  • Page and Column Breaks For print-based output, you can apply a page or column break to a paragraph or heading (either via styles or local formatting). For example, you might do this if you want the paragraph or heading to start at the beginning of the next page or column. Alternatively, you can insert a manual page break on a line by itself, independent of any HTML element. See Setting Page and Column Breaks.
  • Positioning After you add a paragraph or heading to a topic, you can adjust its positioning on the page. For example, you can float it to the left of the page layout frame to create a side heading. You can do this by applying a positioning setting on the style used by the paragraph. See Using Absolute Positioning, Using Float Positioning, and Heading Examples.
  • Rounded Borders If you add borders to block-level elements, such as paragraphs, you can edit the style to create rounded borders. This is possible because of CSS3 border radius style properties. Unfortunately, only some of the newer browsers support these styles, so even if you create the rounded borders on your styles, they may display as rounded in some outputs but square in others. See Creating Rounded Borders on Paragraphs and Tables.
  • Short Line Elimination You can use this feature to automatically adjust word spacing if the last line of a paragraph is only a certain number of characters long. Therefore, the spacing may be widened to make the last line longer, or the spacing may be narrowed to bring the words in the last line up to the previous line. See Setting Short Line Elimination.
  • Spacing Above/Below You can set the amount of spacing above and below paragraphs. See Setting Paragraph Spacing Above and Below.
  • Transform Effects In CSS, the transform property is used to create a 2D or 3D transformation effect. When working with the transform property in the Stylesheet Editor, you can open a popup containing additional fields that let you choose various transform functions. This makes it easier to create the kind of transform you want. See Creating Transform Effects.
  • Widow and Orphan Control You can use widow and orphan control to avoid instances where "leftover" lines from a paragraph are shown at the top (widow) or bottom (orphan) of a page or column. See Setting Widow and Orphan Control.

Pseudo Classes

In CSS, pseudo classes are a special group of style classes that pertain to elements when they're in a certain state (e.g., the font turns orange when a user hovers over it). They are often (but not exclusively) used for styles associated with hyperlinks. See Pseudo Classes.

QR Codes

  • Background You can add background settings to a QR code. This includes the ability to specify a color, image, and a repeating pattern for the background image. Normally you would not see a QR code's background, but if you give the QR code a certain amount of padding, you would see the background around the edges of it.  See Adding Backgrounds to QR Codes.
  • Borders You can add borders around a QR code, specifying the border size, color, and type. See Adding Borders to QR Codes.
  • Margins You can adjust the margins around a QR code so that there is extra space above, below, to the right, or to the left of it. See Adding Margins to QR Codes.
  • Padding You can add padding (i.e., extra space) between a QR code's border and the QR code itself. See Adding Padding to QR Codes.
  • Resize You can resize QR codes with various methods. See Resizing QR Codes.

Redacted Text

Flare supports redacted text, which is text that is "blacked out" in Adobe PDF output. This is much more efficient than attempting to black out text or other content after the document has been printed.You can set redacted text on any kind of content (e.g., characters, paragraphs, images, tables). You can do this locally at the font level by highlighting each piece of content, or you can specify redaction on a style and then apply that style to content whenever necessary. It is recommended that you use styles whenever possible. See Setting Redacted Text on Content.

Responsive Layouts

After creating a responsive layout, you may need to return to it at times to make modifications. You also might need to adjust some of the associated styles for it. See Responsive Layouts and Editing Responsive Layouts.

Search

When users perform searches in your online output, the keywords that are found may be highlighted in the topics. The background for each term found in a topic can be highlighted in a different color. In Flare you can use styles to change not only the color background, but other settings as well (e.g., font style, text decoration). See Customizing the Highlight Color for Search Hits.

Slideshows

You can edit styles to control the look of slideshows. See Editing Slideshow Styles.

Tables

  • Using Table Stylesheet You can modify the look and feel of multiple tables at once by editing the properties in a custom table stylesheet. These table stylesheets let you easily and quickly create patterns and different looks for tables. See Editing Table Stylesheets.
  • Using Regular Stylesheet You can modify the look and feel of multiple tables at once by editing standard HTML table styles (e.g., table, th, td, tr) in your regular stylesheet. For example, you might use these styles in order to control the look of the text that appears in your table headings (th style) or within the cells (td style). See Editing Table Styles in Regular Stylesheets.

    For the differences between regular stylesheets, table stylesheets, and local properties—and when you should use one over the other—see Regular Stylesheets, Table Stylesheets, or Local Formatting?

  • Cell Content Style When you insert a table, it is set up by default to use standard table tags in the individual cells (e.g., <th> for table headers, <td> for regular table text). However, if you press Enter at the end of a line, a <p> tag is added within the standard tag. Therefore, in order to keep all of the content in your table cells looking consistent, you may want to create a special style class of the p style to be used for table content (e.g., p.tabletext) and apply that style to all of your cells when you first create a table. You can manually apply specific styles to tables by selecting the table cells, clicking Table > Cell Content Style, and choosing the style to be used for those cells.

    However, rather than repeating all these steps each time you create a table, the easiest way to accomplish this is to set a default cell content style. You can do this in a couple of ways: globally or using a table stylesheet. See Selecting Styles for Table Cell Contents and Editing Table Stylesheets.

  • Hide Bottom Border on Tables When Crossing Page Breaks By default, if you have a table that crosses multiple pages in print-based output, the bottom border is shown before the table continues on the next page. However, you also have the option to hide the bottom border when the table continues on another page. See Hiding the Bottom Border on Tables When Crossing Page Breaks.
  • Page Layout Breaks You can set page, column, and frame breaks on tables using a couple of different options. In regular stylesheets, you can set breaks on the standard HTML table tags. The most common approach for page breaks is to set them on table rows through the tr style. Another option is that you can set breaks on rows (and on entire tables) through a table stylesheet. And because you can create patterns in table stylesheets, each pattern item might have different settings for breaks. See Setting Page, Column, and Frame Breaks on Tables.
  • Repeat Table Captions You can use styles to repeat captions on tables that span multiple pages in print-based output. Furthermore, you can add continuation text to the end of those captions (other than the caption appearing on the first page where a table occurs). Typically this text would be something like "(Continued)." See How to Repeat Captions in All Tables.

Warning When controlling the look of tables, you might want to choose just one method for styling them. You should use either (A) table stylesheets and perhaps classes of the p style (e.g., p.TableText) for table content (see Selecting Styles for Table Cell Contents), or (B) standard table styles from a regular stylesheet.

If you use standard table tags at the parent level (e.g., tr, td), you may run into trouble if you also use proxies in your project. The reason for this is that when proxies are generated, they also use standard parent-level table styles. So any style changes you make to the standard table styles may be seen not only in tables, but also in generated content created via proxies (e.g., TOCs, indexes). In this case, it would be wiser to use classes of the standard table styles (e.g., tr.myclass, td.myclass), instead of table styles at the parent level. However, if you decide to use classes of standard table styles (e.g., tr.myclass, td.myclass), you may be faced with a different dilemma. This issue occurs when you also use table stylesheets. That's because the table stylesheet settings will overwrite settings on the classes.

Tables of Contents

  • Heading Levels When creating print output, you can determine which topic headings will be displayed at which level in the generated TOC. For example, even though all of your topics may use a heading style of h1, you might want some of those topic headings to display at the first level in the print TOC (acting as an h1), others at the second level (acting as an h2), and still others at the third level (acting as an h3). See Editing Heading Levels for a Print TOC.
  • Look For TOCs in print-based output, you can use styles to adjust properties such as font family and size, indentation, word spacing, spacing above/below, TOC width, page number alignment, and leader settings (e.g., the dots between the headings and the numbers). The headings in the print TOC will take on the settings that you specify. You can also modify the look of the entire container holding the generated TOC. See Editing the Look of a Print TOC.
  • Page Number Suppression If you are generating PDF output, you can suppress page numbers for specific levels in the table of contents (TOC) or mini-TOC. This can be done by modifying the TOC or mini-TOC style (e.g., p.TOC1, p.TOC2, p.MiniTOC1) and selecting an option in the mc-pagenum-display property. See Suppressing Page Numbers in a Print TOC.

Note If you want to change the look of TOC in online output, you can do so by modifying styles within your skin. See Editing Skin Settings, Standard Skin Styles, and HTML5 Skin Styles.

Text

  • Bold You can apply a bold weight to text. See Setting Bold Text.
  • Case You can change the case of text so it is all uppercase or lowercase. You can also specify that the first letter of each word in the selected content should be capitalized, while the other letters are lowercase. See Setting the Case of Text.
  • Color of Background You can set a background color for text. See Setting the Background Color for Text.
  • Color of Text You can select a color for text. See Setting the Color for Text.
  • Font You can select a font (e.g., Arial, Verdana) for text to change its look. See Selecting Fonts.
  • Italics You can apply italics to text. See Setting Italic Text.
  • Italic Correction You can correct the spacing in a line when italic formatting is involved. Often, when you italicize a word in the middle of a sentence, the last letter of the italicized word appears to have less space behind it. This is typically due to the fact that the blank space immediately after the word is italicized and the word that comes after is not. Using italic correction, you can increase this space between the italicized word and the non-italicized word. See Setting Italic Correction.
  • Letter Spacing You can specify the amount of spacing between letters in text. See Setting Letter Spacing.
  • Overline You can specify that a horizontal line should be placed above text (opposite of underlined text). See Setting an Overline on Text.
  • Size You can specify the size of text, choosing from many different units of measurement. See Setting the Font Size.
  • Smallcaps You can specify that text should be displayed in all capital letters, but in a small size. See Setting Smallcaps on Text.
  • Strikethrough You can specify that a horizontal line should be added through the middle of the text, providing the effect of content that has been "striked through." See Setting a Strikethrough Effect on Text.
  • Subscript You can apply a subscript effect to topic text, where some text appears below the level of the other characters (e.g., H2O). See Setting Subscript Text.
  • Superscript You can apply a superscript effect to text, where some text appears above the regular text (e.g., X2). See Setting Superscript Text.
  • Underline You can easily underline text. See Setting Underlined Text.
  • Word spacing You can specify the amount of spacing between words. See Setting Word Spacing.

Text Boxes

Topics

  • Background You can change the background color for topics by using the body style or classes of that style. If you want the background color to be applied to all topics using a particular stylesheet, you can use the main body style. If you want to change the background color for only some topics, create and use a class of the body style. See Applying Color to the Background for Topics.

    You can also add a background image on topics by using the body style. See Creating Watermarks.

  • Toolbars You can use the Madcap|topicToolbarProxy style to change the look of the container holding the generated toolbar. See Editing the Look of Topic Toolbars.

Editing Styles in the Internal Text Editor

If you are relatively new to CSS, you will almost always use the Stylesheet Editor to edit styles. If you are a seasoned CSS user, you may find it easier to work in the Internal Text Editor. You can display a stylesheet in the Internal Text Editor by right-clicking the CSS file in the Content Explorer and selecting Open with > Internal Text Editor. See Internal Text Editor.

Autocomplete

You can use autocomplete in the Text Editor to quickly select valid tags as you type CSS code. To use this feature, click in the local toolbar of the Text Editor.

If you press CTRL+SPACEBAR on your keyboard, a popup displays CSS3 (and earlier) properties.

As you type, the selected item in the list will jump to the property that begins with the text you are typing.

You can select a property by double-clicking it or by pressing the Enter key on your keyboard. Once a property is selected, the property text is completed and a colon (followed by a space) is added to the end of the text. The cursor is placed after the space so you can quickly type a value for the property.

Syntax Coloring

The syntax is colored to help you easily distinguish different parts of the syntax.

Style Inspector

You can use the Style Inspector in the Formatting window pane to view style details for selected content in the open file (e.g., topic, snippet). You can even edit those styles if necessary, without having to open the full stylesheet. See Style Inspector.

CSS Variables

A CSS variable lets you place the value for a style in one place and reuse it throughout a stylesheet. As with other kinds of single-sourcing, this can help with speed, ease of use, and consistency. Whenever you want to change the value, you only need to do so in one place and the new value is propagated everywhere that the variable is referenced. You certainly could use the "find and replace" feature instead to change the value, but CSS variables are preferred because you won’t need to worry about inconsistencies in your stylesheet. For example, some values—such as colors—can be written in various ways, so in those cases CSS variables make a lot of sense. See CSS Variables.

Conditions on Styles

Normally you would apply a condition to a piece of content or a file. But in Flare you can also set conditions on styles and then apply those styles to content. This is simply another alternative and might be more efficient for some authors. You might even find that you use both methods in your projects. See Applying Styles to Content.

In the Advanced view of the Stylesheet Editor , you can associate a condition with a style by using the mc-conditions property (see Conditions). If you are viewing properties by group (rather than alphabetically) in the Stylesheet Editor, you can find this property in the Unclassified group.

Example You have created a lot of drop-downs throughout your project. But you want the heading portion of the drop-down to display only in online outputs, not in any print-based outputs.

Of course you can manually apply conditions to your drop-down headings, but you would have to do that each time you create a drop-down. A better option is to apply a condition to the style used for the drop-down headings.

So you open your stylesheet and select the MadCap|dropDownHead style. And then in the mc-conditions property you select a condition that you've created for the purpose of online only outputs.

As a result, the online only condition will automatically be applied to any drop-downs you've created in the past, and any that you create in the future.

So when you build online output, you will see this:

And when you build print-based output, you will see this:

Note Conditions that are set locally (i.e., directly on content) will override conditions set on a style. Even if the local condition is empty, it still overrides the conditions set from stylesheet.

Note When you set a condition tag on a style, you can optionally use the mc-exclude-action property to set an exclude action on the tag. For example, you might have the unbind action for a condition tag if you have applied the tag to a hyperlink and want the link to be removed from the text in some outputs, but you still want the text to be shown in those outputs.

Ribbon Options for Editing Styles

Some options in the Home ribbon were originally designed for local formatting only, which is generally discouraged.

However, if you have a stylesheet open, these options can be used to apply formatting to styles in the Stylesheet Editor. This can speed up the process of editing certain style properties.

Example You want to make the h1 style green in your stylesheet. After selecting the style in the Stylesheet Editor, you could find and set the color property to green.

However, you could use the color option in the Home ribbon to do the same thing, only faster.

What’s Next?

After you edit a regular stylesheet, you can apply the style(s) to content. See Applying Styles to Content.